S&P Upgrades Outlook on 7 Japanese Insurers

March 24, 2004

Standard & Poor’s has revised the outlooks to stable from negative on its financial strength and long-term counterparty credit ratings on seven Japanese insurance companies.

The announcement gave the following details:

— Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. (AA-/Stable/–),
— Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (AA-/Stable/–),
— Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. (AA-/Stable/–),
— Sompo Japan Himawari Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (A+/Stable/–),
— Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd. (AA-/Stable/A-1+),
— Nichido Fire & Marine Insurance Co. Ltd. (AA-/Stable/–), and
— Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd. (AA-/Stable/–).

The outlook upgrades accompanied S&P’s revision of Japan’s ‘AA-‘ sovereign credit ratings to stable from negative, which the rating agency had announced earlier. “The seven insurers have high proportions of domestic assets in their investment portfolios, while the major focus of their business operations is concentrated in the Japanese market,” said S&P.

“As a result, the credit quality of these companies is highly correlated to that of the Japanese sovereign. Standard & Poor’s also revised the outlooks on its ratings on most of the companies’ foreign subsidiaries with explicit support from their parent companies.”

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