Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that, following a review, it has affirmed its ‘BBB’ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on U.K.-based insurer Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co. Ltd. (SMMI) with a positive outlook.
“The ratings reflect SMMI’s very good competitive position within a niche segment of the marine insurance market, the marked turnaround in its operating performance since 2002, and its strong and improving capitalization,” stated S&P credit analyst Peter Grant. The ratings are constrained by SMMI’s dependence on industries that face continuing structural change, and the size of its capital base in absolute terms.
“The positive outlook reflects Standard & Poor’s expectation that SMMI will be able to sustain its very good operating performance throughout 2004 and 2005, thereby enabling it to further reinforce its capital position,” Grant added.
S&P indicated that an “upgrade on SMMI would be dependent on both the continuation of its good operating performance, and its ability to demonstrate that any increase in its appetite for risk on the asset side of its balance sheet would not compromise its overall financial strength.”
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