S&P Lowers Norsk Hydro Captive Insurer INF’s Ratings to ‘A-‘

June 15, 2006

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has lowered its long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Oslo-based Industriforsikring a.s. (INF) to ‘A-‘ from ‘A’, and given them a stable outlook.

“The rating action follows the downgrade of INF’s parent, Norsk Hydro ASA, to ‘A-‘ from ‘A’, reflecting Standard & Poor’s expectation that Norsk Hydro’s reserve replacement outlook will remain challenging over the next few years,” said the bulletin.

“The downgrade of INF is not due to any changes to the stand-alone characteristics of the company,” noted S&P credit analyst Thorbjørn Børs. “As INF qualifies as a captive insurer under Standard & Poor’s rating criteria, it is rated at a level commensurate with the ratings on its parent,” the report continued.

“The stable outlook on INF reflects the stable outlook on Norsk Hydro,” S&P said. “The ratings on the parent will determine the ratings on INF for as long as INF continues to qualify as a captive insurer under Standard & Poor’s rating criteria.”

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