S&P Rates Kazakhstan Insurer ‘B+’

June 20, 2006

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned its “B+” long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings and its “kzBBB” Kazakhstan national scale rating to Kazakhstan-based insurer Eurasia Insurance Co. with a stable outlook.

“Eurasia is the largest insurance company and the leading commercial insurer in Kazakhstan, specializing in commercial and reinsurance risks in the energy, aluminum, mining, and ore-related industries, with gross premium income of Kazakhstan tenge (KZT) 11.5 billion ($88.6 million) and equity of KZT10.7 billion at Dec. 31, 2005, and an approximate 18 percent share of the Kazakh insurance market,” said S&P.

“The ratings on Eurasia reflect the high industry/country risk inherent to Kazakhstan and Eurasia’s limited financial flexibility,” noted S&P credit analyst Tatiana Grineva. “These negatives are mitigated, however, by the company’s potentially strong competitive position in the commercial and reinsurance markets in the region and good earnings.”

S&P indicated that the stable outlook reflects its “expectations that Eurasia will maintain its leading position in Kazakhstan, continue controlled growth of its portfolio with the current capital base, and maintain its current level of capitalization. Failure to meet these expectations may lead to a downgrade, however. Conversely, the ratings may be raised if Eurasia’s exposure to industry/country risk diminishes.”

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