A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb+” and all debt ratings of Australia’s QBE Insurance Group Limited, and the financial strength ratings (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a+” of UK-based QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited, QBE Insurance (International) Limited of Australia, and QBE Reinsurance (Europe) Limited, based in Ireland. The outlook for all the ratings is stable.
“These rating actions remove the under review status of the ratings, which was applied on 5 January 2007 to enable A.M. Best to assess the combined impact of the planned acquisitions of Praetorian Financial Group and Winterthur U.S Group,” said the bulletin. “A.M. Best has completed its consolidated analysis of the proposed transactions and believes that QBE is likely to maintain excellent risk-adjusted capitalization factoring both acquisitions and future operating performance.”
The following ratings remain unchanged:
— The FSR of A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a” of QBE Re Group – U.S. (New York) and its members remain under review with negative implications.
— The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a-” of Praetorian Financial Group (Wilmington, DE) and its members remain under review with developing implications.
–The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a-” of the Winterthur U.S. Group (Wilmington, DE) and its members remain under review with positive implications.
The following debt ratings have been affirmed:
QBE Insurance Group Limited—
— “bbb” on the USD 250 million 5.65 percent subordinated notes, due 2023
— “bbb+” on the GBP 175 million 5.625 percent senior unsecured notes, due 2009
— “bbb-” on the GBP 300 million 6.857 percent perpetual preferred securities issued by QBE Capital Funding L.P. (Jersey) and guaranteed by QBE
— “bbb+” on the USD 375 million 20-year zero coupon senior convertible securities, due 2024 issued by QBE Funding Trust III Ltd. and guaranteed by QBE
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