Best Affirms Platinum’s ‘A’ Ratings

February 5, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A” (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a” of the Bermuda-based Platinum Underwriters Group and its members. Best also affirmed the ICR of “bbb” of Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd. and the debt ratings of Platinum Underwriters Finance, Inc. and Platinum. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

“These affirmations reflect the group’s excellent capitalization, which includes strong earnings in 2006 and proceeds from various capital initiatives undertaken during 2005,” said Best. “Earnings in 2006 benefited from the hardened U.S. property market conditions, as well as the benefits of a benign catastrophe year.

“The capital initiatives in 2005 raised approximately $700 million of net new capital in the form of senior notes, preferred shares and common shares. These capital raising events further strengthened the group’s overall capital position and include a significant capital contribution to Platinum’s subsidiary, Platinum Underwriters Bermuda, Ltd.”

Best also noted that it had “factored the financial leverage and fixed charged coverage as part of its analysis and expects Platinum to maintain its level of debt to capital below 30 percent and to maintain a fixed charge coverage in the mid to upper single-digit range, both within acceptable ranges to support its FSRs, ICRs and debt ratings.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and ICRs of “a” have been affirmed for Platinum Underwriters Group and its following members:”

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