Ratings Roundup: Farmers Mutual (NZ); Secura; Oman Ins.

June 27, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of “A-” (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “a-” of New Zealand’s Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Association (FMIA) and its core subsidiary, FMG Insurance Limited (FMGIL), collectively known as Farmers’ Mutual Group (FMG). The outlook for these ratings is stable. Concurrently, Best has withdrawn the FSR of “A-” (Excellent) and the ICR of “a-” of Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Limited (FMIL) and assigned a category NR-3 (Rating Procedure Inapplicable). “The ratings reflect the group’s strong and improving capitalization, well established presence in provincial New Zealand and its broad distribution capabilities,” said Best. The ratings also consider the impact of FMG’s business re-organization.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has affirmed its “AA-” long term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Belgium-based reinsurer Secura N.V. with a stable outlook, following a ratings review. “The ratings on Secura continue to primarily reflect an explicit guarantee from parent company KBC Insurance N.V., which meets all of our relevant criteria,” explained S&P credit analyst Virginie CrĂ©py. The guarantee relates to all current and future reinsurance contracts issued by Secura and has very limited scope for termination.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has placed its “BBB+” long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based composite insurer Oman Insurance Co. (PSC) on CreditWatch with positive implications. The CreditWatch placement follows the assigning of interactive ratings to Oman Insurance’s parent, UAE-based Mashreqbank (Mashreq – rated “A”/Stable/A-1), on June 25, 2007.

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