Ratings Roundup: ExCo, Moscow Re

November 27, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘B++’ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb+” of the UK’s Exchange Insurance Company Limited with a stable outlook. Best said that in its opinion “ExCo continues to maintain good risk-adjusted capitalization, albeit weaker than originally anticipated due to operational losses in the company’s opening years of business. In 2008, A.M. Best anticipates that ExCo’s operational profitability will enable it to increase its capitalization to a level sufficient to support projected increases in business volume from issuing residential performance bonds (exchange bonds), the company’s sole source of premium.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised its long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Russia-based reinsurer Moscow Reinsurance Co. to ‘BB-‘ from ‘B+’. S&P also raised the Russia national scale rating on Moscow Re to ‘ruAA-‘ from ‘ruA+’. The outlook is positive. “The upgrade reflects the reduced uncertainties regarding the company’s ownership and management team following the acquisition by Insurance Group (not rated), the changes made by the current management team, and the improved quality of investments,” explained S&P credit analyst Miroslav Petkov.

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