Ratings Roundup: ACE (Japan), Inter Hannover, White Mountains

March 20, 2008

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised its outlook on its ‘A-‘ financial strength and long-term counterparty ratings on ACE Insurance to positive from stable. S&P also affirmed the ratings. “The revised outlook reflects continued growth in direct premiums written and the increased stability of the company’s business franchise, achieved through a shift to a more profit-oriented portfolio,” said the bulletin. “ACE Insurance displays strength in niche markets, such as real estate brokerage. However, the insurer is a small player in the Japanese non-life insurance market, with a market share of less than 1 percent of direct premiums written.” The ratings are backed by the financial strength and strategic importance of the Japanese subsidiary to the ACE Group.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has placed the ‘A+’ insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on International Insurance Co. of Hannover Ltd. (Inter Hannover) on CreditWatch with developing implications. “This action followed concerns about the prospective operating performance of the company, offset by the potential for increased support from the parent, Hannover Rueckversicherung AG (Hannover Re; AA-/Stable/–), which could have a positive ratings impact,” S&P explained. It will resove the CreditWatch placement when the situation is clearer. “The concerns regarding the prospective operating performance stem from the agency business, which we expect to be less profitable than predicted,” added S&P credit analyst Eoin Naughton.

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘BBB+’ Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd., its wholly owned intermediate holding company, White Mountains Re Group, Ltd. and its 73 percent owned intermediate holding company, Fund American Companies, Inc. Fitch also affirmed the ‘BBB’ senior debt ratings of White Mountains Re and Fund American, as well as the ‘A’ insurer financial strength (IFS) rating of the OneBeacon Insurance Group, and the ‘A-‘ IFS ratings of Folksamerica Reinsurance Company and Sirius International Insurance Corporation. Fitch has also assigned an ‘A’ IFS rating to White Mountains Re Bermuda Ltd. , White Mountains Re’s recently capitalized Bermuda operating platform. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Fitch has also withdrawn the IFS ratings of several companies that are no longer part of the OneBeacon Insurance Group.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.