S&P Reports Europe’s Insurers Fail to Differ from Other Financials

September 9, 2008

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has concluded that “Europe’s insurers are allowing themselves to be caught up in the gloom that shrouds equity and capital markets.” In a report entitled – “European Insurance Sector’s Credit Quality Remains Healthy Despite Gloomy Economic And Financial Markets Backdrop” – S&P said that, while the “European insurance sector is not without challenges of its own, we believe it is fundamentally sound.”

S&P’s basic conclusion found that “because insurers are failing to differentiate themselves from banks, whose fundamentals are under close scrutiny, many have found their equity trading at a significant discount to book value.”

However, S&P noted that it believes Europe’s “insurers have transformed their enterprise risk management capabilities over the past five years.”

By implementing better risk management, “insurers improve their capture of the diverse and complex risks they face, which augurs well for the resilience of their solvency and future profitability.”

The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, the real-time Web-based source for Standard & Poor’s credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, at: www.ratingsdirect.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-9823 or sending an e-mail to research_request@standardandpoors.com.

Ratings information can also be found on S&P’s public Web site at: www.standardandpoors.com; select Ratings in the left navigation bar, then Credit Ratings Search. Alternatively, call one of the following Standard & Poor’s numbers: Client Support Europe (44) 20-7176-7176; London Press Office (44) 20-7176-3605; Paris (33) 1-4420-6708; Frankfurt (49) 69-33-999-225; Stockholm (46) 8-440-5914; or Moscow (7) 495-783-4017.

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