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30 Jan 2003
MOODY'S AFFIRMS Aa3 INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATINGS ON AXA'S CORE OPERATIONS WITH A STABLE OUTLOOK; CHANGES RATING OUTLOOK ON AXA'S DEBT RATINGS TO NEGATIVE FROM STABLE
Paris, January 30, 2003 -- Moody's Investors Service changed its rating outlook to negative from
stable on the debt ratings of the AXA group (A1 senior debt; A2 subordinated
and junior subordinated). Moody's commented that the outlook change
reflected the group's diminished financial flexibility as seen in the
decline in unrealized capital gains, driven by depressed equity
markets, which is affecting the group's solvency, as well
as its financial revenues. This diminished flexibility could result
in the debtholders of the company having a weaker level of protection
if these negative trends continue. Moody's also noted that it expects
the group's operating environment for its life insurance and asset management
operations, to remain challenging, which should continue to
weigh on AXA's earnings and internal capital formation, in spite
of the positive steps being implemented to enhance its efficiency and
The rating agency also said that it was maintaining a stable rating outlook
on the insurance financials strength ratings of the group's core operating
units (AXA France, AXA Financial in the U.S.,
AXA UK, AXA Germany and AXA Belgium) reflecting their leading positions
in their respective markets and good average regulatory solvency levels.
These ratings also remain underpinned by strong management, superior
diversification and distribution, focus on wealth accumulation and
the prospect of a recovery of the earnings of property and casualty insurance.
However, Moody's believes that if the environmental pressures persist,
the effect of the group's diminished earnings and capital formation will
first heighten the credit risk for creditors of the holding company more
than policyholders of the operating company, thus implying that
the notching between the group's insurance financial strength ratings
and its holding company debt ratings may widen.
The rating outlook on AXA's Dutch operations (AXA Leven and AXA Schade)
was changed to negative from stable reflecting comparatively less strong
fundamentals on a stand-alone basis and less advantaged competitive
positioning than the group's other operations.
The following ratings were affirmed with the outlook changed to negative:
AXA - senior debt at A1, subordinated and junior subordinated
debt at A2;
AXA Financial Inc. - senior debt at A2, subordinated
and junior subordinated debt at A3;
AXA Financial Capital Trust I - preferred stock at A3;
AXA Financial Capital Trust II - preferred stock at A3;
AXA Financial Capital Trust III - preferred stock at A3;
AXA Financial Capital Trust IV - preferred stock at A3;
AXA Leven - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Schade - financial strength at Aa3.
The following ratings were affirmed with stable outlooks:
AXA - French commercial paper at Prime-1;
AXA France Collectives - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA France IARD - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA France Vie - financial strength at Aa3;
Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. - financial
strength at Aa3 and surplus notes at A2;
AXA Lebensversicherung - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Versicherung - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA General Insurance Ltd - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Direct Insurance Ltd - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Life Plc - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Sun Life Assurance Society Plc - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Sun life Pensions Management Ltd - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Sun Life Unit Assurance Ltd - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Ireland - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Insurance UK Plc - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Belgium - financial strength at Aa3.
The following ratings remain on review for possible downgrade:
AXA Konzern AG (Austria) - financial strength at Aa3;
AXA Re Finance - financial strength at A3.
AXA, headquartered in Paris, France, had total consolidated
assets of 461 billion and shareholders' funds of 26.7
billion at June 30, 2002.
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
44 20 7772 5454
Senior Vice President
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's France S.A.
33 1 53 30 10 20
No Related Data.
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