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Rating Action:

MOODY'S CONFIRMS A2 INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING ON AMLIN SYNDICATE 2001

28 Jan 2002
MOODY'S CONFIRMS A2 INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING ON AMLIN SYNDICATE 2001

London, 28 January 2002 -- Moody's Investors Service has today confirmed its A2 (Good) Insurance Financial Strength Rating on Amlin syndicate 2001, the underwriting vehicle of Amlin Plc (Amlin), the listed Lloyd's of London insurance Group. The rating outlook is stable.

Moody's stated that it initiated the review on syndicate 2001 in the weeks following the events of September 11th. It said that the syndicate's A2 rating had been kept under review following the one notch downgrade, which applied to the other four Lloyd's syndicates with a Moody's Insurance Financial Strength Rating, in October 2001, pending completion of analysis specific to each syndicate. The October downgrade was made amid growing concerns, in the wake of September 11, over the adequacy of resources within the Lloyd's Central Fund, the market's mutual support mechanism, and over the strength of the Lloyd's franchise.

The rating agency stated that it had now completed its analysis specific to syndicate 2001. In confirming the A2 rating, it noted several considerations that helped to mitigate concerns regarding the impact of September 11 which the syndicate currently estimates to cost it about GBP480m gross and GBP90m after reinsurance recoveries. Whilst noting that the loss estimates were material, particularly on a gross basis, in relation to the syndicate's earnings and capital base, Moody's also noted the stability in the loss estimates since October and the quality of the syndicate's reinsurance programme which should significantly mitigate credit-related losses and aid cash flow strain. With regard to cash flow, the syndicate has the benefit of a significant sterling fund (it is a large Motor underwriter) and there has been no need to-date for a cash-call.

The rating agency further elaborated that it took some comfort from the fact that about 40% of the syndicate's gross loss estimate is derived from its Aviation exposure where Moody's sees more scope for an improvement than a deterioration in the syndicate's loss estimate. The rating agency also noted that the overall impact of the terrorist losses on the syndicate is significantly diluted by the underlying good performance to-date of 2000 and 2001.

Moody's also stated that although it had some concerns over the syndicate's recent significant growth, these were off-set by the potential for the syndicate, with its franchise and size in a rapidly hardening market-place, to make good underwriting returns in the short and medium term. The syndicate is currently the second largest in the Lloyd's market-place and the timing of its expansion to GBP800m of capacity, helped by a GBP100m State Farm LOC facility, with continued comprehensive reinsurance coverage is considered appropriate. Furthermore, Amlin has recently made a rights issue which will help reduce its LOC gearing which currently represents a high 75% of net tangible assets.

The rating agency finally stated that overall the A2 rating reflects the leading position of the syndicate within its core business areas, the well-diversified nature of the book of business, and the good management and underwriting skills at Amlin. The rating also reflects the historical performance of the syndicate and the expectation that it will continue to outperform the market, as well as the structural and operational benefits resulting from the syndicate's affiliation with Lloyd's.

Syndicate 2001 is the second largest syndicate in the Lloyd's of London market, with capacity and estimated gross premium of around GBP800 million for 2002. Amlin Underwriting Limited, the syndicate's manager, is based in London, England.

London
Mark Hewlett
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
44 20 7772 5454

London
Dominic Simpson
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
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