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Rating Action:

MOODY'S RATES CATALYST CAPITAL, LTD. INSURED FLOATING RATE NOTES Aaa

23 Oct 2003
MOODY'S RATES CATALYST CAPITAL, LTD. INSURED FLOATING RATE NOTES Aaa

$500 Million Offering Provides Contingent Capital for Oil Insurance Limited

New York, October 23, 2003 -- Moody's Investors Service announced today that it has assigned a Aaa rating to $500 million of insured floating rate notes issued by Catalyst Capital, Ltd. (the "Notes") in connection with a contingent capital facility sponsored by Oil Insurance Limited ("OIL" -- insurance financial strength rating at A1). The Notes have a five-year maturity (extendible under certain circumstances to 10 1/4 years), are callable and bear interest at the floating rate of three-month LIBOR plus 0.47%. The Aaa rating assigned to the Notes is based on a financial guaranty insurance policy provided by Ambac Assurance Corporation ("Ambac" - insurance financial strength rating at Aaa). Additionally, the rating agency stated that it has assigned an Aa3 underlying rating to the Notes based on its assessment of the Notes without the benefit of the financial guaranty insurance policy, but with terms otherwise unchanged. The outlook for the assigned rating and the underlying rating is stable.

Founded in 1971, OIL is a Class 2 licensed Bermuda insurance company with a mutual-type structure that provides property damage, well control and third-party pollution liability insurance to its shareholders ("Members") with limits of up to $250 million on a per-occurrence basis and $1 billion on an aggregate basis for multiple policyholder claims arising out of one event. Members pay premiums to OIL based on their risk-adjusted insured gross assets and the amount of coverage selected based on losses from the prior five years under a formulaic premium plan. OIL's membership currently consists of 87 companies located in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa.

Catalyst Capital, Ltd. ("Catalyst Capital") is a special purpose Bermuda exempted company. The proceeds from the sale of the Notes will be invested in a collateralized investment agreement to secure the contingent capital facility for the benefit of OIL. The facility is available to provide up to $500 million of financing to OIL upon the occurrence of aggregate incurred policy losses in excess of a formulaic loss threshold. The amount of contingent capital available under the facility is variable based on the number of OIL Members, their gross assets and their weighted average credit ratings, subject to certain limitations. Based on the current membership of OIL, the available amount is $500 million. The available amount under the facility will be reduced by all prior event payments, but may be replenished through repayments of drawn principal.

Moody's noted that the mutualization of policy losses at OIL requires that all losses experienced by the company are to be fully repaid by its Members over a five-year period based on each company's allocable portion. Any uncollected amounts are required to be reallocated among the remaining Members of OIL. OIL also has structural features which provide protection against its Members exiting this arrangement before their contractual obligations have been fulfilled. If any of OIL's Members declare bankruptcy, OIL (and through assignment, Catalyst Capital) would have a senior unsecured claim against the assets of the bankrupt entity.

A portion of the premium and other payments from OIL Members, plus investment agreement interest payments on the collateralized trust balance are used to pay interest on the Notes. If the contingent capital facility is drawn upon by OIL, certain premiums and other payments from Members will be used to pay interest and repay drawn principal over a five year period. Premiums and other payments to OIL are paid directly into a lockbox account and are allocated by a trustee to Catalyst Capital according to a varying proportion depending on the amount of outstanding senior debt at OIL. Remaining cashflows allocated to Catalyst Capital are released to OIL only after the required collections (including drawn principal from the facility and interest on the Notes for the next four payment dates), any reserve account balances and obligations to Ambac are paid. The effective subordination of the allocated cashflows to OIL is reflected in the rating differential between Catalyst Capital's Aa3 underlying rating and OIL's A1 insurance financial strength rating.

Moody's stated that its underlying rating assessment on the Notes relied on both qualitative and quantitative factors that considered both the structural features of OIL and Catalyst Capital, as well as the estimated likelihood of losses to OIL arising from claims. Important structural features that enhance the underlying credit profile of Catalyst Capital include: the senior claim of Catalyst Capital on certain premium payments paid to OIL; the mutualization of policy losses at OIL through retrospective premium payments; the reallocation of uncollected payments among OIL's remaining Members; restrictions on changes in OIL's structure while the contingent capital facility is in place; conditions limiting the amount of capital available under the facility and covenants related to the addition of new Members at OIL.

Oil Insurance Limited is a Bermuda-based insurance company established to serve certain insurance needs of its Members, all of whom are petroleum, gas, energy, chemical or mining companies (or their insurance affiliates). The company writes property damage, well control and third-party pollution liability insurance. OIL is managed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oil Management Services Ltd. For the six months ended June 30, 2003, OIL reported net income of $225 million. As of June 30, 2003, OIL had shareholders' equity of $1.35 billion.

New York
Ted Collins
Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
James Eck
Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

No Related Data.
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