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Rating Action:

MOODY'S UPGRADES INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING OF TRYGG-HANSA INSURANCE COMPANY TO A3 FROM Baa1

31 Jul 1997
MOODY'S UPGRADES INSURANCE FINANCIAL STRENGTH RATING OF TRYGG-HANSA INSURANCE COMPANY TO A3 FROM Baa1 London, 07-31-97 -- Moody's Investors Service has raised the insurance financial strength rating of Trygg-Hansa Insurance Company Limited (Trygg-Hansa Insurance) to A3 from Baa1. The rating action reflects material improvements in the group's capital structure, and a better profitability outlook under the new group structure.
Moody's stated that Trygg-Hansa Insurance's financial strength rating had been adversely affected by Trygg-Hansa AB's loss-making investments, its high financial leverage, and its undiversified sources of earnings. In recent years, however, management's shift in strategic direction had resulted in bringing under Trygg-Hansa AB a number of subsidiaries offering nonlife insurance, life assurance, savings and investment products. Given demographic and social insurance cost containment trends, and Trygg-Hansa's solid position within the Swedish financial services sector, this strategic change is viewed as enhancing the group's earnings prospects and reducing pressures on Trygg-Hansa Insurance as sole provider of operating cash flow. The restructuring has removed the riskier and non-performing assets from the group, and has started a process by which it will diversify its future earnings streams.
In addition, Moody's said, through asset disposals and improved operating cash flows, Trygg-Hansa repaid a substantial amount of debt in 1996, materially improving its capital structure. Under new management, with past problems behind and an unencumbered balance sheet, Trygg-Hansa should be able to report better results in the future, finance growth, and strengthen the group's operations.
Moody's recognised that in the short-term Trygg-Hansa AB still relies considerably on the profitability and cash flows of Trygg-Hansa Insurance, the volatile domestic nonlife insurance business, but believes that the new structure positions the group favourably for the future.
These positive developments are tempered by the uncertainty surrounding management's intentions regarding the group's future growth, the role of Trygg-Hansa in the repayment of one of its subsidiaries' bond obligations, and the target capitalisation level set by management for the group.

The following rating is affected:
Trygg-Hansa Insurance Company Limited -- insurance financial strength rating raised to A3 from Baa1.

Trygg-Hansa Insurance Company Limited is the main property and casualty insurer of the group, writing personal and commercial insurance in Sweden and, through its subsidiaries, in the Nordic and Baltic regions. Trygg-Hansa AB is the holding company of the Trygg-Hansa Group. In 1996, the Trygg-Hansa Group reported consolidated profit of SEK 2.4 billion. At year-end 1996, the group had total assets under management of SEK 143 billion, reported assets of SEK 33 billion and shareholders' funds of SEK 8.5 billion. Both companies are based in Stockholm, Sweden.
No Related Data.
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