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Rating Action:

Moody's Rates Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company A3 for Insurance Financial Strength

26 Jan 2015

New York, January 26, 2015 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has assigned an A3 insurance financial strength (IFS) rating to Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company (AMG), a mortgage insurance subsidiary of Arch Capital Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: AGCL, "Arch", A3 senior debt). The outlook for the rating is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

AMG's A3 IFS rating reflects the Baa3 stand-alone credit assessment of AMG, and three notches of uplift based on explicit and implicit support from Arch and its affiliated entities. The Baa3 standalone credit assessment reflects AMG's strong capitalization relative to its current and expected net mortgage insurance exposures, no exposure to pre-2009 mortgages and the market position and operational capabilities it derives from its affiliation with Arch Mortgage Insurance Company (Arch MI, Baa1 stable). Explicit support is provided in the form of extensive quota-share reinsurance, from Arch Reinsurance Ltd. (Arch Re Ltd., A1 stable) and Arch Reinsurance Corporation (Arch Re Co., A1 stable). In addition, Arch has contributed $41.5 million in capital and surplus notes to AMG, increasing its qualified statutory capital to approximately $50 million at year-end 2014. Moody's stated that the mortgage line of business is of strategic importance to Arch because it provides an attractive opportunity to add diversification to its property and casualty focused portfolio. However, Moody's does not consider the mortgage business to be core to the Arch franchise at this stage.

AMG, formerly known as PMI Mortgage Assurance Co., is domiciled in the State of Wisconsin, and was acquired by Arch on January 30, 2014. Prior to the acquisition by Arch, the company was wholly owned by PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., in Rehabilitation (MIC). Prior to its acquisition, AMG had transacted a limited amount of mortgage insurance in certain states. As of year-end 2013, AMG had $20.1 million of legacy risk-in-force, comprising prime, fully documented mortgages originated in 2011. Along with the acquisition of AMG, Arch purchased CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, now Arch MI, and the PMI mortgage insurance operating platform from PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. Arch MI is the leading private mortgage insurer catering to the credit union lender channel, and is actively working, together with AMG, on expanding its market share beyond the credit union channel, to include banks and non-bank mortgage originators.

AMG is not an approved mortgage insurer with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (jointly, the GSEs), and is therefore not required to comply with the private mortgage insurer eligibility requirements (PMIERs) as currently drafted by the GSEs. Arch MI, its affiliate, is a GSE-approved mortgage insurer and has stated that it is compliant with the PMIERs as currently drafted.

The stable outlook reflects the appeal of AMG's franchise, as part of Arch's suite of mortgage risk solutions, its integration with Arch MI and its strong capitalization relative to net insured exposures, moderated by meaningful uncertainty about prospects for origination of non-conventional mortgages and market demand for insurance on such mortgages.

Moody's stated that the following factors could lead to an upgrade of AMG's rating: (1) establishment of a strong stand-alone franchise in its target market, (2) improved absolute and risk-weighted capitalization, or a greater degree of support from its parent, Arch. Conversely, Moody's stated that the following factors could lead to a downgrade of the company's rating: (1) a protracted stalling of growth in non-conventional originations, or AMG failing to grow market share and gain traction in growing non-conventional mortgage market, (2) termination of the reinsurance agreements with Arch, or (3) a downgrade of Arch or lower implicit support from the group.

The following rating has been assigned with a stable outlook:

Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company -- insurance financial strength at A3.

The principal methodology used in this rating was Moody's Global Methodology for Rating Mortgage Insurers published in December 2012. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Brandan Holmes
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Stanislas F Rouyer
Associate Managing Director
Financial Institutions Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Rates Arch Mortgage Guaranty Company A3 for Insurance Financial Strength
No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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