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Rating Action:

Moody's affirms AIG's ratings (senior debt Baa1) with stable outlook

09 Sep 2014

New York, September 09, 2014 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the ratings of American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG -- senior unsecured debt Baa1, short-term issuer rating Prime-2). The rating agency also affirmed the A1 insurance financial strength (IFS) ratings of US-based members of AIG Property Casualty (AIG PC), the A2 IFS ratings of AIG Life and Retirement (AIG L&R), the Baa1 IFS ratings of Mortgage Guaranty, and other ratings supported by these entities (see list below). The outlook for these ratings is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

"AIG is gradually strengthening its credit profile across its core insurance businesses and at the parent," said Bruce Ballentine, Moody's lead analyst for AIG. Positive developments include a focus on risk-adjusted profitability at AIG PC, expanded and more balanced product offerings at AIG L&R, declining credit losses at Mortgage Guaranty, and declining financial leverage at the parent. AIG also continues the orderly runoff of its Direct Investment book (DIB) and Global Capital Markets (GCM) portfolios. The parent company holds significant cash and liquid securities, which can be used to make capital contributions to subsidiaries as needed.

"Still, the credit profile is constrained by weak profitability and legacy liabilities at AIG PC, and low market interest rates potentially weighing on AIG L&R," said Ballentine.

AIG PARENT

AIG's Baa1 senior debt rating reflects the leading market positions of its insurance operations, its diversification across products and geographic regions, its successful divestment/unwinding of most noncore businesses, and the healthy liquidity of the parent company, said the rating agency. These strengths are tempered by the group's above-average exposure to structured and alternative investments, by financial leverage and interest coverage metrics that are still somewhat weak for its rating category, and by the complexity of risk management across its numerous markets and business lines.

Moody's cited the following factors that could lead to a rating upgrade for AIG: (i) improvement in the stand-alone credit profiles of AIG PC, AIG L&R and/or Mortgage Guaranty, (ii) further runoff of the DIB and GCM, and (iii) improvement in financial flexibility (e.g., total leverage remaining below 30%, pretax interest coverage in high single digits).

The following factors could lead to a rating downgrade: (i) deterioration in the stand-alone credit profiles of AIG PC, AIG L&R and/or Mortgage Guaranty, (ii) insufficient liquidity within operating units or at the parent relative to the company's or Moody's stress tests, or (iii) a decline in financial flexibility (e.g., total leverage of 35% or higher, pretax interest coverage below four times).

AIG PROPERTY CASUALTY

AIG PC ranks among the world's largest property casualty insurers, writing a broad range of commercial and consumer coverages. The A1 IFS ratings of the US pool members are based on their market leadership in commercial and specialty lines, diversified product offerings, and expertise in writing large and complex risks, said Moody's. The US pool also benefits from AIG PC's global footprint, which helps the group serve multinational accounts and deploy resources to markets and business lines that offer favorable returns.

AIG PC's challenges include a history of weak profitability and adverse loss development along with exposure to natural and man-made catastrophes. A majority of the US reserves are in long-tail casualty lines, heightening the risk and uncertainty regarding ultimate losses. The US operations also have lower regulatory risk-based capital ratios than similarly rated peers, and carry greater exposure to high-risk structured and alternative investments.

Moody's cited the following factors that could lead to a rating upgrade for AIG PC's US pool members: (i) improvement in underwriting results and profitability (e.g., combined ratio below 100%, return on capital consistently exceeding 8%), (ii) consistent favorable development of loss reserves, and (iii) improvement in AIG's financial flexibility (e.g., total leverage remaining below 30%, pretax interest coverage in high single digits).

The following factors could lead to a rating downgrade: (i) deterioration in underwriting results (e.g., combined ratio above 105%, return on capital below 5%), (ii) significant adverse reserve development, or (iii) a decline in statutory surplus by more than 10% in a given year.

AIG LIFE AND RETIREMENT

AIG L&R ranks among the leading US life insurance and retirement services providers, offering a full suite of products through a multi-channel distribution network. Moody's said the A2 IFS ratings reflect the group's strong market presence, including top-10 positions in various individual annuity, life insurance and retirement product lines, and its healthy revenue and earnings momentum, excluding one-time items.

These strengths are tempered by the interest rate, equity market and hedging risks of the group's sizable fixed and growing variable annuity businesses, along with its significant holdings of structured and alternative investments. The group is also exposed to spread compression in the event of sustained low interest rates. AIG L&R currently has a strong regulatory risk-based capital (RBC) ratio (429% company action level at year-end 2013, including AGC Life Insurance Company (AGC Life)), although Moody's expects this ratio to decline, given AIG's practice of drawing dividends from subsidiaries and holding a large liquidity pool at the parent.

Moody's cited the following factors that could lead to a rating upgrade for AIG L&R: (i) statutory return on capital consistently exceeding 8% (excluding extraordinary items), (ii) RBC ratio remaining above 375% company action level including AGC Life, and (iii) improvement in AIG's financial flexibility (e.g., total leverage remaining below 30%, pretax interest coverage in high single digits).

The following factors could lead to a rating downgrade: (i) statutory return on capital below 4% and/or continued earnings volatility, (ii) a sharp drop in statutory surplus (e.g., a decline of more than 10% in a given year or an RBC ratio below 300% company action level including AGC Life), or (iii) pretax gross asset losses exceeding $400 million in a given year.

MORTGAGE GUARANTY

The Baa1 IFS rating of United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company (UGRIC), lead member of AIG's Mortgage Guaranty unit, reflects the continuing runoff of UGRIC's legacy book, coupled with a favorable market position and capital base relative to peers, said Moody's. UGRIC's primary delinquency ratio has declined significantly and is the lowest among rated private mortgage insurers with legacy risks. The rating also incorporates one notch of uplift versus UGRIC's stand-alone credit profile, based on explicit and implicit support from AIG. UGRIC and its peers may soon face higher capital standards from government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although Moody's expects that the industry would have some time to comply.

Given that its rating incorporates AIG support, the main factor that could cause an upgrade for UGRIC would be an upgrade of AIG. Factors that could prompt a downgrade include financial stress at AIG, or substantial adverse loss development in UGRIC's mortgage insurance portfolio.

RATINGS AFFIRMED

The following ratings have been affirmed with a stable outlook:

American International Group, Inc. -- long-term issuer rating Baa1, senior unsecured debt Baa1, subordinated debt Baa2, junior subordinated debt Baa2 (hyb), short-term issuer rating Prime-2, senior unsecured shelf/MTN program (P)Baa1, subordinated shelf (P)Baa2, junior subordinated shelf (P)Baa2, short-term note issuance program (P)Prime-2;

AIG Funding, Inc. -- backed short-term debt Prime-2;

AIG Life and Retirement -- American General Life Insurance Company, The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York, The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength A2;

AIG Life and Retirement funding agreement-backed notes -- AIG SunAmerica Global Financing Trusts, ASIF II, ASIF III (Jersey) Limited -- senior secured debt A2, senior secured MTN program (P)A2;

AIG Life and Retirement funding agreement-backed preferred stock -- AIG SunAmerica Global Financing Trusts, ASIF Global Financing Trusts -- secured preferred stock A2 (hyb);

AIG Life Holdings, Inc. -- backed senior unsecured debt Baa1, backed junior subordinated debt Baa2 (hyb);

AIG Property Casualty U.S., Inc. -- AIG Assurance Company, AIG Property Casualty Company, AIG Specialty Insurance Company, AIU Insurance Company, American Home Assurance Company, Commerce and Industry Insurance Company, Granite State Insurance Company, Illinois National insurance Co., Lexington Insurance Company, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., New Hampshire Insurance Company, The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania -- insurance financial strength A1;

Global Capital Markets long-term ratings -- AIG Financial Products Corp., AIG-FP Capital Funding Corp., AIG-FP Matched Funding Corp., AIG-FP Matched Funding (Ireland) P.L.C., AIG Matched Funding Corp., Banque AIG -- backed long-term issuer rating or backed senior unsecured debt Baa1;

Global Capital Markets short-term ratings -- AIG Financial Products Corp., AIG Matched Funding Corp. -- backed short-term debt Prime-2;

SAFG Retirement Services, Inc. -- backed senior unsecured debt Baa1;

Stone Street Trust -- backed trust securities Baa1 (hyb);

United Guaranty Mortgage Indemnity Company -- backed insurance financial strength Baa1;

United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company -- insurance financial strength Baa1.

The methodologies used in these ratings were Global Property and Casualty Insurers published in August 2014, Global Life Insurers published in August 2014, and 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 these methodologies.

Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability of insurance companies to pay senior policyholder claims and obligations.

AIG, based in New York City, is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions. AIG reported total revenues of $32.2 billion and net income attributable to AIG of $4.7 billion for the first half of 2014. AIG shareholders' equity was $108 billion as of June 30, 2014.

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.

The below contact information is provided for information purposes only. Please see the ratings tab of the issuer page at www.moodys.com, for each of the ratings covered, Moody's disclosures on the lead analyst and the Moody's legal entity that has issued the ratings.

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.

Bruce Ballentine
VP - Senior Credit Officer
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

Robert Riegel
MD - Insurance
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 affirms AIG's ratings (senior debt Baa1) with stable outlook
No Related Data.
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