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15 Aug 2008
Moody´s affirms Baa3 IFS rating for Royal & Sun Alliance (Uruguay)
New York, August 15, 2008 -- Moody´s Investors Service has affirmed Royal & Sun Alliance
Seguros Uruguay's ("RSA Uruguay") Baa3 global local-currency
insurance financial strength (IFS) rating and the Aa1.uy IFS rating
on the Uruguayan national scale. The outlook of the company remains
stable. This rating and outlook affirmation follows Moody´s
review for possible upgrade of the B1 Uruguayan government bonds,
the B2 country ceiling for foreign-currency bank deposits and the
Ba2 foreign-currency country ceiling for bonds which was announced
on August 14, 2008. RSA Uruguay, which is the leading
privately-owned property and casualty insurer in Uruguay,
is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK-based Royal &
Sun Alliance Insurance Group PLC.
Moody's said that the positive impact on RSA Uruguay's investment
portfolio and its credit profile from a potential improvement in the ratings
of sovereign bonds and Uruguayan banks deposits is offset by the steep
reduction in the company´s holdings of investment-grade assets
over the past six months. Term deposits in highly-rated
US and UK banks dropped from 24% of total cash and invested assets
as of December 31st 2007 to less than 1% as of June 30th 2008.
RSA Uruguay has recently moved its investment composition towards local-currency
sovereign bonds and bank deposits in an effort to restore financial profitability
and reduce earnings volatility, which have been negatively impacted
by the decline in the foreign exchange rate between the Uruguayan Peso
and the U.S. dollar.
Moody's stated that the ratings affirmation reflects the RSA Uruguay's
maintenance of its credit fundamentals, specifically its leading
market position in the country, sustained underwriting profitability,
and relatively low gross leverage. In addition, as a subsidiary
of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Plc, the ratings of RSA Uruguay
are positively influenced by the ownership and a certain degree of support
provided by its parent company. This support has been demonstrated
in the following ways: 1) excess-of-loss reinsurance
arrangements with the parent; 2) sharing of a well-known brand
name; 3) the parent's expertise and experience in certain business
lines; and 4) the parent's control and influence over local operations.
The last rating action on RSA Uruguay took place on March 18th,
2008, when Moody's affirmed the ratings and outlook.
Based in Montevideo, Uruguay, Royal & Sun Alliance Seguros
(Uruguay), reported a net loss of UR$2.7 million in
the first quarter of 2008, ended March 31st, 2008.
The final result was lowered by exchange rate fluctuation and by inflation
accounting losses. However, underwriting gains rose to UR$27.2
million, which was up 77% compared with the underwriting
profits in the prior year's period. RSA Uruguay's total
assets amounted to UR$866 million and its equity ended at UR$366
million as of March 31, 2008.
NOTE: Moody´s national scale insurance financial strength
ratings rank an enterprise's financial strength on a relative basis in
comparison with other firms' within the same country. Such
ratings are designed for use at the local (national) level, and
they are not globally comparable. For Uruguayan companies,
national scale ratings carry the identifier of ".uy". In
contrast, global local-currency insurance-financial
strength ratings indicate the relative credit risk of an insurance company
on a globally comparable scale. In the case of ratings of insurers
domiciled in a country with a speculative grade sovereign rating,
such as Uruguay, these ratings are the result of several factors:
the political risk; the risk of a generalized debt moratorium;
the weakness of the legal environment or framework; and the risk
of interference in the functioning of the financial system. Taken
together, the national scale and global local-currency ratings
provide a more comprehensive opinion about the credit risk of the company.
Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions about the ability
of insurance companies to punctually repay senior policyholder claims
For more information, please visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Financial Institutions Group
Moody's America Latina Ltda.
No Related Data.
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