Ratings Roundup: Milli Re, Gulf, Connaught, Bahrain Kuwait, Gerling

September 28, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘B+’ (Good) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “bbb-” of Turkey’s Milli Reasurans Turk Anonim Sirketi (Milli Re) with a positive outlook, which Best said “reflects Milli Re’s maintenance of an improving risk-adjusted capitalization in 2006 and prospective 2007.” Best also noted the Company’s “good operating results and strong position in the Turkish reinsurance market despite significant exposure to loss making lines.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised its outlook on Kuwait-based non-life insurer Gulf Insurance Co. K.S.C. (Gulf Insurance), parent company and a core operating entity of the composite insurer Gulf Insurance Group (the group), to positive from stable. At the same time, S&P affirmed its ‘BBB+’ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strengths ratings on the company. “The outlook revision is due to a substantial reduction in Gulf Insurance’s risk profile following the sale of its largest equity holding,” stated S&P credit analyst Nigel Bond.

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘B+’ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb-” of Guernsey-based Connaught Insurance Company Limited, the captive insurance company of Thomas Greg and Sons Limited (TGS), a printing and security specialist. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said today it revised its outlook on Bahrain-based insurer Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Co. BSC (BKIC) to positive from stable, following an outlook revision on its parent, Gulf Insurance Co. KSC (see above) S&P also affirmed its ‘BBB’ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on the company. “The ratings reflect BKIC’s strategic importance to Gulf Insurance (BBB+/Positive/–), strong capitalization, and strong earnings,” said S&P. The positive factors, however are offset by BKIC’s constrained competitive position and high reliance on reinsurers. “The positive outlook on BKIC reflects the positive outlook on Gulf Insurance and BKIC’s strategic importance to Gulf Insurance,” stated S&P credit analyst Ali Karakuyu. BKIC is expected to retain its association and working relationship with Gulf Insurance.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has withdrawn its ‘A+’ counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on German property/casualty insurer, Gerling-Konzern Allgemeine Versicherungs-AG (GKA), a core operating subsidiary of Germany-based Talanx AG (A-/Stable/–). “The rating action follows the completion of the merger of GKA with HDI Industrie Versicherung AG and the subsequent renaming of the merged company to HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG (HG-Industrie; A+/Stable/–),” said the bulletin.

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