S&P’s Places Allianz and Dresdner on Watch Neg

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has placed its long-term ratings, including its double-‘A’-plus counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings, on Munich-based insurance group, Allianz AG (Allianz), and related entities on CreditWatch with negative implications.

At the same time, Standard & Poor’s placed its double-‘A’-minus/’A-1′-plus counterparty credit ratings on Dresdner Bank AG (Dresdner Bank) and related entities on CreditWatch with negative implications.

“The CreditWatch placement follows Allianz’s profit warning and announcement of further significant restructuring measures at Dresdner Bank, due to the negative effect of continuing weak capital markets and a difficult economic environment on the group’s investment performance and on that of its banking subsidiary,” Michael Zlotnik, managing director at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services Group in Frankfurt, said.

“Over the coming weeks, Standard & Poor’s will review in detail the prospects for the combined Allianz group,” Wolfgang Rief, a director at Standard & Poor’s insurance group in Frankfurt, said. “Standard & Poor’s review will focus primarily on the restructuring plans for its banking operations, the capital strength and financial flexibility of the Allianz group, as well as the business outlook for Allianz’s insurance operations in its key markets,” Rief added.

On resolution of the CreditWatch action, Standard & Poor’s does not expect that the ratings on Allianz will fall by more than one or two notches below its current rating. The final ratings on Dresdner Bank will depend on Standard & Poor’s assessment of its future stand-alone risk profile as well as the strategic importance for its parent, Allianz.

Although Standard & Poor’s expects that the ratings on Dresdner Bank will continue to be linked to those on Allianz, they are no longer expected to be in the double-‘A’-minus/’A-1′-plus category.