S&P Affirms If P&C Insurance Group ‘A-‘ Ratings

November 28, 2002

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that it has affirmed its ‘A-‘ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on the Swedish insurer If Property & Casualty Insurance Ltd. and Finland’s If P&C Insurance Co. Ltd. (formerly Sampo Insurance Co. Ltd.), the operating companies of the If P&C Insurance group, with a negative outlook.

The announcement follows a review of the group by the rating agency. It also announced that it has withdrawn its ‘A-‘ ratings on If Industrial Insurance Ltd. (formerly Sampo Industrial Insurance Co. Ltd.) {{dq0}} and affirmed its ‘BBB’ subordinated debt rating on the 200 million Euro ($197.5 million) callable notes due 2021 issued by If Property & Casualty Insurance Ltd.

“The ratings continue to reflect Standard & Poor’s view on the implied support that If derives from its ownership structure,” stated S&P credit analyst Peter McClean.

“The negative outlook reflects ongoing uncertainties over the extent of a sustained improvement in operating performance. Nevertheless, If’s business position and financial flexibility (defined as its capacity to source capital relative to capital requirements) will remain strong, and capital adequacy is expected to be maintained at a level consistent with a rating in the ‘A’ range, as premium rates harden further in 2002 and 2003,” said the bulletin.

“A significantly improved performance with a combined ratio consistently below 107% is expected during the next few years,” McClean added.

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