Best Upgrades Rating of Aseguradora Mundial to ‘A-‘

June 23, 2004

A.M. Best Co. announced that it has upgraded the financial strength rating to “A-” (Excellent) from “B++” (Very Good) for Aseguradora Mundial, S.A. of Panama City, Panama and assigned a stable. Rating outlook.

“The rating reflects Aseguradora Mundial’s strong capital position, historically profitable operations and its excellent business profile in the Panamanian market,” said Best. “These strengths are derived from its solid underwriting expertise, moderate operating leverage and prudent investment philosophy. Aseguradora Mundial is a leading insurer in the local market providing both life and non-life insurance, as well as asset management, actuarial consulting and personal financial services.

“This rating also acknowledges the company’s recent engagement in strategic alliances aimed to provide a wider range of products and services. Management seeks to exploit all possible cross-selling synergies, create other sources of income and enhance its market position in Panama.”

As offsetting factors Best noted “uncertainties surrounding the economic development in Panama after the recent presidential and legislative elections,” and the challenges the company could face “by new business strains such as high acquisition costs along with a difficult health care environment. ”

Best said it “believes Aseguradora Mundial’s historical profits and initiatives to expand its product portfolio and develop alternative distribution channels position it well to achieve continued sales growth and improve its earnings capacity going forward.”

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