S&P Assigns ‘A-‘ Rating to Finland’s Pohjola

August 13, 2004

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that it has assigned its ‘A-‘ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings to Finland-based Pohjola Non-Life Insurance Co. Ltd. with a stable outlook.

“The ratings are based on Pohjola’s very strong capitalization and strong competitive position in Finland, offset by adequate earnings,” indicated S&P credit analyst David Laxton.

S&P said the stable outlook reflects its expectation that “capitalization levels will remain very strong, despite an anticipated dividend of €99 million [$121 million]. The quality of the operating performance will improve as Pohjola draws closer to profitability at an underwriting level, with a combined ratio (on an international accounting standards basis) of below 105 percent expected for 2004.”

The rating agency also noted that “the group is expected to integrate its new life operations relatively successfully, as Pohjola has–through its co-operation with Suomi Mutual–a strong understanding of life business and performance. The life operations are not expected to have a large impact on Pohjola’s non-life book, as cross-selling synergies already exist.”

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