S&P Rates Norway Energy & Marine ‘BBB’

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services announced that it has assigned its ‘BBB-‘ long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings to Oslo-based non-life insurer Norway Energy & Marine Insurance ASA (NEMI) with a stable outlook.

“The ratings reflect NEMI’s recent strong operating performance, strong and experienced management team, and very good capitalization,” stated S&P credit analyst Rowena Potter. “The ratings are constrained by uncertainties surrounding the sustainability of NEMI’s competitive position in the marine hull sector over the longer term.”

S&P said the stable outlook reflects its “expectation that NEMI’s operating performance during 2004/2005 will be sufficiently strong to allow the company to further enhance its capitalization. The combined ratio (before movements in security reserves) is expected to be at or below 95 percent for both 2004 and 2005, while the capital adequacy ratio will remain above 200 percent, according to Standard & Poor’s risk-based model. Should there be a change in management’s intent toward the pricing of new business away from the stated strategy, then the ratings will be reviewed.”