Fitch Downgrades QBE Group to Long-term ‘A’

Fitch Ratings announced from London that it has downgraded Australia’s QBE Insurance Group Limited’s Long-term rating to ‘A’ from ‘A+’. Fitch also it expects to assign an “A” rating to QBE’s proposed £150 million ($270 million) senior unsecured sterling issue due 2009. The Outlook on the ratings is Stable.

“The downgrade reflects QBE’s increased financial leverage resulting from the debt issue,” said Fitch. It also said it would “be monitoring for any new information affecting the company prior to completion of the debt issue,” and that the “expected rating is contingent upon receipt of final documentation conforming to information already received.”