LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “a+” of SCOR SE (SCOR) (France) and its main subsidiaries. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) on SCOR’s debt instruments. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains positive.
The ratings of SCOR reflect its strong competitive market position, well-diversified reinsurance operations and solid risk-adjusted capitalisation. The positive outlooks reflect SCOR’s resilient operating performance, with a track record of solid earnings in a challenging operating environment. In addition, the company’s conservative risk appetite and excellent risk management should assist it positively in navigating the underwriting cycle.
SCOR has strengthened its competitive position within the global reinsurance market and has increased its scale over recent years through organic growth of its non-life and life businesses, and by its acquisition of U.S.-based life reinsurance operations. The group has established a strong global franchise with leading positions in its key markets, and offers a wide range of insurance and reinsurance solutions, which has enabled SCOR to develop a well-balanced portfolio between life and non-life markets. This strong business profile allows SCOR to manage local and global underwriting cycles effectively, which will be beneficial in an increasingly challenging operating environment.
SCOR has maintained robust underwriting profitability in recent years, despite deteriorating market conditions, with the group reporting resilient earnings. SCOR reported a net income of EUR 275 million for the first six months of 2016, down from EUR 327 million for the same period of 2015, primarily driven by a deterioration of the non-life net technical result to EUR 327 million (EUR 388 million in 2015). The group’s property/casualty operations were impacted by significant catastrophe losses over the period, which contributed 6.9 percentage points of the 93.8% combined ratio reported as of 30 June 2016. SCOR’s performance remains supported by a stable life technical margin (return on net earned premiums) of approximately 7.0% (7.1% for the first half of 2016), which translated into a life technical result of EUR 256 million for the first half of the year. SCOR’s life business, which is focused on biometric risks, generates positive cash flows and is performing well on a market consistent embedded value (MCEV) basis, with total MCEV earnings of EUR 670.7 million in 2015.
SCOR’s risk-adjusted capitalisation has strengthened to a solid level over recent years and further increased in 2015. The improvement seen during 2015 principally reflects significant growth in reported shareholders’ equity (+11.1% to EUR 6.4 billion) and in value of in-force (+27.7% to EUR 3.4 billion), for which A.M. Best grants partial equity credit in its assessment of the group’s risk-adjusted capitalisation. Capital requirements are driven largely by underwriting activities (premium and reserving risks), with the company maintaining a conservative investment portfolio. Further supporting the solid capital position are the group's excellent enterprise risk management (ERM) framework and its conservative risk appetite. The ERM framework includes sophisticated capital management tools, which are integrated fully into the operational and strategic decision-making processes of the group. Furthermore, SCOR has a strong level of financial flexibility and effectively utilises several forms of capital, including hybrid debt instruments and contingent capital facility. The company’s financial leverage remains within tolerances for the current ratings.
The FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+”, each with a positive outlook, have been affirmed for SCOR SE and its following main subsidiaries:
- SCOR Global Life SE
- SCOR Global P&C SE
- SCOR Switzerland AG
- SCOR UK Company Limited
- SCOR Reinsurance Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd
- SCOR Global Life USA Reinsurance Company
- SCOR Global Life Americas Reinsurance Company
- SCOR Global Life Reinsurance Company of Delaware
- SCOR Reinsurance Company
- SCOR Canada Reinsurance Company
- General Security National Insurance Company
- General Security Indemnity Company of Arizona
The following Long-Term IRs have been affirmed, with a positive outlook:
—“a-” on EUR 500m 3.625% subordinated notes, due 2048
—“a-” on EUR 600m 3.00% subordinated notes, due 2046
—“a-” on CHF 315m 5.25% undated subordinated notes
—“a-” on CHF 250m 5.00% perpetual subordinated notes
—“a-” on CHF 125m 3.375% perpetual subordinated notes
—“a-” on EUR 250m 3.875% perpetual subordinated notes
—“a-” on EUR 250m 3.25% subordinated notes, due 2047
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings.
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