A.M. Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of JSC Insurance Company Centras Insurance

LONDON--()--A.M. Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to C+ (Marginal) from C++ (Marginal) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “b-” from “b” of JSC Insurance Company Centras Insurance (Centras) (Kazakhstan). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The rating downgrades reflect a material deterioration in Centras’ risk-adjusted capitalisation at year-end 2016, owing to the company’s rapid growth in gross and net written premiums (NWP) relative to its stable capital base. The company’s regulatory solvency margin declined to 1.26 as of April 1, 2017 (compared with a regulatory minimum solvency requirement of 1.00), down from 2.47 as of Jan. 1, 2016. A.M. Best expects Centras’ risk-adjusted capitalisation to improve in 2017 and 2018, driven by positive retained earnings. However, risk-adjusted capitalisation is not expected to improve to a level supportive of the former ratings in this time period.

Centras has reported technical losses in each of the past six years. In 2016, the company’s underwriting performance benefited from a 61% increase in NWP; however, the company reported an underwriting loss of KZT 310 million (2015: KZT 855 million), due to a combination of a material increase in its net unearned premium reserves and the ongoing impact of elevated expense levels. Underwriting performance in 2017 is expected to benefit from a rise in net earned premiums due to the 2016 increase in NWP. The company’s overall net profit fell to KZT 38 million in 2016 (2015: KZT 1 billion), in the absence of the material foreign exchange gains that boosted performance in 2015.

The company grew its share of the Kazakh non-life market to 4.1% in 2016 from 2.8% in 2015. As of Jan. 1, 2017, the company ranked seventh out of 25 non-life insurers in Kazakhstan, up from thirteenth in 2015. The company’s gross written premium rose by 91% to KZT 11.2 billion in 2016, driven by a 76% increase in the compulsory motor-third party liability business following the withdrawal of several competitors from this line, as well as by the addition of a number of large fronted property and third-party liability contracts. Despite the significant premium growth achieved in 2016, the company’s limited diversification and relatively small size may restrict its ability to defend its market position in challenging conditions.

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.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2017 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Contacts

A.M. Best
Laura Balkarova
Associate Financial Analyst
+44 20 7626 6264
laura.balkarova@ambest.com
or
Mathilde Jakobsen
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0266
mathilde.jakobsen@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Laura Balkarova
Associate Financial Analyst
+44 20 7626 6264
laura.balkarova@ambest.com
or
Mathilde Jakobsen
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0266
mathilde.jakobsen@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com