A.M. Best Downgrades Issuer Credit Rating of Arab Orient Insurance Company; Places Credit Ratings Under Review With Negative Implications

LONDON--()--A.M. Best has downgraded the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “bbb” from “bbb+” and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B++ (Good) of Arab Orient Insurance Company (gig Jordan) (Jordan). Concurrently, A.M. Best has placed these Credit Ratings (ratings) under review with negative implications.

These rating actions reflect the deterioration in the company’s operating performance in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, which highlighted deficiencies in its enterprise risk management (ERM) capability, and the impact that the poor results reported as at end of March 2017 is expected to have on gig Jordan’s regulatory solvency position, which was deemed marginal at the end of 2016.

Whilst gig Jordan has historically generated strong operating profits, supported by good technical performance, results for 2016 and first quarter 2017 have been negatively impacted by the correction of an IT system calculation error, which had led in the past to inflating net premium written. As a result, gig Jordan reported a profit before tax of JOD 1.4 million in 2016, compared to JOD 5.7 million in 2015, and a loss of JOD 4.2 million in the first quarter of 2017. This IT system calculation error, which remained uncovered for years, highlighted deficiencies in the company’s ERM capability, particularly surrounding operational controls.

The losses reported for the first quarter of 2017 led to a decrease in gig Jordan’s shareholders’ equity to JOD 29.5 million at the end of March 2017, down 13% compared to JOD 33.8 million at the end of 2016. This is expected to lead to a decline in the company’s regulatory solvency position, which was already deemed marginal at the end of 2016.

A.M. Best will continue to closely monitor gig Jordan and expects to resolve the under review with negative implications status of the ratings following assessment of the impact the corrective actions taken by management will have on the company’s profitability and regulatory solvency position.

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. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

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.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Thomas Bateman, +44 20 7397 0329
Financial Analyst
thomas.bateman@ambest.com
or
Ghislain Le Cam, CFA, FRM, +44 20 7397 0268
Director, Analytics
ghislain.lecam@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Thomas Bateman, +44 20 7397 0329
Financial Analyst
thomas.bateman@ambest.com
or
Ghislain Le Cam, CFA, FRM, +44 20 7397 0268
Director, Analytics
ghislain.lecam@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com