HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) announced today that S&P Global Ratings (S&P) has reaffirmed the AA financial strength ratings on U.S. bond insurers Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., Municipal Assurance Corp. and Assured Guaranty Corp.; U.K. financial guarantor Assured Guaranty (Europe) plc (AGE); and Bermuda insurers Assured Guaranty Re Ltd. and Assured Guaranty Re Overseas Ltd. S&P also reaffirmed the financial strength rating of U.K. financial guarantor Assured Guaranty (UK) plc.
In its June 26 report, S&P noted Assured Guaranty’s:
- very strong capital adequacy
- market leadership in terms of par insured, premiums written and risk-based pricing
- diversified underwriting strategy, conducting business in the U.S. public finance, international public finance and global structured finance markets
- proven track record of credit discipline, with a measured approach to international infrastructure and global structured finance transactions
The report also states that the BB financial strength rating on Assured Guaranty (London) plc (AG London, formerly MBIA UK Insurance Limited) remains on CreditWatch with positive implications. Assured Guaranty intends to combine AG London with and into AGE, with AGE as the surviving entity. Upon the merger, obligations and bonds insured by AG London will become insured obligations of AGE and, therefore, receive AGE’s financial strength rating.
In response to the report, Dominic Frederico, President and CEO said:
“Once again, S&P reaffirmed Assured Guaranty’s AA stable rating. The affirmation validates not only our financial strength but also our proven business model, profitable financial results and the success of our strategic choices. Our size and experience allow us to lead the U.S. municipal bond market by participating broadly, regularly insuring large municipal transactions, including public-private partnerships, as well as small and mid-size transactions, while achieving favorable average premium rates. Additionally, our international infrastructure and structured finance businesses further diversify our insured portfolio while providing a competitive advantage through the flexibility to capitalize on growth trends and pricing opportunities when they are better in one sector than in others.
“While low interest rates limited new business opportunities over recent years,” he added, “we were able to produce good economic results through effective loss mitigation, reassumptions of ceded business, and acquisitions. Our insured portfolio has amortized significantly in recent years while our claims-paying resources have remained substantially the same at approximately $12 billion, significantly reducing our leverage ratios. As a result, based on our understanding of S&P’s capital adequacy model, we estimate that Assured Guaranty had $2.8 billion of capital in excess of S&P’s AAA requirement at year-end 2016.”
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, difficulties executing Assured Guaranty’s business strategy; those risks and uncertainties resulting from changes in rating agency models or opinions; adverse credit developments in Puerto Rico or other portions of Assured Guaranty’s insured portfolio and the impact of those developments on rating agency models and opinions; other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in Assured Guaranty’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of June 27, 2017. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO) Bermuda-based holding company. Its operating subsidiaries provide credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets. More information on Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.