Announcements

GCR affirms Activa International Insurance Company Limited’s rating of A-(GH); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 07 September 2017 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to Activa International Insurance Company Limited of A-(GH), with the outlook accorded as Stable. The rating is valid until August 2018.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit rating to Activa International Insurance Company Limited (“Activa Ghana”) based on the following key criteria:

Activa Ghana reflects very strong risk adjusted capitalisation, underpinned by capital injections cumulatively amounting to GHS7m over the review period. This has been further supported by the insurer’s full earnings retention strategy in the last two years, along with well contained market risk exposure. Accordingly, Activa Ghana’s statutory solvency equated to a higher 251% at FY16 (FY15: 144%). GCR expects risk adjusted capitalisation to continue to measure within a very strong range over the rating horizon, supported by limited exposure to market volatility.

The insurer’s liquidity profile is viewed to be sound, supported by very strong liquidity metrics, which are partially offset by moderate banking counterparty strength. Key liquidity measures evidenced high volatility emanating from oscillations in technical provisions. As such, claims cash coverage equated to a higher 96 months at FY16 (FY15: 71 months), whilst cash covered net technical liabilities by 19x. Liquidity metrics are likely to remain within a very strong range over the outlook horizon, underpinned by the insurer’s conservative asset allocation, despite on-going oscillations in net technical provisions.

Activa Ghana’s business profile is viewed to be sound, supported by well diversified earnings (with relatively low product risk), albeit partially offset by intermediate competitive positioning. In this regard, the insurer’s estimated share of total industry gross premiums equated to 4% in FY16 (FY15: 5%). Competitive positioning may strengthen over the medium term, supported by the insurer’s strong growth targets envisaged and increasing brand recognition.

Earnings capacity is viewed to be intermediate, with weak underwriting profitability being offset by a large quantum of investment income. The underwriting account has been negatively impacted by an elevated operating cost structure, with the operating expense ratio averaging 80% over the review period. Nonetheless, the insurer’s considerable net commission recoveries (given lower retention levels) provided some expense relief. In this respect, the insurer’s three year underwriting margin equated to -4% (FY16: -0.3%; FY15: -3%), while the operating margin averaged 14% over the corresponding period. In GCR’s view, the adoption of an operating cost structure that permits the realisation of cost efficiencies remains pivotal to achieving stability and sustainable profitability in the underwriting account.

Activa Ghana’s reinsurance structure continues to pose potential counterparty credit risk, with reinsurance cover largely provided by a single reinsurer, Globus-Re S.A. (“Globus Re”). GCR notes, however, the high credit quality associated with the leading retrocessionaires on Globus Re’s retrocession panel and the fact that Globus Re retains minimal risk for its own account.

Positive rating action may stem from a sustained improvement in earnings and competitive positioning. Negative rating sensitivities pertain to a reduction in credit protection metrics, coupled with a lowering in the insurer’s earnings or business profile.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY
 
Initial rating (August 2014)
Claims paying ability: A-(GH)
Outlook: Stable
 
Last rating (September 2016)
Claims paying ability: A-(GH)
Outlook: Stable

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst Secondary analyst

Marc Chadwick Tichaona Nyakudya
Sector Head: Insurance Ratings Credit Analyst
(011) 784 – 1771 (011) 784 – 1771
chadwick@globalratings.net tichaonan@globalratings.net
   
Committee Chairperson

 
Susan Hawthorne  
Senior Credit Analyst  
(011) 784 – 1771  
susanh@globalratings.net  

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Criteria for Rating Short Term Insurance Companies, updated July 2017

Activa International Insurance Company Limited rating reports, 2014-2016

RATING LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS

ALL GCR’S CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/UNDERSTANDING-RATINGS. IN ADDITION, GCR’S RATING SCALES AND DEFINITIONS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET/RATINGS-INFO/RATING-SCALES-DEFINITIONS. GCR’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, PUBLICATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AT HTTP://GLOBALRATINGS.NET.

SALIENT FEATURES OF ACCORDED RATINGS

GCR affirms that a.) no part of the rating was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the rating was based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; c.) such rating was an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.

Activa International Insurance Company Limited participated in the rating process via face-to-face management meetings, teleconferences and other written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible.

The credit rating has been disclosed to Activa International Insurance Company Limited with no contestation of the rating.

The information received from Activa International Insurance Company Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit rating included:

  • The audited annual financial statements to 31 December 2016
  • 4 years of comparative financial statements to 31 December
  • Budgeted financial statements to 31 December 2017
  • Financial Condition Report at 31 December 2016
  • Other related documents.

The rating above was solicited by, or on behalf of, the rated client, and therefore, GCR has been compensated for the provision of the rating.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS/ACRONYMS USED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS PER GCR’S INSURANCE GLOSSARY

Assets A resource with economic value that a company owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.
Balance Sheet Also known as a Statement of Financial Position. A statement of a company’s assets and liabilities provided for the benefit of shareholders and regulators. It gives a snapshot at a specific point in time of the assets the company holds and how they have been financed.
Capacity The largest amount of insurance available from a company. In a broader sense, it can refer to the largest amount of insurance available in the marketplace.
Capital The sum of money that is invested to generate proceeds.
Capitalisation The provision of capital for a company, or the conversion of income or assets into capital.
Capital Adequacy A measure of the adequacy of an entity’s capital resources in relation to its risks.
Cash Funds that can be readily spent or used to meet current obligations.
Claim A request for payment of a loss, which may come under the terms of an insurance contract.
Deductible The portion of an insured loss to be borne by the insured before he is entitled to recovery from the insurer.
Diversification Spreading risk by constructing a portfolio that contains different investments, whose returns are relatively uncorrelated. The term also refers to companies which move into markets or products that bear little relation to ones they already operate in.
Dividend The portion of a company’s after-tax earnings that is distributed to shareholders.
Execution Risk The risk that a company’s business plans will not be successful when they are put into action.
Exposure Exposure is the amount of risk the holder of an asset or security is faced with as a consequence of holding the security or asset. For an insurer, its exposure may also relate to the risk related to policies issued.
International Scale Rating LC International local currency (International LC) ratings measure the likelihood of repayment in the currency of the jurisdiction in which the issuer is domiciled. Therefore, the rating does not take into account the possibility that it will not be able to convert local currency into foreign currency or make transfers between sovereign jurisdictions.
Liabilities All financial claims, debts or potential losses incurred by an individual or an organisation.
Liquidity The speed at which assets can be converted to cash. The ability of an insurer to convert its assets into cash to pay claims if necessary. Market liquidity refers to the ease with which a security can be bought or sold quickly and in large volumes without substantially affecting the market price.
Operating Margin Measures the efficiency of profit generation from investments and underwriting.
Policy The legal document issued by the company to the policyholder, which outlines the conditions and terms of the insurance.
Policyholder The person in actual possession of an insurance policy.
Premium The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.
Rating Horizon The rating outlook period
Reinsurance The practice whereby one party, called the Reinsurer, in consideration of a premium paid to him agrees to indemnify another party, called the Reinsured, for part or all of the liability assumed by the latter party under a policy or policies of insurance, which it has issued. The reinsured may be referred to as the Original or Primary Insurer, or Direct Writing Company, or the Ceding Company.
Reserve An amount representing actual or potential liabilities kept by an insurer to cover debts to policyholders.
Risk The chance of future uncertainty (i.e. deviation from expected earnings or an expected outcome) that will have an impact on objectives.
Yield Percentage return on an investment or security, usually calculated at an annual rate.

For a detailed glossary of terms, please click here

GCR affirms Activa International Insurance Company Limited’s rating of A-(GH); Outlook Stable.

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