Announcements

GCR affirms FBC Reinsurance Limited’s rating of A-(ZW); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 24 May 2018 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to FBC Reinsurance Limited of A-(ZW), with the Outlook accorded as Stable. Furthermore, Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the international scale claims paying ability rating of B assigned to FBC Reinsurance Limited, with the Outlook accorded as Stable. The ratings are valid until May 2019.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit rating to FBC Reinsurance Limited (“FBC Re”) based on the following key criteria:

FBC Re’s capital base amounted to a higher USD13.6m at FY17 (FY16: USD13m), supporting robust risk adjusted capitalisation. Nonetheless, the scale of capital, in absolute terms, is viewed to be moderate relative to regional competitors (taking the reinsurer’s expansionary targets into account). Risk adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain at very strong levels over the rating horizon, supported by sound internal capital generation, catering for potential increases in asset exposure.

The reinsurer’s liquidity profile remained strong over the review period, supported by robust liquidity metrics and strong banking counterparty credit profiles. In this respect, cash claims coverage equated to 26 months at FY17 (FY16: 38 months), while cash covered net technical liabilities by a very high 2.3x (FY16: 2.5x). GCR expects the reinsurer’s liquidity profile to moderate (given management’s expectation to increase listed equities placements with the aim of value preservation), albeit register within a strong range over the outlook horizon, supported by sound operating cash flow generation.

Through the cycle, earnings capacity registered within a strong range, supported by healthy underwriting performance, and more recently improved investment returns. In this respect, the five year underwriting margin equated to 11% (FY17: 3%; FY16: 10%), while the operating margin registered at 15% in FY17 (FY16: 19%; review period average: 20%). Note is taken of underwriting margin compression evidenced in FY17, which was largely due to relatively elevated claims. In GCR’s view, aggregated underwriting profitability is likely to register within a moderately strong range, albeit with potential for sustained margin compression in FY18.

The business profile is viewed to be moderately strong supported by healthy competitive positioning and a fairly well diversified earnings stream. In this respect, the reinsurer holds the largest market share in the industry, with an estimated share of total reinsurance industry premiums of 21% in FY17 (FY16: 15%), with four lines of business materially contributing to revenues. Strong competitive positioning has been secured by entrenched relationships with top tier insurers and intermediaries. The business profile is expected to remain within a similar range over the outlook horizon, with potential improvements underpinned by regional diversification initiatives.

The retrocession panel reflects a sound aggregate level of credit strength. Furthermore, the maximum net deductible per risk and event was maintained at a conservative level relative to capital. GCR’s view of reserving sufficiency is positively impacted by the certification of reserve levels by a qualified external actuary.

GCR views country risk factors to be elevated, and a systematic rating consideration applicable to reinsurers. Operational challenges are likely to persist over the rating horizon, albeit with positive changes in the socio-political outlook and macroeconomic fundamentals possible over the medium term, should the political situation stabilise.

The rating currently matches the national scale ceiling applicable to entities operating within the Zimbabwean insurance industry. As a result, upward movement of the rating may follow an assessment of country and industry risk factors. Conversely, negative rating sensitivities pertain primarily to reductions in capitalisation, liquidity and/or earnings capacity.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY   INTERNATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY
     
Initial rating post dollarisation (May 2009)   Initial rating post dollarisation (August 2012)
Claims paying ability: A-(ZW)   Claims paying ability: B
Outlook: Evolving   Outlook: Stable
     
Last rating (June 2017)   Last rating (June 2017)
Claims paying ability: A-(ZW)   Claims paying ability: B
Outlook: Stable   Outlook: Stable

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst Secondary Analyst

Yvonne Mujuru Sylvia Mhlanga
Sector Head: Insurance Ratings Credit Analyst
(011) 784-1771 (011) 784-1771
ymujuru@globalratings.net sylviam@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 May 2018

Criteria for Rating Long Term Insurance Companies, updated May 2018

FBC Reinsurance Limited rating reports (2009-2017)

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 ratings was influenced by any other business activities of the credit rating agency; b.) the ratings were based solely on the merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument being rated; c.) such ratings were an independent evaluation of the risks and merits of the rated entity, security or financial instrument.

FBC Reinsurance Limited participated in the rating process via teleconference management meetings and/or written correspondence. Furthermore, the quality of information received was considered adequate and has been independently verified where possible.

The credit ratings have been disclosed to FBC Reinsurance Limited with no contestation of the ratings.

The information received from FBC Reinsurance Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit ratings included:

  • The audited annual financial statements to December 2017
  • Four years of comparative audited numbers
  • Unaudited year to date results to 28 February 2018
  • Budgeted financial statements to December 2018
  • 2018 retrocession cover notes
  • Other related documents.

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

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

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.
Credit Rating An opinion regarding the creditworthiness of an entity, a security or financial instrument, or an issuer of securities or financial instruments, using an established and defined ranking system of rating categories.
Distribution Channel The method utilised by the insurance company to sell its products to policyholders.
Enterprise Risk Management ERM refers to an integrated or holistic approach to managing risk across an organisation, using clearly articulated frameworks and processes controlled from board level.
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 (“ISR”) 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.
Intermediary A third party in the sale and administration of insurance products.
Interest Money paid for the use of money.
Investment Portfolio A collection of investments held by an individual investor or financial institution.
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.
Market Risk Volatility in the value of a security/asset due to movements in share prices, interest rates, currencies, commodities or wider economic factors.
National Scale Rating (“NSR”) National Scale credit ratings express risk in relative rank order, which is to say they are ordinal measures of credit risk and are not predictive of a specific frequency of default or loss.
Policyholder The person in actual possession of an insurance policy.
Portfolio All of the insurer’s in-force policies and outstanding losses, with respect to described segments of its business.
Premium The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.
Rating Horizon The rating outlook period
Risk The chance of future uncertainty (i.e. deviation from expected earnings or an expected outcome) that will have an impact on objectives.
Risk Management Process of identifying and monitoring business risks in a manner that offers a risk/return relationship that is acceptable to an entity’s operating philosophy.
Short Term Current; ordinarily less than one year.
Solvency With regard to insurers, having sufficient assets (capital, surplus, reserves) and being able to satisfy financial requirements (investments, annual reports, examinations) to be eligible to transact insurance business and meet liabilities.
Statutory Required by or having to do with law or statute.
Subordinated Debt Debt that in the event of a default is repaid only after senior obligations have been repaid. It is higher risk than senior debt.
Underwriting The process of selecting risks and classifying them according to their degrees of insurability so that the appropriate rates may be assigned. The process also includes rejection of those risks that do not qualify.
Underwriting Margin Measures efficiency of underwriting and expense management processes.

For a more detailed glossary of terms, please click here

GCR affirms FBC Reinsurance Limited’s rating of A-(ZW); Outlook Stable.

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