Announcements

GCR affirms FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited’s rating of BBB(ZW); Outlook Stable

Johannesburg, 7 Jul 2015 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited at BBB(ZW); with the outlook accorded as Stable. The rating is valid until May 2016.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit ratings to FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited (“FM RE”) based on the following key criteria:

FM Re reflects a strong competitive position, with a market share of 20% in FY14. FM Re’s market position is supported by entrenched relationships with a number of top tier cedants and brokerages in the domestic industry. In light of this, profitability has been measured at strong, albeit somewhat volatile, levels. Over the past two years, the reinsurer’s underwriting margin has averaged a healthy 7.6%, supported by a contained loss ratio, with similar metrics projected over the medium term. Going forward, sustained cost containment is considered essential to attain margin stability.

Sound and consistent liquidity metrics have been recorded over the past three years, supported by a conservative asset management strategy. Claims cash coverage was recorded at 9.8 months in FY14, while cash covered technical liabilities by 1.1x. As a result of a stable investment strategy and diversified banking counterparty exposures, FM Re is expected to maintain sound liquidity over the medium term.

FM Re’s capitalisation is moderately strong, albeit below peer averages. The international solvency margin was measured at 46% in FY14 (FY13: 47%). Management aims to maintain the international solvency margin above 40%.

Retrocession protection is placed with counterparties carrying moderately strong aggregated credit strength. Maximum net retention per risk and event corresponds to an intermediate exposure level at 3% of FYE14 capital.

GCR views country risk factors to be elevated, and a systematic rating constraint applicable to reinsurers. Operational challenges are likely to persist given the uncertain socio-political outlook, severe liquidity strain, reduction in banking sector stability and weak macroeconomic fundamentals.

An upward movement of the rating could develop on the back of sustained profitability, coupled with a strengthening in solvency metrics. Conversely, downward rating pressure may arise from a marked deterioration in key credit protection measures, particularly driven by an erratic underwriting performance, and/or the adoption of a more aggressive investment strategy. Further, a deterioration in country risk factors continues to represent a key downside risk to reinsurers in the market.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY

 
Initial rating (May 2009)  
Claims paying ability: BBB+(ZW)  
Outlook: Evolving  
   
Last rating (May 2014)  
Claims paying ability: BBB(ZW)  
Outlook: Stable  

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst

Marc Chadwick

Sector Head: Insurance Ratings

(011) 784-1771

chadwick@globalratings.net

Secondary Analyst

Kudzai Siwawa

Junior Analyst

(011) 784-1771

siwawa@globalratings.net

Committee Chairperson

Patricia Zvarayi

Senior Analyst

(011) 784-1771

patricia@globalratings.net

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Criteria for Rating Insurance Companies, updated July 2014

FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited rating reports, 2009-2014

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. 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.

FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) 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 FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited with no contestation of the rating.

The information received from FM Re Property & Casualty (Private) Limited and other reliable third parties to accord the credit rating included:

  • The 2014 audited annual financial statements
  • 4 years of comparative audited numbers
  • Unaudited interim results as per 31 March 2015
  • Budgeted financial statements for 2015
  • 2015 retrocession cover notes
  • 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 The items on the balance sheet of the insurer which show the book value of property owned. Under regulations, not all property or other resources may be admitted in the statement of the insurer. This gives rise to the term ‘non-admitted assets.’
Balance Sheet An accounting term which refers to a listing of the assets, liabilities, and surplus of a company or individual as of a specific date.
Capacity The largest amount of insurance or reinsurance available from a company. In a broader sense, it can refer to the largest amount of insurance or reinsurance available in the marketplace.
Claim A request for payment of a loss, which may come under the terms of an insurance contract.
Commission A certain percentage of premiums produced that is received or paid out as compensation by an insurer to agents and brokers.
Insurer The party to the insurance contract whom promises to pay losses or benefits. Also, any corporation engaged primarily in the business of furnishing insurance to the public.
Interest Money paid for the use of money.
Liquidity The ability of an insurer to convert its assets into cash to pay claims if necessary.
Loss Ratio The ratio of claims to premiums. It may be calculated in several different ways, using paid premiums or earned premiums, and using paid claims with or without changes in claim reserves and with or without changes in active life reserves.
Policy The legal document issued by the company to the policyholder, which outlines the conditions and terms of the insurance also called the policy contract or the contract.
Premium The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.
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.
Retention The net amount of risk the ceding company keeps for its own account
Risk Uncertainty as to the outcome of an event when two or more possibilities exist.
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.
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.

For a detailed glossary of terms utilised please click here

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