Announcements

GCR affirms Goldstar Insurance Company Limited’s rating at A+(UG); Outlook Stable.

Johannesburg, 29 June 2018 — Global Credit Ratings has today affirmed the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to Goldstar Insurance Company Limited at A+(UG), with the outlook accorded as Stable. The rating is valid until June 2019.

SUMMARY RATING RATIONALE

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

Goldstar’s risk adjusted capitalisation remained at very strong levels over the review period, supported by well contained insurance and market risk exposures. Accordingly, the insurer’s international solvency margin equated to a very high 363% at FY17 (FY16: 322%; review period average: 631%). GCR expects risk adjusted capitalisation to remain at very strong levels over the rating horizon, supported by sound internal capital generation, underwriting risk, and a conservative investment strategy. Furthermore, the maximum net deductible per risk and event has been maintained at a very conservative level, while reinsurance arrangements are placed with fairly well rated counterparties, containing reinsurance risk at a very low level.

The insurer’s earnings capacity is viewed to be very strong, supported by robust underwriting profitability. In this respect, Goldstar’s underwriting margin registered at very strong levels over the review period, with a five year aggregated underwriting margin equating to 35% (FY17: 26%; FY16: 39%). GCR views the insurer’s demonstrated track record of underwriting profitability as indicative of earnings capacity going forward.

The liquidity profile is viewed to be strong, supported by very healthy liquidity metrics, partially offsetting single banking counterparty concentration. In this respect, key liquidity measures registered within very strong ranges, with coverage of net technical liabilities equating to 2.1x at FY17 (FY16: 1.9x), while the claims cash cover ratio registered at a high 59 months (FY16: 54 months). GCR expects liquidity metrics to remain within a very strong range over the rating horizon, underpinned by strong operating cash flow generation, and supported by management’s plans to place retained funds in liquid assets. While note is taken of the insurer’s efforts to reduce single banking counterparty exposure, concentration remains elevated, given that the majority of liquid assets are placed with two unrated banks.

Goldstar’s business profile is healthy, supported by moderately strong competitive positioning and fairly well diversified earnings. In this regard, the insurer reflects a market share of 4.0%, and a relative market share of 0.8x, while earnings are spread across seven lines of business. Nonetheless, the risk base is heavily geared towards motor business, which accounted for 67% of net premium volumes in FY17 (FY16: 68%). However, this is partly offset by the low product risk associated with this line. Furthermore, certain specialist lines of business, while remaining relatively constrained on a net premium basis, offer the insurer relevant diversification benefits.

Upward movement of the rating or outlook could develop if the insurer notably reduces banking counterparty exposure, while maintaining risk adjusted capitalisation, liquidity metrics and profitability at very strong levels. Furthermore, an enhancement in the business profile (by way of increased market share and earnings diversification) may result in positive rating movement. Conversely, the rating could be downgraded if the insurer were to exhibit a material weakening in risk adjusted capitalisation, regulatory capital and/or liquidity metrics.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY
 
Initial rating (May 2007)
Claims paying ability: A(UG)
Outlook: Stable
 
Last rating (June 2017)
Claims paying ability: A+(UG)
Outlook: Stable

ANALYTICAL CONTACTS

Primary Analyst Committee Chairperson

 
Zwivhuya Muvhenzhe Yvonne Mujuru  
Credit Analyst Sector Head: Insurance Ratings  
(011) 784 – 1771 (011) 784 – 1771  
zwivhuyam@globalratings.net ymujuru@globalratings.net  

APPLICABLE METHODOLOGIES AND RELATED RESEARCH

Criteria for Rating Short Term Insurance Companies, updated May 2018

Goldstar Insurance Company Limited rating reports, 2007-2017

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 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.

Goldstar 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 Goldstar Insurance Company Limited with no contestation of the rating.

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

  • The 2017 audited annual financial statements 4 years of comparative audited numbers
  • Unaudited interim results to 31 March 2018
  • Budgeted financial statements for 2018
  • 2018 reinsurance 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

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 term, please click here

GCR affirms Goldstar Insurance Company Limited’s rating at A+(UG); Outlook Stable.

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