Buenos Aires City, December 03, 2012 -- Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Rímac -- Internacional Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros' ("Rímac") Baa3 insurance financial strength (IFS) rating. The rating outlook was changed to positive from stable. Rímac is the leading Peruvian insurer that distributes property and casualty (P&C), life and health insurance coverage to individuals, as well as to a wide range of corporations The company is majority-owned by "Grupo Breca", a leading economic group in Perú that belongs to the Brescia family.
According to Moody's, the affirmation of Rímac's rating is based primarily on its sustained leadership position in the Peruvian insurance market, its good product diversification and profitability, and its affiliation with Grupo Breca, which has ownership interests in several large Peruvian corporations across different sectors such as mining, tourism, agro-industry, and real estate. Moody's lead analyst for Rímac, Diego Nemirovsky, commented: "Rimac benefits from its integration and synergies with Grupo Breca, given the wide presence of the group in the Peruvian economy, thereby leveraging Rimac's operations."
In shifting the outlook for Rimac's rating to positive from stable, Moody's noted the company's improving investment diversification, recent favorable reserve development, and solid underwriting results for its general insurance segments, with a loss ratio consistently below 50% over the last 4 years. The positive outlook for Rimac also reflects the rating agency's view that the company's asset quality and financial flexibility will improve to an extent to justify a higher rating in the event that Peru's sovereign credit rating (Baa2, positive outlook) is ultimately upgraded.
However, Moody's pointed out that these strengths are offset by the following credit concerns and challenges for the company: 1) high exposure to natural catastrophes, given Perú's location along the Andes cordillera and Pacific coastline, 2) investment risk associated with its still high concentration in Peruvian assets, 3) the company's potential spread-compression and reinvestment risk on its annuities, and 4) Peru's weak operating environment. "The company's exposure to catastrophe risk and its dependence on getting reinsurance capacity to manage its business are factors that constrain the creditworthiness of Rímac", added Mr. Nemirovsky.
Commenting on factors that could result in an upgrade for Rímac's rating, Moody's cited the following: 1) an upgrade of Peru's sovereign bond rating and/or improvement in Peru's operating environment, 2) a sustained improvement in its asset quality, and 3) a significant reduction in its catastrophe exposure. Given the company's positive outlook, a rating downgrade is unlikely. However, the insurer's outlook could return to stable in case of 1) the outlook for Peru's sovereign bond rating changes back to stable, 2) a deterioration in the company's asset credit quality, 3) sustained underwriting losses in its P&C products; and 4) a decline in its capital adequacy (e.g. adjusted shareholders' equity being less than 12% of total assets).
Rímac is headquartered in Lima, Perú, and it reported net income of s/. 113 million and gross premiums written of s/. 1.9 billion for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2012. As of that date, the company reported total assets of s/. 5.8 billion and shareholders' equity of s/. 1.2 billion.
Moody's insurance financial strength ratings are opinions of the ability of insurance companies to pay punctually senior policyholder claims and obligations. For more information, visit our website at www.moodys.com/insurance.
The principal methodologies used in this rating were Moody's Global Methodology for Property & Casualty (Non-Life) Insurers, published in May 2010 and Global Rating methodology for Life Insurers, published in May 2010. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of these methodologies.
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Diego Nemirovsky Vice President - Senior Analyst Financial Institutions Group Moody'sLatin America Ing. Butty 240 16th Floor Buenos Aires City C1001AFB Argentina JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506 SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600 Robert Riegel MD - Insurance Financial Institutions Group JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376 SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653 Releasing Office: Moody's Latin America Ing. Butty 240 16th Floor Buenos Aires City C1001AFB Argentina JOURNALISTS: (800) 666 -3506 SUBSCRIBERS: (5411) 5129 2600 (C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
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