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A.M. Best Revises Outlook to Stable of Societe Centrale de Reassurance

August 11, 2014



ENP Newswire - 11 August 2014

Release date- 08082014 - A.M. Best has revised the outlook to stable from negative and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and issuer credit rating of 'bbb' of Societe Centrale de Reassurance (SCR) (Morocco).

The ratings reflect SCR's good level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, strong business profile in the North African markets and explicit support provided by the Moroccan state. Offsetting rating factors are the potential volatility in technical profitability arising from a change in business mix following the withdrawal of mandatory cessions from January 2014 to SCR from the domestic market and expansion into regional markets. The revision in outlook reflects the continued economic stability of the Moroccan state, which provides explicit support to SCR through a comprehensive loss absorption agreement.

In 2013, following an excellent operating performance that translated into a net result of MAD 406.8 million, SCR's risk-adjusted capitalisation improved substantially. A.M. Best expects the company's risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain supportive of the ratings through 2014 and into 2015, although SCR's retained earnings are dampened by the cost associated with the explicit guarantee provided by the Moroccan state and the high dividend requirements of its main shareholder, state-owned Caisse de Depot et de Gestion.

SCR maintains a strong competitive position as the leading reinsurer in the Moroccan market. Following the withdrawal of mandatory cessions and in order to maintain its profile, SCR is replacing lost business through setting up quota share arrangements with domestic insurers. SCR's business profile should also benefit from its pivotal role in the new natural catastrophe protection system in Morocco, which is expected to be implemented within the next year as an underwriting pool managed by SCR.

Despite SCR producing strong results in recent years, prospective earnings are likely to be volatile as a result of the company's plans to expand its footprint into Africa and the Middle East, while facing increased competition in its domestic market.

Continued strong operating performance and further improvement in risk-adjusted capitalisation could lead to positive rating actions. Downward rating pressure could occur if SCR has a prolonged deterioration in technical performance, if the socio-political and economic conditions in Morocco were to deteriorate, or if the terms of the current explicit state guarantee were to become less favourable to the company.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2009, the following is a link to required disclosures: A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited Supplementary Disclosure.

This rating announcement has been issued by A.M. Best Europe - Rating Services Limited, which is a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company.

A.M. Best's credit ratings are independent and objective opinions, not statements of fact. A.M. Best is not an Investment Advisor, does not offer investment advice of any kind, nor does the company or its Ratings Analysts offer any form of structuring or financial advice. A.M. Best's credit opinions are not recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities, or to make any other investment decisions. View our entire notice for complete details.

A.M. Best receives compensation for interactive rating services provided to organizations that it rates. A.M. Best may also receive compensation from rated entities for non-rating related services or products offered by A.M. Best. A.M. Best does not offer consulting or advisory services. For more information regarding A.M. Best's rating process, including handling of confidential (non-public) information, independence, and avoidance of conflicts of interest, please read the A.M. Best Code of Conduct.

A.M. Best - Europe Rating Services Limited (AMBERS), a subsidiary of A.M. Best Company, is an External Credit Assessment Institutions (ECAI) in the European Union (EU). Therefore, credit ratings issued by AMBERS may be used for regulatory purposes in the EU as per Directive 2006/48/EC.


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Source: ENP Newswire


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