GCR Upgrades First Assurance Company Limited’s Rating to A(KE)

GCR Upgrades First Assurance Company Limited’s Rating to A(KE)

Global Credit Ratings has today upgraded the national scale claims paying ability rating assigned to First Assurance Company Limited to A(KE); with the outlook accorded as Stable. The rating is valid until June 2016.

NATIONAL SCALE RATINGS HISTORY

  • Initial rating (September 2010) Claims paying ability: BBB+(KE) Outlook: Stable
  • Last rating (May 2014) Claims paying ability: A-(KE) Outlook: Stable
  • Current rating (August 2015) Claims paying ability: A(KE) Outlook: Stable

 
Summary Rating Rationale Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”) has accorded the above credit rating to First Assurance Company Limited (“First Assurance”) based on the following key criteria:

  1. The rating upgrade reflects First Assurance’s consistent track record of operating profitability, which has been generated by positive net underwriting income and supplemented by solid investment returns. This demonstrates the insurer’s ability to achieve and sustain a strong earnings capacity.
  2. Principally owing to strong organic growth in the capital base, the insurer’s risk-based capital adequacy ratios have been on an upward trend over the years and currently measure at a strong level.
  3. Risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain strong over the rating horizon, underpinned by continued high internal profit generation, as well as the new shareholders planned capital contribution, supportive of expected short term growth targets.
  4. First Assurance continues to reflect a moderately strong market position.
  5. The recently announced majority share buy-out by Barclays Africa Group Limited (a prominent financial services organisation) is anticipated to provide both strategic and financial benefits. This could potentially elevate the insurer’s business profile over the medium term (particularly in view of the strong distribution platform available for cross-selling)
  6. The company’s investment risk exposure is a relative rating weakness, owing to the relatively high asset allocation strategy into property. This is however, partially offset by the good liquidity profile displayed.