Press Release - JANUARY 10, 2019

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Grupo Financiero Aserta, S.A. de C.V. and Its Main Subsidiaries


CONTACTS:
 Elí Sánchez
Senior Financial Analyst
+52 55 1102 2720, ext. 108
eli.sanchez@ambest.com

Alfonso Novelo
Senior Director, Analytics
+52 55 1102 2720, ext. 107
alfonso.novelo@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEXICO CITY - JANUARY 10, 2019
AM Best has affirmed the Mexico National Scale Rating (NSR) of “aa-.MX” and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) of “bbb-” of Grupo Financiero Aserta, S.A. de C.V. (GFA). Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the Mexico NSR of “aaa.MX”, the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a-” of Aseguradora Insurgentes, S.A. de C.V. (AISA) and its sister company, Aseguradora Aserta, S.A. de C.V. (Aserta), which are the main subsidiaries of GFA. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable. All companies are domiciled in Mexico City, Mexico.

The ratings reflect AISA’s and Aserta’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as their strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

In January 2017, AISA and Aserta were authorized to operate as insurances entities under a “seguro de caución” (surety insurance) license, and changed their names from Afianzadora Insurgentes, S.A. de C.V. and Afianzadora Aserta, S.A. de C.V., respectively. In July 2018, the companies received approval to underwrite as surety insurers; the three allowed lines approved for this license are surety, surety insurance and credit insurance.

The ratings reflect the group’s leading position in Mexico’s surety market, historically good consolidated operating performance throughout the market cycle and its seasoned management team. The ratings also recognize the companies’ affiliation as larger members of GFA, the largest surety group in Mexico with a 28.4% market share as of September 2018, according to the Mexican Association of Guarantee Institutions (AMIG).

The group’s positive rating factors are derived from its surety insurance companies’ strong surplus positions given their strong capital bases and sound underwriting practices in conjunction with solid reinsurance programs placed among highly rated reinsurance counterparties. AISA and Aserta have maintained positive bottom-line results despite the slow dynamics of Mexico’s surety industry during the past years, and into 2018.

In 2017, the surety market decreased 1% in real terms due to less public spending on infrastructure projects and an economic environment for investments that has remained slow. These conditions have limited overall growth; however, GFA’s surety companies grew 3.3% while improving their operating performance. The companies continue to report positive bottom-line results and adequate profitability metrics in comparison with other companies in Mexico’s surety market. As of September 2018, the market grew 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. At the same time, GFA has taken measures to face any potential adverse market conditions and has worked to further diversify its revenue by increasing its international presence and strengthening its corporate strategy to take advantage of the new surety insurance opportunities (seguro de caución). AM Best expects AISA and Aserta to maintain their strong market share and meet expansion targets while maintaining supportive capital levels.

GFA is well-protected by its reinsurance program and its contingency reserves. Its appropriate ERM framework has allowed the company to manage its exposures effectively and make an efficient use of its capital to improve its solvency.

Positive rating actions could take place for AISA and Aserta if the companies successfully implement a geographic diversification strategy while consistently maintaining good profitability through adequate underwriting and risk-adjusted capitalization that supports the ratings. Factors that could lead to negative rating actions are shortfalls in the company’s projected performance in terms of profitability and capital generation. Furthermore, negative rating actions also could result from adverse scenarios in the surety market that translate into material deterioration of the company’s capital to levels that AM Best considers non-supportive of the current ratings.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of AM 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.

Key insurance criteria reports utilized:


  • Evaluating Country Risk (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

  • Understanding Universal BCAR (Version May 14, 2018)

  • Available Capital & Holding Company Analysis (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

  • Rating Surety Companies (Version Oct. 13, 2017)

  • AM Best Ratings on a National Scale (Version Oct 13, 2017)

View a general description of the policies and procedures used to determine credit ratings. For information on the meaning of ratings, structure, voting and the committee process for determining the ratings and monitoring activities, please refer to Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings.


  • Previous Rating Date: Dec. 20, 2017.

  • Date of Financial Data Used: Sept. 30, 2018.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on AM Best’s website. For additional rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page.

AM Best does not validate or certify the information provided by the client in order to issue a credit rating.

While the information obtained from the material source(s) is believed to be reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed. AM Best does not audit the company’s financial records or statements, or otherwise independently verify the accuracy and reliability of the information; therefore, AM Best cannot attest as to the accuracy of the information provided.

AM Best’s credit ratings are independent and objective opinions, not statements of fact. AM 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. AM 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.

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