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Best’s News & Research Service - January 16, 2019 12:38 PM (EST)

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Afianzadora Sofimex, S.A.

  • January 16, 2019 12:38 PM (EST)
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Mexico City //BestWire// - AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent), the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” and the Mexico National Scale Rating of “aaa.MX” of Afianzadora Sofimex, S.A. (Sofimex) (Mexico City, Mexico). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Sofimex’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings also reflect Sofimex’s strong operating performance in terms of profitability and competitiveness within Mexico’s surety bond market, as well as very strong risk-adjusted capitalization. These positive rating factors are limited by AM Best’s view of the highly competitive market in which the company operates.

Sofimex is a Mexico-domiciled surety and bond company that was established in 1940. The company offers surety and fidelity coverages ranging from low limit judicial bonds to high limit contract bonds. As of September 2018, Sofimex’s business portfolio was composed of administrative sureties (87%), judicial (5%), fidelity (4%) and credit (4%).

Sofimex projects a 13.4% gross written premium growth rate for 2018 while maintaining its recent profitability metrics. AM Best believes that, as Mexico’s fourth largest surety writer, and with a good distribution network and disciplined underwriting, Sofimex has sufficient resources to maintain a stable stream of net income amid current market conditions.

Sofimex continued to post good loss ratios during 2017 and up to September 2018. The expense ratio remained consistent with previous years’ levels; the increase in administration costs was mitigated by a decrease in the acquisition cost ratio, which was due to a change in the commercial strategy, in which tariffs and preferential commissions were modified with the purpose of attracting agents with high output amounts. Overall, the company has been able to maintain a combined ratio below 70% over the last four years.

Sofimex’s capitalization has remained strong and supportive of its ratings, even when stressed by possible losses from contingent claims. Furthermore, Sofimex has a solid reinsurance program with highly rated reinsurers and long-term business relationships.

Positive rating actions could occur if the company is able to maintain its current level of acquisition costs and improve its level of claims loss payments, increase profitability and, as a consequence, further strengthen its capital base. Negative rating actions could occur if underwriting performance deteriorates, if there is a significant increase in business risk or net premium risk, or as a result of uncertainty with regard to the government’s spending in infrastructure, which could impact the growth of the surety sector.

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

Key insurance criteria reports utilized:

  • Best’s Credit Rating Methodology (Version Dec. 20, 2018)

  • 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)

  • A.M. Best’s 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: Jan. 11, 2018

  • 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.

AM Best receives compensation for interactive rating services provided to organizations that it rates. AM Best may also receive compensation from rated entities for non-rating related services or products offered by AM Best. AM Best does not offer consulting or advisory services. For more information regarding AM Best’s rating process, including handling of confidential (non-public) information, independence, and avoidance of conflicts of interest, please read the AM Best Code of Conduct. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry.

Mexico Financial Strength Press Release A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. Insurance Issuer Credit Rating Best's Credit Rating Action Rating Event

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