OCTOBER 15, 2021 11:48 AM (EDT)
AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of East Africa Reinsurance Company Limited
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LONDON - OCTOBER 15, 2021 11:48 AM (EDT)
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb+” (Fair) of East Africa Reinsurance Company Limited (EARe) (Kenya). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect EARe’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.
EARe’s balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation benefits from a relatively prudent investment allocation and low underwriting leverage. A partially offsetting rating factor is EARe’s strategy to maintain a negative currency asset-liability mismatch on its foreign currency denominated business (approximately half of the company’s gross total sum insured), which exposes the company to potential capital volatility. The ratings also consider the company’s significant exposure to the high economic, political and financial system risks in Kenya, where over 90% of EARe’s assets are invested.
EARe has a track record of adequate operating performance despite challenging market conditions, evidenced by a solid five-year (2016-2020) weighted average return–on-equity (ROE) of 12.6%. ROEs should be viewed in light of the moderate levels of inflation in Kenya, which have averaged approximately 6% over the same period. Underwriting earnings have been supported by good results from life operations and modest results from non-life business, which translated in a five-year weighted average combined ratio of 99%.
EARe is a small reinsurer by global standards, with gross written premium of USD 37 million in 2020. The company has a presence in over 30 countries in Africa and Asia, with premium volumes skewed toward East African markets.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all 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. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.