Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it affirmed its 'BBB' long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings on Bahrain-based non-life and life reinsurer Arab Insurance Group (B.S.C.) (ARIG), then withdrew the ratings at the company's request. As a result of the withdrawal, ARIG is no longer subject to ongoing surveillance by Standard & Poor's.
At the time of withdrawal, the rating reflected the company's very strong capitalization despite the 19% reduction in shareholders' equity in 2008, and the company's good competitive position. These factors were offset by marginal operating performance despite some improvement in the combined ratio, and execution risk relating to both business lines, and geographic expansion.
The outlook at the time of withdrawal was stable and reflected Standard & Poor's view that ARIG will maintain surplus capital in excess of the 'AA' (very strong) level in 2009. Also, the company is likely to continue to lag regional and international peers in terms of operating performance.