S&P affirms ratings on Kazakh Eurasia Insurance

May 27. Trend

By Elena Kosolapova

S&P affirms ratings on Kazakh Eurasia InsuranceStandard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘BB+’ insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Kazakhstan-based Eurasia Insurance Co., the rating agency reported on May 27. The outlook is stable.

At the same time, S&P affirmed ‘kzAA-‘ Kazakhstan national scale rating on the company.

“The ratings predominantly reflect our view of Eurasia’s business risk profile as fair and its financial risk profile as less than adequate. Our assessment of the financial risk profile stems from Eurasia’s high risk profile and less than adequate average credit quality of its investments. We derive our ‘bb+’ anchor for Eurasia from the combination of these factors,” the agency said.

Eurasia’s adequate enterprise risk management and satisfactory management and governance are neutral factors for the ratings.

Eurasia has an adequate competitive position, in the agency’s view, mainly stemming from its geographic diversity and leading positions in Kazakhstan. The agency expects that the company’s overall premium growth will be about 5 percent in 2014-2015, largely owing to growth of the international book of business.

Eurasia’s financial risk profile is constrained by the overall credit quality of its investments, which on average we rate at ‘BB’.

Eurasia has very strong capital and earnings, which S&P anticipates will continue. This reflects Eurasia’s extremely strong risk-based capital adequacy ratio, slightly offset by the moderate size of its capital (about $360 million in 2013) compared with larger international peers’. However, this company’s total capital is greater than that of other Kazakh insurers, comprising 43 percent of the aggregate capital of all Kazakh insurers.

Eurasia’s underwriting performance remains volatile, primarily owing to the company’s expansion outside of Kazakhstan.

The company’s risk position reflects high risk, considering high foreign exchange risk and investment concentration in the banking sector.

S&P has revised the assessment of liquidity to strong from exceptional, considering a recent strengthening of the company’s loss reserves relative to the growth of assets, which led to a weakening of the liquidity ratio below 200 percent. However there is currently no shortfall in liquid assets to pay claims and operating expenses. In addition, the ratio of loss reserves to net premium written is strong at 63.8 percent, compared with that of peers.

“Eurasia has historically reported positive cash flow from its insurance operations, and we expect this to continue,” the company said.

The stable outlook reflects the view that Eurasia will preserve its adequate competitive position and maintain very strong capital and earnings over the next two years.