UAP Assurances Insurance Companies (Ratings and Inspections) Notice Insurance Companies (Ratings and Inspections) Act 1994 We hereby give notice to the public of the following: Standard & Poor's lowers the claims-paying ability ratings of the Union des Assurances de Paris French life (UAP Vie) and French non-life (UAP IARD) groups to `A' from `AA' and also lowers the commercial paper rating of the ultimate holding company, Compagnie Union des Assurances de Paris (CUAP) to `A-2' from ``A-1'. At the same time, the `A' senior debt and the `A-2' commercial paper ratings of Banque Worms, a French Bank subsidiary of CUAP, are placed on Credit Watch with negative implications. The rating changes reflect increasing pressures on group capital, continuing unsatisfactory yields on the group's substantial portfolio of Parisian commercial property, growing competition for UAP Vie in the sale of French insurance savings products and uncertain overall earnings prospects. Offsetting these weaknesses, the CUAP group enjoys leading insurance franchises across Europe and a growing presence in the Far East. Non-life operating performance, particularly at UAP IARD, is improving steadily and strategic acquisitions of recent years are being successfully assimilated. Since privatisation in 1994, the strengthened senior management team has been reviewing the group's global operations. While Standard & Poor's expects that group reorganisation and other initiatives will bring benefits, it will be some time before any substantial improvement in the group's financial fundamentals becomes clearly apparent. Dated at Auckland this 15th day of December 1995. JOHN PLUMBLEY, Manager for New Zealand.