Pursuant to clause 8 (1) of the Insurance Companies (Ratings and Inspections) Act 1994, ratings agency Standard & Poor's re-rated the international Royal & SunAlliance group's "financial strength" rating to A+ on 14 November 2001.
This is one rung lower than its previous rating of AA-, and moves the company from the bottom of the "Very Strong" to the top of the "Strong" range.
This new rating applies to Royal & SunAlliance Insurance (New Zealand) Limited.
This re-rating was anticipated and follows the policy decision made 2 years ago to use capital more efficiently.
In 1999, the group returned 750 million pounds sterling in excess capital to shareholders.
The re-rating also takes into consideration the agency's assessment of the minimal impact events associated with the World Trade Centre attack will have on the financial strength of the company.
The company's World Trade Centre loss, at 200 million pounds sterling, represents only 3% of the group's market capitalisation.
Royal & SunAlliance's specialist insurance rating from
AM Best has been reaffirmed as A+ Superior.
In the Standard & Poor's report, it was noted that
Royal & SunAlliance had strong capitalisation, an excellent global market position, improved earnings and robust financial flexibility.
It reported the company's outlook as "Stable".
ALAN BRADLEY, Chief Executive.
Note: This notice appears as a matter of public record.