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Winterthur upgrade follows acquisition


WINTERTHUR, Switzerland—Rating agency Standard & Poor's Corp. has raised the financial strength ratings of Winterthur Swiss Insurance Co. following the company's acquisition by Paris-based AXA S.A.

S&P has raised its rating on Winterthur Swiss Insurance Co. from A- to A+. The rating upgrade for Winterthur reflects the Swiss insurer's "strategically important status" within Axa. The Paris-based insurance company completed its acquisition of Winterthur from Credit Suisse Group on December 22, 2006.

S&P has removed Winterthur's ratings from credit watch with positive implications, where it was placed in June 2006.The outlook is stable S&P said in a statement.