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Ratings Watch


S&P reviews its Lloyd's syndicate assessments

Standard and Poor's Corp. has reviewed its Lloyd's syndicate assessment coverage following confirmation of membership of the Lloyd's of London insurance market for the 2007 underwriting year. The market is comprised of 66 syndicates, with capacity at an all-time high of £16.1 billion (€24.4 billion), a 9% increase over last year's figure. S&P assesses syndicates according to their dependency on Lloyd's central assests. On January 23, 2007, Standard & Poor's assessed 77% of the market by syndicate capacity, with 75% of assessed capacity at LSA 3 or higher. Four syndicates were assessed at LSA 1, 12 at LSA 2, 19 at LSA 3, six at LSA 4, and one at LSA 5.

S&P analyst Matthew Day said that, "the increase in capacity reflects the expectation that rates within key lines of insurance and reinsurance will remain hard, and that Lloyd's remains attractive to new capital."

ROSNO gains first rating from Moody's

Moscow-based insurance company OAO ROSNO has been given a first time global scale insurance financial strength rating of Ba1 by Moody's Investors Service, which described the rating outlook as stable. Timour Boudkeev, vice president-senior credit officer and lead analyst for ROSNO at Moody's, said that the rating reflected the fact that the company, "is clearly one of the leading and most established insurers in Russia, with a strong management team and a compelling business model."

ROSNO is a top four insurer in Russia, and focuses on property, motor and voluntary medical insurance. Moody's noted the company's "well-developed distribution network, prudent asset allocation, established track record of profitability, as evidenced by a combined ratio of less than 100% in each of the last five years." This has been offset, however, by ROSNO's relatively low capitalization, high expense ratio, varying profitability by line of business, as well as the absence of geographic diversification outside Russia, Moody's said.