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OLDWICK, N.J.—A.M. Best Co. Inc. on Monday downgraded the issuer credit rating of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty North America, citing similar action last week concerning its parent company, because of its exposure to the European economy.
Best, however, affirmed the unit's financial strength ratings.
Best said the downgrade of the unit comes after last week's downgrade of the issuer credit ratings and placing under review with negative implications the ratings of the group's ultimate parent, Frankfurt-based Allianz S.E.
The actions resulted from the company's exposure to investments in “several peripheral eurozone economies, Italy in particular, as well as its investment exposure to Eurozone banks,” Best said in a statement.
Best, which downgraded the issuer credit rating to aa- from aa, affirmed Allianz Global's A+ (Superior) financial strength rating.
Best said the ratings of the parent company and its unit will remain under review with negative implications while it “examines their companies' exposure to a prolonged adverse economic environment within the eurozone.
“Of particular concern to A.M. Best is the exposure to Italy and Spain's sovereign bonds and the potential for contagion into other asset class, particularly holdings of European banks securities,” Best said in a statement.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty North America includes Burbank, Calif.-based Allianz Global Risk US Insurance Co. and Allianz Underwriters Insurance Co. and Chicago-based AGCS Marine Insurance Co. Best also downgraded the issuer credit rating of Allianz of America Inc. to a- from a.
In November, parent company Allianz S.E. posted third-quarter operating profit that exceeded expectations and said it could withstand economic adversity.
FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters)—Allianz missed expectations with a 8.2% drop in net profit in the second quarter, hurt by a writedown on its Greek government debt.