A.M. Best Removes From Under Review And Affirms Ratings Of Continental Reinsurance PLC

By Lynette Lambert

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of “bbb-” of Continental Reinsurance Plc (Continental Re) (Nigeria).

The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable. Continental Re is 56.6% owned by C-Re Holding Limited (C-Re), a Mauritius-based investment vehicle, with the remainder being free float.

The rating action follows the announcement on 15 February 2016, that Saham Finances S.A.(Saham Finances), the majority-owned subsidiary of the Moroccan-domiciled financial services group, Saham Group, has reduced its shareholding in C-Re to 51% from 100%. Saham Finances had originally purchased a 100% stake in C-Re in September 2015 to become the majority shareholder of Continental Re. At that time, the ratings of Continental Re were placed under review with negative implications owing to the absence of sufficient information to allow A.M. Best to assess the financial strength of Saham Group and understand the impact of the acquisition on the financial strength of Continental Re.

The remaining 49% shareholding in C-Re has been purchased by Capital Alliance Private Equity IV Limited, a private equity fund sponsored by African Capital Alliance (ACA). ACA is a leading independent investment firm focusing on the Sub-Saharan African region. As a result of the transaction, Saham Finances is no longer a majority shareholder of Continental Re and therefore its financial strength is not expected to have a bearing on A.M. Best’s opinion of Continental Re’s rating fundamentals.

The ratings of Continental Re continue to reflect its strong consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation, solid operating performance and established profile in its core domestic market. Offsetting factors are the group's rising investment risk profile and exposure to Nigeria's challenging economic environment.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com .

Copyright ? 2016 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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