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Best assigns A rating to Catlin Re Switzerland

The new Switzerland-based reinsurance company founded by Bermuda-based Catlin Group has been assigned a financial strength rating of A (excellent) by AM Best Europe.Catlin Re Switzerland Ltd was also given an issuer credit rating (IRA) of “a”.AM Best said the ratings reflect Catlin Re’s strategic importance to the Catlin Group as the provider of significant intra-group reinsurance protection and as the group’s platform for expansion of its reinsurance business in Europe.“The company will underwrite European property and specialty business, as well as a portfolio of global trade credit surety and political reinsurance,” AM Best said in its commentary.“In addition, reinsurance of other group subsidiaries will be underwritten through the company’s Bermuda-based branch office from 2011. This internal business is currently written by Catlin Re’s immediate parent, Catlin Insurance Company Ltd (Bermuda), and is expected to account for approximately 95 percent of the company’s gross premium income during its first year of operation.”AM Best expects Catlin Re’s stand-alone risk-adjusted capitalization to be maintained at a strong level based on growth and performance forecasts.The new reinsurer’s company’s initial capital of approximately $1.1 billion represents over a third of the group’s consolidated shareholders’ funds ($3.2 billion as at June 2010).