Axis A+ rating affirmed
Axis Capital Holdings Ltd’s operating subsidiaries saw their A+ insurer financial strength ratings affirmed by Fitch Ratings. The rating outlook is stable.
The rating rationale includes Axis’ conservatively structured balance sheet, history of favourable reserve development and benefits from premium diversification across business lines. Offsetting these strengths was a net loss through the first half of 2011 due to heavy catastrophe activity.
Fitch said that Axis’ year-to-date loss did not appear to be out of proportion with its market share or peer companies. The consolidated net loss was $283 million for the first half of 2011, compared to net income of $317 million in the same period in 2010.
Axis posted a combined ratio of 129.1 percent for the first half of 2011, up 37 percentage points from the same period in 2010. Catastrophe losses amounting to $706 million were primarily responsible for the period-to-period deterioration.
An estimated 88 percent of the 2011 catastrophe losses were attributable to the reinsurance segment. The ratings agency said that Axis’ balance sheet was conservatively structured and the company had successfully grown its stockholders’ equity in its first 10 years in business.
Useful website: www.axiscapital.com