Financial strength rating for Black Gold Re
AM Best has assigned a financial strength rating of B++ (Good) and a long-term issuer credit rating of “bbb+” (Good) to Black Gold Re Limited (Bermuda).
The outlook assigned to these credit ratings is stable.
BGRe is a captive reinsurer of Ecopetrol SA, a Colombian oil and gas company 88.49 per cent owned by the Colombian government.
The ratings reflect BGRe’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also recognise the importance of the company within Ecopetrol’s strategy.
The ratings agency said BGRe’s very strong balance sheet recognises the capital management strategy of the company and its ability to build up capital.
The company has low net underwriting leverage, creating dependence on reinsurance; however, the risks associated with this dependence are mitigated partly by a diversified mix of well-rated reinsurers.
AM Best said it expects BGRe to maintain a capital buffer as it continues to adjust its risk appetite to the reinsurance needs of its parent company, as well as the overall reinsurance market conditions.
BGRe’s operating performance is characterised by profitable technical results backed by well-established underwriting principles and considerable revenue from ceding commissions, the agency said.
Over the past few years, the company has been able to complement its net profit with sales of investments; however, dependence on this revenue is low. AM Best expects the company to continue backing its results with its technical capabilities.
AM Best considers the company’s business profile as neutral. BGRe has access to a wide scope of insured risks given the relevance of Ecopetrol to the oil and gas industry in the Americas. However, the company’s underwriting risks are concentrated in Colombia.
BGRe’s ERM is well-integrated within Ecopetrol and is important to the group as a cost-effective risk management tool.
Positive rating actions could result if there is a sustained favourable trend in operating performance as the company’s strategy continues to adapt to the reinsurance market, AM Best said.
Negative rating actions could occur if business flow is limited by any change in its holding company or if the financial situation of the parent company is compromised by any sociopolitical or economic event.
Negative rating actions could also take place if the balance sheet strength of the company is further stressed by the materialisation of any risk exposure.