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Financial News

May 2009 Financial News

'Insurance company remains strong'

May 05, 2009

SAGICOR FINANCIAL CORPORATION says it has weathered many challenging events in 2008 and its equity position remains strong.

In a statement last night, the company's vice-president (corporate communications) Melba Smith said: "AM Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) of Sagicor Life Inc. and its Sagicor Capital Life Insurance Company Limited and Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, and A- (Excellent) of Sagicor General Insurance Inc., Barbados and Cayman and Sagicor Life USA.

"These ratings continue to acknowledge Sagicor Financial's positive consolidated earnings performance, strong name recognition in the Caribbean Islands, favourable risk-adjusted capitalisation and the operating subsidiaries' access to additional capital sources from Sagicor Financial."

The statement added: "Overall, the Sagicor Group has weathered the developments during 2008 reasonably well and the group's equity position remains strong at US$581.6 million.

However, in keeping with the changes in the global and regional economic environment, AM Best has changed the outlook from stable to negative because of Sagicor's operations in Jamaica, whose Sovereign Rating has recently been downgraded."

In response to concerns raised by AM Best about its Jamaica investments, the Barbados-headquartered company added: "Our Jamaica operations have consistently exceeded expectations in challenging times, and have continually contributed to Sagicor's success".

"Nevertheless, in keeping with our prudent investment principles, we have implemented several strategic initiatives designed to minimise the impact of the Jamaica economy on our group.

"While we continue to be committed to our operations in Jamaica, these operations have declined in relative terms to the remainder of the group as we continue to expand and diversify our operations. We fully expect our Jamaica operations to represent less than 15 per cent of the group within the next three years," the statement added.

Nation News
Tuesday May 5, 2009