LONDON — A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-” of Al Ahleia Insurance Company S.A.K.P. (AAIC) (Kuwait). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.
The ratings reflect AAIC’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).
AAIC’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation, which, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is considered at the strongest level, and good financial flexibility with the absence of financial leverage. An offsetting factor is the company’s significant holdings of private equity and real estate funds, which exposes its capital base to potential volatility. A.M. Best expects investment risk to remain the main driver of consolidated capital requirements in the medium term, although management’s strategy to de-risk the balance sheet should translate into a more balanced investment profile and as a result potentially strengthen risk-adjusted capitalisation. The balance sheet strength assessment also considers AAIC’s moderate dependence on reinsurance, as the high retention of reinsurance business written via Kuwait Reinsurance Company K.S.C.P. (Kuwait Re) partially dilutes the significant cession rate of AAIC’s direct portfolio.
AAIC has achieved a five-year average return on capital of 9.6%, which has been supported by solid technical performance and positive, albeit volatile, investment earnings. AAIC’s direct insurance portfolio has a track record of excellent underwriting performance, benefiting from favourable inward reinsurance commissions. On a consolidated basis, technical margins are reduced by the lower profitability of reinsurance business underwritten by Kuwait Re, although the results remain at a strong level, with a combined ratio of 88.8% in 2017. Prospective consolidated earnings are expected to be supported by the excellent performance of AAIC’s direct insurance operations, as well as benefiting from the strategic decisions implemented by Kuwait Re to rationalise its reinsurance portfolio.
AAIC’s profile was enhanced and diversified following the acquisition of Kuwait Re in the second half of 2015. The company’s neutral business profile assessment is supported by its established position as a top four insurer in Kuwait’s direct market, with robust market shares in the commercial segment, coupled with the international diversification brought through its reinsurance arm, Kuwait Re, which has operations spanning the Middle East and North Africa, Asia-Pacific and Central and Eastern Europe.
On a consolidated basis, the AAIC group wrote gross written premium of KWD 72.5 million in 2017, with Kuwait Re contributing KWD 35.1 million.
Whilst AAIC and Kuwait Re have in place risk management frameworks considered appropriate for their specific risk profiles, a comprehensive group-wide ERM framework is still being developed by AAIC. As the group’s risk profile continues to develop, it will become increasingly important for AAIC to enhance its ERM capabilities, particularly in areas such as capital management and market risk.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings 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. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.
A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
Copyright © 2018 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© Press Release 2018