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AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Victoria Insurance Company JSC

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb-" of Victoria Insurance Company JSC (Victoria) (Kazakhstan). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.

The ratings reflect Victoria’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and weak enterprise risk management.

Victoria’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by the Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). The company has a track record of good internal capital generation, which has resulted in the accumulation of a large capital buffer to absorb potential volatility associated with its exposure to risk accumulations and its challenging operating environment. Offsetting factors for balance sheet strength include the exposure of the company’s asset base to high financial system risk in Kazakhstan, Victoria’s potential exposure to catastrophe losses, as well as its high gross risk appetite and a resulting dependence on reinsurance. Reinsurance is purchased on a facultative basis with international reinsurers of high credit quality.

Operating performance is strong, albeit subject to volatility, principally due to a frequently changing business strategy and fluctuations in investment returns. In 2019, Victoria reported after-tax earnings of KZT 7.0 billion (approximately USD 18.4 million), compared with KZT 9.0 billion (approximately USD 23.9 million) in the previous year. AM Best expects Victoria’s operating performance to be strong but volatile in the near term, partially due to foreign currency exchange fluctuations and resulting changes in the value of investments denominated in the U.S. dollar.

Victoria has a limited business profile as a small non-life insurer operating solely in Kazakhstan’s fragmented and competitive insurance market. Based on 2019 gross written premium, it ranked 11th among 20 non-life insurers with a market share of just 1.7%. In 2019, the company’s net written premium totaled KZT 4.9 billion (approximately USD 12.9 million), up 6% from the previous year due to a small increase in premium retention. In 2020, premium volumes are expected to decline, as the COVID-19-driven reduction in economic activity in Kazakhstan is likely to negatively impact insurance demand.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM 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 AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Contacts

Elena Abramova
Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0321
elena.abramova@ambest.com

Valeria Ermakova
Associate Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0269
valeria.ermakova@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com