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S&P downgrades South African insurers, reinsurers after country rating cut

S&P Global Ratings on April 7 downgraded various insurance and reinsurance firms in South Africa, following the April 3 downgrade of the country.

The rating agency downgraded the long-term counterparty credit and financial strength ratings of American International Group Inc. units AIG South Africa Ltd. and AIG Life South Africa Ltd. and Allianz Group unit Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty South Africa Ltd. to BBB- from BBB, with a negative outlook.

The agency also downgraded the long-term South Africa national scale rating of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty South Africa, AIG South Africa, AIG Life South Africa, Standard Bank Group Ltd. unit Liberty Group Ltd., Old Mutual Plc unit Old Mutual Life Assurance Co. (South Africa) Ltd. and Santam Ltd. to zaAA- from zaAAA. The short-term South Africa national scale ratings of Liberty Group and Old Mutual Life Assurance Co. were affirmed at zaA-1.

S&P also downgraded the long-term financial strength ratings of General Reinsurance AG unit General Reinsurance Africa Ltd. to AA- from AA, with a negative outlook.

Sanlam Ltd.'s long-term South Africa national scale rating was downgraded to zaBBB from zaA and the long-term counterparty credit rating and financial strength ratings of Santam Ltd. were downgraded to BBB- from BBB, with a negative outlook.

At the same time, S&P affirmed the long-term financial strength ratings of Hannover Re units Hannover Reinsurance Africa Ltd. and Hannover Life Reassurance Africa Ltd., Munich Re unit Munich Reinsurance Co. of Africa Ltd. and SCOR SE's South African unit at AA-, with the outlook revised to negative from stable.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.