FitchRatings said April 13 that it has affirmed the A long-term issuer default ratingof Aflac Inc. and the A+insurance financial strength ratings of Aflac units American Family Life Assurance Co. of Columbus, and Aflac Japan.
The outlookis stable.
Fitchsaid the affirmation of Aflac's ratings reflects the company's extremely strongcompetitive position in the supplemental accident and health insurance markets inJapan and the U.S., its extremely strong earnings profile, and very strong capitalization.The ratings also incorporate the impact of slow economic growth in Aflac's key Japanesemarket and its sizable exposure to Japanese sovereign risk, including significantconcentration in Japanese government bonds.
Additionally,the rating agency said that Aflac's insurance financial strength ratings are cappedat one notch above Japan's sovereign rating of A due to Aflac Japan's exposure toJapan's economy. Aflac Japan accounts for more than two-thirds of Aflac's assets,capital and profitability, making Japan's economy a significant business and ratingsfactor. Factors contributing to the notch between Aflac's ratings and Japan's sovereignrating include Aflac's sizable global diversification and its ability to generatestrong financial results from its U.S. operations, Fitch said.