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S&P affirms ratings of QBE Insurance, core units; maintains positive outlook

S&P Global Ratings affirmed the ratings of Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd. and its core operating units, with positive outlooks.

The rating agency on May 29 affirmed the financial strength and issuer credit ratings of QBE Insurance and QBE European Operations Plc at A-, while QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.'s rating was affirmed at A.

The counterparty credit and financial strength ratings of the group's core operating entities — Equator Reinsurances Ltd., Stonington Insurance Co., QBE Specialty Insurance Co., QBE Reinsurance Corp., QBE Insurance Corp., QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd., QBE Insurance (International) Ltd., QBE Insurance (Europe) Ltd. and Praetorian Insurance Co. — were all affirmed at A+.

S&P also affirmed the A+ local-currency financial strength ratings of Unigard Insurance Co., Unigard Indemnity Co., Southern Pilot Insurance Co., Southern Fire & Casualty Co., Regent Insurance Co., QBE Re (Europe) Ltd., QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd. (NZ branch), Hoosier Insurance Co., General Casualty Insurance Co. and General Casualty Co. of Wisconsin.

The positive outlook on the parent company reflects its improved operating performance and robust capital position in the past 12 months. It also reflects the rating agency's expectations that the group's earning profile will continue to show less volatility, and that its North America operations will improve their earnings performance.

S&P said it could revise its outlook to stable within the next 12 months if the group's overall operating performance fail to maintain recent improvements or if there is a material deterioration in the group's earnings performance or capital adequacy. A lackluster growth or stagnant operating performance from the group's North America operations could also result in an outlook revision.

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