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Insurance ratings actions: Fitch acts on Standard Life Assurance, Phoenix Group

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.


Fitch Ratings assigned U.K.-based Standard Life Assurance Ltd. an insurer financial strength rating of A+ with a stable outlook, following the completion of Phoenix Group Holdings' acquisition of the company from Standard Life Aberdeen PLC.

The agency also affirmed Phoenix Group's long-term issuer default rating at A and the insurer financial strength ratings at A+ (Strong) of two of its principal operating life companies, Phoenix Life Ltd. and Phoenix Life Assurance Ltd.

The outlooks are stable.

The ratings of Phoenix Group reflect its very strong capitalization and leverage, and its strong debt service capabilities/financial flexibility, earnings and business profile. Standard Life Assurance's rating reflects Fitch's view that the company is core to Phoenix Group.

Additionally, Moody's affirmed Standard Life Aberdeen's long-term issuer rating at A3 and changed the outlook of the company to stable from stable(m).

The agency said the stable outlook applies to all debt issued by Standard Life Aberdeen, including the subordinated debt instruments backed by Standard Life Assurance.

Standard Life Aberdeen's affirmation is supported by the company's solid market position in the asset management industry, its broad product offering, global distribution and client reach.


Moody's withdrew the A3 insurance financial strength rating with stable outlook of U.K.-based Stein Insurance Co. Ltd. for business reasons.


Fitch affirmed the insurer financial strength rating on Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Ltd.'s operating subsidiary, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Pty Ltd., at A+ (Strong). The outlook is stable.

The affirmation is underpinned by Genworth Mortgage Insurance's strong business profile, very strong capitalization and very strong financial performance and earnings.

The action also reflects ongoing industry developments, including increasing self-insurance, regulatory-driven change and adverse selection that present downside risk to the lenders' mortgage insurance business model.

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