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A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Popular Life Re

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++(Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb" of (PLRE) (PuertoRico). PLRE is a life insurance subsidiary of its ultimate parent, [NASDAQ:BPOP], apublicly traded bank holding company based in Puerto Rico. The outlook of theseCredit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.

The rating affirmations reflect PLRE's stable statutoryincome, history of capital generation from the insurance operations and modestpremium growth. Historically, the company has been able to maintain strongrisk-based capital levels while demonstrating the ability to pay dividends tothe parent. While premium volumes continue to show modest improvements, thecompany's premium growth potential is highly correlated to Puerto Rico'seconomy.

A.M. Best considers PLRE to be an important subsidiary ofPopular Inc. PLRE reinsures a portion of credit policies on consumer loansoriginated at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, as well as personal accident andhealth policies underwritten by unaffiliated insurers.