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Research Update: BHP Group Captive Insurers 'A' Ratings Placed On CreditWatch Negative


  • On Aug. 24, 2021, we placed our ratings on BHP Group Ltd. (BHP; A/Watch Neg/A-1) on CreditWatch with negative implications after the group announced an agreement to pursue a merger of its oil and gas assets with Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (BBB+/Negative/--).
  • We view BHP Marine & General Insurances Pty. Ltd. (M&G) and Stein Insurance Co. Ltd. (Stein) as core captive insurers of BHP and equalize the ratings on the insurers with those on the group.
  • We are placing our 'A' issuer credit ratings and financial strength ratings on M&G and Stein on CreditWatch with negative implications.
  • The CreditWatch placement indicates that we could lower our ratings on M&G and Stein if we lower the group ratings in the coming months.

Rating Action

On Aug. 26, 2021, S&P Global Ratings placed its 'A' issuer credit ratings and financial strength ratings on BHP Marine & General Insurances Pty. Ltd. (M&G) and Stein Insurance Co. Ltd. (Stein) on CreditWatch with negative implications.


The CreditWatch placement mirrors that on the BHP Group after the recently announced agreement to pursue a merger of its oil and gas assets with Woodside Petroleum, and distribute its shares in the merged company to its shareholders (see "BHP Group 'A' Rating Placed On CreditWatch Negative On Announced Agreement To Pursue Petroleum Merger With Woodside," published Aug. 24, 2021).

In our view, M&G and Stein remain important captive insurance subsidiaries of BHP and the equalized ratings will move in line with those on BHP. While we expect BHP ownership and support of its insurers–and our assessment of their core captive group status--to continue, we will monitor any possible impact the proposed transaction may have on BHP's captive insurance model, and our assessment of group status.


Our ratings on M&G and Stein are on CreditWatch with negative implications, mirroring that on the parent, BHP, which we could lower by up to two notches in the coming months.

Related Criteria

Related Research

Ratings List

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * BHP Group Ltd. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ratings Affirmed; CreditWatch/Outlook Action
To From

BHP Marine & General Insurances Pty. Ltd.

Stein Insurance Co. Ltd.

Issuer Credit Rating
Local Currency A/Watch Neg/-- A/Stable/--
Financial Strength Rating
Local Currency A/Watch Neg/-- A/Stable/--

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