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LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a” of Gulf Insurance Group K.S.C.P. (GIG) and its subsidiary, Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance Company K.S.C. (Closed) (gig-Kuwait) (both domiciled in Kuwait). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative.

The ratings reflect GIG’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

gig-Kuwait is a composite insurer with a leading position in Kuwait’s insurance market. The company is strategically important to GIG and strongly integrated into its operations.

The negative outlooks reflect a recent adverse trend in the group’s balance sheet strength. While internal capital generation and the sale of treasury shares led to an improvement in the group’s Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) score and a reduction in financial leverage during 2019, and the company expects further positive development in 2020, concerns remain around volatility arising from subsidiaries domiciled in higher risk countries and liquidity pressures arising from a sizable single medical contract in Kuwait.

GIG’s balance sheet benefits from a comprehensive reinsurance programme supported by well-rated counterparties, along with the group’s relatively conservative investment strategy.

GIG is amongst the largest and most diversified insurance groups in the Middle East and North Africa region, with market leading positions in Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain, and a strong footprint in Egypt, Turkey and Algeria. The group has demonstrated a track record of strong operating performance, returning a five-year (2015-2019) average return on equity of 13%, despite extraordinary accounting adjustments deflating net profits in 2016 and 2017. GIG’s earnings are supported by solid investment returns and a five-year (2015-2019) average combined ratio of 96.6%.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

William Keen-Tomlinson, ACA
Senior Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 4395
[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
[email protected]

Timothy Prince
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0320
[email protected]

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
[email protected]

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