S&P: NRMA Insurance Placed on CreditWatch Negative

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Standard & Poor's CreditWire

    MELBOURNE, Australia, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Standard & Poor's
 today placed its double-'A'-plus insurer financial strength and counterparty
 credit ratings on NRMA Insurance Ltd. (NRMA) and its double-'A'-plus long-term
 rating on the A$1.5 billion senior unsecured program of NRMA Insurance Group
 Finance Ltd. on CreditWatch with negative implications following the recent
 instability in management hierarchy. This instability comes at a time of
 material business and geographical diversification, and balance-sheet
 restructuring for the group, placing some uncertainty on NRMA's future
 strategic direction.
     While precipitated by recent management-related issues, the CreditWatch
 action also reflects the existing negative outlook stemming from a potential
 for further deterioration in capitalization in the medium term, along with
 intensified industry risk affecting the Australian general insurance industry.
 Standard & Poor's notes, however, that NRMA's capitalization remains very
 strong and the provisions for the company's outstanding claims are soundly and
 conservatively based.
     Standard & Poor's continues to maintain ongoing contact with senior
 management with regard to these issues, and will formally review NRMA's
 strategic direction and financial policies in the near term, with a view to
 resolving the CreditWatch action. -- CreditWire
 
 

SOURCE Standard & Poor's CreditWire
    MELBOURNE, Australia, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Standard & Poor's
 today placed its double-'A'-plus insurer financial strength and counterparty
 credit ratings on NRMA Insurance Ltd. (NRMA) and its double-'A'-plus long-term
 rating on the A$1.5 billion senior unsecured program of NRMA Insurance Group
 Finance Ltd. on CreditWatch with negative implications following the recent
 instability in management hierarchy. This instability comes at a time of
 material business and geographical diversification, and balance-sheet
 restructuring for the group, placing some uncertainty on NRMA's future
 strategic direction.
     While precipitated by recent management-related issues, the CreditWatch
 action also reflects the existing negative outlook stemming from a potential
 for further deterioration in capitalization in the medium term, along with
 intensified industry risk affecting the Australian general insurance industry.
 Standard & Poor's notes, however, that NRMA's capitalization remains very
 strong and the provisions for the company's outstanding claims are soundly and
 conservatively based.
     Standard & Poor's continues to maintain ongoing contact with senior
 management with regard to these issues, and will formally review NRMA's
 strategic direction and financial policies in the near term, with a view to
 resolving the CreditWatch action. -- CreditWire
 
 SOURCE  Standard & Poor's CreditWire