Canadian Underwriter

S&P maintains rating of Fairfax cos.

March 25, 2004   by Canadian Underwriter

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Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has held its "BBB" financial strength rating of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX: FFH) and its operating insurance companies which carry a "stable" outlook for the year ahead. The rating agency’s action stems from the recent announcement by Fairfax to make available a debt exchange offering valued at about US$445 million.
S&P views the planned offering as "marginally favorable" to Fairfax in that it eases the group’s near term liquidity requirements. However, the rating agency remains concerned primarily with regard to the ongoing reserving adjustments carried out at several of the Fairfax operating companies. Nonetheless, S&P expects the Fairfax group will produce improved earnings and strengthened capitalization during 2004.

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