Canadian Underwriter

Scor loses “A” rating from Moody’s

November 14, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Amidst expectations of a large yearend loss for French reinsurer SCOR, rating agency Moody’s has taken away the company’s “A” rating.
Moody’s has downgraded SCOR to Baa1 from A1 in terms of financial strength. Its senior debt is also downgraded to Baa3 from A2 and its subordinate debt to Ba1 from A3.
The downgrade follows SCOR’s recent announcement that it expects to post a loss of 250 million Euros (CDN$390 million). At that time, Standard & Poor’s and A.M. Best put the reinsurer under watch, with Fitch’s downgrading SCOR from A- to BBB in terms of financial strength. Moody’s place the reinsurer on watch at the time as well.
In making the downgrade, Moody’s points to SCOR’s inability to raise equity given its underwriting concerns. The rating agency is keeping the reinsurer under review pending a rights issue valued at 250 million Euros.
SCOR stock, which was trading at the $20-$21 range in mid-August, is now trading at around $6.80.

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