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What’s new: In brief (March 29, 2005)


March 29, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter


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Fairfax Financial Holdings says it has gained regulatory approval to extend the maturity date of the US$100 million note payable by Fairfax to its TIG Insurance Co. by one year. The original repayment date was June 30, 2005, but has been extended to June 30, 2006.

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of “B++” (very good) of Western Life Assurance Co., formerly Federated Life Insurance Co. The affirmation follows a review of the acquisition of Federated Life by Western Financial Group, which subsequently changed the company’s name to Western Life. The rating has also been assigned a stable outlook, with A.M. Best noting it has reviewed Western Financial’s yearend results as well as its plans regarding capital management to support ongoing operations.

Fitch Ratings has upgraded French reinsurer SCOR to “BBB” from “BB+” following what the rater describes as “vigorous management actions” to return the company to profitability. Fitch points specifically to SCOR’s improved capital adequacy relative to its risk profile. The rating, which has a stable outlook, applies to all SCOR Group members, including SCOR Canada Reinsurance Co. SCOR recently reported net income of EUR68.7 million for 2004, compared to a loss of EUR314 million in 2003. The non-life reinsurance business specifically reported a combined ratio of 100.1%, an improvement of more than 20 percentage points over 2003.