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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of Southern Response Earthquake Service Limited

[December 21, 2012]

A.M. Best Withdraws Ratings of Southern Response Earthquake Service Limited

HONG KONG --(Business Wire)--

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of "a-" of Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited (SRESL) (New Zealand). The outlook for both ratings is stable. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in A.M. Best's interactive rating process.

The rating affirmations reflect SRESL's Crown Entity status and the ongoing financial support of the New Zealand government. Effective from April 5, 2012, SRESL became a government-owned company, with the purpose of managing and settling its predecessor's (the former AMI Insurance Limited) claims related to the 2010 /2011 Chrstchurch earthquakes. SRESL's claims paying ability continues to benefit materially from ongoing government support, which is expected to be further strengthened by late December 2012.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Key criteria utilized include "Understanding Universal BCAR." Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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