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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Compania Internacional de Seguros, S.A.

[February 14, 2013]

A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Compania Internacional de Seguros, S.A.

OLDWICK, N.J. --(Business Wire)--

A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating to "a" from "a-" of Compania Internacional de Seguros, S.A. (CIS) (Panama). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

The rating upgrades are based on CIS' historical operating performance, excellent risk-based capitalization and strong market profile. As one of the largest insurers in Panama, CIS utilizes its solid risk management procedures and local market expertise to enhance its operating performance. Strong underwriting results are complemented by consistent levels of investment income derived from a conservative investment portfolio. These factors have allowed CIS to enhance its surplus considerably in recent years.

Additionally, from an underwriting perspective, both property/casualty and life/health business segments have been generally profitable in recent years. CIS also maintains liquidity and solvency margins in excess of the requirementof the Panamanian Superintendent of Insurance.

Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are the challenges CIS faces operating in a relatively limited and competitive insurance market, as well as in a country that A.M. Best considers to have an elevated level of country risk.

While A.M. Best considers CIS well positioned at its current rating level, factors that may lead to negative rating actions include protracted adverse underwriting and overall performance, a significant deterioration in its risk-adjusted capitalization or a downgrade in the Panama country risk tier rating.

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: "Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies"; "Evaluating Country Risk"; "Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers"; "Understanding Universal BCAR"; and "Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings." Best's Credit 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

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