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TMCNet:  AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Popular Life Re

[February 07, 2019]

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Popular Life Re

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb" of Popular Life Re (PLRE) (Puerto Rico). PLRE is a life insurance subsidiary of its ultimate parent, Popular, Inc. [NASDAQ: BPOP], a publicly traded bank holding company based in Puerto Rico. The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect PLRE's balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The ratings also reflect PLRE's stable liability profile, strong return metrics and invested assets, which are of excellent credit quality and highly liquid. PLRE is projecting positive operating performance growth over the next several years. PLRE remains strategically important to Popular, Inc., although the earnings contribution to the parent company is modest. Additionally, the company reinsures a portion of credit insurance policies on consumer loans originated at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, as well as personal accident and health policies underwritten by unaffiliated insurers.

Partially mitigating rating factors include declining premium growth and geographic and product concentration risk, as credit life and accident and health business mostly is transacted in Puerto Rico, and challenges associated with difficulties stucturally and economically following the natural disasters. Lastly, PLRE's ratings reflect ratings drag from the parent company, Popular, Inc.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best's Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit www.ambest.com for more information.

Copyright © 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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