LONDON, December 09, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to B- (Fair) from B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to "bb-" (Fair) from "bb" (Fair) of Ghana Reinsurance Plc (Ghana Re) (Ghana). Concurrently, AM Best has maintained the under review with negative implications status for these Credit Ratings (ratings).
The ratings reflect Ghana Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and weak enterprise risk management.
The rating actions follow the announcement by Ghana’s Ministry of Finance on 5 December 2022, that domestic government bonds existing as of 1 December 2022, excluding treasury bills, will be exchanged for four new bonds with longer maturity dates and lower coupons. An announcement in respect of external government debt is anticipated in the near term.
The rating downgrades reflect the revision of Ghana Re’s balance sheet strength assessment to strong from very strong, due to the impact of a material deterioration in the credit quality of the company’s investments in Ghana on its risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy (BCAR). Debt issued by the government of Ghana (including treasury bills) represents over 75% of the company’s fixed income portfolio. In addition, the company is exposed to the domestic banking sector through cash and term deposits.
Heightened levels of political, economic and financial system risk persist in Ghana, where the company is domiciled, holds the majority of its assets and generates 50% of its revenue. The ratings remain under review with negative implications as AM Best is continuing to assess the impact of deteriorating economic and operating conditions in Ghana on the company’s balance sheet strength and broader credit fundamentals. In particular, AM Best notes the potential risk of significant investment losses and liquidity pressures due to government debt restructuring.
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 Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.
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