AM Best Revises Issuer Credit Rating Outlook to Stable for Jordan Insurance Company Plc.

AM Best has revised the outlook to stable from negative for the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of B (Fair) and the Long-Term ICR of "bb+" of Jordan Insurance Company Plc. (JIC) (Jordan). The outlook of the FSR remains stable.

The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect JIC’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management (ERM).

The revision of the Long-Term ICR outlook to stable follows an improvement in risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), due to the divesture of capital-intensive investments and the suspension of dividend payments in 2018 and 2019. Although the company’s investment portfolio remains skewed toward real estate and equity exposures, which attract high capital charges in the BCAR model, further divestures from these asset classes are expected in the near term, which, if successful, should further strengthen the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation. Offsetting factors in the balance sheet strength assessment include the company’s weak liquidity and increased financial leverage, driven by overdrafts and loans contracted to fund the company’s regulatory capital requirements for its branch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The assessment also considers JIC’s limited asset-liability management capability and its marginal regulatory solvency margin in Jordan.

JIC’s operating performance is adequate over the underwriting cycle, as illustrated by a five-year average (2014-2018) return on equity (ROE) of 2.8%. In 2018, the company benefited from robust earnings from its operations in the UAE, helped by the introduction of higher motor tariffs. JIC is expected to maintain a low single-digit ROE over the medium term.

JIC has a good competitive position within Jordan, where it is ranked No. 2 based on 2018 gross written premiums. However, Jordan’s insurance market is relatively small by international standards. The company benefits from some geographic diversification, with just above 20% of its premium emanating from the UAE in 2018.

JIC has demonstrated solid controls and adequate risk management in respect of its underwriting operations. However, deficiencies in the management of investment, liquidity and capital risks have a negative impact on AM Best’s assessment of JIC’s ERM.

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 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 credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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Contacts

Luca Patron
Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0304
luca.patron@ambest.com

Ghislain Le Cam, CFA, FRM
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0268
ghislain.lecam@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com