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S&P confirms Lumley's ratings

A protected sales process of the Lumley insurance businesses in Australia and New Zealand is impacting on its S&P rating.

Friday, May 2nd 2003, 1:29AM
Standard & Poor's has affirmed its 'A' insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Lumley General Insurance, Lumley General Insurance (NZ), and Lumley Life and removed them from CreditWatch with developing implications where they were placed on November 6.

The outlook on the long-term rating is developing, indicating that ratings could be raised, lowered, or affirmed, depending on the final structure and ownership of the rated entities should they be eventually sold.

While the shareholders of Edward Lumley Holdings are considering their divestment options for the Lumley group's Australian and New Zealand assets, the affirmation of the ratings, along with the developing outlook, reflects a potentially protracted sale process.

"The ratings on Lumley's Australian and New Zealand companies will ultimately be impacted by the credit strength of the successful buyer, and the structure and composition of the operations following the sale," Standard and Poor’s Financial Services Ratings director Peter Sikora says.

"Ratings on the Australia- and New Zealand-based Lumley entities, however, may revert to CreditWatch status if the credit impact of any eventual sale is unclear."

The 'A' ratings on the Lumley entities reflect their sound business and financial profile in the region, which include good niche market positions, a track record of profitability, and sound capitalisation and balance-sheet structure.

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