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Article #976491702

Friday, April 28th 2006, 8:19PM
Standard & Poor's has raised its insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on PrefSure Life from BBB to BBB+.

The ratings are removed from CreditWatch Positive, where they were placed earlier this year. The outlook is positive. The move puts them at the same level as PrefSure's new parent company, Tower Australia. PrefSure Life will be merged with Tower within six months. S&P says "as a risk insurance-focused life insurer with a solid position in the master trust market place in Australia, PrefSure Life is a good strategic match with TOWER Australia, underpinning PrefSure Life's core strategic role to the group."

"PrefSure Life's stand-alone financial profile is good, with solid earnings and a good capital position underpinning the ratings. Its liquidity is assessed as strong, reflecting the positive net cash flows and the high level of cash and short-term securities in the investment portfolio,"S&P financial serices ratings group credit analyst Kate Thomson said.

"PrefSure Life's positive outlook reflects that of Tower Australia and Standard & Poor's view that the underlying group profitability and business profile will continue to improve in the next 18 months.

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