AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Gar-Bo F?rs?kring AB

BY Business Wire | CORPORATE | 06/24/22 09:19 AM EDT

AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of ?bbb+? (Good) of Gar-Bo F?rs?kring AB (Gar-Bo) (Sweden). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Gar-Bo?s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by Gar-Bo?s risk-adjusted capitalisation, which, as measured by Best?s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), is assessed as very strong. AM Best expects the company?s risk-adjusted capitalisation to be maintained at or above the strong level over the medium term, underpinned by strong earnings generation, which should adequately support the company?s growth forecasts.

Gar-Bo?s balance sheet strength assessment also benefits from a good liquidity profile and prudent reserving practices. A partly offsetting factor is the company?s moderate reinsurance dependence, although the associated risk is mitigated somewhat by the use of a well-diversified panel of reinsurance counterparties of good credit quality. Additionally, the company?s relatively high allocations to equities and non-rated bonds exposes it to elevated investment risk, which increases the potential for volatility in its risk-adjusted capitalisation.

Gar-Bo has a track record of strong operating performance, as evidenced by a five-year weighted average return on equity of 22% (2017-2021), as calculated by AM Best, with balanced contributions from technical and investment income. In 2021, the company reported a combined ratio of 88% (2020: 82%), supported by strong results in its traditional and identified growth markets.

Gar-Bo is a niche insurer in the Nordic market that underwrites construction-related long-duration and construction-related surety products, primarily in Sweden, with expansion efforts in Denmark and Norway. Gross written premium increased to SEK 395 million (EUR: 43.7 million) in 2021 from SEK 317 million (EUR 38.8 million) in the prior year. In AM Best?s view, the specialist construction services that the company provides, largely to mid-market construction and building clients, affords a competitive advantage in its domestic market. Partly offsetting factors include a heightened regulatory risk due to the company?s product offerings as well as its geographic concentration in Sweden.

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.

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

Copyright ? 2022 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Source: AM Best

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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