Group Managing Director, WAICA Re, Abiola Ekundayo
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Chuks Udo Okonta
AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of B+ (Good) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bbb-” to WAICA Reinsurance Corporation PLC (WAICA Re) (Sierra Leone). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect WAICA Re’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.
WAICA Re’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio. The assessment considers the company’s conservative investment strategy, with the majority of the portfolio held as cash and deposits, and low level of retrocession dependence. A partially offsetting factor is the company’s exposure to the significant economic, political and financial system risks associated with the countries where WAICA Re operates, which include Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.
WAICA Re has a track record of strong operating performance, demonstrated by a five-year (2015-2019) weighted average combined ratio and return on equity of 87.0% and 9.5%, respectively. Prospective earnings are expected to remain strong, underpinned by solid technical performance, and complemented by positive, albeit modest, investment returns, reflecting the low-yielding assets in which the company primarily invests.
AM Best considers WAICA Re’s business profile to be limited owing to its relatively small size and geographic concentration of business in Nigeria and Ghana. The company reported gross written premium of USD 64.5 million in 2019. Whilst AM Best expects WAICA Re to grow its premium base gradually through diversification into other markets, business will continue to originate primarily from Nigeria and Ghana.
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.