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Moody’s affirms Buruj’s rating at ‘Baa2’; outlook changed to ‘Stable’

Moody’s affirms Buruj’s rating at ‘Baa2’; outlook changed to ‘Stable’
Moody’s reviewed the downgrade initiated in November 2020
BURUJ
8270
0.17% 28.75 0.05

Riyadh – Mubasher: Moody’s Investors Service has confirmed the ‘Baa2’ insurance financial strength rating (IFSR) of Buruj Cooperative Insurance Company, according to a disclosure to Tadawul on Wednesday.

The rating agency has also changed the outlook back to ‘Stable’ from rating under review, supported by a strong level of capital and liquidity buffers despite the level of high-risk assets.

The confirmation of the rating and the changed outlook reflected Moody’s expectation that the management would halt the decline in Buruj’s market share and profits.

Moody’s reviewed the downgrade initiated in November 2020, with the rating action reflecting measures taken by the company to improve its governance and address issues previously raised by the regulator that included the appointment of a new general manager in February 2021.

The company’s rating could be upgraded once the market share of Buruj increases or is maintained over 1% whilst regaining a top 20 market position. This is in addition to better profitability with return on capital (ROC) levels consistently over 12% and combined ratio (COR) below 90%.

Buruj’s profits were impacted in 2020 by a rise of SAR 5.4 million in the premium deficiency reserve as the company “expected that net earned premiums would become insufficient to cover claims and expenses,” according to Moody’s.

The Saudi listed firm plans to resume premiums growth by “diversifying its product mix and its distribution channels, but which could introduce some volatility in the underwriting results,” the rating agency added.