Standard & Poor's rating services (S&P) updated the
financial strength rating (FSR) of all the major operating
Assured Guaranty Ltd.
) to AA from AA-.
The major subsidiaries of which the rating was upgraded are
Municipal Assurance Corp. (MAC) and Assured Guaranty Corp. (AGC),
Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM), Assured Guaranty (UK)
Ltd., European financial guarantors Assured Guaranty (Europe)
Ltd. (AGE) and reinsurer Assured Guaranty Re Ltd. The outlook on
this rating remains stable.
Assured Guaranty is a leading firm in the bond insurance space
and has been providing services to U.S. and other selected
financial markets for the last 30 years. The recent rating
upgrade by S&P is validated by the company's strong market
position along with its solid capital base and pricing
discipline. In the last four years, the statutory capital of
Assured Guaranty increased 27% to $6.1 billion as of
Additionally, in order to consolidate its market position,
Assured Guaranty established a municipal-only bond insurance
company which meets the market demand for muni-only insurer. The
formation of this new company provides Assured Guaranty a
strategic flexibility which in turn, helps to adopt various
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The company has a flexible business model which allows it to
equally value its insurance in small, medium and large
transactions. Also, the company has a disciplined approach toward
underwriting, pricing and enterprise risk management.
With S&P's rating upgrade of AGM, MAC, AGE and AGC, no other
existing guarantor has higher S&P ratings as of date.
Rating affirmations or upgrades from credit rating agencies play
an important part in retaining investor confidence in the stock
besides maintaining credit worthiness in the market. We believe
that strong ratings will help the company and its leading
operating entities to retain investor faith and help it write
more businesses going forward.
Assured Guaranty presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks in the multi line insurance industry that
are worth mentioning are
Old Republic International Corp.
FBL Financial Group Inc.
). While Old Republic International sports a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), ageas and FBL Financial carry a Zacks Rank #2