ICEA Life retains top credit rating

ICEA Lion Asset Management Chief Executive Officer Einstein Kihanda. FILE PHOTO |  NMG

South Africa rating firm Global Credit Rating (GCR) has retained ICEA Lion Life Assurance at triple-A on profitability and a strong capital buffer that is above thrice the required minimum.

GCR says in the latest rating that it assigned ICEA Lion Life a national scale financial strength rating of AAA(KE) and maintained a stable outlook to signify the lowest credit risk and sound business performance.

ICEA Lion General, which together with ICEA Lion Life, is part of ICEA Lion Holdings, also received the triple-A rating to reflect strong risk-adjusted capitalisation, sound liquidity and a strong market position enjoyed by the group.

“All the subsidiaries met the minimum capital requirements in their respective markets, with ICEA LION Life, at the company level, maintaining a capital adequacy ratio of above 3x (three times) over the past two years,” said GCR.

“Given the group’s focus on writing profitable business and emphasis on cash underwriting, we expect the CAR to remain above 3x over the medium term.”

The life business was first upgraded from the previous double-A rating last year and maintaining the triple-A rating puts it above its peers in a market where many players are facing capital constraints.

ICEA Lion’s affiliation with its ultimate parent, Asset Managers Limited, which enjoys an even stronger credit profile due to value-adding operations in reinsurance and other non-insurance sectors, also added to the top rating.

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