SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#insurance—AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” (Excellent) of China Taiping Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (CTPIS) (Singapore). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. CTPIS is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited, which is ultimately majority owned by China Taiping Insurance Group Ltd. (TPG), a Chinese state-owned financial and insurance group.
The ratings reflect CTPIS’ balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). In addition, CTPIS benefits from rating enhancement to reflect its ownership by the TPG group.
CTPIS’ balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by risk-adjusted capitalisation that AM Best expects to remain at the strongest level over the medium term, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects planned capital injections and ongoing financial commitment from the TPG group to support CTPIS’ capital adequacy as it continues to establish its life insurance operations over the medium term. A partially offsetting balance sheet strength factor is the company’s modest absolute capital base, which increases the sensitivity of risk-adjusted capitalisation to growth beyond expectation or weaker than expected technical performance.
AM Best views the company’s operating performance as adequate with its non-life operations having generated robust underwriting profits over the past five years. Despite a deterioration in the non-life combined ratios for 2018 and 2019, technical performance has improved in 2020 with a lower loss ratio. The company’s pre-tax operating income has also been impacted by elevated start-up costs and technical provisions associated with CTPIS initiating life insurance sales in Singapore. Investment activities remain a positive driver of overall earnings. Whilst AM Best expects CTPIS to exhibit adequate operating performance over the medium term, elevated expenses arising from the development of its life insurance operations, along with a level of potential volatility in both underwriting and investment results amid the COVID-19 environment, may dampen earnings over the near term.
AM Best views CTPIS’ business profile as neutral. The company is a medium size insurer in Singapore and has a long-established position within the domestic non-life segment. In addition, CTPIS has a developing profile in the domestic life segment, offering life insurance protection, savings and retirement planning products for high net worth and affluent individuals. Life insurance operations accounted for 70% of gross written premium in 2020 and are expected to remain at this level over the medium term as the company shifts its focus from growth to value generation. The company benefits from its affiliation with the TPG group, which gives it a level of preferential access to insured risks emanating from Chinese enterprises in the Singapore market.
AM Best considers CTPIS’ ERM approach to be appropriate given the size and complexity of its current operations. The company’s ERM framework and capabilities have benefited over a number of years from technical support and guidance provided by the TPG group. Nonetheless, AM Best views CTPIS’ developing life operations as presenting heightened execution risk over the medium term.
Despite CTPIS’ operations accounting for a relatively small portion of the TPG group’s revenues and earnings, it is considered important to the group in terms of accessing the Singapore insurance market and growing its overseas business. CTPIS also benefits from implicit and explicit support from group companies that form part of TPG.
Ratings are communicated to rated entities prior to publication. Unless stated otherwise, the ratings were not amended subsequent to that communication.
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