AM Best affirms New Zealand’s BNZ Life Credit Ratings as excellent

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of ‘a’ of BNZ Life Insurance Limited (BNZ Life) New Zealand.

The stable outlook of these Credit Ratings reflect BNZ Life’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorised as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

In addition, the ratings factor in a neutral impact from the company’s ultimate ownership by National Australia Bank Limited, according to a statement.

BNZ Life’s balance sheet strength assessment is supported by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which remains at the strongest level, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio and a highly liquid investment portfolio, with focus on cash and high quality fixed income instruments.

While the company has exhibited a high dividend payout ratio over the past five years, earnings retention has remained sufficient to support current business growth and maintain the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalisation.

BNZ Life has a track record of strong operating performance, demonstrated by a five-year average return-on-equity ratio of 29 per cent (fiscal-years 2015-2019). AM Best expects a robust pricing strategy and steady revenue growth to support the maintenance of the strong operating performance assessment over the medium term.

BNZ Life is a small to medium-sized insurer in New Zealand’s life insurance industry, with a market share of approximately five per cent based on 2019 gross written premiums, and AM Best views the company as having a neutral business profile.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. More details at www.ambest.com.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency