Highlights Very Strong Competitive Position, Excellent Capital and Earnings, Exceptional Liquidity, Well-Defined and Diverse Underwriting Strategy and Very Strong Business Risk Profile
Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) (together with its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty) announced today that S&P Global Ratings (S&P) has affirmed the AA financial strength ratings on U.S. bond insurers Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. (AGM) and Assured Guaranty Corp. (AGC); U.K. financial guarantor Assured Guaranty UK Limited (AGUK) and European financial guarantor Assured Guaranty (Europe) SA (AGE); and Bermuda insurers Assured Guaranty Re Ltd. (AGRe) and Assured Guaranty Re Overseas Ltd. (AGRO). The outlooks of all the Assured Guaranty entities are stable.
In its July 13, 2023 research update, S&P noted Assured Guaranty’s:
- “excellent capital and earnings with a meaningful capital adequacy buffer at the current rating”
- “exceptional” liquidity
- “very strong competitive position based on its underwriting strategy”
- “combination of a very strong business risk profile and very strong financial risk profile”
- “vigilant approach to its global underwriting strategy to maintain its excellent capital position”
- “experienced management team” that “demonstrates a strong understanding of the various risks the company has as it executes [its] underwriting strategy”
- “positive” risk management culture “reflecting Assured's robust risk reporting and significant oversight from senior management”
- “strong demand in the insured secondary market”
- and “well thought out and measured” approach to writing business in non-U.S. public finance (USPF) markets
S&P also wrote, “Although much of the group's business has been insured debt issues in USPF, underwriting includes global structured finance and international local and regional government bonds as well as infrastructure projects. This underwriting strategy provides flexibility to capitalize on opportunities in one market when other markets are less favorable.”
S&P also noted that for the six months of 2023 in the U.S. municipal bond market, “new money issuance is up nearly 10%. Much of the rise in new money issues is due to state and local investment in essential infrastructure.” And that, “From a profit perspective within the USPF market, higher interest rates and widening spreads also create strong pricing opportunity and long-term profitability for Assured.”
Additionally, S&P concluded that, “given Assured’s investment strategy, we think the company maintains sufficient liquidity to cover unexpected stress in the insured portfolio.”
In response to the report, Dominic Frederico, President and CEO of Assured Guaranty, said: “Assured Guaranty’s AA rating affirmation by S&P and its highly favorable comments around our detailed risk management policies, surveillance, and loss mitigation represents a strong affirmation of both our business model and our strategic business approach.” He went on to note S&P’s “positive comments about how our investment strategy adequately supports our liquidity needs, and our use of a structured process for risk identification and monitoring. We agree with S&P’s assessment that trends in the U.S. public finance market and our growing global structured finance and international infrastructure businesses afford strong growth opportunities for our company.”
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Any forward-looking statements made in this press release, including those regarding growth opportunities for Assured Guaranty, reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, difficulties executing Assured Guaranty’s business strategy; those risks and uncertainties resulting from changes in rating agency models or opinions; adverse credit developments in Puerto Rico or other portions of Assured Guaranty’s insured portfolio and the impact of those developments on rating agency models and opinions; the impacts of the announcement and the completion of Assured Guaranty’s transactions with Sound Point Capital Management, LP (Sound Point) and/or Assured Healthcare Partners LLC (AHP) on Assured Guaranty and its relationships with its shareholders, regulators, rating agencies, employees and the obligors it insures; the possibility that the transactions with Sound Point and/or AHP do not result in the benefits anticipated or subjects Assured Guaranty and/or its shareholders to negative consequences; other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in Assured Guaranty’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of July 24, 2023. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
About Assured Guaranty Ltd.
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO) Bermuda-based holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty provides credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets. Assured Guaranty also participates in the asset management business through its ownership interest in Sound Point Capital Management, LP. More information on Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.