(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
HONG KONG, April 24 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Ageas Capital (Asia)
Ltd's USD250m 4.125% senior unsecured notes due 2023 a final rating of 'A-'.
The assignment of the final rating follows the receipt of documents conforming
to information already received and the final rating is in line with the
expected rating assigned on 11 April 2013.
Key Rating Drivers
The notes are issued by Ageas Capital (Asia) Ltd and are unconditionally and
irrevocably guaranteed by Ageas Insurance Company (Asia) Limited (AICA). The
notes are rated the same level as AICA's IDR to reflect average recovery
prospects of senior debt held at an operating company. The proceeds from the
debt issue will be used to refinance Ageas Capital (Asia) Ltd's USD100m
outstanding senior debt due 2014 and for general corporate purposes. Fitch
believes this will strengthen AICA's capital adequacy positions.
The debt rating is subject to the same factors that might affect AICA's
Long-Term IDR. An upgrade of the rating is unlikely in the near term unless AICA
makes significant progress in improving its market presence in Hong Kong.
Key rating triggers for a downgrade include a decline in the local solvency
ratio to below 200% over an extended period. Financial leverage rising above 28%
on a sustained basis may also be negative for the ratings. The ratings may also
be downgraded if the parent company Ageas SA/NV's rating (BBB+/Stable) is
downgraded or if Fitch views that the strategic importance of AICA to the group
For additional details, see Fitch's commentaries dated 26 March and 11 April
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Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.
Applicable criteria, 'Insurance Rating Methodology', dated 11 January 2013, are
available at www.fitchratings.com.
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