A.M. Best Co.
has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” of
Colina Insurance Limited
(Colina) (Nassau, Bahamas). The outlook for both ratings is stable. Colina is a wholly owned subsidiary of its publicly traded parent, Colina Holdings Bahamas Limited (CHBL) (BISX: CHL), which is majority owned by
AF Holdings Ltd.
The rating affirmations are based on Colina’s leading market share in the life/health market in The Bahamas, its improved operations in the health line of business, favorable risk-adjusted capitalization and conservative reserving practices. As a life/health market leader with more than 50% market share in The Bahamas, Colina continues to leverage its competitive advantages by expanding within the islands of The Bahamas and into other Caribbean and Latin American markets. A.M. Best notes that while Colina’s earnings performance and growth in assets have primarily been achieved through several acquisitions in the past, the company’s potential for new business growth and earnings sustainability will depend on its ability to attract new business organically in a mature Bahamian life/health insurance market.
Offsetting these strengths are the risks associated with the company’s mortgage loan portfolio and its delinquencies, which increased further in 2009, despite Colina implementing aggressive measures to address the rising delinquencies and provide for potential losses in that portfolio. The mature nature of the Bahamian life/health market and the recent erosion in the Bahamian economy, primarily resulting from a decline in the tourism sector, also is a concern to A.M. Best as it could impede not only Colina’s potential for growth, but its ability to stabilize its troubled mortgage loan portfolio.
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