A.M. Best Co. has commented that the issuer credit rating of “bbb” of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) [NYSE: AIG] is unchanged following the announcement of the U.S. Treasury’s plan to sell its remaining holdings of AIG’s common equity and AIG’s agreement with an investor group to sell up to a 90% stake in its International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) subsidiary. In addition, the financial strength ratings (FSRs) and the issuer credit ratings (ICRs) of AIG’s property/casualty subsidiaries also are unchanged by those announcements, as well as the release of the anticipated loss from Superstorm Sandy. The outlook for all ratings also remains unchanged.
The sale of the majority interest in ILFC and the UST’s decision to sell its remaining common interest in AIG mark the completion of AIG’s plan to remove itself from U.S. Government ownership and refocus its operations on its core insurance business. A.M. Best’s assessment of AIG’s financial position has, in recent years, considered the potential calls on the holding company related to the debt of ILFC. Although this debt was secured by physical assets owned by ILFC and was without recourse to AIG, the reputational risk to AIG should timely payments not be made on that debt was considerable. With the sale of a majority position in ILFC, A.M. Best’s future assessment of AIG will no longer include a stressed scenario under which AIG would make payments on the ILFC debt.
Since the announcement of AIG’s recapitalization plan in 2011, A.M. Best’s ratings of AIG have not considered any benefit related to U.S. Government financial assistance. The eventual sale of the UST’s common equity position in AIG was anticipated in A.M. Best’s ratings. At this time, A.M. Best’s ratings of AIG reflect the assessment of its operating insurance companies, with consideration of the potential calls on liquidity related to the Direct Investment Book (DIB). Consequently, the reduction of the UST’s ownership interest does not have an impact on A.M. Best’s ratings of AIG or any of its subsidiaries.