Fitch Completes Insurance Notching Review for Italian, Spanish and Turkish Insurers
The purpose of the review was to identify the impact on ratings as a result of the updated insurance notching criteria. No ratings have been downgraded. The ratings of Assicurazioni Generali will be reviewed separately.
Fitch published its updated insurance notching criteria on 14 July 2015, following the publication of an exposure draft of the criteria on 12 May 2015. The updated notching criteria appear in Section VI of the insurance master criteria report Insurance Rating Methodology.
Notching refers to the practice of establishing a given rating relative to a defined "anchor" rating, using guidelines linked to certain characteristics of the rating that is being notched. For Fitch's insurance ratings, the Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating is the initial anchor rating, and other ratings that are notched relative to it include Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of operating and holding companies, and debt/hybrid obligation ratings.
Fitch updated its notching criteria in light of changes in the regulatory landscape, including the move in Europe and other jurisdictions to a Solvency 2 or a Solvency 2-type regulatory framework. As a result, from a global perspective, notching changes are more pronounced in Europe and other such jurisdictions than in the U.S. and similarly regulated countries.
KEY RATING DRIVERS
For this rating review, the key rating driver was the impact of the updated notching criteria. See most recently published Rating Action Commentaries or research reports for additional information on other Key Ratings Drivers pertinent to specific entity ratings.
Not applicable to this portfolio review given its limited focus on the implementation of the updated notching criteria. See most recently published Rating Action Commentaries or research reports for additional information on Rating Sensitivities pertinent to specific entity ratings.
SUMMARY OF RATING ACTIONS
A link to a summary report that details all of the ratings actions taken as part of the portfolio review is available via the link below under "Related Research".
The linked summary report includes:
--A full list of ratings and related rating actions
--A hyperlink to each rated entity's ratings summary page on the Fitch website
--Primary analyst and secondary analyst contact information
The portfolio review was limited in scope, and only included an assessment of the updated notching criteria as outlined in Section VI (Notching: Debt, Hybrid, IFS Rating and Holding Companies) of Fitch's insurance master criteria. None of the factors outlined in Section I (Key Rating Factors) of the master criteria, or any other elements discussed in the master criteria, were reviewed. Where relevant, Fitch considered the appropriateness of the relative ranking of ratings in the Italian, Spanish and Turkish sectors, after initial consideration of updated notching guidelines, as part of the portfolio review.