Outlook raised to “stable”
As a consequence of the turbulence on the capital markets and the Euro crisis, the international rating agency Standard & Poor's set the rating for the operational core companies of the UNIQA Group at "A-" on 13 December 2011. This includes UNIQA Personenversicherung AG, UNIQA Sachversicherung AG and UNIQA Re AG. S&P set the rating for the Group holding UNIQA Versicherungen AG at "BBB+". At the same time, S&P raised the outlook for all assessed companies - compared to the rating of June 2011 - from "negative" to "stable".
S&P based its downgrade from the previous assessments ("A" for the operational core companies and "A-" for UNIQA Versicherungen AG) on the effects of the negative capital market developments on the results and the capital base. Due to the sovereign debt crisis, various rating agencies have already downgraded or announced a possible downgrade of the ratings of European countries and financial service providers in recent weeks.
The improved "stable" outlook reflects the rating agency's view that UNIQA will improve its capital base in 2012. In addition, S&P also highlighted the commitment and flexibility of the core shareholders as being an advantage for the UNIQA Group. The good competitive position of UNIQA is also positively assessed.
The rating agency praised the strategic realignment of the Group towards the ambitious growth and income targets that UNIQA has set itself. With its focus on the core insurance business, enhanced customer proximity, an intensification of the partnership with Raiffeisen in banking sales and the international focus on the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe, UNIQA aims to double the number of customers to 15 million by 2020, with the potential to improve the result by up to EUR 400 million by 2015.
Due to increasing uncertainties over how the sovereign debt crisis in Europe will unfold, UNIQA decided back in September to go beyond the announced 50% debt write-off for Greece and - regardless of the maturities - wrote down all Greek government bonds to the present market value as at 30 September. This move is anticipated to generate one-time expenses for the current financial year of between EUR 250 and 300 million. Prior to this decision, UNIQA had already announced one-time losses for the strategic realignment of around EUR 190 million for 2011.
Reservations concerning statements about the future
This message contains statements that refer to future developments in the UNIQA Group Austria. These statements are appraisals that are made based on all information available to us at the current point in time. If the assumptions on which they are based do not occur, the actual events may vary from the results currently expected. For this reason, we cannot accept liability for these statements.
Vienna, 13. December 2011