Standard & Poor's raises Allianz' outlook to "stable"

The rating agency Standard & Poor's has confirmed the credit rating of the German insurance group Allianz with "AA" and raised the outlook to "stable". Allianz' capitalization has recovered and provides the company a considerable financial buffer, enabling the insurer to survive difficult ongoing economic conditions more easily. This is how the rating agency backed up its decision. Dieter Wemmer in an interview with about the raised outlook, what it means for Allianz customers and its significance for Allianz.


Mr. Wemmer, why has Standard & Poor's raised Allianz' rating?

Last year Allianz placed particularly emphasis on reducing risk positions. We scaled back our GIPS exposure as well as our investments in financial stock. At the same time we have achieved better coordination as far as the balance between liabilities and investment assets is concerned.


This means we have reduced the risks in our investmentportfolio and have further strengthened our capital base. Moreover, S&P gives Allianz good grades for the preparations it has made in regard to Solvency II and has in part already acknowledged Allianz' internal model.


When adding up these points it becomes clear why S&P has now upgraded our rating to AA with a stable outlook.


How does this effect your customers?

This reconfirms the fact that Allianz provides its customers with a strong capital base. The rating can serve as a guide when choosing an insurer. This strong rating is a sign of the resilience and stability that our customers expect of Allianz, particularly in a generally difficult environment.


Especially with the long-term life insurance products for our customers, the balance sheet strength plays a prominent role for Allianz Life Insurance and this once again confirms the raising of the outlook by S&P.


Why is a rating important for an insurer?

Many industrial customers place a great deal of importance on a stable, high rating, because it represents an independent evaluation of an insurer's capitalization and stability. For us as insurers, therefore, the rating in our core business plays an important role. Industrial customers purchase financial protection and want to ensure that their insurer is liquid in the event of major losses or a whole series of claims and is able to make payments.


Furthermore, with a higher rating we can obtain better conditions on the capital market. This becomes important when we want to raise fresh capital, for example.


How has Allianz' rating developed since the economic crisis?

During the entire banking and financial crisis Allianz was able to maintain its "AA" rating. We are very proud of this fact, because only very few global insurers managed to do this. At the start of 2012 our rating was confirmed, but in view of the financial crisis the outlook was downgraded to negative concurrently with other global insurers.


Standard & Poor’s is confident that Allianz will continue to successfully get through the current crisis, and that's why the American rating agency has once more confirmed our "AA" rating and upgraded the outlook to "stable". This is a first-class testimonial, particularly in times of economic instability.


Why did S&P downgrade Allianz' outlook at the start of 2012?

In the course of the European sovereign debt crisis the ratings of many European states were downgraded. S&P then adjusted the ratings of insurers who are major investors in these countries. This meant that the outlook of most insurers operating in the euro zone was set at "negative" - including us. Nevertheless, even at the time, Allianz already had one of the best credit ratings when compared to its peers.

Dieter Wemmer: "This reconfirms the fact that Allianz provides its customers with a strong capital base."
Dieter Wemmer: "This reconfirms the fact that Allianz provides its customers with a strong capital base."

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Stefanie Rupp-Menedetter
Allianz SE
Phone +49.89.3800-2063
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