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S&P : downgrades French insurer AXA

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Rating firm Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating on French insurer AXA, citing its exposure to the troubled eurozone. 

S&P said it cut AXA Group’s long-term rating by a notch, to A+ from AA-, despite its retained earnings and recent investment market appreciation.  “We still view its risk-adjusted capital adequacy level and sensitivity to market conditions as rating weaknesses,” the agency said.

“Furthermore, uncertain investment markets, low interest rates, and the economic recession in the Eurozone are likely to dampen the group’s earnings growth potential and its ability to markedly strengthen capital adequacy.”

S&P said it had a stable outlook on AXA because it believes the insurer’s ongoing execution of its strategy would probably to lead to strengthened earnings retention and risk reduction.

Washington, Dec 18, 2012 (AFP)