The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Business Wire

A.M. Best Assigns Debt Ratings to Aflac Incorporated's Forthcoming Senior Notes

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A.M. Best Assigns Debt Ratings to Aflac Incorporated's Forthcoming Senior Notes10:31 EDT Thursday, June 30, 2011 OLDWICK, N.J. (Business Wire) -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned debt ratings of “a-” to the yen-denominated (Samurai) bonds to be issued by Aflac Incorporated (Aflac) (Columbus, GA) (NYSE: AFL). The bonds will be issued on a senior unsecured basis in three tranches: JPY 28.7 billion (USD 359 million) of three-year fixed-rate notes with a coupon of 1.47%; JPY 15.8 billion (USD 197 million) of five-year fixed-rate notes with a coupon of 1.84%; and JPY 5.5 billion (USD 69 million) of three-year floating-rate notes with a coupon of three-month Japanese yen LIBOR plus 1.15%. The outlook assigned to the ratings is stable. Aflac's existing financial strength, issuer credit and debt ratings are unchanged. Proceeds from the issuances will be used to repay the JPY 35 billion debt due in September 2011 and for general corporate purposes. A.M. Best believes the debt offering enhances the organization's financial flexibility. Aflac's overall financial leverage is expected to remain below 25%, which is consistent with similarly-rated peers, and interest coverage remains very strong. Aflac continues to maintain strong brand recognition in Japan and the United States, as well as a healthy risk-adjusted capital position at its operating subsidiaries. Additionally, given Aflac's very favorable operating earnings and strong cash flows, A.M. Best believes the organization can withstand additional potential write-downs in its investment portfolio from ongoing de-risking activities. Nevertheless, A.M. Best will continue to monitor Aflac's investment performance and capitalization levels. The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “Rating Health Insurance Companies”; “Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies”; “A.M. Best Ratings & the Treatment of Debt”; and “Assessing Country Risk.” Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. A.M. Best Co.Jeffrey LaneManaging Senior Financial Analyst908-439-2200, ext. 5567jeffrey.lane@ambest.comorCarl AustinAssistant Vice President908-439-2200, ext. 5500carl.austin@ambest.comorRachelle MorrowSenior Manager, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5378rachelle.morrow@ambest.comorJim PeavyAssistant Vice President, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5644james.peavy@ambest.com