March 25, 2010 | last updated May 29, 2012 6:16 pm

A.M. Best negative on The Hartford

For the second time in a week, Wall Street ratings agenciesare raising concerns about the potential impact that volatile financial markets may have on Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s life insurance business.

A.M. Best Co. on Thursday affirmed its issuer credit rating of "bbb+'' for The Hartford, but noted its rating outlook is negative.

Some good news for The Hartford is that A.M. Best moved the outlook for life insurance operations to stable from negative, and affirmed the financial strength rating for its property-casualty operations as stable.

Last week, Fitch Ratings kept its negative outlook for The Hartford even as it was aware of the insurance giant's plan to issue new equity and debt to repay $3.4 billion received under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Earlier this week, The Hartford finalized the equity-debt issue and is preparing to remit payment to the U.S. Treasury.

Best said although the TARP repayment is a good step, The Hartford remains vulnerable to volatility in the financial markets, mainly through its Simsbury-based Hartford Life Insurance unit.

In particular, the ratings service raised concerns over the future performance of Hartford Life's commercial mortgage investments, including loans and structured securities.

The Hartford had no immediate comment Thursday on the A.M. Best report.

At 11 a.m., The Hartford was up 10 cents at $28.24.

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