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The newly issued senior unsecured notes of Reinsurance Group of America Inc. (RGA - Analyst Report) has been conferred a rating of “a-” by the A.M. Best Co. Moody’s Corp. (MCO - Analyst Report) has rated the issue at “Baa1” while Standard and Poor’s has rated the issue at “A-.“
 
All the ratings are of investment grade status. Securing an investment grade debt rating with a stable outlook reflects optimism about Reinsurance Group’s future performance.
 
Other existing ratings of the company, such as financial strength ratings as well as issuer credit ratings have been kept unchanged. 
 
Financial strength and credit ratings, which measures a company’s ability to meet policyholder obligations, are important factors affecting public confidence and creditworthiness of a company, and hence provide a company’s competitiveness. Securing an investment grade debt rating with a stable outlook reflects optimism about Reinsurance Group’s future performance.
 
Last week the company issued $400 million of senior notes. The proceeds from the issue of these notes carrying 4.7% coupon rates will be used for general corporate purposes. 
 
As of June 30, 2013, Reinsurance Group’s consolidated short- and long-term debt aggregated approximately $1,935.5 million, which translates into debt to capital ratio of 23.3%. The ratio of earnings to fixed charge as of Jun 30, 2013 was 1.6x. Though with the issue both these ratios will deteriorate, they would remain within the comfort level of the rating agencies.   
 
Coming to Reinsurance Group’s capital management, the company has excess capital of approximately $200 million and expects to generate additional capital for future operating performance. Capital management will continue to be an area of focus. The company has increased its dividend by 25% and also added $100 million additional capacity to its share buyback authorization.
 
Other companies StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. (SFG - Analyst Report) and Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW - Analyst Report) also carry investment grade ratings from leading rating agencies. 
 
Reinsurance Group carries Zacks Rank # 4 (Sell). 

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