Standard & Poor's confirms Euler Hermes' AA- rating



    MONTREAL, Aug. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - In a report published on July 29,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirms its AA- rating with a stable
outlook on Euler Hermes group reflecting its very strong position and
financial flexibility and its prudent investment strategy.

    In their outlook for 2009, Standard & Poor's states:

    "The ratings on the core operating entities of the French credit
insurance group Euler Hermes reflect its very strong competitive position,
long-term financial flexibility, and the insurer's prudent investment
strategy. These strengths are partly offset by the group's reduced capital
adequacy and pressured -although still strong- earnings, which led Euler
Hermes' overall financial profile to deteriorate. Standard & Poor's Ratings
Services' ratings on the core entities of Euler Hermes' group also factor in
support from the Allianz group, reflecting Euler Hermes' strategic importance
to Allianz SE (AA/Stable/A-1+)."
    "The outlook is stable given the implicit support of Allianz SE. On a
stand-alone basis, Euler Hermes is likely to maintain strong underwriting
earnings in spite of the economic crisis thanks to the group's solid
underwriting skills and continuing management actions, such as rate increases,
portfolio pruning, or overall reduction of Euler Hermes' exposure. This year
should be the most challenging for Euler Hermes, however, since all major
countries have now entered into a severe economic downturn. We therefore
expect the net combined ratio will increase again in 2009, but remain below
105% following management actions to safeguard earnings. We then foresee a
gradual recovery with a net combined ratio below 100% in 2010. The
introduction of state backed cover in the EU for credit insurers should not
weaken Euler Hermes' risk profile nor earnings."
    In the current macro-economic environment, the confirmation of Euler
Hermes' AA- rating by Standard & Poor's demonstrates the financial strength of
Euler Hermes. It shows how Euler Hermes is successfully managing all aspects
of its activity through the crisis. In addition to an efficient basis, timely
specific actions allow Euler Hermes to deliver a high level of services to its
clients, by reinforcing the screening of its portfolio, by reviewing more
frequently the buyers' solvency with extended reinsurance coverage and by
adjusting policy conditions to the risk environment. The prudent asset
management further contributes to its equity stability.
    For more information on Euler Hermes Canada products and services, visit
www.eulerhermes.ca
    
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    Euler Hermes is the worldwide leader in credit insurance and one of the
    leaders in the areas of bonding, guarantees and collections.
    With 6,200 employees in over 50 countries, Euler Hermes offers a complete
    range of services for the management of B-to-B trade receivables and
    posted a consolidated turnover of (euro)2.2 billion in 2008.
    Euler Hermes has developed a credit intelligence network that enables it
    to analyse the financial stability of 40 million businesses across the
    globe. The group protects worldwide business transactions totalling
    (euro)700 billion.
    Euler Hermes, subsidiary of AGF and a member of the Allianz group, is
    listed on Euronext Paris. The group and its principal credit insurance
    subsidiaries are rated AA- by Standard & Poor's.
    For more information visit Euler Hermes Canada at www.eulerhermes.ca
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    These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided
below. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
    Certain of the statements contained herein may be statements of future
expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on
management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to
differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. In
addition to statements which are forward-looking by reason of context, the
words 'may, will, should, expects, plans, intends, anticipates, believes,
estimates, predicts, potential, or continue' and similar expressions identify
forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ
materially from those in such statements due to, without limitation, (i)
general economic conditions, including in particular economic conditions in
the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) performance of
financial markets, including emerging markets, (iii) the frequency and
severity of insured loss events, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and
trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) the extent of credit defaults (vii)
interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the Euro-U.S.
Dollar exchange rate, (ix) changing levels of competition, (*) changes in laws
and regulations, including monetary convergence and the European Monetary
Union, (xi) changes in the policies of central banks and/or foreign
governments, (xii) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration
issues, (xiii) reorganization measures and (xiv) general competitive factors,
in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these
factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of
terrorist activities and their consequences. The matters discussed herein may
also involve risks and uncertainties described from time to time in Allianz
AG's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Group
assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained
herein.




For further information:

For further information: Paul Flanagan, CEO, Euler Hermes Canada, (514)
876-7050, paul.flanagan@eulerhermes.com; Louis Planté, Marketing Director,
Euler Hermes Canada, (514) 876-7044, louis.plante@eulerhermes.com

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EULER HERMES CANADA

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