Korean Re, a leading reinsurance company in Asia, is now aiming to be one of the top class reinsurers in the world

Financial Strength Rating : A, Positive

Korean Re has obtained "A" ratings from Standard & Poor's

S&P announced on October 24, 2014 that it raised the financial strength and counterparty credit ratings on Korean Re to 'A' from 'A-'. The rating upgrade reflected our sound risk-based capitalization, stable operating performance and adequate risk management with strong risk controls. The outlook on the ratings is stable. It is a long-awaited achievement since the last upgrade to 'A-' in 2006.

Recognizing Korean Re's consistently solid business results, S&P had indicated that it may raise the ratings on Korean Re if the reinsurer improves and maintains its capitalization, backed by stronger earnings that can be sustained. This prospect of a rating upgrade further encouraged the company to press ahead with plans to strengthen its capital base.

As part of the efforts, we successfully issued USD 200 milion worth of subordinated capital securities on October 15, 2014, the first of its kind from the Korean insurance industry. The newly raised funds will help us improve our balance sheet, with the total shareholders' equity exceeding USD 2 bilion. The enhanced capitalization led S&P to assess our financial risk profile as moderately strong, giving rise to the rating upgrade.

We believes the S&P rating upgrade will have profound implications for our overseas business given that credit ratings are one of the most important factors in cross-border reinsurance transactions. We will find ourselves in a better position to deal with more profitable accounts from abroad. Beyond the Asian market where we currently have a strong position, we now hope that we could gain a stronger footing in advanced markets in North America and Western Europe.

Expanding into overseas markets is one of the key goals of the company under Vision 2050: Value-Creating Reinsurance Leader, a declaration of our ambition to become one of the world's top 3 reinsurers announced at the beginning of this year. Currently, 22% of our annual revenue is generated from the international markets. The new vision sets out concrete plans to increase the share of our overseas business to 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2030, reflecting our desire to develop and discover growth drivers from abroad. The recent upgrade of the S&P ratings will certainly give Korean Re a leg up when we pursue the goals under Vision 2050.