Assured Guaranty Placed on Review for Ratings Cut by Moody’s

Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) insurance units’ financial strength ratings were placed on review for ratings cuts by Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s is reviewing the Aa3 rankings of Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., Assured Guaranty Corp. and their affiliated insurance operating companies, the New York-based ratings company said today in a statement. Standard & Poor’s lowered Assured’s rating two steps in November.

Moody’s cited lower origination volume and reduced demand for the Hamilton, Bermuda-based bond insurer’s business, economic stress in the U.S. and Europe related to mortgage and municipal finance and pressure on operating margins with interest rates at about record lows.

“Today’s rating action reflects Moody’s opinion that Assured Guaranty’s business and financial profiles may have meaningfully deteriorated due to the firm’s narrower business opportunities and substantial exposure to sectors adversely affected by the financial crisis and current economic stress,” Stanislas Rouyer, an associate managing director at the firm, said in the statement.

Ashweeta Durani, a spokeswoman for Assured in New York, said the company had no immediate comment.

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