KBRA Report Highlights Growth in Demand for Municipal Bond insurance: Report Notes Bond industry Insurance Penetration Spiked Sharply Higher in First Half of 2020

Category:

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 2:00 pm EDT

Dateline:

HAMILTON, Bermuda

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
AGO
"A main reason an issuer or investor may decide to ‘wrap’ a bond includes the benefit derived from lower interest cost coupled with improved liquidity and credit protection. These benefits are derived from the strength of the insurer’s balance sheet behind each policy."

HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) announced today that Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) issued a report published July 30, 2020 entitled “Coronavirus (COVID-19): Pandemic Fears Spur Market Demand for Bond Insurance”.

  • The report notes that “bond industry insurance penetration spiked sharply higher (nearly 7%) in the first half of 2020” due to widening credit spreads, increased investor concerns and heightened uncertainty for issuers.
  • Additionally, KBRA noted that “If the 1H level persists for the remainder of the year, it would be the highest level since 2009.”
  • Kroll further added, “A main reason an issuer or investor may decide to ‘wrap’ a bond includes the benefit derived from lower interest cost coupled with improved liquidity and credit protection. These benefits are derived from the strength of the insurer’s balance sheet behind each policy.”
  • The KBRA report follows S&P Global Rating’s (S&P’s) report published April 3, 2020 where it, too, pointed out that "in the current macroeconomic environment, demand for the financial guarantee product appears to be growing in the U.S. public finance market."
  • During this challenging period for the U.S. economy, Assured Guaranty remains committed to its strict underwriting standards while continuing to help lower the cost of funding for municipalities and issuers, and providing enhanced security to investors.

In response to the report, Dominic Frederico, President and CEO of Assured Guaranty, said: “We are seeing significant increases in new business volume for Assured Guaranty in both primary and secondary public finance markets and increased municipal bond insurance penetration for the Company since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work with issuers, municipalities and our investors on meeting their financing and investing needs through our insurance guarantee and strong capital adequacy.”

A copy of the KBRA report can be found here.

Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect Assured Guaranty’s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in this press release. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, difficulties executing Assured Guaranty’s business strategy; those risks and uncertainties resulting from changes in rating agency models or opinions; changes in the world’s credit markets, segments thereof, interest rates, credit spreads or general economic conditions; the development, course and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental and private actions taken in response, and the global consequences of the pandemic and such actions; adverse credit developments in Puerto Rico or other portions of Assured Guaranty’s insured portfolio and the impact of those developments on rating agency models and opinions; adverse developments in Assured Guaranty’s asset management business; other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, management’s response to these factors, and other risk factors identified in Assured Guaranty’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of August 4, 2020. Assured Guaranty undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded (NYSE: AGO) Bermuda-based holding company. Its operating subsidiaries provide credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets. More information on Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.

Contact:

Investor Relations:
Robert Tucker, 212-339-0861
Senior Managing Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
rtucker@assuredguaranty.com

Media:
Ashweeta Durani, 212-408-6042
Vice President, Corporate Communications
adurani@assuredguaranty.com

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