Fitch Affirms AXIS Ratings: Stable Outlook

May 4, 2013

Fitch Ratings affirmed  ’A’ Issuer Default Rating [IDR] and ‘A-’ senior debt rating of  Bermuda-based AXIS Capital Holdings, Ltd.

Additionally, Fitch has affirmed the ‘A+’ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings of AXIS Capital’s operating subsidiaries. The Rating Outlook is Stable.

The ratings agency said, “Fitch’s ratings reflect AXIS Capital’s solid history of underwriting results, strong capitalization, and conservative investment profile and reserving practices. Offsetting factors include the company’s significant catastrophe exposure.”

AXIS Capital reported net earnings of $495 million in 2012, up significantly from the $9 million reported in 2011. The improvement is largely due to lower catastrophe-related losses during 2012.

Catastrophe losses totaled $436 million pretax and net of reinstatements in 2012, or 12.8 percent of net earned premiums, most of which is attributable to Superstorm Sandy. This compares to $931 million in 2011 or 28.1 percent of net earned premiums.

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