13 May 2015Bermuda analysis

Fitch affirms rating of Black Gold Re

Rating agency Fitch has affirmed the BBB+ insurance financial strength rating of Black Gold Re, the captive of Colombia petroleum company Ecopetrol. The rating has a stable outlook.

Fitch said it had taken into account the full support of its parent Ecopetrol, which has a local-currency Issuer Default Rating of BBB+, due to the strong linkage and strategic importance of the captive company to Ecopetrol.

The rating also reflects a good and stable operating performance, strong capitalization and liquidity levels and adequate reinsurance protection.

BGRe's rating is equalized to its parent's rating, considering that Fitch has categorized this subsidiary as a Core Captive. Ecopetrol's ratings are also linked to the credit profile of the Republic of Colombia, which owns 88.5 percent of the company's total capital.

Fitch said its profitability remained strong and adequate. Despite a surge in retained claims due to adverse events in sabotage and terrorism, claims remain modest against base premiums and net results.