Niche Focus

Dec 15, 2010 (LBO) – RAM Ratings Lanka has upgraded Co-operative Insurance Company Limited’s (CICL) claims-paying ability rating to BB+ from BB with a stable outlook, a statement said. “The upgrade is reflective of the company’s strengthened capitalisation and improving financial performance,” the rating agency said.

“Moreover, the rating is supported by CICL’s niche focus that insulates it from competition to some extent, and its extensive branch network.

“Nevertheless, the rating is moderated by the company’s small size and foothold in the market.”

CICL entered insurance in 1999, primarily catering to the rural masses. The company works on a mutual insurance concept, whereby the owners and policy holders are the co-operative societies themselves.

This gives CICL the opportunity to leverage on the co-operative societies’ wide branch network, allowing it better access to its target market.

“Despite the harsh economic climate, CICL had increased its composite market share to 1.30 percent as at end-December 2009, underscored by the company’s widely dispersed branch network,” RAM Ratings said.

“We also note that CICL had leveraged on the wea