January 3, 2018 / 5:27 PM / 20 days ago

Fitch Rates Athene's Senior Notes 'BBB-'

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) CHICAGO, January 03 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BBB-' rating to the issuance of senior unsecured notes by Athene Holding Ltd. (Athene). The existing ratings of Athene and its affiliates are unaffected by today's rating action. Fitch last affirmed the ratings of Athene and its insurance operating subsidiaries on Dec. 21, 2017. KEY RATING DRIVERS The notes have been assigned a rating one notch below Athene's Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR), which reflects standard notching based on Fitch's rating criteria. Athene previously had no debt outstanding, but Fitch's current ratings on the company incorporate an expectation that the company would issue debt in the future and eventually maintain a run-rate financial leverage ratio of approximately 20%. The vast majority of the proceeds from the issuance are expected to be contributed to Athene's operating subsidiaries to support the block reinsurance transaction involving Voya Insurance and Annuity Company announced on Dec. 21, 2017. RATING SENSITIVITIES Key rating sensitivities that could result in a rating upgrade include: --Further improvement in business profile driven by continued progress on diversification and clarity around implementation of new Department of Labor rules governing the sale of fixed-indexed annuities; --Maintenance of current capitalization metrics, including a Prism score of 'Very Strong'; --Maintain current level of operating performance. Key rating sensitivities that could result in a ratings downgrade include: --Large acquisitions that are either outside of Athene's historical risk preference and expertise or add significantly to the company's operating or financial leverage; --Significant changes in asset allocation, which may include an increase in limited partnership exposure to over 15% or a large increase in below investment-grade exposure; --Deterioration in Athene's operating performance, resulting in an ROE below 9%; --Prism score below 'Very Strong'. FULL LIST OF RATING ACTIONS Fitch has assigned the following rating: Athene Holding Ltd. --Senior unsecured notes 'BBB-'. Fitch currently rates Athene Holdings Ltd. as follows: --Issuer Default Rating 'BBB'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. Contact: Primary Analyst Bradley S. Ellis, CFA Director +1-312-368-2089 Fitch Ratings, Inc. 70 W. Madison Street Chicago, IL 60602 Secondary Analyst Douglas L. Meyer, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-2061 Committee Chairperson Julie A Burke, CPA, CFA Managing Director +1-312-368-3158 Media Relations: Sandro Scenga, New York, Tel: +1 212-908-0278, Email: sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com Applicable Criteria Insurance Rating Criteria (pub. 30 Nov 2017) here Additional Disclosures Dodd-Frank Rating Information Disclosure Form here Solicitation Status here#solicitation Endorsement Policy here ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA, AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. 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