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S&P's removes Generali from negative credit watch, affirms rating

A view of Generali headquarters in Rome April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A view of Generali headquarters in Rome April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

MILAN (Reuters) - U.S. rating agency Standard & Poor's has removed Generali from its Credit Watch list, saying Italy's biggest insurer would not exhaust its regulatory capital even if its home country were to default on its debt.

In a statement, the rating agency said it affirmed Generali's rating at A-, two notches above Italy's sovereign rating, with a negative outlook.

Back in November, Generali had reacted angrily at Standard & Poor's threat to downgrade it due to its sovereign exposure, a move which Generali's CEO Mario Greco had called "a gross mistake". The threat was based on a preliminary assessment of S&P's own stress test of a number of insurers.

"This is a substantial achievement for Generali and the clearest possible signal of the inherent strength of the group," Greco said in a statement on Tuesday.

Generali, which has around 500 billion euros of assets, held 54.8 billion euros of Italian government bonds at the end of 2013.

(Reporting by Lisa Jucca and Silvia Aloisi, editing by Louise Heavens)

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