Hartford Drops Its Capital Margin Estimate by $1.5 Billion

By Alyn Ackermann, senior associate editor
A.M. Best Wire Service
November 03, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn., Nov 03, 2008 (A. M. Best via COMTEX) -- Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) dropped its capital margin estimate by $1.5 billion in response to equity market volatility.

The company will have a $2 billion capital margin at year end, it said in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had estimated a $3.5 billion capital margin after Allianz Societes Europaea (Germany) agreed to provide a $2.5 billion capital investment in October. Hartford Financial posted a net loss of $2.6 billion during the third quarter (BestWire, Oct. 30, 2008).

Hartford is ?financially strong and well capitalized," Chief Executive Officer Ramani Ayer said in a statement.

Members of the Hartford Insurance Group currently have a Best's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior), under review with negative implications. A.M. Best Co. is evaluating the ultimate impact of the Allianz investment and the significant realized and unrealized investment losses and other charges incurred through the third quarter of 2008, which are heavily weighted to the life operations, as well as the risks associated with continued market dislocation and increased financial leverage, on the ratings of Hartford and its insurance subsidiaries.

In afternoon trading on Nov. 3, shares of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. were selling at $15.06, up 46.61% from the previous close.

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