Jan 18 Assured Guaranty said it plans to
launch a new municipal-only financial guaranty insurer that will
not carry a Moody's rating, a day after the rating agency
downgraded the bond insurer.
The company, however, did not disclose the size of the new
insurer, which it intends to launch this year, or the capital
that it plans to invest.
Moody's downgraded the Insurance Financial Strength (IFS)
rating of the company and its subsidiaries on Thursday.
The credit rating agency placed Assured Guaranty and its
units under review last March.
"We strongly disagree with Moody's assignment of an A2
rating to Assured Guaranty Municipal," Chief Executive Dominic
Frederico said in a statement.
"Moody's ratings now appear to be determined by unsupported
qualitative factors and assumptions about future product demand,
future profitability and future stock price."
The bond insurer's board also authorized a $200 million
share repurchase program.
Assured Guaranty shares, which fell more than 4 percent in
early trading on the downgrade, closed up about 3 percent on the
New York Stock Exchange on Friday.