May 15, 2009 / 7:13 AM / in 9 years

Some insurers may not accept TARP funding: KBW

(Reuters) - U.S. life insurers Principal Financial Group, Ameriprise Financial Inc and Prudential Financial Inc, all with a solid capital position, may not accept funds under the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said.

Hartford Financial and Lincoln National Corp may accept TARP funding given their need for additional capital and the cost and difficulty of potential equity raises at their modest valuations, the analysts said.

At least four U.S. insurers won approval on Thursday to raise billions of dollars through the government’s bank bailout plan, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

A Treasury spokesman said Hartford, Prudential, Lincoln National and Principal Financial Group secured a greenlight under the program.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Allstate Corp and Ameriprise Financial Inc had been cleared too.

KBW analysts said Principal Financial and Ameriprise have solid capital positions.

They, however, said “We expect Prudential will not accept TARP, since we see its capital position as solid, but this is a more difficult call, given its dependence on monetizing its Wachovia Securities put option.”

Hartford Financial, the No. 4 U.S. insurer and beset by worries about capital, got preliminary approval to raise $3.4 billion, while Lincoln Financial said it got preliminary approval for $2.5 billion.

The analysts said the amounts available will be large enough to significantly improve the balance sheets of the companies involved.

KBW also raised its estimates and price targets on several insurers to reflect the impact of improved valuations on assumed capital raises.

Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott

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