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A.M. BEST LOWERS TRAVELERS LIFE/HEALTH RATING

 OLDWICK, N.J., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective today A.M. Best has lowered The Travelers Insurance Company's Best's Rating from "A" (Excellent) to "A-" (Excellent). This rating action reflects the level of under performing commercial mortgage loans and real estate investments held by the company, which remain high by industry standards, and the resulting impact these investments will have on statutory earnings performance over the near term.
 "The Travelers Insurance Company continues to maintain excellent financial strength due to the support of The Travelers Corporation's capital raising efforts, the quality and liquidity of its securities portfolio, as well as its strong position in the individual life and employee benefit markets," said Larry G. Mayewski, vice president of Best's Life/Health Division.
 Capital raising initiatives during 1992 included the issuance of $300 million of privately placed senior notes in March and $375 million of preferred stock in June. Of the total proceeds, $300 million has been infused by The Travelers Corporation into The Travelers Insurance Company.
 Also included among its efforts to increase the capital base and improve the financial flexibility of the corporation was the announcement on September 20, 1992 by Travelers and Primerica Corporation of a strategic alliance whereby Primerica would purchase 38 million shares (27 percent ownership) of The Travelers Corporation. Under terms of the $722.5 million agreement, Travelers will receive $550 million in cash, 50 percent equity in Gulf Insurance Company and the Transport Life/Voyager Group preferred provider and third party administrator networks.
 In addition to its capital raising initiatives during the year, The Travelers Corporation has pursued a restructuring program which is expected to significantly reduce expenses and further strengthen the capitalization of its insurance units.
 The Travelers Insurance Company's real estate portfolio is managed by experienced real estate professionals who have developed legal, financial, and strategic plans for each asset. "While we believe the commercial real estate market will remain depressed and continue to pressure Travelers Insurance Company's earnings over the near term, the aggressive management of its real estate holdings combined with its planned expense savings and capital raising efforts will provide adequate support for future asset write-downs and enhance the Travelers Insurance Company's financial flexibility to expand its core operations," said Mayewski.
 As a strategic subsidiary of The Travelers Insurance Company, The Travelers Life and Annuity Company has also been lowered from "A" (Excellent) to "A-" (Excellent), effective Dec. 21, 1992.
 -0- 12/21/92
 /CONTACT: Christina Stein of A.M. Best Company, public relation, 908-439-2200, ext. 5642/


CO: A.M. Best; The Travelers Insurance Company ST: New Jersey, Connecticut IN: INS SU: RTG

TS -- NY008 -- 8618 12/21/92 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 21, 1992
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