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S&P REAFFIRMS CONNIE LEE'S AAA RATING

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- Standard & Poor's Corporati on (S&P) again awarded its highest rating, AAA, to Connie Lee Insurance Company. Today's issue of S&P's Creditweek cites the specialty bond insurer for its conservative underwriting criteria, capital adequacy, management strength and positive financial performance.
 Connie Lee was authorized by Congress to insure and reinsure higher education and education-related healthcare bonds. S&P in its analysis notes that Connie Lee has "successfully developed a well- diversified investment-grade portfolio." This has been accomplished "through sound underwriting and senior management expertise," S&P reports.
 In a test of capital adequacy, Connie Lee not only passed S&P's worst-case depression scenario but also showed "significant improvement in (its) capital adequacy margin of safety." S&P further states that Connie Lee's financial flexibility is enhanced by the absence of any holding company debt and a policy that allows "all the earnings to be retained for growth." The rating agency also noted Connie Lee's "low reliance on soft capital."
 The company's strong operating performance was another positive factor cited in Creditweek. "Connie Lee recorded impressive gains" in earnings, the report states, "maintaining a positive trend." The company's investment portfolio consists of "high quality fixed-income securities."
 Referring to Connie Lee's congressionally mandated mission, S&P notes: "(The company's) goal is to facilitate access to cost- effective capital to the broadest spectrum of higher education institutions. ... By specializing in education and teaching hospital financing, the company believes its specialized underwriting expertise will provide added value to issuers within their prescribed market."
 Connie Lee is the only financial guarantor that is dedicated to guaranteeing bonds issued by colleges, universities and teaching hospitals. The company's investors include the U.S. Department of Education and a consortium of major private financial institutions. At present, Connie Lee has more than $5 billion of insurance in force.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~NOTE: A complete copy of S&P's Creditweek report may be obtained from Jennifer Sauerland, 202-728-3444~
 ~CONTACT: Irene E. Lombardo of Connie Lee, 202-728-3447~


CO: Connie Lee Insurance Company ST: District of Columbia IN: INS SU:

TW -- DC007 -- 1760 11~17~92 10:41 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1992
Words:354
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