The rating action does not reflect fresh concerns about any further deterioration in the financial strength of AMP, although Standard & Poor's notes that the double -'A'-minus rating on AMP's main operating company remains on negative outlook," Mr.
Despite no longer being viewed by Standard & Poor's as core, NPI, as the entity flagged by AMP as the vehicle for UK new business going forward, is considered a strategically important component of the AMP group, and benefits from rating support up to one notch below the AMP group ratings," said Kate Thomson, associate director, financial services ratings.
Pearl, while remaining a significant and important component of AMP's UK group, is considered less strategic in light of AMP's plan to close Pearl to new business by December 2003, and the recent announcement by AMP that it is splitting its UK operations into mature and contemporary business segments," Ms.
AMP's perpetual preference share issue is guaranteed by AMP's holding company, AMP Group Holdings Ltd.
If the ratings are upgraded, however, the outlook on AMP Group Holdings and AMP Bank will likely be negative, consistent with that on AMP's insurance operating entities.