S&P AFFIRMS "BBB+' OF AMERICAN SKANDIA

S&P AFFIRMS "BBB+' OF AMERICAN SKANDIA

Standard & Poor's has affirmed its "BBB+" rating on the claims-paying ability of American Skandia Life Assurance Corp.

S&P said this reflects Skandia's low-risk product mix as a writer of principally separate accounts, as well as its continued strong support, both implicit and explicit, from its ultimate parent, Skandia Insurance Co. Ltd.Offsetting these strengths, S&P said, are the company's narrow product focus and weak operating results.

American Skandia Life Assurance writes almost all of its business through separate accounts where the policyholder bears the market risk, not the company.

The company has posted only one year of statutory profit, 1993, since its inception in 1988. Continued losses have been the result mainly of the statutory strain on writing increased volumes of business, and of the reserves needed to comply with Connecticut regulators.