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Rating Agency Warns About Hidden Bond Losses

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NU Online News Service, March 12, 2003, 10:27 a.m. EST – Moody’s Investors Service, New York, says U.S. life insurers may be having more trouble with bond portfolio losses than they have acknowledged.

Many U.S. life insurers have recognized big losses on bad bonds in recent months.

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But “some insurers have been unusually slow in recognizing losses as they have occurred,” Moody’s says in an announcement of a report about U.S. life insurers’ bond portfolios.

The current variations in the practices insurers follow when deciding how to recognize bond losses are big enough to hurt investors’ ability to compare insurers’ reported financial results, Moody’s warns.