NU Online News Service, Dec. 23, 2003, 5:35 p.m. EST – U.S. life insurers ended 2002 with only $1.6 billion in exposure to investments in Parmalat Finanziaria Societa per Azioni, Collecchio, Parma, Italy, according to Moody’s Investors Service, New York.[@@]

A total of 27 insurance groups rated by Moody’s held securities issued by the troubled milk and food company, but exposure at most of those groups was minimal, Moody’s says.

The one exception was AFLAC Inc., Columbus, Ohio, which had $384 million in Parmalat exposure. AFLAC’s Parmalat stake amounted to 1.1% of its invested assets and 17% of its statutory capital, Moody’s says.

AFLAC announced earlier this month that it expects to realize $257 million in investment losses as a result of the sale of its Parmalat securities. AFLAC emphasized that its finances will continue to be strong after it realizes the losses, and rating agencies have maintained their current AFLAC ratings.