December 17, 2012 / 7:58 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT - Fitch may cut Sun Life Financial Inc ratings

Dec 17 - Fitch Ratings has placed the 'A-' Insurer Financial Strength (IFS)
ratings of Sun Life Financial Inc.'s (TSE, NYSE: SLF) U.S. life insurance
subsidiaries on Rating Watch Negative. A complete list of ratings follows at the
end of this release. 

Today's rating action follows SLF's announcement that it reached a definitive 
agreement to sell Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.) and Sun Life 
Insurance & Annuity Co. of New York to Delaware Life Holdings, a company owned 
by shareholders of Guggenheim Partners. The sale will represent a complete 
transfer of U.S. variable annuity risk for SLF, since this business is contained
in a separate legal entity. Other businesses being sold include fixed annuity 
and fixed indexed annuity products, corporate and bank-owned life insurance 
products and variable life insurance products.

In January 2012, Fitch had downgraded the U.S. life subsidiaries 3 notches 
following SLF's announcement that it was exiting the U.S. variable annuity and 
individual insurance markets. At that time, Fitch viewed the subsidiaries as 
having Limited Importance from a strategic perspective. On a stand-alone basis, 
Fitch believed the ratings were in the 'BBB' category but the companies 
continued to benefit from SLF's ownership. 

Resolution of the Rating Watch will occur following further discussions with 
management and completion of the sale and will likely result in a downgrade of 
the IFS ratings by at least one notch.

Fitch has placed the following ratings on Rating Watch Negative: 

Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (U.S.)

--IFS ratings at 'A-'. 

Sun Life Insurance & Annuity Co. of NY

--IFS ratings at 'A-'.

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