Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings April 15 on ACE Capital Title Reinsurance Co. from AA to A-plus and then withdrew the ratings.The actions followed the filing of a Form S-1 registration statement in which Assured Guaranty Re Overseas Ltd. said it would transfer 100% of the stock ownership of ACE Capital to ACE Bermuda Insurance Ltd. in exchange for a promissory note of about $39.5 million that will be payable on completion of AGRO's initial public offering, according to the rating agency. S&P said ACE Capital "is effectively in run-off, though a marginal amount (about $5 million) of business will be written in 2004 under existing treaties." ACE Capital previously ceded part of its title business to Assured Guaranty Re International Ltd., and "AGRI in turn reinsured $100 million of limit in excess of $95 million to ACE Bermuda," S&P reported. In connection with the IPO, AGRI's reinsurance with ACE Bermuda will be terminated and ACE Capital's title business will be reinsured directly by ACE Bermuda, the rating agency said. S&P can be found online at http://www.standardandpoors.com.

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