Scoop Audio: Bill English On Government Backing For AMI
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Finance Minister Bill English today announced a "back up" financial support package for AMI insurance. It is not certain that AMI can pay claims arising from the Christchurch earthquake.
The package allows the Government, if called on, to invest up to $500 million in the company. It can at any time use $100 million to take control of the company. Mr English said this would not be a "bailout", as AMI is a mutual company effectively owned by its policyholders.
The guarantee is intended to allow AMI to continue trading and seek other support on the market, and would be activated only as a "last resort".
Estimates of AMI's current unsupported liability range from zero to one billion dollars, Mr English said.
A support letter provided by the Government earlier in the month may have prevented a significant downgrading of AMI's credit rating.
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