Standard & Poor's has assigned its 'AA' long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings to Switzerland-based Solen Versicherungen AG (SVAG), a wholly owned captive insurer of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies. The outlook is stable.

"SVAG qualifies as a captive insurer under Standard & Poor's rating criteria and, as such, is rated at the same level as Shell," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jelena Bjelanovic.

Stand-alone characteristics include SVAG's extremely strong capitalization, very strong underwriting performance, and comprehensive reinsurance program.

The stable outlook on SVAG reflects the stable outlook on Shell. The ratings on Shell will determine the ratings on SVAG for as long as SVAG continues to qualify as a captive insurer under Standard & Poor's rating criteria. On a stand-alone basis, risk-adjusted capitalization is expected to remain at an extremely strong level for the foreseeable future. Underwriting performance is expected to remain broadly stable, given the nature of the reinsurance program in place.