While Brazilian insurance regulators continue to predict high market growth rates through the end of 2010, Moodys recently sounded a note of caution as to the Argentinean insurance market.

Armando Verglio, head of Brazilian insurance regulator SUSEP, has reportedly predicted that Brazil’s insurance market will experience annual growth of 20% in 2009, but warned of a “potential for deceleration.” Citing unemployment below 8% and productivity gains as the basis for his optimism, Mr. Verglio reportedly stated that “I believe the insurance market will continue growing well above the average [GDP] growth.”

Mr. Verglio’s reported predictions are not entirely consistent with SUSEP’s official projections released earlier this month, which projected annual growth rates for insurance premiums and private pension contributions at 17.6% for 2008, 16.2% for 2009 and 11.4% for 2010.
As to Argentina, although average insurance market growth has topped 12.8% over the last four years and insurance penetration remains relatively low, Moody’s recently expressed concern that Argentina’s high sovereign risk and poor operating environment may negatively impact insurance companies operating in the country.