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Late last year, S&P proposed changing for the first time in more than a decade how it measures the creditworthiness of insurance companies. The new method would put more weight on the bonds within a firm’s investment portfolio and rank bonds rated exclusively by its competitors as less creditworthy. In some cases, that would demote the bonds to junk status — or beneath investment grade. (Credit: Tashatuvango/Adobe Stock) Late last year, S&P proposed changing for the first time in more than a decade how it measures the creditworthiness of insurance companies. The new method would put more weight on the bonds within a firm’s investment portfolio and rank bonds rated exclusively by its competitors as less creditworthy. In some cases, that would demote the bonds to junk status — or beneath investment grade. (Credit: Tashatuvango/Adobe Stock)

(Bloomberg) — S&P Global Inc. should “carefully consider” a proposed tweak to how it assesses the creditworthiness of bonds owned by insurance companies, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said, warning that such a change “could raise significant concerns” under U.S. antitrust law.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division said in a letter dated last Friday that a proposed methodology change by S&P — the world’s largest credit ratings company — could raise barriers for its rivals. The changes could end up hurting the credit grades of insurance companies that invest in bonds that aren’t rated by S&P.

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