Chicago — Fitch Ratings sees equity market performance 2008 as having a dramatic impact on U.S. life insurers active in the variable annuity market. Persistent adverse market conditions will pressure life insurer's earnings and risk-based capital levels for the balance of 2008 and into 2009. The industry ability to manage this growing risk exposure represents one of the most significant risk management challenges confronting U.S. life insurers, the New York-based rating agency says.

Fitch's Special Report, “2008 Financial Turmoil Increases Variable Annuity Risk,” summarizes Fitch's views on the variable annuity market, including a summary of current market trends, an examination of the key risks, and an assessment of capital needed to support the variable annuity business given recent market performance.

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