Tighter investment spreads at life insurance companies have driven UBS Investment Research to change its credit rating on the sectors bonds from "market perform" to "underweight." The primary reason for this change is that life insurers bonds are trading right around their market value.
"During normal times, we have generally seen fair value for life insurers being five to 10 basis points wider than similarly rated banks. At this point, benchmark insurance credits are trading at or through banks," according to UBSs July 23 credit policy report.
Furthermore, the raft of earnings announcements from insurers will spur activity by analysts. The report says, "As we wade through the barrage of earnings announcements and outlooks we expect to reassess the individual recommendations of companies under our coverage."