S&P Afirms Old Republic Title Insurance Group Ratings

October 28, 2002

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services affirmed its double-'A'-minus counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Old Republic National Title Insurance Co., Old Republic General Title Insurance Corp., Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Co., and American Guaranty Title Co., which are members of the Old Republic Title Insurance Group (ORTIG). Standard & Poor's also said the outlook is stable.

"The current low-interest rate environment is generating a high volume of housing refinance and purchase activity that is expected to benefit the company through the end of 2002," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jason Jones. "Results for 2002 are expected to compare favorably relative to the record results in 2001, although the recent extraordinary strength of the housing market is not sustainable in the long run," Jones added.

ORTIG is a unit of Old Republic International Corp. (ORI), a holding company with operating companies in commercial insurance, U.S. residential mortgage insurance, and title insurance. Although ORTIG is the smallest of the major title insurers, it occupies a significant place in the industry. It has been able to grow organically despite consolidation among larger industry players.

Copyright 2002, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services

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North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.