Asset Guaranty Insurance Co., already a specialty monoline bond insurer, this week carved a new niche for itself in the industry with a AA rating from Standard & Poor's Corp.

The firm, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enhance Financial Services Group, is now the only financial guarantor with a rating lower than triple-A. Asset Guaranty acts as both a reinsurer and insurer in the traditional municipal market and in other credit-related lines of business.

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