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Dear Credit Insurance Colleague
Welcome to issue 24 of Credit Insurance News Digest 28 May - 11 June 2013 brought to you by Credit Insurance News. This issue is kindly sponsored by Coface,
a world leading and credit management service provider, facilitating global trade for over 60 years.

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Credit Insurance News
Atradius' scrutiny of Private Equity backed businesses is welcomed. CRN has published an article, 'Credit insurer sounds private equity alarm', which examines Atradius' new private equity underwriting specialism in the wake of 2e2's collapse. Although it did not mention 2e2 by name, Atradius noted that many PE-backed firms are "over-leveraged as a result of aggressive purchasing strategies in 2006 to 2008, at multiples that do not work" – a description that CRN advises fits 2e2 like a glove. Ian Spence, founder of analyst Megabuyte, commented that PE funding structures are often opaque and welcomed any attempt to increase communication between PE firms and insurers. "It would be quite easy for a credit insurer to look at the balance sheet and conclude it's horrible – so more communication to help them understand the sustainability of their numbers can only be a good thing." To view the article on CRN's website go to

Euler Hermes and Sidetrade announce a partnership to offer large corporates a tool to support their commercial and financial performance. Euler Hermes and Sidetrade have announced that they are joining forces with a web application joint receivables management tool that combines the company’s internal parameters with information contained in the Euler Hermes credit insurance policy. Aimed primarily at large corporates, the product will first be launched in France in June and in November in the UK. “Users of this service benefit from enhanced intelligence and responsiveness in their commercial development in France and abroad,” explained Nicolas Delzant, the Chairman of the Executive Board of Euler Hermes France. To view Euler Hermes' news release go to

Surge in Gulf trade credit insurance. The National has published an article, 'Surge in Gulf trade credit insurance', which advises that demand for trade-related credit insurance in the GCC is expected to rise by nearly 40% this year as companies seek to improve their ability to secure finance and cover risks in Europe, Africa and other markets. The forecast comes from Euler Hermes, which is targeting the region as one of its key growth markets for selling trade insurance services alongside the Americas, Asia and Russia. "We have seen huge growth in the credit market in the region and the reason for this is that it's an increased credit risk awareness that has come out from entrepreneurs," said Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of Euler Hermes in the GCC." Euler Hermes experienced 54% growth in its GCC portfolio last year and helps insure about 46% of the Dh20 billion trade credit insurance regional market. To view the full article go to

AIG's William Clark comments on the "long-haul process" for UK exporters looking at BRIC markets. GTR has published an article, 'Rue Britannia', which advises that statistics from before and after 2008 suggest that the UK has failed to change its export profile significantly, leaving it heavily exposed to the slowdown in growth in the Eurozone.
Although overall British trade with the BRICs is up 5% from 2008, over half of the UK’s exports still go to the Eurozone and only 8% going to the BRICs. But, says William Clark head of UK trade credit at AIG, “establishing markets in India, China and Brazil is not easy. It takes time, capital and networks. It’s a long-haul process. British businesses are just as capable as at any point in economic history to export. But they’ll have to broaden their view and export into those markets." To view the full article go to

Atradius urges businesses to look at export. Graydon has published an article, 'Businesses should consider exporting for growth says Atradius', which advises that
although the UKTI says the global economic centre of gravity has shifted towards high growth markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, Atradius' latest country report on the UK shows the US (12.2%), Germany (10.6%) and the Netherlands (7.7%) remain the UK's biggest export markets.  Marc Henstridge, Director of Risk Services for Atradius,  advised: "Export is clearly the way forward. As many developing economies remain in periods of positive growth, we urge businesses not to overlook these markets as an opportunity. By maximising this potential, this time next year we may be able to look back at some more promising results in GDP." To view Graydon's article go to

Latin America’s Credit and Surety Insurance Market set to double in less than 3 years. gtnews has published an article, 'Latin America’s Credit and Surety Insurance Market Grows', which advises that Latin America’s credit and surety insurance market is nearing US$2.5 billion annually according to Credito y Caucion (based on figures by the Pan-American Surety Association (PASA)). Furthermore, this figure is expected to double by the end of 2015, by which time the region will be approaching US market levels according to the association. The US credit and surety insurance market currently totals approximately US$5 billion per year. To view the article go to (Note: a password is required, but free registration is available).

Changes to Euler Hermes' UK and US websites. Euler Hermes has redesigned its UK and US websites to mirror the look of its Group website. Both the UK and US homepages now feature large photos of senior managers: the UK site features Gerard van Kaathoven, CEO of UK and Ireland, and Commercial Director Lukas Neckerman; the US website features Jochen Duemler, CEO and Head of Americas Region. To view the changes go to and

GTR Asia Leaders in Trade 2013 results. GTR has published a list of its latest Asia Leaders in Trade category winners, and we are delighted to note that many of the subscribers to Credit Insurance News Digest are named. Congratulations to Euler Hermes, winner of the award for Best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific, and Ace Global Markets, winner of the award for Best political risk insurer in Asia Pacific. Sinosure, Westpac, JLT and Gallagher Singapore also won their respective categories. A complete list of winners is available at A full write-up will appear in GTR's July/August issue.

Industry Reports
Chinese enterprises report a sharp increase in overdue payments. Coface's recent survey of corporate credit risks management across the Greater China region, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012, has revealed that China and Hong Kong enterprises have reported a sharp increase in overdue payments. 42% and 56% of the Hong Kong and Chinese enterprises surveyed indicated an increase in overdues, while only about 20% and 42% respectively reported the same in 2011. In addition, nearly half the Hong Kong companies surveyed reported that payments overdue for more than six months made up more than 2% of their annual turnover. To view Coface's news release go to

Atradius Economic Outlook May 2013 suggests modest global economic growth in 2013. Atradius has published its latest Economic Outlook which reflects that following a difficult 2012 (2.6% global growth and a 0.5% contraction in the Eurozone), it was hoped that the financial crisis would end in 2013. However, Atradius advises that it has become increasingly clear that the Eurozone will contract again this year – probably by 0.4% - and, in consequence,  it has now scaled back its global growth forecasts to 2.6%: a level supported by Asia (4.8% growth), Latin America (3.4%) and, to a lesser extent, the United States. Atradius also predicts rising insolvencies in 10 out of the 22 markets it tracks. To download a PDF copy of the full report go to An interview with Atradius' Chief Economist John Lorié on the global economy and trade opportunities mid 2013 is also available on YouTube -

Atradius' Payment Practices Barometer reports that payment default rates are rising, negatively impacting the profitability of businesses in Western Europe. The Atradius survey interviewed approximately 3,000 businesses across 14 countries in Western Europe. Overall, approximately 30% of the total value of the invoices issued by survey respondents to their domestic and foreign B2B customers is unpaid at the due date. Payment delays from domestic B2B customers occur most often in Italy (36.8% of average total value of domestic overdue B2B invoices) and from export customers of Swiss respondents (38.7%). Compared to last year, domestic past due B2B invoices decreased slightly (down 1.6%) whereas there was an increase in foreign past due invoices (up 6.7%). France recorded the largest increase (up 14.2%) in the average total value of domestic past due B2B invoices and Turkey in past due foreign invoices (up 194.4%). Overall, nearly 5% of the invoices issued by the survey respondents to domestic and foreign B2B customers are defaulted on (up from nearly 3% last year).To view Atradius' news release with a link to the full report go to

Atradius Collections releases its latest International Debt Collections Handbook. The new 2013 version is the latest update of the handbook which aims to provide export-orientated businesses with systematic and detailed information on foreign debt collections. Two additional countries have been included, Bulgaria and Finland, increasing the number of countries covered to 35. For further information and/or to download a copy go to

Industry Events and Offers
UK Trade & Export Finance Conference, 11 June. Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.
Exporta Group has announced that it will be holding its inaugural UK Trade & Export Finance Conference in the UK on 11 June 2013. Organised with the support of the UK’s leading trade bodies and the country’s leading financial institutions, the purpose of the event is to bring British companies of all sizes together to discuss how best to increase UK export volumes in light of the various economic challenges faced, from stifling austerity measures to the ongoing problems in the Eurozone region. There will also be a special evening networking reception. For more information about the conference go to A 15% discount is available to readers of Credit Insurance News Digest. Please contact Tom Whitehead, head of business development ( for further information.

Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia, 10-12 June. Swissôtel - The Stamford, Singapore.
Following the success of the 2012 launch event, the No 1 industry event for the credit and political risk insurance sector returns to Singapore for 2013, providing a unique opportunity to meet top executives from the region and internationally and hear the very latest industry news. Over 40 industry experts are due to speak at the event including: Leong Sing Chiong, MAS ~ Ashutosh Kumar, Standard Chartered Bank ~ Kevin Lu, MIGA ~ Topi Vesteri, Finnvera ~ Raffy Rios, Marsh ~ Fabrice Desnos, Euler Hermes ~ Chris Shortell, AIG ~ Ross Jennings, Cargill and many more. For the latest brochure or to register, please visit: quoting VIP code: FKW52562CIN for a 10% discount.

Coface Country Risk Conference, 13 June. British Library, London.
Coface UK has announced that its free biennial Country Risk Conference will be held on Thursday 13 June, from 9am to 2pm at the British Library, London. Frédéric Bourgeois, Managing Director of Coface in the UK and Ireland advised: “This year, we have secured an excellent line-up of speakers to talk about the economic trends in the UK and its key markets around the globe, including David Smith, Economics Editor of the Sunday Times who will give the keynote address about the prospects for UK industry. Later, Bruno Weymuller, former Head of Strategy at an oil major, will discuss developments in the energy sector and the implications for industry." Places are limited but those who wish to attend should click here.

Trade Credit Insurance Summit,  23-25 September, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai.
IIR has announced that the Middle East's inaugural Trade Credit Insurance Summit is to be held on 23-25 September in Dubai. The two day conference will present a rare 360 degree perspective on the growth of this dynamic sector across the region from all stakeholders including C Level Corporate Executives, Government Representatives, ECAs, Multilaterals and Ex-Im Banks, Financiers, Trade Credit Insurers, Re-Insurers, Brokers, Lawyers, Credit Information Agencies, Consultants etc. The conference will include: an analysis of the role of trade credit insurance in the larger global trade landscape, an exploration of contrasting models of export credit agencies and their role in increasing intra-regional trade and a discussion of best practice in leveraging trade credit insurance for accessing trade finance, securing geographic business growth and increasing working capital. For more information go to

For more events and offers please take a look at our new Events page.

Business Information: Recommended Reports and Business Shorts
€350 billion in bad debt written off by European businesses. Intrum Justitia’s ninth annual EPI survey (European Payment Index), in which almost 10,000 businesses responded to questions about payment patterns, has shown that only four out of the 31 countries surveyed have seen their share of bad debt losses decrease – all of them Nordic countries. Well over half of the European countries surveyed show increased payment risks and as much as a third of countries are seen as having an emergency risk profile. In addition, the level of receivables having to be written off due to default on payment rose by 7% and corresponded to 3% of all outstanding receivables among European businesses. In total, receivables for €350 billion were written off. To view Intrum Justitia's news release go to

One in five shops will close by 2018. The Centre for Retail Research has published its latest analysis of how UK retailing will have changed by 2018. Retail Futures 2018 forecasts that by 2018 total store numbers will fall by 22%, from 281,930 today to 220,000 in 2018 and there will be a further 164 major or medium-sized companies going into administration, involving the loss of 22,600 stores and 140,000 employees. Overall, around 41% of town centres will lose 27,638 stores in the next five years. To view the full report go to

Subdued growth: update on the UK Economy. Recent official data indicates that GDP growth in Q1 2013 was +0.3%, driven mainly by services. However, business investment fell by 0.4% on the quarter, exports of goods and services volumes fell 0.8% and imports fell by 0.5%. John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) commented: “As things stand, the economy is likely to remain subdued for some time, although we do expect slow and steady growth to continue throughout 2013." To view the BCC's news release go to,-says-bcc.html#.UZ44xcqO7Zg.
The IMF's latest survey also paints a similar picture, advising that although the UK economy is showing some signs of growth, it is still far from showing strong, sustainable recovery and, to avoid long-term damage, needs to make the transition to a high-investment and more export-oriented economy. To view the IMF's news release go to

36% of Irish businesses expect that over a quarter of their sales will not be paid on time. InterTradeIreland’s latest quarterly Business Monitor has indicated that 36% of businesses in Northern Ireland and Ireland expect that over a quarter of their sales will not be paid on time. Furthermore, over half (53%) of businesses have some debtors of over 90 days. As only 4% of businesses give 90 days credit, the Business Monitor advises that this means that many firms are spending time chasing payments to avoid an impact on cashflow. To view the news release with a link to an Executive Summary of findings go to,17597,en.php.

30% of UK construction firms at risk of failure in the next 12 months. R3 has advised that the fall in construction output in Q1 2013 (2.4% lower than Q4 2012 and 6.5% lower than Q1 2013) is a continuation of a downward trend. Additional research by R3 also shows close to a third (30%) of construction firms across the UK are at risk of failure in the next 12 months, compared to 24% of businesses at risk across all sectors. In such an environment, issues such as late payment become critical. "Any delay could push a sub-contractor into a downward spiral" comnmented Lee Manning, former President of R3. To view R3's news release go to

BCC survey shows that the number of member businesses that are actively exporting has risen by 7% to 39% in one year. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a major international trade survey, looking at how many UK companies are currently exporting and the barriers they face in penetrating new growth markets. The survey of nearly 4,700 respondents shows that the number of member businesses that are actively exporting has risen from 32% in 2012 to 39% in 2013, and that the EU is still the most popular market. However, many businesses are now recognising the changing dynamics of the global economy, with more companies targeting the fast-growing economies of the UAE and India to try and increase their export sales. To view the BCC's press release and to download the survey go to

The UK High Street: Who's UP/Who's DOWN
UP: Alliance Boots, Europe's largest pharmacy chain, has reported that although group sales decreased by 2.6% to £22.4 billion in the year to 31 March, underlying profit after tax performed strongly - rising by nearly 13% to £805 million. The group's executive chairman, Stefano Pessina, called the year 'transformational', advising that Alliance Boot's new (from August 2012) partnership with US chain Walgreens has helped strengthen its position and prospects. Walgreens now owns 45% of Alliance Boots, with the option to fully take over in 2015.
UP: Aldi. According to Kantar Wordpanel, sales at Aldi grew by a remarkable 31.1% in the 12 weeks to 12 May and the budget supermarket now has a record 3.4% share of the UK market  - up from 2.8% a year ago. This suggests that the UK grocery market is becoming increasingly polarised, with luxury retailer Waitrose and budget Aldi performing far more strongly than Tesco and Morrisons. Aldi is currently opening new outlets at the rate of two a month.
UP: Dixons has reported a notable boost in sales following the collapse Comet, Jessops and HMV - its former high street rivals. In the year to 30 April, multi-channel businesses (UK & Ireland, Northern and Southern Europe) saw like-for-like sales up 7%, with UK & Ireland recording a 13% increase. Despite particularly poor trading at Pixmania, the group's European online operation, Dixons now estimates that the group's full year underlying profit before tax will be at the top end of market expectations of £75 million - £85 million.
UP: House of Fraser has announced that for the year to end January, its like-for-like sales rose by 3.3% to £1.2 billion and gross profit increased by 4.3% to £403.8 million. Sales growth was driven by online sales which performed particularly strongly - increasing by 53% - which now account for 10.9% of total sales. Looking ahead, 2013 also looks positive for the retailer, with a like-for-like sales increase of 4.8% already reported for the 13 weeks to 27 April. Speculation is now growing that House of Fraser may in receipt of a £300 million bid from the Qatari Royal Family (owners of Harrods).
UP: Burberry, the UK fashion brand, has reported that for the year ended 31 March 2013, it achieved a large than expected 14% rise in pre-tax profits to £428 million and an 8% increase in revenue up to £2 billion. Revenue growth of 20% in China was especially notable, and the group plans to further its expansion in both China and Latin America in the next year. While reported profit before tax was down 4% to £351 million, this was due to one-off fragrance licence relationship termination costs of over £82 million.
Turnaround Plan: Halfords. Following a substantial 24.5% drop in annual pre-tax profits to £71 million and almost flat total group revenue of £871.3 million (up 1%) for the year to end-March, Halfords has announced a new three-year plan. 'Getting Into Gear 2016’, will include major improvements in store environments, staff-training and digital capabilities, and aims - after a short-term impact on profitability, to realise sales of £1 billion by 2016.
FOUR-YEAR LOW: Marks & Spencer has disappointed city forecasts and reported 6% fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £665 million for the year to 30 March - its worst result for four years. Although overall group sales rose by 1.3% to £10 billion, with a noteworthy 1.7% increase in food sales (outperforming some of the big supermarkets), sales of general merchandise (primarily clothing) fell by 4.1% and like-for-like UK sales fell by 1%. In a radio interview, chief executive Mark Bolland admitted that the retailer had to improve the quality of its clothing.

Career Opportunities and New Appointments
Trade Credit Broker, London. Six figure package.
A well known and well reputed London market team focusing on the larger clients both nationally and internationally are seeking a capable Client Director/Broker to both XoL/WTO/Single Situation Credit Risks into the market whilst managing and developing the client relationship. In addition, you will seek to increase the brokerage through client referrals and networking. Contact Kerren Leach at or call 0207 2204777 or 07940 403046 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest.

Head of Trade Credit Division- UK. Salary £65,000-£75,000 with excellent bonus and benefits.
A leading independent brokerage with national presence is currently recruiting a Head of Trade Credit. The jobholder will manage a team of 11 home based Brokers and Developers and will have management responsibility for the profitable handling and growth of client accounts through the delivery of overall client relationship management strategy and the acquisition of new clients. Requirements include:  an in-depth knowledge of the industry sector, excellent communication skills, an ability to identify issues and take relevant action and leadership skills. To apply or for more information call Jane Hearn in complete confidence on 01243 576717 or email (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Chief Credit Officer, UK/European Base, Six Figure basic and bonus.
This highly respected credit insurer, who have grown well in the last few years despite tough trading conditions, are seeking a highly experienced Risk professional to sit on their Senior Management Team. The role will be responsible for setting risk strategy, overseeing the Underwriting Committee, recruiting and assigning authority levels to Risk Underwriters on a pan-European basis, as well as various other duties. Due to the highly joined up nature of the business you could be based from London or major European capitals. This is a highly strategic role and requires someone who can take a big picture approach whilst maintaining a hand on attitude. Contact Kerren Leach at or call 0207 2204777 or 07940 403046 for a confidential discussion. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Business Development Executive, Dublin. Attractive remuneration package.
Our client is an international financial services organisation with a specialist focus on the provision of credit insurance solutions. An exceptional opportunity has emerged for a talented professional with specialist credit insurance expertise to assume the role of Business Development Executive for its Irish presence. Requirements include: relevant academic and/or professional qualifications essential, sound technical understanding of credit insurance products and markets, strong presentation, negotiation and sales capacity essential. For a highly confidential discussion please contact Pat O'Donnell, Head of Executive Search & Advisory on +353(0)1 7038888 or email (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Business Development Executive, South East. (Ref: #235118-mh1601), Salary £30,000-£35,000 Basic with OTE £50,000.
One of the world's leading credit insurance providers is recruiting for a Business Development Executive. A purely new business position, the new sales consultant will be expected to develop new business contacts with a range of SME clients, dealing primarily with MD's, FD's and Commercial Directors. You will receive a full company induction and training course and will benefit from an uncapped commission scheme, fully expensed company car, pension, and other benefits. Applicants must have the following skills: field sales experience, proven new business sales track record (ideally in financial services, insurance, banking or business information), a stable work history and the ability to self-generate leads. For more information or to apply go to Alternatively contact Jay Rehncy on 01784414728. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

Trade Finance Credit Analyst (Ref: 3757), London. 6 month contract, £27 per hour.
This prestigious commercial bank urgently requires the services and expertise of a Trade Finance credit professional with specific understanding of Credit Insurance business. You will take responsibility for the general administration of the middle office function from a credit perspective, dealing with waivers and amendments of credit insurance policies and the review of counterparty credit standing. You must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of financial statements; balance sheet, profit and loss, income and expenditure. For more information go to or contact Ian Wheal at or call 0203 4259650. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).

New Appointments
Atradius names new CFO and CIOO. Atradius has announced that Claus Gramlich-Eicher and Dominique Charpentier will be its news CFO and CIOO respectively. As Atradius’ CFO, Claus Gramlich-Eicher, (48), takes responsibility for Finance, Financial Control and Corporate Finance. He will be based in Amsterdam. Mr Gramlich-Eicher has worked for Allianz since 1993. Dominique Charpentier, (62), has been with Atradius since 2002. He will be responsible for Instalment Credit Protection, Bonding, Collections, Atradius Re and ITS. Over his 11 years with Atradius, Mr Charpentier has served as Managing Director of ICP, Bonding and Italy and before its sale in 2005 Atradius Factoring. He will also be based in Amsterdam. To view Atradius' news release go to

About this week's sponsor: Coface – for safer trade
Coface’s mission is to advise, guide and protect companies to enable their development in a safer environment. In fulfilling this role, Coface makes use of key financial data for identifying and understanding particular risks, providing suitable insurance cover and lastly, paying out claims. However, Coface believes that anticipating and preventing the risk of non-payment in the first place is key; helping clients every day to take the right decisions to avoid making claims.

Coface has been supporting the development of trade since 1946 and is now a worldwide leader in domestic and export credit insurance with 35,000 clients. Our 350 risk underwriters and 4,400 employees provide a local service around the world. Rated by Fitch and Moody’s, Coface offers financial strength, stability and peace of mind.*

Coface operates out of several locations in the United Kingdom and from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, therefore ensuring that expert credit management advice and support is readily available to businesses locally.

*For the up-to-date ratings please check our website at

Credit Insurance News Digests: Sponsorship
Sponsoring an issue of Credit Insurance News Digest is a great way to promote your company or brand to a committed audience of trade credit insurance professionals.
If you are interested in sponsoring an issue go to for further information.

The next Credit Insurance News Digest will be in your mailbox on Tuesday 11 June. Have a great two weeks!
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