|Dear Credit Insurance Colleague
Welcome to issue 25 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 11 June 2013, brought to you by Credit Insurance News. This issue is kindly sponsored by InfolinkGazette.
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Credit Insurance News
Credit insurance insured exposure at an all-time high. The International Credit Insurance and Surety Association (ICISA) has advised that its latest figures for 2012 show an increase in the number of companies using trade credit insurance and surety bonds. For the trade credit insurance industry alone insured exposure increased by 4.4% to €1.92 trillion (2011: €1.84 trillion), premium increased by 3% to €6.14 billion (2011: €5.96 billion) and claims paid to clients increased by 12% to €2.93 billion (2011: €2.62 billion). Andreas Tesch, Vice-President of ICISA commented: “ICISA trade credit insurance members paid out almost three Billion Euros in claims to clients over 2012. This demonstrates the soundness and financial flexibility of the industry." To view ICISA's detailed figures go to http://www.icisa.org/press-releases/files_content/ICISA%20-%20PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20Industry%20Results%20-%20AGM%202013.pdf.
Coface launches its new corporate website. Following the rollout earlier this year of its new visual identity, Coface has announced that its coface.com website has now undergone a complete overhaul in both design and content - including logotype, typography, range of colours, navigation and layout. Jean-Marc Pillu, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Our new corporate website reflects the singularity and modernisation of the Group . . . It is also an efficient tool developed to help our clients to take the best decisions at the best possible moment, whether concerning risk assessment or risk cover." To view the new look go to www.coface.com or to view Coface's news release announcing the re-design go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Coface-launches-its-new-corporate-website-a-tool-to-help-companies-prevent-commercial-risks-and-protect-their-transactions.
Coface reports that defaults in Eastern Europe are accelerating at a very high rate. Coface has published a news release, 'Victims of sluggish growth, businesses in Central Europe will not emerge from the crisis in 2013', which advises that Central European companies are very vulnerable. Insolvencies rose sharply in nearly all of the countries in this region, and in much larger proportions than in Western Europe, from +7% in Slovakia to +27% in the Czech Republic in 2012. The highest concentration of insolvencies were observed in the construction and retail sectors (30% and 23% of the total respectively). For 2013, Coface expects continued upward movement of insolvencies - with a notable 29% increase forecast for Poland. To view Coface's news release go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Victims-of-sluggish-growth-businesses-in-Central-Europe-will-not-emerge-from-the-crisis-in-2013.
Note: Coface's Yves Zlotowski will be covering this subject in more detail during Coface's forthcoming Country Risk Conference on Thursday 13 June. See below for details.
Credit insurers criticised for being wary of certain sectors. At a recent meeting of the London Hardwood Club, delegates discussed the impact that the recession has had on credit insurers and, during a lively debate, criticised the industry for becoming wary of certain sectors - including the construction industry. Furthermore, while the importance of credit insurance was clearly shown to be understood and appreciated, some concern was expressed at the perceived value of credit insurance against a comparison of costs and the frequency of claims. To view the full article go to http://www.londonhardwoodclub.co.uk/events.html.
Coface's Yves Zlotowski discusses the opportunities and challenges of emerging markets. Global Finance has published a recent interview it conducted with Yves Zlotowski, chief economist of Coface, in which Mr Zlotowski advised that emerging markets have matured to the point where they challenge the developed world for risk-adjusted returns. As an example, Mr Zlotowski cites the governance in markets such as Brazil, China, India and Turkey, which has improved so dramatically in recent years that macroeconomic and political risk in those countries is now on par with, or perhaps lower than, that in some more economically developed countries, including Cyprus, Greece and other troubled members of the eurozone. To view Global Finance's article go to http://www.gfmag.com/archives/176-june-2013/12492-salon-yves-zlotowski-coface.html#axzz2V9Bq1NeU.
Euler Hermes and Allianz partner in Malaysia credit insurance distribution. Euler Hermes has announced that following a cooperation agreement with Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad, Malaysian businesses active in domestic and export markets can now access Euler Hermes trade credit insurance products and services more easily. “Malaysia is a strategic Asia-Pacific market for Euler Hermes and this agreement offers local companies more direct access to credit insurance products that protect them . . .” said Victor Jiang, CEO, Euler Hermes ASEAN. “We opened our own branch company in Kuala Lumpur last December, but have provided credit insurance solutions to Malaysian businesses since 2005." To view Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/Euler-Hermes-Allianz-partner-in-Malaysia-credit-insurance-distribution.aspx.
Zurich and BPL Global are winners at Trade Finance's 'Award for Excellence 2013'. Trade Finance Magazine has published its Awards for Excellence 2013, and we are delighted to see so many of our subscribers among the winners. Congratulations to Zurich, which, for the second year in a row, has won the award for Best Private Insurer in Trade, and to Euler Hermes - highly commended in the same category. The Best Insurance Broker in Trade Award was won by BPL Global (also for the second year in a row), with Aon highly commended. For more information go to http://www.tradefinancemagazine.com/Article/3214014/Search/Results/Awards-for-Excellence-2013Global-categories.html.
Euler Hermes to offer credit insurance products and services to all DMCC-registered companies. GTR has published an article which advises that Euler Hermes and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding. The terms will see Euler Hermes offering credit insurance products and services to all DMCC-registered companies and participate in DMCC-organised workshops, giving specialist trade credit management advice to DMCC members. Massimo Falcioni, CEO of GCC countries at Euler Hermes, told GTR: “We expect that most of the 6,600 DMCC registered companies currently operating in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers Free Zone will benefit from Euler Hermes’ risk mitigation tools.” To view the article go to http://www.gtreview.com/trade-finance/global-trade-review-news/2013/June/Hermes-and-DMCC-ink-MOU_10938.shtml.
Archive issues of Credit Insurance News Digest. Credit Insurance News has introduced a new facility on www.creditinsurancenews.co.uk to enable subscribers to have immediate and on-demand access to current and all archive issues of Credit Insurance News Digest. A login (your email) and a unique password (which you choose on registration) are required to access issues. Click here to register for this service. The registration process will take seconds and is a one-time only action. Further new developments will follow.
New Business Information services. An announcement from this week's sponsor.
InfolinkGazette has extended its services with a new option to request an enhanced download of unsecured creditors' information, which now includes additional data elements such as Companies House number; line of business description; SIC codes and director contact names. In addition, there are four new information reports: Company Detail Report, Directors Report, Directors History Report (past and present directors) plus the Mortgage Report; all of which are included in the basic subscription. Greg Connell, Managing Director of InfolinkGazette, commented: "Company liquidations have been slowing down but unsecured creditors are still racking up enormous losses; in the last 12 months InfolinkGazette have captured details of unsecured Creditor losses that now exceeds £3 billion.” Greg added, “Our analysis of the data shows that unsecured creditors of liquidated companies are 3.6 times more likely to enter insolvency than the national average.” For details of the new services and reports go to http://infolinkgazette.co.uk.
International Trade Survey 2013 finds that 60% of its respondents do not use credit risk products. Trade and Export Finance in conjunction with AIG have published, The International Trade Survey 2013, based on a survey of 1,600 respondents. Although the report advises that 3 out of 5 companies expect their exports to grow over the next five years, confidence in exporting appears to have fallen for UK businesses; AIG's Export Confidence Index currently stands at 58.5 - a fall in confidence from 71.2 in 2012. The survey also revealed that 60% of respondents do not use credit risk products, 13% less than in 2012. To obtain a copy of the report go to http://taefl.co.uk/news/. An Executive Summary is also available.
Atradius report notes a change in the proportion of trade transacted on credit in Great Britain compared with Western European. Atradius' latest Payment Practices Barometer for Great Britain advises that on average, in the past 12 months, there was an 8% reduction in sales on credit in Western Europe, but in Great Britain usage increased significantly - growing 20.4% for domestic trade and 29.2% for foreign sale. However, 4.3% of domestic and 6.1% of foreign receivables remained un-paid after 90 days past due - slightly lower than the Western European averages of 6.9% of domestic and 6.5% of foreign receivables. To view the GB report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/publications/atradius-payment-practices-barometer-great-britain-may-2013.html.
Local Barometer reports are also available for 14 other countries from Atradius' website http://global.atradius.com/paymentpractice/list/paymentpractices.html.
New publication: An introduction to trade credit insurance. ICISA has celebrated its 85th anniversary by publishing a reference book on trade credit insurance: An introduction to trade credit insurance. Robert Nijhout, ICISA's executive director, advised: "This reference book has been written by industry experts from our member companies. These companies jointly represent over 95% of the world’s private trade credit insurance industry." To obtain a copy email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atradius publishes its latest Country Report - France. Atradius' latest country report advises that after experiencing zero economic growth in 2012, France's GDP is forecast to shrink slightly (by 0.2%) in 2013 followed by only a modest recovery (0.7% rebound) in 2014. Insolvencies are also expected to increase, with a 4% rise expected in 2013 - following an increase of 3% in 2012. The French paper industry appears to have the bleakest outlook. To view Atradius' report go to http://global.atradius.com/creditmanagementknowledge/france/france-cr-overview.html.
Recommended resource: credit insurance terminology. For readers who are not already aware of it, we highly recommend ICISA's free publication, Catalogue of Credit Insurance Terminology. Available in PDF format or in hard copy, the catalogue provides an easy-to read but comprehensive reference manual for those working with or in the industry. To view or to download a copy go to http://www.icisa.org/publications/1583/mercury.asp?page_id=1560. The following language options are available: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish.
CIFS examines the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013. CIFS has published a new article, 'Taking an Interest', which examines some of the grey areas and legal caveats of the new EC Directive within the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 - which came into effect on 16 March. As a result, while CIFS welcomes the Directive, it also stresses the importance of reviewing terms and conditions for any trade and recommends an information sheet by law firm Hawkswell Kilvington available at www.hklegal.co.uk. To view CIFS' article go to http://creditindemnity.com/taking-an-interest/.
Euler Hermes examines 'if there is enough light at the end of the Greek tunnel?' Euler Hermes has published a new report, 'Greecovery’: Is there enough light at the end of the Greek tunnel?, which advises that Euler Hermes expects GDP in Greece to contract by 4.2% in 2013 (for the sixth consecutive year), but to be closer to stabilisation in 2014 (down by 0.3%). The report also advises that although Greek business confidence has improved slightly, risks for businesses remain high as insolvencies soar (+10% in 2013 after +30% in 2012). The majority of trade sectors continue to underperform. To view the report go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/Lists/mediacenter-documents/eco_insight_Greece_EN.pdf.
Interview with Atradius' Head of Claims. Atradius has published an interview on YouTube with its global Head of Claims, Luc Claessens. Mr Classens discusses how the claims process is one of the defining moments of the credit insurance contract, describes the process when a claim is submitted, and the three requirements to settle a claim. To view the clip go to http://youtu.be/G9TW1FcByN4.
Ducroire|Delcredere publishes its latest report on Kenya. The report advises that although Kenya’s economy could boom in the years ahead, supported by political stabilisation after the relatively peaceful elections, its location as a hub for regional trade and services, improved monetary stability and recent oil discoveries, the country will need to deal with some diverse challenges in order to convert its vast development potential into real improvement. To view the report go to http://www.ducroiredelcredere.be/WebDucDel/Website.nsf/%28ScrollNewsEn%29/Kenya?OpenDocument.
Industry Events and Offers
Coface Country Risk Conference, 13 June. British Library, London.
Coface UK has announced that its free biennial Country Risk Conference will be held on this 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.
Webinar: 'Performance and Risk Control'. Tinubu Square, 10.00am-10.45am 21 June.
Tinubu Square has announced that the date of its next webinar, 'Performance and Risk Control', is Friday 21 June, 2013 at 10.00am to 10.45am. This webinar will examine how to achieve profitability goals while applying your own (or your customers) risk management governance, and explain how Tinubu Square solutions enables its clients to: reduce DSO, control cash-flow, manage costs, optimise efficiency, check the credit worthiness of buyers and focus marketing campaigns in 'acceptable risk' buyers. Click here to register.
Business Breakfast: 'How to manage trade risk successfully and trade safely in the Asia Pacific region', 8.00am-9:30am 26 June. Sydney, Australia.
Coface and Austrade (Australian Government's trade, investment and education promotion agency) have announced that they will be holding a free business breakfast in Sydney Australia, 'How to manage trade risk successfully and trade safely in the Asia Pacific region'. Alex Hall of Coface, will be presenting the results of the latest Asia Pacific survey and will provide an insight on what Australian exporters should be doing to mitigate credit risk as well as how to protect a company’s balance sheet. David Lawson, State Director NSW & ACT of Austrade will discuss Government support schemes available to export ready businesses. To register go to http://news.coface.com.au/rp/10022/ContestForm.clsp?FormId=1000001886.
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 http://www.iirme.com/tradecreditinsurance.
For more events and offers please take a look at our new Events page.
Business Information: Recommended Reports and Business Shorts
Experian reports encouraging news for businesses as insolvencies stay low in April. The latest Business Insolvency Index from Experian has revealed that the business insolvency rate has stayed at the relatively low level of 0.08% for a whole quarter - the first time since 2007 - suggesting a more stable trading environment and increased resilience to business failure. Looking at insolvencies by company size, businesses at both ends of the scale experienced low insolvency rates in April. Companies with 1-2 employees remained low at 0.06% (the same rate seen in March this year and April 2012), and the UK’s largest companies (those with 501+ employees) saw a below average rate of insolvencies at 0.06% (falling from 0.12% last month and from the 0.08% recorded in April 2012). To view Experian's news release go to http://press.experian.com/United-Kingdom/Press-Release/encouraging-news-for-businesses-as-insolvencies-stay-low-in-april.aspx.
The global economic environment shows signs of improving. Deloitte has published its latest Global Economic Outlook Q2 2013 which advises that the global economic environment shows signs of improving, but in fits and starts. Financial market stress in Europe remains at manageable levels despite the crisis in Cyprus. In the United States, a substantial contraction of fiscal policy appears to be offset by other positive factors. In Japan, a new monetary policy holds promise of better growth. Individual chapters include: Eurozone: A silver lining on the growth horizon?; United States: Poised for accelerating growth in the near term; China: A slow recovery; Japan: A new regime; India: Citius, altius, fortius; Deficits: Why all the fuss? To download a copy of the report go to http://dupress.com/articles/introduction-3/?coll=3484.
18% year on year drop in Irish business failures. According to the latest set of corporate insolvency statistics published by www.insolvencyjournal.ie, Irish business failures for May totaled 116, a 25% drop compared to the total of 155 recorded in May 2012. The total number of business failures from January to May 2013 now stands at 609 compared with 742 from January to May 2012, an 18% drop. So far this year a total of 151 businesses in the construction sector have entered an insolvency process compared with 189 for the first five months of 2012, a 20% drop. In the retail sector there has been a total of 98 business failures from January to May this year compared to 91 in the same period last year, an 8% increase. To view Kavenagh Fennell's news release go to http://www.kavanaghfennell.ie/news/overview/13-05-31/18_year_on_year_drop_in_Business_Failures.aspx.
BCC upgrades its growth forecasts for the UK economy. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced that it has upgraded its UK growth forecasts for the next three years from 0.6% to 0.9% in 2013, from 1.7% to 1.9% in 2014, and from 2.2% to 2.4% in 2015. The service sector is likely to outperform other sectors and record full-year growth of 1.8% in 2013, 2.3% in 2014 and 2.8% in 2015. However, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, cautioned: “The upward revision in our growth forecasts is encouraging. Unfortunately, this does not change the fact that economic growth is still too weak, and the pace of recovery will remain unduly slow for a while yet.” To view the BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-economic-forecast-uk-growth-upgraded-but-risks-to-economy-remain.html#.Ua8sjpyO7Zg.
UK Retailers: Who's UP/Who's DOWN
UP: New Look has announced that, in the year to 30 March, it achieved pre-tax profits of £3.1 million - compared to a pre-tax loss of £54.5 million in the previous 12 months - while underlying operating profit increased by a massive 84.2% to £115.5 million. However, it was a year of two-halves, with overall group like-for-like sales falling by 3.3% in the first half and rising by 1.7% in the second-half. New Look chairman, Alistair McGeorge, advised that the group's current three point turnaround plan of cost savings, profit margin improvement, revenue growth and multi-channel strategy is now delivering real results.
UP: Findel, the home shopping group which owns Express Gifts, Kleeneze, Kitbag and Education Supplies, has announced that in the year to 29 March its pre-tax profit rose by 45% to £15.5 million while profit before tax from continuing businesses grew by 53% to £12.9 million. Total group revenue also increased by 8% to £580.6 million, and group operating profit rose by 20% from the previous year to reach £25.1 million. All but one of the group's four businesses performed strongly, with the most notable performance from Express Gifts (which accounted for just under a half of group revenue) which saw its operating profits rise by 16%. Only Kleeneze saw both sales and profit decline over the year.
UP: Hobbs, the fashion retailer, has reported that for the 52 weeks ended 26 January its total sales increased by 11.1% to £125.1 million while its profits, influenced by a £3 million pound investment in its brand and product range, rose more modestly by 1.3% to £15.2 million. Online sales, which now account for over 22% of total sales, performed particularly strongly - increasing by 52%.The retailer now plans to launch and extend its brand into new markets China and Hong Kong and develop websites in Australia, Germany and the US.
NO IMPROVEMENT: Tesco. Tesco's latest quarterly figures have caused a plethora of national headlines which suggest that the retailer is still in a downward spiral. Following the announcement in April of its first annual fall in profits in 20 years, latest figures for the 13 weeks to 25 May show a broadly similar performance to Q4 2012, with like-for-like sales, excluding petrol and VAT, decreasing by 1% in the UK and by 5.5% in Europe (excluding petrol). Although Tesco's Chief Executive stresses that the retailer's turnaround plan is on track, Tesco now plans to scale back its stock of lower-profit electronics goods.
PROFITS DOWN: B&Q and Kingfisher. B&Q's parent company, Kingfisher, has blamed the weather for the DIY retailer's 5.7% decline in total sales to £913 million in the three months to 4 May. Sales of outdoor seasonal products, which can account for up to 30% of the retailer's Q1 sales, were down over 10%, while sales of building products were also impacted by the cold weather. In consequence, Kingfisher’s overall group profits decreased by 28% in Q1 to £114 million.
PROFITS DOWN : Topps Tiles. Following a 2.6% decrease in like-for-like sales in the eight weeks to 25 May (against a 3.2% increase a year ago) and a 16% fall in profits to £4.7 million in the six months to 30 March, Topps Tiles has now cut its full-year pre-tax profit forecast by 6% to £12.5 million. However, looking ahead, Matt Williams, CEO of Topps Tiles, is cautiously optimistic that nascent signs of recovery in the housing market will prove positive to business and, in the shorter-term, has announced plans to create £2 million in savings by September.
Career Opportunities and New Appointments
Account Director, Credit Assist Ltd. Northampton, basic salary with open-ended commission.
Credit Assist Ltd, a leading global provider of credit reports and business financial information and related credit management services, are seeking to maintain the pace of their success with the appointment of an experienced B2B entrepreneurial business builder. Ideally candidates will have knowledge of the credit and credit information industry in order to build credibility with clients in all sectors, and will manage an existing portfolio of customers which is growing in turnover at a rate of over 20% per year. Candidates should also be trained in credit management, sales and general business disciplines, and could either be from a credit management or sales background. As the role is based in Northampton, candidates should live within commuting distance. To apply please contact email@example.com. (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 http://www.primeuk.com/jobseekers/JobInfo.php?job_id=3757&, contact Ian Wheal at Wheal@primeuk.com or call 0203 4259650. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest).
About this week's sponsor: InfolinkGazette.
InfolinkGazette are the only online provider of unsecured creditor lists in the UK, offering Trade Credit Insurance Professionals instant access to a database of over 70,000 unsecured trade creditors. The database is updated with between 1,000 and 2,000 unsecured creditors per week from the largest company liquidations, and includes details of the insolvency together with names and addresses of unsecured creditors.
Credit Insurance professionals can use InfolinkGazette to drive new customer acquisition by targeting companies that by virtue of their recent credit loss, have a greater propensity to purchase credit insurance products.
Using InfolinkGazette data, sales professionals can improve call conversion rates by more effective prospect targeting, and increase sales by demonstrating to prospects how much they could have saved if they'd had a credit insurance policy in place.
A subscription only service, online users can:
There is no need to waste valuable selling time calling prospects that are unlikely to buy. To take out a subscription to InfolinkGazette contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Greg Connell on 0207 6311441.
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.
View the most recent unsecured Creditor data.
Search Unsecured Creditor data based on key search parameters, such as size of debt or geographic location.
Download unsecured creditor information in a delimited format.
Append and download additional information from Companies House, such as Company Number; Status; Standard Industrial Classification Code and description; Registered Office Address, plus directors names.
Save favourite searches.
Set up alerts to be notified by email if a particular prospect becomes an unsecured creditor, or more general alerts such as amount over a specific figure in a particular post code.
View information about the debtor for each insolvency.
Request Business Information - choose from 4 different report times: Company Details; Director Report; Director History Report and Mortgage Report.
If you are interested in sponsoring an issue go to www.creditinsurancenews.co.uk for further information.