LCI-news

LCI attends Recovery Adviser’s Claims & Recoveries Training in Dubai

A three-day training on Claims and Recoveries, by Recovery Advisers B.V., took place from April 21 to 23, 2015 in Dubai, UAE. It was attended by LCI Services’s Debt Collection Manager, Claude Madi.

The course provided participants with in-depth and hands-on training on topics covering credit insurance, short-term export transactions, legal aspects of claims recovery and claims recovery in general.

The training was delivered by Recovery Adviser’s Middle East Claims & Recovery Director, Ahmed Madkour.

This training program is part of a series of annual trainings given by Recovery Advisers to their partners and interested stakeholders. LCI and Recovery Advisers have worked closely since 2011.

To download the full Berne Union Prague Club Press Release, click here

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LCI’s 5th Annual Partners’ and Reinsurers’ Meeting held in Beirut

On March 19 and 20, 2015, LCI’s 5th Annual Partners’ and Reinsurers’ Meeting was held in Beirut, to a growing number of guests. LCI’s partners and reinsurers from various countries came together to discuss the trade credit insurance industry in general, along with challenges and opportunities being faced.

The Meeting included two full days of presentations, shedding light on strategic topics, along with business development plans in the pipeline.

Karim Nasrallah, General Manager of LCI, kicked off the meeting, sharing insights on LCI’s business, along with the strategic approach of the firm. In addition, Nasrallah focused on the growing role of LCI Services and the new structure of the company, along with its growing offerings.

The diverse lineup of presenters included: Kai Preugschat, Secretary General, Berne Union Secretariat; Richard Lange, Head Credit & Surety, Arch Re; Ahmed Madkour, Middle East Claims & Recovery Director, Recovery Advisers; Hassan Loutfy, General Manager, Integrated Business Solutions; Kyriakos Kyriakou, Managing Director, TFI Brokers; Edvard Ribaric, Chairman of the Managing Board, HKO, and Bassam Azab, Regional Head of Business Development, Menafactors Limited, along with presentations from the LCI team and clients (Vicken Sarkissian, CFO, Obegi Chemicals).

In addition, LCI signed an MOU with the Bulgarian Export Insurance Agency (BAEZ) at the Meeting, as part of its commitment to expand its strategic partnerships and reach internationally.

The LCI Partners’ and Reinsurers’ Meetings began in 2010, with only a few attendees. Since, the meeting has become an annual event, with a growing number of partners and reinsurers, reflecting on LCI’s steady growth in the past few years.

Click here to see photos of the 2 day event.

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President of the Berne Union visits LCI

Berne Union President, Daniel Riordan and Abbey Sturrock, Berne Union Secretariat, visited the LCI offices on March 13th, 2015. They spent an entire day at LCI and met with the entire team as well as got acquainted with LCI’s profile and strategy.

The main focus of the meeting was the upcoming Berne Union Prague Club joint meeting which will be held in May in Italy. They discussed the above with Karim Nasrallah, General Manager of LCI, who is also the Chairman of the Prague Club.

About the Berne Union

The Berne Union, founded in 1934, is the leading international association for export credit and investment insurance worldwide.

The membership organisation works for cooperation and stability in cross-border trade by supporting the international acceptance of sound principles in export credits and foreign investments and by providing a forum for professional exchange among its members.

Berne Union members are both private companies, offering worldwide risk management solutions, and state backed export credit agencies, focusing on the support of national exports and outward investments.

About the Prague Club

The Berne Union Prague Club is an association dedicated to information exchange for new and maturing insurers of export credit and investment. Established in 1993 by the Berne Union with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the group was named after the city where its inaugural meeting was held (Prague, Czech Republic), carrying on the tradition begun by the Berne Union (as the first Berne Union meeting was held in Berne, Switzerland).

Together all members, 77 in total, are committed to conducting their business in a manner that contributes to the sustainable stability and expansion of world trade. Members often act in cooperation with other financial institutions involved in the supporting the successful development of world trade. As of 2014 Berne Union members insured over USD 1.9 trillion in exports and investments covering approximately 11% of global cross-border trade.

For more on the Berne Union, visit www.berneunion.org.

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LCI, the first Trade Credit Insurer to join IFG

LCI is pleased to announce that it has been welcomed into the International Factors Group (IFG) as an Associate Partner. The IFG is the global trade association that fully represents and promotes the interests of the factoring, invoice financing and asset based lending industry on a global basis.

By joining IFG as an associated member, LCI hopes to expand its reach into the factoring world. This membership will allow LCI to benefit from the networking opportunities, information and education initiatives IFG offers.

LCI will also be able to bring its regional market insight and experience to the table for IFG members to benefit from. For LCI’s clients, this means greater business and networking opportunities.

For more information about IFG, please visit: www.ifgroup.com

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5th Annual Aman Union Meeting and EGFI MoU signing

The 5th Annual Meeting of Aman Union took place in Tehran, Iran from the 10th to the 12th of November at the Espinas Hotel. The event was hosted by Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI).

The event was a great opportunity to share knowledge, exchange experiences and information.

The meeting covered topics such as: ECAs & Development Finance, Investment opportunities in Iran, Impact of BASEL III implementation of the Trade Credit Insurance industry, Claims management and recovery strategies, amongst others. The General Assembly of the Aman Union also took place during the conference. New members, financial reports, budgets and the 2015 business plan were discussed.

LCI was represented by Mr. Karim Nasrallah (General Manager), Mr. Michael McPhilimey (Advisor to the Board) and Mr. Naser Abu Ghazaleh (Head of Business Development).

LCI and EGFI announced and signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) during the meeting. The MoU established a framework for cooperation in the fields of Marketing, Sales and Short Term Export Credit Insurance. The MoU wil help in supporting and encouraging trade and services between Iran and Lebanon and will strengthen LCI and EGFI’s co-operation.

About Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI)

EGFI was established in 1973, as the first Export Credit Agency (ECA) in the MENA region. It was re-established in 1994 as a legally and financially independent entity, 100% state-owned, and affiliated to the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade, with the purpose of supporting, developing and poromoting Iran’s non-oil exports.

EGFI provides services in the two major fields of credit insurance as well as guarantee for pre & post-shipment finance of Iranian exporters.

EGFI, as one of the founding members of the AMAN UNION, has been elected as a member of the Executive Council for three consecutive rounds.

About Aman Union

Aman Union is a professional forum assembling Commercial & Non-commercial Risks Insurers & Reinsurers in Member Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and of the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (DHAMAN).

Aman Union was launched on 28th October, 2009 following an agreement between the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (DHAMAN) and the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) to join their efforts for establishing a union for commercial and non-commercial risks Insurers and Reinsurers in their respective Member Countries.

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TRF News: How can factors and credit insurers improve their relationship?

At the 52nd International Factors Group (IFG) Annual Meeting, in Malta, at the end of September, Karim Nasrallah, general manager of Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI), and chairman of the Prague Club, took part in a session entitled Beyond Credit Insurance, which aimed to shed further light on the relationship between credit insurance and factoring. Mr Nasrallah discussed the themes of the session with trfnews, and gave his views on where the two products currently stand in regard to one another.

trfnews: At the Beyond Credit Insurance session and throughout the IFG conference – what did you plan to achieve and shed light on, and were you able to accomplish it?

Karim Nasrallah: The Beyond Credit Insurance session, in my opinion, was important for the industry, as the speakers were aiming to highlight the fact that credit insurance and factoring are not competing products. Rather, they complement each other and should be taken out concurrently. There has been a longstanding misconception that a love / hate relationship exists between the two, however, from our experience in the trade credit insurance industry, and through our factoring partners, we find that there is much room for collaboration between the two.

Ultimately, credit insurance has shown to improve two elements, namely, offering enhanced levels of security for a company’s trade receivables portfolio, in addition to pushing for better terms on a company’s factoring contract. With that being said, where one product lacks, the other fills in.

trfnews: How is the relationship at present between credit insurers and large banks who are underwriting their own non-recourse factoring services?

KN: The usage of credit insurance by banks has been increasing for the past few years, as banks started to understand the importance of credit insurance in enhancing the quality of the receivables they are financing. In addition, when it comes to non-recourse invoice discounting and factoring extended by banks, credit insurance has positively impacted solvency issues.

In the current context of global changes and policies that are being put in place to govern the field of trade credit insurance, I believe that policy makers should make the implementation of credit insurance (ECAs, private market, multilaterals etc) a priority, as the principal sustainable tool for trade promotion and support. In addition, it should be ensured that credit insurance is legally and technically admitted as a trade finance facilitation tool by the central banks within the MENA region.

trfnews: Can you describe the relationship between credit insurance and factoring? How is this relationship being enhanced?

KN: Credit insurers need to gain a better understanding of factoring in general, and how their factoring clients work, in particular. Once this step is taken, there should be closer cooperation between the two, as these two products actually balance one another.

Taking this a step further, for the relationship between credit insurance and factoring to be enhanced, a few areas need to be looked at. Firstly, there should be increased transparency on the factoring deals that are structured, with clear and open communication. Secondly, there should be better disclosure of available information, be it financial or company-related. With heightened transparency and increased disclosure of information, policies can then be customised to suit clients’ needs.

Source: TRF News, Global, 03 November 2014

To read the interview on TRF News, click here.

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First Joint Annual General Meeting of Berne Union and Prague Club held in London

The Berne Union and its affiliate the Prague Club, held their first joint Annual General Meetings in London, celebrating 80 years of supporting trade and investment, jointly covering 11% of international cross-border trade and investments.

The association’s members provide risk mitigation products to exporters and investors, helping companies to safely trade internationally. The meeting was an occasion to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Berne Union as well.

For the first time, the Berne Union was joined by members of its affiliate, the Prague Club. The Prague Club, which was established in 1993, aims to support new and maturing export credit agencies and insurers setting up and developing export credit and investment insurance schemes. Karim Nasrallah, GM of LCI, was elected Chair of the Prague Club in early 2014, and will continue to serve his term until the next Annual General Meeting in 2015.

With 76 private and public member companies from around the world, the Berne Union and the Prague Club have grown to be the leading global organization for the export credit and investment insurance industry, together providing risk protection for 11% of world trade.

In the first half of 2014, Berne Union members insured $50 billion of new Foreign Direct Investment and $74 billion of new medium to long term exports. The credit limits extended to support short term exports reached $1,640 billion.

Mr. Karim Nasrallah attended the meeting both in his capacity as General Manager of LCI and as chairman of the Prague Club. He was also the moderator of the breakout session titled: Accessing markets through innovative partnerships.

The next meetings of the Berne Union and the Prague Club will be their respective spring separate meetings in May/June 2015.

For the full press release, click here.

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LCI at IFG’s 52nd Annual Meeting in Malta

IFG 52nd annual meeting took place in St Julies Hotel, Malta on 29 September until 2 October 2014. The leading global conference for factoring, receivables financing and asset-based finance brought together various decision-makers in the factoring, receivables financing and asset-based finance industry. It was an opportunity for industry professionals to discuss, plan and create new business opportunities, network and develop business relationships.

LCI attended the IFG Conference, and was represented by Mr. Karim Nasrallah (General Manager of LCI) and Mr. Michael McPhilimey (Advisor to the Board). Nasrallah and McPhilimey were both panelists on the panel titled: Beyond Credit Insurance; which was moderated by IFG Chairman, Mrs. Margrith Lütschg-Emmenegger. The panel highlighted the following:

Credit Insurance traditionally plays an important role for risk mitigation in the Receivables Finance Industry. Are there new ways for cooperation that can go beyond the traditional “love-hate” relationship between credit insurance and factors?

The panel consisted of an introductory presentation by Andreas Tesch (Chief Market Officer, Atradius, Netherlands) followed by a discussion with Tesch and the panelists. Nasrallah also presented LCI’s idea for a centralized Credit Insurance solution for IFG members.

The conference was a platform for discussing ideas and challenges such as: the future of Receivables Finance, new electronic trade platforms, market updates etc. Breakout sessions also took place during the meeting as a form of moderated discussion of the following topics:

  • Alternatives for Funding (securitization, private equity, venture finance…)
  • Product Innovation in Receivables Finance: SCF, trade finance, niche markets, customer approaches, operational innovations
  • Prevention and Mitigation of Fraud (with case studies)
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New appointments: President and Member of Managing Board of HBOR

The Supervisory Board of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and development (HBOR) has appointed a new President and a new Member of the Managing Board of HBOR, Vladimir Kristijan and Martina Jus, respectively, for a five year term of office.

Vladimir Kristijan has over 14 years of banking experience and comes from the Head of Corporate Division position at Erste&Steirmarkische bank JSC, one of the leading Croatian banks and major client of HBOR.

Martina Jus has joined HBOR from the position of Board Member at the Croatian Agency for Small Business – HAMAG BICRO – an SME and investment promotion and guarantee agency established by the Republic of Croatia.

For more information, kindly click here.

HBOR is a member of the Prague Club which is an information exchange network for new and maturing insurers of export credit and investment. Mr. Nasrallah (General Manager of LCI) has been elected chairman of the Prague Club for a two-year period.

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Prague Club Spring Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia

On June 16, 2014 the Prague Club held its Spring Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The meeting lasted for 3 days along with an excursion to the beautiful Predjama Castle and Skocjane Caves on June 15th, 2014. It was hosted by the Slovenian member, SID.

LCI was represented by Mr. Karim Nasrallah (General Manager), Mrs. Racha Makki (Accounting Manager) and Ms. Diana Loutfy (Project Development). Mr. Nasrallah was also chairing the meeting in his capacity as Chairman of the Prague Club.

The 3-day meeting included a workshop on Bonding presented by Mr. Mario Grillo (Senior Underwriter, Nationale Borg Reinsurance) and Mr. Michiel de Smet (Senior Underwriter, Nationale Borg Reinsurance).

The 2nd and 3rd day of the meeting consisted of sessions on Berne Union and Prague Club business trends, Country Risk and Debt Collection. Mr. Nasrallah also discussed the future and strategy of the Prague Club and with the help of Berne Union Secretariat, led fruitful strategic brainstorming sessions.

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