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Berne Union hosts Annual General Meeting in Belgrade

The Berne Union hosted its 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Belgrade in October, gathering 260 participants representing 70 of the 82 Berne Union member organisations, inclucing external guests. The Meeting was hosted by Serbian Export Credit Agency (ECA), AOFI.

Members reported strong growth in new business across all committees, and although claims remain high, and the global risk environment challenging, most are optimistic about the coming months and into 2018.

Short Term Trade Credit Insurance (ST)
Members of the ST Committee have collectively issued credit limits of USD 1,188 billion at the mid-point of the year. This is 18% higher than the situation at year end 2016, where they stood at USD 1,007 billion. Two thirds (67%) of members surveyed expect further increases in business volumes over the coming 12 months, and the majority of the remainder (27%) anticipate a stable continuation of the current state.

Growth is expected across developed markets generally, especially North America and the European Union, where economies are benefitting from improving fundamentals, relaxed lending conditions and increasing domestic demand. Any changes to interest rates are likely to have a significant impact on this situation.

There is some caution with respect to the impact of fluctuating oil prices – with the potential to adversely affect both oil exporters or net importers, depending on the direction of travel.

For those countries reliant upon commodities exports more generally, there are also concerns, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where levels of national indebtedness are also high.

Members are keeping an eye on the banking sector in Asia, while in OECD countries traditional retail brings greater concern, due to competition coming from online sales. Notwithstanding the challenges highlighted, 94% of ST members express optimism overall with respect to prospects for global economic growth in 2018.

Business Focus and Challenges

In most areas, members of the Berne Union report competitive pressures presenting a challenge for their business. In short term business, 26% cited the soft market as a concern, while 30% focused on digitisation of processes and 19% on better provision for SMEs.

INV members cite concern about soft market pricing as well, but also see a challenge in distribution. In some areas a lack of demand, which may be overcome by improvements in marketing awareness of products to potential clients.

According to Secretary General, Vinco David, “The market for commercial credit insurance has seen a number of new well-capitalised entrants offering credit insurance at competitive rates. Due to the current low interest rates, capital markets parties are seeking higher returns and credit insurance may offer this. However, when interest rates begin to rise, this situation will reverse. As supply and demand establish a new balance, we would expect to
see higher premium rates as a consequence”.

For more information, visit www.berneunion.org

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LCI appoints Dominique Charpentier as its new Chairman

The Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI), has appointed Dominque Charpentier as its new Chairman at its Annual General Meeting held in May, 2017.

Charpentier led a seasoned career with extensive experience in the realms of finance and credit insurance, having held senior financial positions in corporations, namely CFO of SCOA and PINAULT Groups and then moving on to become Deputy CEO of Société Marseillaise de Crédit. In 1995, Charpentier ventured into the Credit Insurance industry, within the Euler Group where he was successively Deputy CEO of Cobac Benelux, CEO of Société Française de Factoring and CEO of Eurofactor. In 2002, he moved to Atradius Group, assuming the role of Managing Director of several divisions of the Group: Atradius Factoring, Atradius Bonding, Atradius Instalment Credit Protection and Atradius Credit Insurance Italy.

He then joined the Management Board of Atradius as Chief Insurance Operations Officer in 2013.

Throughout his career, he held numerous Board member positions in professional organizations across Europe, of which: In France, as Director of Association des Sociétés Financières (ASF); in Belgium as Director of Beroep Vereniging van het Krediet (BVK), and on an international level as Director and Chairman of International Factors Group (IFG).

In January 2017, Charpentier retired, and now serves as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Graydon Holding NV in the Netherlands and has been newly appointed as the Chairman of LCI.

Charpentier graduated from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

In his capacity as Chairman of LCI, Charpentier will bring his wide experience to support the company in implementing its growth strategy and in its development and expansion. Charpentier succeeds Gerard van Brakel who has been chairing LCI since it was founded in 2001.

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LCI elected to Board of Directors of ACAL

The Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI), represented by its General Manager, Karim Nasrallah, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association Des Compagnies D’assurance Au Liban (ACAL), at its annual meeting held in April. Mr. Nasrallah, as other board members, will work together to achieve the aims of the Association, which include: building the profession from a technical standpoint; developing the rules and regulations to enhance the insurance industry; safeguarding the public interest and ensuring the proper representation of its members with authorities and third parties.

LCI is the only specialized credit insurance company in Lebanon.

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ExCred 27 Conference takes place in London

The ExCred 27 Conference took place in London from February 28 to March 1, 2017, in the presence of over 300 senior representatives from ECAs, insurers, banks and corporate exporters. The ExCred conferences tackle the global export credit and political risk industry, bringing together experts from the world over, to discuss various topics and share insights on issues of importance.
Karim Nasrallah, GM of LCI, took part in a panel entitled ‘How Middle East Governments Can Foster Growth Through Trade and Innovation. Joining him on the panel, was Dr. Andreas Klasen, Professor at the University of Offenburg, Germany, CEO of ITFC Hani Sunbol, ICIEC’s CEO Oussama Kaissi and chaired by Diana Margaret Smallridge.
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Prague Club elects HBOR’s Ante Alić as ‘Rotating Member’ on the Berne Union Management Committee

The Prague Club has announced the election of HBOR, represented by Mr. Ante Alić as the first ‘Rotating Member’ on the Berne Union Management Committee. Mr. Alić of HBOR was elected by the Prague Club members, and will be taking part in the next Management Committee meeting in London in February, followed by the Prague Club Plenary Spring Meeting in Botswana.
Congratulations to HBOR and Mr. Alić for this new role.
adminPrague Club elects HBOR’s Ante Alić as ‘Rotating Member’ on the Berne Union Management Committee
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ICIEC CEO visits LCI

Mr. Oussama A. Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), visited LCI on January 14, 2016.

Several discussions were held with regards to further development and cooperation between ICIEC and LCI in the region, both strategically and technically. Furthermore, the upcoming Aman Union Annual meeting, which will be held in Beirut during November 2016, was discussed and planned.

About ICIEC

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) is a member of the Islamic Development (IDB) Group. ICIEC was established on August 1, 1004 as an international institution.

The idea for the establishment of an entity to provide investment and export credit insurance for Islamic Countries originated from the Agreement for the Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment among Member Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

This Agreement provided that the OIC, through the Islamic Development Bank, establishes an Islamic Insurance Company operating under Shariah principles, to provide insurance products for investments and export credits. The driving ambition behind the Agreement as a whole, and the creation of ICIEC, was to strengthen the economic relations between member countries of the OIC on the basis of Islamic Shariah.

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IFG and FCI join forces

Factors Chain International (FCI) and the International Factors Group (IFG) have signed an Agreement to create a single organization to represent the interests of the receivables finance and factoring industry with over 400 members in 90 countries dedicated to open account trade finance. Effective January 1st, 2016, the combined organization will be under the legal auspices of FCI, a non-profit association under Dutch law headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands with a branch office in Brussels, Belgium. This means that all of IFG members will be transitioned to become active members in FCI. It is expected that the organization will adopt a new name and mission statement, to be considered during the FCI annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa 23-28 October 2016.

The organization will be run by a single Secretariat, managed by Mr. Peter Mulroy, Secretary General and Mr. Erik Timmermans, Deputy Secretary General.

This decision will bring multiple benefits to its members as well as expand the influence and reach of the organization. Members will have increased country coverage in over 90 markets to generate increased cross border business as well as a larger trade network with over 400 members.

LCI has been an Associate Member of IFG since December 2014.

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Cooperation Agreement with Triglav in Serbia

In December 2015, Triglav Osiguranje A.D.O. and LCI Services finalized a cooperation agreement intended to jointly develop credit insurance activities within Serbia.

LCI Services will bring technical know-how and expertise in underwriting the risks in the region, as well as Re-insurance support through top tier Reinsurers; while Triglav will issue credit insurance policies within Serbia. Triglav,on the other hand will be able to provide their corporate customers with credit insurance services.

LCI Services will help Triglav set up its own adapted Microsoft Dynamics CRM dedicated to manage their policies as well as follow through the credit insurance cycle from Client Application, Risk Assessment, Policy Management to Debt collection and Recovery.

Both companies are very keen on increasing the penetration and awareness of Trade Credit Insurance in Serbia and helping companies benefit from the stability and expansion potential credit insurance provides.

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Aman Union’s 6th Annual General Meeting

LCI attended the 6th Annual Aman Union Meeting which took place in Muscat, Oman between the 7th and 9th of December 2015. The meeting was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Muscat. This year’s meeting was hosted by the ECGA of Oman.

The Meeting addressed topics of common interests amongst the members and served as a great opportunity to share member knowledge and expertise in the industry. It also marked significant milestone in the development of Aman Union with the establishment of a dedicated Secretariat. In addition to the Union members, experts from various industries such as credit and political risk insurance, reinsurance, banking and credit information, were in attendance.

LCI was represented by its General Manager, Karim Nasrallah; Advisor to the Board, Michael McPhilimey and Risk Assessment and Credit Information Manager, Bahaa Merhi.

The topics presented covered ideas relevant to the commercial and non-commercial risk insurance industry in member countries and the entire MENA region. The meeting was made up of multiple presentations as well as panels that tackled the following areas of discussion:

  • Awareness of insuring trade default risk in the market
  • The Role of Risk Management in ECAs
  • Managing Policyholder Engagement into the Recovery Process
  • Risk Appetite for MENA Region Markets: Credit & PRI Trends in 2015
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Prague Club & Berne Union AGM in Shanghai, China

triglav squareThe Berne Union and its affiliate the Prague Club, held their Annual General Meeting in Shanghai, China last week. The meeting was hosted the Berne Union’s Chinese Export Credit Agency SINOSURE and lasted a full week (November 2-7, 2015).

Over 220 international Senior Executives and Managers, representing 66 export credit and investment insurance companies from 57 countries worldwide gathered in the Chinese capital for their annual five-day working meetings.

LCI Services will help Triglav set up its own adapted Microsoft Dynamics CRM dedicated to manage their policies as well as follow through the credit insurance cycle from Client Application, Risk Assessment, Policy Management to Debt collection and Recovery.

Both companies are very keen on increasing the penetration and awareness of Trade Credit Insurance in Serbia and helping companies benefit from the stability and expansion potential credit insurance provides.

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