Welcome to issue 54 of Credit Insurance News Digest, 28 April 2015. This issue is kindly sponsored by HCC International.

Credit Insurance News and Reports
Credit Insurers' report that Europe's economy shows signs of recovery. According to a recent article in Insurance Day, demand for credit insurance products is on the rise in Europe - a further indicator that the European region’s economy is picking up. Robert Nijhout, executive director of the International Credit Insurance and Surety Association (ICISA), told Insurance Day: “Europe now ranks second in terms of growth for our trade credit members, behind only China and ahead of MENA [the Middle East and north Africa], North America and Africa.” Mr Nijhout also advised that ICISA's members are currently seeing higher claims from insolvencies in China, but stressed that, "this represents a good testing ground for our products – the best advertising we can do is pay claims.” Click here to read the article on ICISA's website. 

Around 40% of the value of B2B invoices in Western Europe in default. Atradius has reported that its latest Payment Practices Barometer has found that despite notable differences in the insolvency environment across countries, B2B payment default rates in Western Europe remain quite significant. Overall, around 40% of the total value of domestic and foreign B2B invoices was defaulted on, with an average of 7% outstanding after 90 days past due raising the likelihood of becoming collections cases. Survey respondents in Italy and Greece appear to struggle the most with overdue and uncollectable receivables. Respondents from Denmark and Sweden showed the strongest focus on receivables management. The complete report, highlighting all findings, is available at http://global.atradius.com/images/stories/Publications/payment_pratices/Round14/ppb15_regional-report_western-europe-en_fin-2.pdf.

Expectation of increased failures amongst the printer community. SignLink has published an article, 'Credit Crisis looms as Vink buys Paperlinx VTS', which reports that as the market breathes a collective sigh of relief following the news that Vink Holdings has succeeded in acquiring crisis-ridden Paperlinx, (see Credit Insurance News Digest, 7 April) the reality of trade credit and credit insurance will start to hit home. Mario di Lieto, Managing Director of Lumipaper - Stora Enso Paper, commented: "It is probable that we will see a more cautious approach to credit in the market place from suppliers and merchants. It will be born from a natural instinct for self-preservation and nourished by some highly risk averse insurers.” He also advised that there is a general expectation that there will now be failures amongst the printer community- particularly among those unable to find sufficient credit. To read the article on SignLink.co.uk go to http://www.signlink.co.uk/News/Business/3414/credit-crisis-looms-as-vink-buys-paperlinx-vts.

Trade Credit Insurance: A partnership of equals. Asia Insurance Review has published an article, 'Trade Credit Insurance: A partnership of equals', in which Robert Nijhout, Executive Director of International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA), notes that as buyers of trade credit insurance become savvier and demand greater transparency, the relationship between buyers and underwriters is moving towards one of equal partnership. The article also includes a caution from Stuart Anderson, CEO of NCI Brokers (Asia), that while the trade credit insurance sector in Asia is expected to see growth in the coming years, it is important to understand local culture or practices in the region. "For example, for Lunar New Year or Spring Festival in China, people may not make payments for four weeks as it is a major holiday and people go on leave. "How does that affect the policy or how do you factor that in?"" To read the article on Asia Insurance Review's website go to http://www.asiainsurancereview.com/News/View-NewsLetter-Article/id/32488/Type/eDaily/Trade-Credit-Insurance-A-partnership-of-equals.

Atradius Collections launches First Party Collection. Atradius has announced that it has launched First Party Collection, a new service which will sit next to its traditional service, and which aims to allow companies to outsource unpaid debts just after their due date. Rudi de Greve, Global Operations Director Atradius Collections, explained: “The timely and early communication with customers – in the local language – will accelerate the payment of invoices, prevent write-offs and allow companies to focus their efforts on their core business.” Atradius advises that its Global Collections Review 2015 indicated that 37% of respondents delayed outsourcing their outstanding receivables to a debt collection agency until after 90 days, and some companies - in particular in Italy, Spain and Turkey - don’t perceive the debt as risky when it’s still in early arrears. However, Atradius warns that debt collection procedures which begin too late stand a much higher chance of remaining outstanding. To read Atradius' news release go to http://www.atradiuscollections.com/uk/updates-publications/press/5158-atradius-collections-launches-preventive-solution.html.

The default position of trade credit insurance has been to sell on fear. Any Moylan, MD of EFCIS, has published an article in CICM's monthly magazine, Credit Management, which examines how trade credit insurance can go from being what is still often regarded as a 'grudge purchase' to a business builder. Mr Moylan advises that credit insurance offers so much more than 'the blindingly obvious' - and lists (with case studies) some of the less appreciated benefits - but finds that the industry as a whole has not been sufficiently proactive in drawing clients attention to the tangible and measured benefits of their policy. "The default position of trade credit insurance has been to sell on fear." To view the article go to http://www.cicm.com/login/. (Subscription required).

Free eBook: How to protect, inform & grow your business with trade credit insurance. Aon (Asia Pacific) has published a free ebook which offers an insight into what trade credit insurance is, how it can help organisations and protect accounts receivable and the main types of trade credit insurance. For more information and to obtain your copy go to http://www.aon.com/apac/risk/how-to-protect-inform-grow-your-business-with-trade-credit-insurance.jsp.

Top 5 bad debtor red flags. Real Business has published an article in which Marine Bochot, UK head of risk at Euler Hermes, provides her top five red flags to protect a business from bad debtors. This includes: large first-time orders which may indicate a potential fraud; a substantial rise in your day sales outstanding with a particularly customer – specifically when goods are being delivered when unpaid debts are already over 90 days old; new financial arrangements (which could indicate large losses; a constant stream of checks from credit providers and frequent excuses. To read the article on Real Business' website go to http://realbusiness.co.uk/article/29817-top-5-bad-debtor-red-flags.

Global corporate insolvencies are set to decline, but the rate of decline is slowing. According to Euler Hermes' latest report, 'Focus on the signal and ignore the noise', global insolvencies will fall by 2% in 2015, a significant slowdown from the 14% reduction in 2014. This is attributed to a ‘multi-speed’ global economy, in which steady growth in developed countries is offset by downward forecasts for emerging markets. In 2015, Euler Hermes estimates Russia will experience a 30% increase in business failures, followed by Turkey (17%), Brazil (11%), Morocco (10%) and Portugal (8%). In contrast, there is a declining insolvency trend among advanced economies, particularly in the US, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands. Overall, seven out of 10 countries globally will still have insolvency rates higher than in 2007. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-economicoutlook1216-210415.aspx.

Coface identifies one big winner and one big loser in oil price drop. CFO Innovation Asia has reported that following the recent drop in the price of oil and its knock-on effects for company credit risk around the world, Coface has identified one big winner and one big loser. The loser is the North American energy sector which has been particularly hard hit by the fall in crude prices which is undermining the viability of many shale oil investment projects. In contrast, Coface advises that if there is a sector that is truly benefiting from the decline in oil prices, it is the chemical sector in Europe. To read the article on cfoinnovation.com go to http://www.cfoinnovation.com/story/9731/coface-identifies-one-big-winner-and-one-big-loser-oil-price-drop.

Euler Hermes launches South Africa operations. Based in Johannesburg, Euler Hermes South Africa is the newest operation in the Euler Hermes MMEA region that currently employs over 650 people and covers 14 countries. "Euler Hermes is well-positioned to play a leading role in South Africa", commented Gregory Nosworthy, the recently appointed country manager. " To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-eh-opening-south-africa-130415.aspx.

Coface asks if the US automotive sector has shifted safely into top gear?  Coface's latest Panorama report has advised that following a 35% collapse, car sales in the US in 2014 were back at the levels they were at in 2007. The report explains that the recent fall in oil prices (-48% in 2014) undoubtedly contributed to this, together with increased confidence by consumers in the US economy. Another factor is the positive economic situation which is encouraging companies in the sector to relocate production to the US. As a result, with a few exceptions, all the world’s leading automobile and automobile equipment manufacturers are now located in the US. To view Coface's news release with an infographic and link to the full Panorama go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/News/Has-the-US-automotive-sector-shifted-safely-into-top-gear.

Credendo Group predicts that India should overtake China as the world’s fastest-growing large economy by the end of 2015. Credendo Group has published a new Country Risk Assessment of India which advises that unlike other BRIC countries, India’s short-term economic outlook is upbeat due to a favourable economic context (e.g. sharp fall in oil prices), improved investor confidence and a reformist federal government elected last year. In fact, India should continue to overtake a slowing China as the world’s fastest-growing large economy by the end of this year. After having bottomed out in 2012 at 4.5%, the economy has grown at an estimated 7.2% in 2014-15 and is forecast to reach 7.5% in the coming fiscal year. To view the Credendo Group's full Assessment (including risk drivers and outlook, facts and figures / pros and cons) go to http://riskreporter.credendogroup.com/.

Euler Hermes predicts that the number of insolvencies in Switzerland will increase by 5% in 2015. A survey of 357 Swiss exporters by Euler Hermes has found that two-thirds of those surveyed generate at least 30% of their sales through exports and notes that Swiss companies expect exports to the US, China and the Gulf states to increase, but predict a decline in exports to the European Union - including their largest export markets such as Germany and France. Euler Hermes also finds that in the light of rising credit risks, the number of insolvencies in Switzerland should increase more noticeably for the first time since the financial crisis, and forecasts that there will be around 4,450 company insolvencies in 2015 - 5% more than in 2014. This figure will also likely increase slightly in 2016. To read Euler Hermes' news release go to http://www.eulerhermes.com/mediacenter/news/Pages/press-release-swiss-export-risk-210415.aspx.

Coface reports that the Mexican economy faces headwinds. In this edition of the Panorama, Coface discusses the current impact of lower oil prices vs Mexican dependence on oil revenues, as well as the overall current macroeconomic environment. The report also includes Coface's Mexican sector barometer, which shows the financial performance of companies in different industries, coupled with Coface's payment experience. The third section of the report focuses on two major industries, the automotive and steel sectors. To download a copy in PDF format go to http://www.coface.com/News-Publications/Publications/The-Mexican-economy-faces-headwinds and click on the link.

Atradius opens a new office in Moscow, Atradius Rus Credit Insurance LLC. However, Atradius advises that its customers in Russia will continue to be served by the same underwriting team and account managers and their current credit insurance contracts will not be changed. The insurance product will also remain unchanged, with the same policy principles and the same content. Atradius advises that the opening of Atradius Rus Credit Insurance LLC follows the rapid growth in credit insurance applications since 2010, which, it reports, have now grown to over 1000 per month. To view Atradius' news release go to http://global.atradius.com/corporate/pressreleases/atradius-opens-new-office-in-moscow-russia.html.

Nexus CIFS is offering its policyholders a free review of the Retention of Title clause in their terms and conditions of sale by law firm Hawkswell Kilvington. If as a result of the review changes are recommended, Hawkswell Kilvington will carry out the work for a fixed fee at a discounted rate. For more information go to http://www.creditindemnity.com/news-and-comment/detail/useful-guidance-for-retention-of-title-claimants.

And Finally . . . 
BHS and credit insurance. Following a rocky few years for UK high-street retailer BHS, which was bought from Sir Philip Green by Retail Acquisitions for just £1 last month, readers of Credit Insurance News Digest may have noticed a flurry of articles in the UK national press over the last few days which report that credit insurers have 'slashed' or withdrawn completely suppliers' cover for the retailer. The articles are rather sketchy on the details; some suggest that BHS is currently in active talks with credit insurers, while others suggest that the reports are out of date and any issues have already or are being addressed. Whatever the case may be, looking ahead, the retailer has just announced plans to take on new staff and expand its food offering and has secured two new supplier relationships (with Booker and Compass Group) to support this strategic move.

Industry Events, Offers and Training
GTR Europe Trade & Export Finance Conference, 5-6 May. Hamburg, Germany.
GTR Supply Chain Masterclass, Tuesday 5 May.
These initiatives take place at a number of GTR events worldwide, providing highly specialised training sessions whereby participants make strategic decisions in the simulated management of a fictional, failing, manufacturing company.
GTR Europe Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015, Wednesday, 6 May.
Recognised as the continent’s leading gathering for European trade, export and supply chain finance professionals, this is the central part of the event. With over 200 senior decision makers expected in attendance, representing Europe’s top corporates, financial service organisations, policy makers and more, networking will form an essential part of proceedings. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Alternative & Receivables Finance conference, 11 May 2015. Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, London. 
The second annual Alternative & Receivables Finance conference is the only event bringing together the best of the traditional and ‘alternative’ worlds. It will investigate the best new platforms, the investment opportunities opening up and the drivers behind all the change we are seeing. Join our expert panel of 24+ speakers for a full day of in-depth analysis, networking and lively debate about the future of SME financing in Europe and beyond. Credit Insurance News users are entitled to a 15% discount. Click here to register at the discounted rate.

Trade Receivables Securitisation Summit, 12 May 2015. Clifford Chance, Canary Wharf, London.
A rapidly accelerating and renewed market is enabling companies in a variety of industries to monetise their receivables and enhance working capital. The inaugural Trade Receivables Securitisation Summit is a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the new deal sizes and structures, collateral valuation, and cash flow under a trade receivables securitisation, as well as pinpointing where the new opportunities lie. Credit Insurance News users are entitled to a 15% discount. Click hereto register at the discounted rate.

The Credit Today Awards 2015, 14 May 2015. Grosvenor House, London.
It is time to put forward your entries for the most prestigious credit industry awards scheme. Whether you work within the sphere of trade credit, or your organisation offers credit to businesses or consumers, there will be at least one category for you! So if you are looking for a promotion and want to demonstrate your achievements to senior management, your firm has made significant strides in the treatment of customers or your team has surpassed all expectations and deserve a public pat on the back, enter the Credit Today Awards, sponsored by Qualco. The event returns for its 16th year on 14 May 2015 and there is no hall of fame better to join than the most recognised and established industry awards. Our winners go on to reach even better heights once they take home a trophy. Make sure it’s you in 2015. View the categories and submit your entries by 6 February by visiting www.credittodayawards.co.uk. For more information call 020 7940 4835 or email events@credittoday.co.uk.

East Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference 2015, 14-15 May. Nairobi, Kenya.
GTR is delighted to announce its return to Nairobi for the East Africa Trade & Commodity Finance Conference 2015, forming the largest gathering of trade finance specialists in the region. Over 200 business leaders are expected to attend to explore key issues, challenges and the latest developments facing East Africa and beyond. Networking will form a fundamental aspect of the event where delegates can form new relationships and renew old contacts before the conference; through the GTR online networking site, during the conference through the dedicated networking sessions and finally the drinks reception. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Natural Resources & Commodities Finance 2015, 20-21 May. De La Mar Theatre, Amsterdam.
Returning for its second year, Natural Resources and Commodities Finance 2015 will take TXF's dynamic approach to the standard conference format a step further. Incorporating capped-attendance idea labs, small workshop groups, games, panel sessions and the TXF duels, the event looks to address the following questions: Is traditional commodity finance dying? The Big Energy Debate: How do we find a way out of the current market volatility? What are traders’ treasury strategies for the next few years? What is behind the increasing number of prepayment arrangements and where have all the PXFs gone?
TXF will be joined by a global range of traders, producers, financiers, investors, economists, academics and consultants to discuss these issues. Please use promo code ‘C-insure’ to qualify for a 10% discount when booking. For more information or to book please click here.

1st Annual Conference on European Alternative Financing & Marketplace Lending, 28 May 2015. London.
Alternative Financing & Marketplace Lending encompasses a range of innovative and diverse financing tools and products evolving as a result of, and in response to, the changing conditions and structural reform affecting financial markets following the financial crisis. It is an evolving industry which will have a significant impact on the on-going reform and regulation of Europe's financial markets. IMN's 1st Annual Conference on European Alternative Financing & Marketplace Lending marks the first industry-led initiative to bring together leading public and private finance specialists, regulators, technology experts, entrepreneurs, investors and professional advisors to collaborate over the advancement and direction of this important and flourishing market. Featured Keynote Speaker: Niall Bohan, Head of Unit, Asset Management, European Commission. Credit Insurance News users are entitled to a 10% discount - reference code CIN10. Click here to reserve your place.

GTR Asia Supply Chain Finance Conference 2015, 2 June 2015. JW Marriott Hotel, Hong Kong.
Building on GTR’s established presence across the continent, the inaugural GTR Asia Supply Chain Finance Conference will showcase the opportunities offered by Hong Kong as a base for tapping into business with China and other key North-East Asian economies. Providing expert insight with a technical programme focus, key topics will include the financing techniques being utilised to optimise international supply networks and key sector trends including RMB internationalisation, collateral management practices, and the impact of increasing regulation. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Coface Country Risk Conference 2015. Thursday 4 June, London.
Gathering economists, industry experts, companies and their business partners, this conference aims to help businesses trade safely by providing key information involved in making domestic and export trading decisions. This year’s event will be on the morning of Thursday 4th June, followed by a buffet lunch. To register your interest in attending please email crc_uk@coface.com.

UK Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015, 9 June. The ICC, Birmingham.
Following the highly successful 2014 event which welcomed over 280 delegates, GTR’s UK Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015 will return to Birmingham; once again providing the ideal forum for high level discussion and debate between the UK’s corporate, government and financial sectors. The conference will focus on how best to increase UK export volumes. Themes discussed will include identifying new markets, tackling obstacles faced in terms of obtaining funding, highlighting the latest government initiatives and considering on the ground experiences from a range of UK businesses. As always, networking will form an integral part of the event, allowing delegates to make full use of their time by meeting key stakeholders and building relationships with those looking to further business prospects in the region. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

North America Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015, 18 June. 32 Old Slip, New York.
GTR‘s North America Trade & Export Finance Conference 2015 will return to New York City for its third year, providing the key discussion forum for trade finance specialists across the United States and beyond. Over 200 business leaders are expected to attend to explore key issues and challenges involved in securing business with high-growth emerging markets as well as addressing concerns of those conducting cross border trade. Networking will form a crucial aspect of the event, offering access to key decision makers and ensuring delegates are able to gain new contacts and establish relationships with those serious about doing business in the region. Click here for more information. A 15% discount is available for Credit Insurance News Digest readers, please quote CIN15.

Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia, 24-25 June 2015. Singapore, Venue TBC.
Insuring Export Credit and Political Risk Asia will bring together ECAs/DFIs, the private insurance sector, commercial banks and corporate exporters for 2 days of top-level industry insight and networking. Asia is the biggest growth market for credit insurance but it is also relatively underdeveloped. Building upon the success of our highly acclaimed London convention, Insuring Export Credit & Political Risk Asia will feature the same high-level content, providing: Insight into industry-specific developments and trends; Key commentary on the wider macro-political and economic environment; An ideal forum to meet and exchange views with leading figures and key stakeholders from the industry. 10% Discount available with VIP Code FKW52893CRN– Register here. View the latest agenda.

Global Trade Development Week. 27-29th October 2015, Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai, UAE.
Organised in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy, GTDW 2015 will be an unprecedented gathering of 1000 trade leaders from government and the private sector coming to Dubai from over 100 countries. The event will be addressed by 150 speakers whom are some the most influential leaders driving world trade today. GTDW is the world largest trade facilitation event and features a series of specialized trade summits that link key sectors across international trade; including business, banking, customs, corporate real estate, infrastructure, specialized economic zones, supply chain logistics and transport. ‘Innovation in Global Trade and Economic Development’ is the theme for GTDW 2015, and innovation will underpin discussion in all of GTDW’s six trade summits. For further information and to register as a delegate visit: www.kwglobaltrade.com.

Understanding International Credit Reports: New training course. Various dates throughout 2014.
Graydon has announced that it is introducing a new training course, Understanding International Credit Reports. The one-day course will examine: report content by region (MENA, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Far East & 'Tax Havens'), sources of data (Credit Agencies, Public Registries, Local Agent in undeveloped markets & Law Firms), credit scoring/ratings and pricing. The course costs £599 + VAT (a 10% discount is offered to Credit Insurance News Digest readers) and will be held on various dates throughout the year. For more information, please go to https://www.graydon.co.uk/understanding-international-credit-reports-CIN-members.

STECIS - The Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Academy has announced the dates for its training seminars in 2015.
The STECIS training seminars are two-day events and are highly interactive. They cover technical and practical knowledge on respectively Trade Credit Insurance and Surety Bonds, the theory of underwriting, in-depth analysis of industry developments, the terminology and the current market. In addition, participants are asked to review case studies. The BASIC training seminars are on 23 and 24 April 2015 and are open to participants with up to 3 years of work experience. The ADVANCED training seminars are set for 9 and 10 July 2015 and are suited to participants who have attended the basic training seminars and/or have at least 4 years of work experience. All training seminars will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands.
As the International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) strongly endorses the STECIS training seminar programme, ICISA member companies receive a 5% discount on the total seminar fee. Companies (ICISA members and non-ICISA members) registering three or more participants to one training seminar, receive a 10% discount on the total seminar fee. For more information, please contact STECIS by sending an e-mail to info@stecis.org or call +31 20 528 5170.

Business Information: Latest Reports and Business Shorts
30% of UK businesses classify more than 10% of their debtor books as over 90 days old. Hilton Baird has reported that the results of its Late Payment Survey 2015 indicate that British businesses are currently having to wait longer to be paid by their customers than at any point since the survey began in 2011. On average, invoices are now being paid 22.5 days beyond agreed terms, which represents an annual increase of 0.9 days. As a direct consequence of late payment, businesses were commonly forced to invest more time into chasing invoices (79%), pay suppliers later (48%) and increase borrowing (30%) in 2014. One in ten had to turn away new business. The Survey also found that there was an annual increase in the proportion of businesses classifying more than 10% of their debtor books as over 90 days old – rising from 26% to 30%. To view Hilton Baird's detailed Survey go to http://www.hiltonbaird.co.uk/CS/Downloads/pdf/Late_Payment_Survey_January-2015_Report_Full.pdf.

Britain's 100 private companies with the fastest-growing profits are revealed in the annual Sunday Times BDO Profit Track 100. This year's league table features well-known brands such as bicycle manufacturer Brompton Bicycle, travel search engine Skyscanner, biscuit and cake maker Tunnock's, and home accessories retailer The White Company, but Cheshire-based online retailer The Hut Group takes the top spot on the league table for a second year running. Stuart Lisle, partner at BDO, the title sponsor of the league table, commented: "These medium-sized businesses are thriving. Our newly-named 'Brittelstand' has outgrown the German 'Mittelstand' with mid-market businesses in all sectors across the UK seizing the opportunities a growing economy presents. To view BDO's news release with a link to the league table go to http://www.bdo.co.uk/press/profit-track-100-britains-private-companies-with-fastest-growing-profits-revealed.

Number of UK SME food suppliers experiencing financial distress rises 120% in 12 months. According to Begbies Traynor's Red Flag Alert research for Q1 2015, while most of the UK’s largest supermarkets are embarking on turnaround strategies in an attempt to claw their way back to financial health, their means of slashing prices and delaying payments is "grinding many food suppliers and smaller high street grocers to the ground." The research also finds that the UK's food retailing industry continues to experience rising ‘Significant’ financial distress, increasing 66% to 4,696 struggling businesses over the past year, with food and beverage manufacturing industry experiencing 94% more instances of ‘Significant’ distress. However, Begbies Traynor warns that it is the SME food suppliers which are really being flattened "by this new savage landscape" as ‘Significant’ distress among this group of businesses has increased by 120% year on year, from 574 SMEs to 1,267. To view Begbies Traynor's news release go to http://www.begbies-traynorgroup.com/news/business-health-statistics/supermarkets-price-war-continues-to-devastate-food-suppliers.

New scam targets small firms with established finance facilities. After two of its small business clients lost over £100,000 between them, Ashley Business Finance has drawn attention to a scam fraudsters are using to target small firms with established finance facilities. In both cases, the fraudsters met their victims at networking groups and posed as genuine businessmen who had clinched a major order from a big company which they were unable to fulfill themselves and offered a share of the profits in return for help to buy stock. Jonathan Cranston, chairman of Ashley Business Finance, said: "these are highly sophisticated fraudsters who . . . come up with a plausible story and even provide a viable paper trail using the names of real companies and directors who are unaware of what is happening." To view Ashley Business Finance's news release go to http://www.ashleyfinance.co.uk/blog/fraudsters-target-firms-with-invoice-finance/.

Grant Thornton announces the launch of India Tracker 2015. Developed in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) the Tracker, which monitors fast-growth Indian businesses operating in the UK, shows that these businesses combined turnover increased by £3 billion in the last year - up from £19 billion in 2014 to £22 billion in 2015. The fastest-growing Indian companies continue to be fairly evenly spread throughout the UK. They also operate across a variety of sectors, with particular strength in technology and telecoms, pharmaceuticals and chemicals and engineering and manufacturing. Shuchita Sonalika, Director and Head of CII UK, commented: “Indian companies are making tremendous progress in UK, as evidenced by the fact that India invests more in the UK than the rest of the EU combined. To view Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/en/Media-Centre/News/2015/Fast-growth-Indian-companies-boost-UK-economy-says-Grant-Thornton/.

The IMF advises that the outlook for advanced economies is improving, while growth in emerging market and developing economies is projected to be lower. The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has advised that global growth in 2014 was a modest 3.4%, reflecting a pickup in growth in advanced economies relative to the previous year and a slowdown in emerging market and developing economies. However despite the slowdown, emerging market and developing economies still accounted for three-fourths of global growth in 2014. Looking ahead, overall global growth is projected to reach 3.5% and 3.8% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, with growth projected to be stronger in 2015 relative to 2014 in advanced economies, but weaker in emerging markets. To view the IMF's latest detailed report go to http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2015/01/pdf/text.pdf.

UK economy to take political uncertainty in its stride says EY ITEM Club. The UK economy will continue to grow solidly in 2015, despite political uncertainty, thanks to the boost provided by ultra-low inflation and an upturn in the Eurozone recovery, according to the EY ITEM Club’s spring forecast. The added bonus to this favourable outlook, according to the forecast, will come from an increasingly robust recovery in the Eurozone. As a result the EY ITEM Club expects GDP growth to reach 2.8% in 2015 and 3.0% in 2016. To view EY's news release go to http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Newsroom/News-releases/15-04-20---UK-economy-to-take-political-uncertainty-in-its-stride-says-EY-ITEM-Club.

Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) finds that optimism amongst UK business leaders fell slightly in the first quarter of the year. This is in contrast to business optimism across the Eurozone economies (especially those hardest hit by the financial crisis) where confidence is moving back up towards pre-crisis levels. Globally, there has been a sharp downturn in optimism in Latin America and Eastern Europe, with business confidence in Latin America and Russia falling to low of 5% and 6% respectively. Scott Barnes, CEO of Grant Thornton UK, commented: "The once-mighty BRIC nations seem to no longer be moving in lockstep, as the Chinese and Indian economies gather steam, the Russian and Brazilian markets seem to be abating." To view Grant Thornton's news release go to http://www.grant-thornton.co.uk/en/Media-Centre/News/2015/UK-business-optimism-stagnates-as-confidence-surges-across-the-Eurozone/.

BCC Economic Survey: UK growth continues, but pace slackens in Q1 2015. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) shows that manufacturing and services firms reported slightly weaker growth for the start of 2015, with a number of key Q1 balances now lower than their pre-recession levels in 2007. John Longworth, Director General of the BCC said: “It is not a huge surprise to see slightly weaker numbers at the start of the year, after a very strong fourth quarter for many firms. . . Our conclusions are by no means a cause for alarm, but they are a salutary reminder that the UK still faces obstacles on the path to sustainable, long-term growth. To read the BCC's news release go to http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-economic-survey-growth-continues,-but-pace-slackens-in-q1-2015.html.

Career Opportunities:
Renewals Underwriter, Salary up to £30,000 plus bonus - Ref 201.
Nexus CIFS, Credit Insurer of the year is seeking to re-enforce its account management team with a Commercial Underwriter to manage SME accounts (insurable turnover up to £5m). The role requires an experienced client facing underwriter with exceptional people skills and proven track record in client retention. Experience of managing a portfolio across a broad range of sectors and country-wide geographic locations is key. Team player, results orientated with a flair for creative thinking & customer service focus is required to fit with the existing team. Nova Search & Selection is acting as an Employment Agency in respect of this vacancy. All applications, without exception, should be forwarded to Kristina@novasearch.co.uk or M: 07931-371990. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Business Underwriter, Salary £35,000-£50,000 including commission / bonus - Ref 202.
Nexus CIFS, Credit Insurer of the year is seeking an experienced New Business Underwriter to join our dynamic and high achieving team. With a target market of business with insurable sales of £15-£50 million turnover, the successful candidate will have a proven track record in “on target” / “over –target” new business success and also possess exceptional relationships with the broking market. You should be a good team contributor whilst being able to manage your individual pipeline and budget to achieve results in your target area. Nova Search & Selection is acting as an Employment Agency in respect of this vacancy. All applications, without exception, should be forwarded to Kristina@novasearch.co.uk  or M: 07931-371990. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Client Advisor / Client Manager. Reading.
This well-known broking house is seeking an additional team member to oversee a portfolio of UK based clients. The role itself will see you in regular contact with both clients and underwriters dealing with policy queries, limit requests, as well as getting involved in annual renewals and any spot business that needs to be carried out. You’ll be working within a friendly and social team who have a good deal of credit experience, therefore are well able to support you. Within the role there is a clear development path and progression is definitely an option, this could either be within the local office or with a move into London. To be considered you should have a minimum of 6 months credit insurance experience from either a broking house or underwriter. Alternatively outgoing, ambitious and dynamic individuals who work in a related field will be considered. Contact Kerren.Leach@eamesconsulting.com / 0207 092 3283 for more detail. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Junior Trade Credit Broker. Singapore. S$65,000 per annum.
International insurance broker, requires an insurance professional with experience of the Trade Credit Insurance industry to join the broking team. They are seeking an ambitious individual with the ability to manage and develop existing accounts as well as build the portfolio through networking and introducing new clients. Knowledge of the Asia Pacific Trade Credit market is required. Contact: Richard.Burfitt@ipsgroupasia.com. Ref: CI490919RB. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Political Risk Underwriter, London. Salary to £90,000.
Well recognised market in London is seeking an outgoing and knowledgeable individual to join their established team. The role will see you writing a variety of risks across banks, traders and corporates. The client are keen to grow their exposure to Corporate (CEN/CCP/CR) and Trader (CF/CR) business therefore knowledge of the products written for these would be preferential to exclusively Bank experience. This sits within a global team who can offer both local career progression as well as international opportunity. Its key that you bring a strong network of contacts within the London Market and experience of the risks placed therein. Candidates who are presently broking within the London market will also be considered. Contact Kerren Leach on 0207 092 3283 or email kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com for a confidential discussion. (Please mentionCredit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Underwriter, Credit and Political Risk team. London. Salary @£50,000 - £80,00 with full benefits package.
Large international insurer is currently looking for a new Senior Underwriter to join its Credit and Political Risk team. The role will include underwriting complex insurance within Political Risk and Trade Credit, implementing Underwriting strategy and assisting development of account and managing customer and broker relationships. Some overseas travel will be required. To be considered, you will have several years' experience underwriting, specifically in credit and political risk. A Knowledge of UK, international and emerging markets and strong numerical and communication skills is necessary. To apply, please contact Ben Wade (ben.wade@reedglobal.com) or call 0207 220 4777. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

Senior Credit Analyst – EMEA Corporates, London. £70,000-£90,000 + Bonus + Benefits.
This global organisation is seeking a Senior Credit Analyst to focus on EMEA Corporates, typically within the heavy industries segment, to join their team. You’ll be supporting a team of commercial individuals based in London and will work alongside global colleagues within the Credit Analysis function. Typically the corporates will be investment grade, however there will be some smaller entities as well. Geographies will be biased towards UK & Europe with a small exposure in the Middle East & Africa. Your role will be to prepare detailed credit files for lending values generally between $50m - $500m, therefore diligence is important. As well as company financials you’ll be expected to refer to non-financial, company rating and where applicable country rating tools to ensure that you are providing a holistic view of the client risk. These analyses will be prepared for both new business request and existing portfolio business with a view to ensuring exposure is monitored. Regular liaison with the offshore processing team and colleagues throughout the world will be required; in addition you will be expected to carry out occasional client meetings throughout EMEA. It’s crucial that you have experience of analysis of financials for UK and European major organisations with a view to providing insightful guidance on major lending decisions. Ideally you will also speak a Southern European language (Spanish / Portuguese / Italian) however this isn’t essential. Experience of Debt Restructuring / Workouts would also be highly regarded. This is a great opportunity to join a team who are firmly in growth mode, have an excellent work/life balance as well as team moral. You’ll also get opportunity to really take end-to-end ownership of your work and genuinely see the benefit of the work you carry out. Coupled with an attractive basic salary the company have a competitive benefits scheme including various bonuses and benefits. For further information and a confidential discussion, please contact kerren.leach@eamesconsulting.com or call 0207 092 3283. (Please mention Credit Insurance News Digest when applying).

New Appointments
Euler Hermes has announced the appointment of a new UK chief executive officer and two new senior members to its Market Management Commercial and Distribution (MMCD) executive team. All appointments take effect 1 July 2015. Valerio Perinelli is appointed chief executive officer of Euler Hermes UK, based in London and reporting to Ludovic Senecaut, head of Euler Hermes Northern Europe region. He succeeds Gerard van Kaathoven, who returns to the Netherlands in a new role as Head of Group Projects. Anil Berry, currently director of Market Management, Commercial and Distribution (MMCD) for the Euler Hermes Asia Pacific region, succeeds Perinelli as head of MMCD at World Agency. Gordon Cessford succeeds Berry as Asia Pacific MMCD director, joining the company from Coface Asia Pacific where he has served as chief commercial officer since 2011.

Euler Hermes has announced that its new operation in South Africa (see 'News' above) will be led by Gregory Nosworthy. Mr Nosworthy has more than 25 years of trade credit risk, insurance and management consulting experience in South Africa and, for the past 20 years, has been the managing director of LCM Credit Risk and Top Cover, a Johannesburg-based company he co-founded and co-owned to provide clients with credit risk, underwriting and management solutions.

Equinox Global has announced the start of its new specialist claims function which will be led by newly appointed John Davison as Head of Claims. John is based in London and reports to Vicki Harrison, Finance Director. John brings 25 years’ experience in credit insurance to this role, 14 of which were spent focusing on claims management for Euler Hermes. He joins from specialist broker Credit & Business Finance Group LLP. Mike Holley, Chief Executive of Equinox Global, commented: “John is the first dedicated claims professional to join Equinox and I am delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Malakut Trade Credit Insurance (Dubai) has announced the appointment of Swarna Lata as associate director. Ms Lata makes the move from Euler Hermes where she held the position of Head of Commercial Underwriting.

Tinubu Square has announced the appointment of Charles Dufourcq as Vice President for Asia Pacific. After seven years in Singapore, Charles is widely experienced in the region’s technology market, where he has worked for a number of large international organisations. Before joining Tinubu Square, Charles Dufourcq was Director of Sales and Consulting Services for Microsoft.

About this issue's sponsor: HCC International
HCC International is a UK domiciled and regulated ‘AA’ rated specialty insurer. It is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. based in Houston Texas, with group offices across the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. HCC International has successfully developed a book of niche products ranging from Professional Indemnity, Energy, Marine Hull, Credit and Surety through to Film Production and Event Cancellation. HCC’s Credit Division is based in Leicester and provides domestic and export Whole Turnover and Single Risk credit insurance policies to a wide range of industries, with specific expertise in the construction industry, factoring and recruitment. HCC’s offering is focused on excellent customer service and simple product wordings delivered through the specialist broker network.

Credit Insurance News Digests: Sponsorship
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If you are interested in sponsoring an issue in 2015 see our sponsorship page for further information.
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