African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) in conjunction with Atradius and NIC Bank (Kenya) partner up in insured receivables-backed Trade Facility to Kenyan exporter of organic produce
Another benchmark in the marketing of Export Credit Insurance by ATI assisting an exporter to secure a Short Term Credit Facility from NIC Bank to support its business.
NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 December 2005
The African Trade Insurance Agency ("ATI"), the continent's only pan-African, multilateral Export Credit Agency ("ECA"), today announced the issuance of a Credit Insurance policy to Earthoil Kenya Pty EPZ Ltd ("Earthoil Kenya"), a major exporter of organic and conventional essential oils and seed oils to the North American and European markets. The policy, which has been issued in conjunction with Atradius, the world's second largest credit insurer with total revenues of EUR 1.31 billion in 2004, will secure Earthoil Kenya against payment default and the risk of insolvency on its buyers.
The policy has been assigned to NIC Bank as a security enabling the Bank to extend working capital financing to Earthoil Kenya in support of the latter's further development of its export business. Export credit insurance is a relatively cheap and flexible financial tool to protect an exporter against its financial risks and bringing along the significant advantage that its financiers may no longer require it to provide any additional securities (e.g. pledge of land or property), thereby freeing up the exporter's borrowing capacity and allowing it to grow its business. In the event of a default by one or more of the exporter's buyers, ATI would indemnify NIC Bank for any unpaid receivables covered under the policy.
Mr. Wayne Barratt, Operations Director of Earthoil Kenya, said: "with this policy, we are now planning to expand our production and the sourcing of products. This will increase significantly our capacity, enabling Earthoil Kenya to meet a growing demand for organic and conventional products in existing and new markets, while being able to offer more favourable trading terms to our customers."
NIC Bank which has partnered with ATI in providing the working capital facility to Earthoil Kenya has welcomed this development and expressed its preparedness to consider assisting other exporting clients on the basis of the security offered by ATI's export credit insurance policies. James Macharia, Managing Director at NIC Bank said that "we are looking forward to working with exporters by structuring suitable pre-shipment and post-shipment finance facilities by piggy-backing on this Insurance Product which protects both the Exporter and the Bank from unpaid commercial debts on insolvent buyers.
ATI's Export Credit Insurance presents many advantages to us, the Bankers and to our Exporter client since it further carries out all-inclusive functions of pre-assessing potential customers on behalf of the Exporter. It also provides a credit management and credit control tool by monitoring the credit status of the buyers throughout the duration of the Policy together with a collection of receivable service and hence the Bank's risk is considerably reduced..."
Ms. Richarde Traeger, ATI's Underwriter said: "ATI welcomes the conclusion of this policy on behalf of Earthoil Kenya, an exporter of natural produce meeting a steadily increasing global demand. We also welcome the collaboration with Kenya's NIC Bank who understands the benefits of credit insurance in assisting it to facilitate its exporter's overseas business."
As for ATI, being the unique provider of this type of insurance on behalf of exporters from the East African Region, this last development in ATI's credit insurance portfolio comes at a time when two Kenyan policy holders, Redland Roses Ltd, a major exporter of fresh flowers to the European, Japanese and Australian markets and Air Connection Ltd, a provider of international air freight services, just renewed their policies. These renewals clearly demonstrate both customers' satisfaction with the Atradius-ATI export credit insurance product.
Mr. Roland Pladet, ATI's newly appointed Chief Underwriter Officer, who worked for Atradius (formerly Gerling-NCM) in the late 80s and early 90s, said: "ATI definitely welcomes the addition of Earthoil Kenya's export policy to its corporate credit insurance portfolio, as well as the renewal of the policies on behalf of both Redland Roses Ltd and Air Connection Ltd."
These policies stress the importance of the partnership between Atradius and ATI in supporting ATI Member Country exporters to overcome trade obstacles when selling to OECD and non-OECD country buyers. Potential payment defaults by foreign buyers present a real business risk for African exporters, and Mr. Pladet continued: "ATI is pleased that several of its clients have now started to protect their own businesses by making credit insurance a structural part of their pro-active credit management. In doing so, they will also be able to improve their own access to credit against more favourable terms while creating new growth opportunities for their house banks at the same time."
Note to Editors
Since ATI commenced commercial operations in 2002, the Agency has been providing Political Risk cover in partnership with Lloyd's of London and Credit Insurance in partnership with Atradius (formerly Gerling-NCM) on cross border transactions involving its African member states.
Under its Export Credit Insurance Facility, ATI entered into a Partnership agreement with Atradius, in order to provide credit insurance for local, export and import transactions. Atradius (formerly Gerling-NCM) is an integrated credit insurer with a global network, offering comprehensive solutions in risk transfer, financing and related services. Atradius is the second largest credit insurer worldwide generating premium income well in excess of EUR 1bn per annum. The credit insurance cover offered by ATI and Atradius protects a company's balance sheet against short term trade receivable losses, but also allows exporters to continuously monitor and analyse the financial health of their customers and prospects. It also brings with it professional credit check of customers, and debt collection service. If an invoice remains unpaid, Atradius recovers the exporter's debts on their behalf. The shareholders of Atradius are Swiss Re, Deutsche Bank, Sal. Oppenheim et Cie., Gerling NCM Pension Trust and the Gerling Group.
Every company, from a small-sized to an international group of business, selling on open account, is eligible to subscribe to a credit insurance policy. According to the business and the trade sector in which the company operates, ATI can adapt the policy terms and create a tailor-made contract.
The credit insurance policy covers invoices against the risk of non-payment and insolvency on both domestic and export markets and ATI in association with Atradius can offer cover in more than 180 countries worldwide.