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IFC Invests in New Credit Insurance Venture with Leading German Firm


Afshin Molavi
Phone:  (202) 458-5674

Fax:  (202) 974-4384

E-mail:  
amolavi@ifc.org


Washington D.C., June 5, 2001─The International Finance Corporation will establish a joint venture with Gerling Credit Insurance Group of Germany to invest in credit insurance and related businesses in emerging markets.  The new venture, to be called “Gerling Credit Emerging Markets S.A.,” will do business in IFC member countries, providing an array of credit insurance options to both domestic firms and international firms exploring business opportunities in those countries.

Gerling Credit Emerging Markets S.A. will have its corporate headquarters in Luxembourg and will be 75 percent owned by Namur Re, a member of the Gerling Credit Insurance Group of Germany, and 25 percent by IFC.


The agreement was signed in Washington D.C on June 1 by Peter Woicke, Executive Vice-President of IFC and Bernd H. Meyer, Chairman of the Gerling Credit Insurance Group.


Peter Woicke said credit insurance is a critical tool for promoting sustainable, poverty-alleviating trade in developing countries and added that it fits in with IFC’s goal of improving credit infrastructure as a way of boosting the private sector.


Bernd H. Meyer said that the venture will broadly strengthen the safety of global trading and expand the service network for current Gerling policy-holders.


Credit insurance is used in trade deals to protect the seller against non-payment for goods and services by the buyer.  The widespread use of credit insurance enables increased trade, both domestic and international, and creates greater access to financial services for small and medium enterprises in the developing world.


Gerling Credit Insurance Group─consisting of Gerling Speziale in Cologne and its subsidiaries Gerling Namur in Belgium, Gerling Nordic in Norway and Gerling Comesec in Mexico─is the third largest credit insurance group worldwide with a premium income of about Euro 600 million in 2000.  It is the first credit insurance group worldwide that has been rated AA-by Standard & Poor’s and AA3 by Moody’s.  With a worldwide market share of about 15 percent, Gerling Credit has a presence in 35 countries on five continents.


The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.