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
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.