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Credit Life Assurance
Monday, March 1, 1999
Foreign links

Parisian-based COFACE (Companie Française D’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur), the world’s leading export credit insurer, has acquired a 20% stake in local Credit Underwriting Agency Ltd. (CUAL).
John Manners, MD of CUAL says, “This is a strategic investment for both parties. From CUAL’s perspective, it allows us greater access to international reinsurance capacity, international credit insurance expertise and international credit information, to the benefit of our local customers.”
COFACE’s investment will enable it to offer an improved South African service to subsidiaries of French and international customers. It will also have access to an important source of information on the dynamics of the local market. The South African short-term credit insurance market totalled some R200m in premium last year, and is becoming increasingly competitive.
The deal consolidates a partner- ship established three years ago when CUAL joined the international Credit Alliance, which is founded and man- aged by COFACE and currently operates in 37 countries.
“Due to its strong involvement in the region’s economy, CUAL will also provide valuable input to support the analysis of risks in South Africa and neighbouring countries, helping to further limit the exposure of French exporters doing business in the region,” said Dominique Tuffrau, director of COFACE international. France is South Africa’s fifth largest supplier and fifth largest foreign investor. French exports to South Africa decreased by 9% in 1996 but recovered strongly in 1997, expanding by nearly 29% to FF 5,987m.
Since entering the market in 1989, CUAL has broken the credit insurance monopoly that existed at that time by capturing 20% of the domestic credit insurance market and around 5% of the export credit insurance market.
Companie Française D’Assurance now joins Commercial Union, Hollandia Re, Kredit lnform and local management as owners of the local business.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:12.2 1st March, 1999
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