Coface, the French export finance insurer, announced that it has purchased the 50 percent interest of French reinsurer SCOR in Unistrat Insurance, making it the sole owner of the company, which will be renamed Unistrat Coface.
Unistrat, with offices in Paris and New York, specializes in political risk insurance. It posted $39.5 million in premium volume in 2003, and has a cumulative risk exposure of nearly 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in 167 countries.
“This shareholder change will have no effect on Unistrat Coface’s underwriting independence,” said a company announcement. “It will retain all the quality and flexibility associated with its recognised expertise in its areas of excellence, political risk insurance and ‘single-risk’ coverage for complex international operations: export or import contracts and investment projects, particularly in emerging countries.
“However, commercial synergies between the company and group will be developed vigorously,” the announcement continued. “As a complement to its existing business offer to brokers and large companies, Unistrat Coface will henceforth enjoy direct access to a large number of companies via the Coface sales networks in the 57 countries where the group has its own operations. Concurrently, Coface’s clients will enjoy direct access to Unistrat’s expertise via their regular business contacts.”
In a separate development Coface announced that it has signed an agreement with a consortium of Russian Banks to create a rating agency for Russian companies. The Association and Coface will join forces “to provide small and medium-size Russian companies with a rating system that will facilitate their access to bank credit,” said the bulletin.
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