A record USD 2.5 trillion of trade and investment was supported by credit and investment insurers of the Berne Union (BU) in 2018 - 13% of total cross-border merchandise trade. Insurers have paid claims in excess of USD 6 bn for the fourth consecutive year.

BU Spring Meeting in Singapore

Over 250 senior leaders of the Berne Union (BU) gathered in Singapore for the Spring Meeting in the beginning of April. OeKB was one of the participants exchanging views on current export projects, market developments in the Ukraine, Bangladesh and Argentina and underwriting techniques such as untied credit lines.

USD 2.5 trillion total new business covered is a plus of 7% compared to 2017 and the largest overall increase since 2011:

USD 2,237 bn short term trade credits
USD 193 bn medium/long term export credits
USD 46 bn investment insurance

The biggest increase in volume was largely concentrated in Western Europe and the fastest growth was seen in regions of Africa.

Claims paid were 17% higher than the peak of claims paid in 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis. This rise is - according to Beatriz Reguero, the BU President - due to the increasing volume of new business underwritten and the uncertainty caused by political and economic factors.

Expected increase in insolvencies suggests a worsening global economy

In their latest joint annual state of the industry survey, members of the BU foresee growth in insured trade for 2019. This outlook is countered by a negative development in insolvencies for almost all regions.