Insurance firm sees surge in business

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 January, 1997, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corp says its total business insured rose almost 16 per cent to $15.48 billion in the nine months to December 31.

It said it paid claims of $55.66 million in the three quarters - 72 per cent up on the payout a year earlier.

The rise was caused predominantly by default, which accounted for 66 per cent of claims, or $36.79 million - a rise of 197 per cent from the year-earlier period.

Insolvency contributed 26 per cent of the total payout.

The increase in claims payments was driven by a rising number of cases involving corporate buyers in the US, Germany and Italy.

The US was the firm's largest insured market, with 33 per cent of total insured business, followed by Britain with 17 per cent, and Germany with 11 per cent of insured business.

Textiles and garments were the biggest group of products insured, totalling $4.49 billion, or 29 per cent, while toys constituted insured business worth almost $2 billion.

The company said that while the growth suggested the majority of its export markets were picking up, the surge might have been helped by a rising awareness of credit insurance.