"Although we have more than 75 years of experience in the credit insurance industry, Atradius is a relatively new name"-said Dr. Thomas Langen, Regional Director of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe. The new company was introduced in January 2004 following the 2001 merger of NCM, Holland's leading credit insurer, and Gerling, Germany's second largest credit insurer. Today, Atradius is a leading credit insurer worldwide with a 25% market share. "Our products include credit insurance solutions for domestic and international trade that protect against default risk of customers as a result of corporate insolvency or bankruptcy, political risk or bad debt. We insure more than 1.5 million euros in international construction projects"-introduced the activity of Atradius Dr. Thomas Langen. The main difference between traditional insurance products and credit insurance is the basis on which the decision is taken to insure a trade debt. Atradius analyses the creditworthiness of all customers, which buy goods from an Atradius client and sets credit limits for each of these customers. If however, despite these analyses and limits, there is a payment default, Atradius will process the claim and pay its client. Atradius began its operation in Hungary working together with Signal Biztosító, and worked as Gerling-Konzern Biztosítási Alkusz Kft.. Central and Eastern Europe is a key region for Atradius and Hungary is the third largest economy in Central Europe, so Atradius had decided to open its own Budapest office in March 2005. Balázs Vanek was appointed to Managing Director of Atradius Hungary. "We believe that there are significant opportunities to strengthen the financial position of Hungarian companies of all sizes."-emphasised Balázs Vanek. "As the risk of insolvency are increasing, there is a growing demand for credit insurance products. The last year's EU accession and the development of cross-border trade activity; more and more Hungarian companies face many challenges in domestic and export trade as well." But credit insurance is not only about claims payment. Credit risk management is a key element of successful risk management. Atradius can help Hungarian companies select the right companies to do business with by keeping them informed about potential risks. Its vast database of information on suppliers enables the company to maintain a high risk appetite. "In Hungary, the number of insolvencies has been growing continuously. While 5605 company insolvencies were registered in 2000, this number increased up to 9900 in 2004. The Hungarian market had a premium volume of around EUR 10 million in 2004 and offers further opportunities for growth. But, comparing to Western European countries, the number of insured company is still low. For example, in Germany 26 per cent of companies take up credit insurance while in Hungary it is only about 2-3%" – said Vanek. "Therefore Atradius main goal is to stimulate business growth in Hungary by helping small medium and large Hungarian companies. Moreover, we want to be a leading credit insurance company in Hungary" concluded Balázs Vanek about Atradius' plans. About Atradius: Atradius is a leading credit insurer with a total turnover of around EUR 1.3 billion and a worldwide market share of 25%. It insures about EUR 300 billion of worldwide trade annually against the risk of non-payment and provides a comprehensive range of risk transfer, financing and trade receivables management. With a staff of 3600 and more than 90 offices in 40 countries, Atradius has access to credit information on 45 million companies worldwide and makes 10,000 credit limit decisions daily. Atradius is rated "A" by Standard & Poor's (outlook stable) and "A2" by Moody's (outlook stable). The biggest shareholders are Swiss Re and Deutsche Bank.
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