Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur

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COFACE headquarters in Paris, France
COFACE building in Mainz, Germany

The Compagnie Française d'Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur (COFACE) is a globally operating credit insurer, offering companies solutions to protect them against the risk of financial default of their clients, both on the domestic market and for export. In 2011, the Group posted a consolidated turnover of €1.6 billion. 4,600 staff in 66 countries provide a local service worldwide. Each quarter, Coface publishes its assessments of country risk for 157 countries, based on its knowledge of companies’ payment behaviour and on the expertise of its 250 underwriters.

In France, Coface manages public export guarantees on behalf of the French state, acting as France's Export Credit Agency.

Coface provides guarantees or insurance on accounts receivable arising from the sales of commercial goods and services on credit terms of 30-day and 60-day time scales especially for export companies (as an alternative to making the foreign purchaser obtain a letter of credit), sometimes on longer time scales; it manages state guarantees for exports by French corporations; and also provides some other international support for exporters.

Coface is a world leader in trade-credit information and protection (Trade Credit Insurance), serving 160,000 clients in 93 countries.[citation needed] The company has been expanding into the related fields of trade finance, including factoring, and accounts receivable management.

In 2007, together with creditreform Coface launched an International identifier EasyNumber which it assigns to every single Business Unit of an economic actor. This service is managed by a joint venture EasyNumber Company SA.[1]

History and ownership[edit]

Coface was founded in 1946 as the French export credit agency. It was privatized by the government in 1994 and continued as a commercial enterprise.[2]

Currently, Coface is owned by the bank group Natixis.

Products[edit]

In the UK and Ireland, Coface UK provides:

  • Accounts Receivable Insurance (Trade Credit Insurance)
  • Single Risk and Political Risk Protection
  • International Business Information
  • Commercial Collection Services
  • Country Risk Information
  • Receivables Finance
  • Performance Bonds & Duty Deferment Guarantees (Surety)

In North America, Coface North America provides:

  • Accounts Receivable Insurance (Trade Credit Insurance)
  • Single Risk and Political Risk Protection
  • Receivables Finance
  • International Business Information
  • Commercial Collection Services
  • Kompass Business to Business Search Engine
  • Country Risk Information

In Australia, Coface Services Australia provides:

  • Company Information
  • Receivables Management
  • Receivables Protection (Trade Credit Insurance)
  • Receivables financing

Country risks rating[edit]

Coface assigns a rating to each of the 150 countries it monitors; this rating reflects the average risk of short-term non-payment for companies in this country. Seven families are used:

  • A1 : Steady political and economic environment, good payment record of companies, very weak default probability
  • A2 : Political and economic environment or payment record of companies not as good as A1, default probability being still weak
  • A3 : Payment record usually lower than A1 and A2, likely to be modified by adverse political or economic circumstances, probability of a payment default being still low
  • A4 : Patchy payment record, likely to be modified by a deteriorating political and economic environment, probability of a default being still acceptable
  • B : Unsteady political and economic environment, usually poor payment record
  • C : Very unsteady political and economic environment, frequently bad payment record
  • D : High risk profile of the economic and political environment, very bad payment record.
Coface country risks rating (2006).

Equivalent in the world[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]