ECI, AECB to support SMEs’ growth in UAE’s domestic trade credit

DUBAI, Etihad Credit Insurance, ECI, announced on Sunday that it will extend its support to exporters within domestic trade, as part of its development strategy and over goals to support and strengthen local traders.

The new move comes as part of a the UAE Federal export credit company subscribing to Al Etihad Credit Bureau, AECB. The Bureau is a Federal entity that provides credit information reports in accordance with the UAE Credit Information Law.

The agreement was signed by Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI and Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of AECB, in the presence of senior officials from both institutions.

Commenting on the partnership, Falcioni said, “Our mission is to ensure that no viable UAE exporter faces inconvenient obstacles due to lack of trade credit from the private market or lack of access to financing solutions. Through our dialogue with UAE entrepreneurs, thanks to the continued cooperation with UAE Chambers of commerce, we have been able to learn that SMEs especially need ECI’s extensive export credit solutions portfolio to support their domestic trade goals.”

The new subscription will enable ECI to expand its portfolio to include local trade which in turn will have a positive impact on the domestic economy as a whole. It further reinforces ECI’s commitment to enhance UAE businesses’ financial awareness and support them in their growth and development in the domestic arena.

AECB is mandated to regularly collect credit information from financial and non-financial institutions in the UAE. It aggregates and analyses this data to calculate credit scores and produce credit reports that are made available to individuals and companies in the UAE.

Credit scores – ranging from 300 to 900 – are issued to businesses in the UAE, measuring the likelihood of an individual or company to default within the next 12 months. The credit score is calculated historical data from banks and finance companies. The reports will include credit information for that will not exceed five years prior to the date of the application.

These reports will be used by ECI to assess the creditworthiness of domestic buyers that will support the supplier in managing the risk and provide them with trade credit coverage solutions that will help UAE businesses expand locally by protecting their receivables.

Falcioni added, “Our subscription with AECB is a key strategic step in that direction, as it will aid ECI to offer domestic trade credit limits to local UAE companies, easing their access to bank funding through trade receivables discounting. This move, while strengthening the UAE-based businesses, is also aligned with the country’s Vision 2021 that focuses on building a competitive and sustainable local economy. Moreover, this expansion will go a long way in helping UAE businesses make informed decisions by assisting them in better managing their cash flow, as well as their risk coverage.”

For companies looking to avail of ECI’s credit insurance solutions, ECI will use the data from AECB to evaluate the creditworthiness of the buyers, thus helping the local trader in making an informed business decision.

The ECI solution helps both the buyer and supplier as it adds confidence to grow the trade between both the parties based on reliable data and risk management procedures that will mitigate risk and reduce the probability of default.

“The effective use of tools like credit information reports,” the ECI CEO explained, “can help to assess the risk of UAE businesses from the time of application throughout the entire relationship. A better credit score will not only help them to avail of better insurance solutions but also have an encouraging impact on the financial services industry which will further contribute to the strength of the UAE economy.”

For his part, Marwan Ahmad Lutfi, CEO of Al Etihad Credit Bureau emphasised, “Al Etihad Credit Bureau is a key enabler for financial services transactions and we are delighted to have ECI join our growing list of non-banking users. There are billions of dirhams that are managed through various formats of credit that form an integral part of daily trade in the UAE.

“Utilising information from Al Etihad Credit Bureau by entities like ECI for risk management will no doubt support the UAE’s credit insurance landscape by facilitating access to credit and improving payment behaviours along the way.”

Source: Emirates News Agency