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SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 22 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian Export Insurance Agency, BAEZ, is registering a rise in insured amounts for countries in Southeast Europe (SEE), with Bosnia setting the pace, a senior official of the agency said.
Credit limit applications in the first nine months of the year for buyers based in Bosnia increased 1,647%, BAEZ business development director Anna Karshovska told SeeNews in a recent interview.
Companies based in Albania and Croatia followed with an increase by 364% and 170%, respectively, Karshovska added.
Credit limit applications for companies based in Romania, Bulgaria's leading trade partner in SEE in terms of covered exports, increased by 54% to over 98 million levs ($56.9 million/50.12 million euro) in the January-September period.
In Karshovska's view, this trend reflects a rise in general interest in these countries, as well as the growing popularity of deferred payments, the extended deadlines for contracted and actual payments, and the improved financial awareness of Bulgarian company managers.
The distribution of the agency's insurance portfolio in terms of countries replicates that of Bulgaria's exports, with EU countries accounting for 74% of the total in 2014 despite the fact that they are considered less risky, Karshovska noted.
Traditionally, commercial risk insurance where risks are associated with the buyer attract highest interest among Bulgarian companies. Commercial risk insurance covers delays in contracted payments and offers protection against a buyer's bankruptcy. However, interest in non-financial insurance too is rising, according to Karshovska.
The official also noted the growing awareness of the advantages of export insurance among small Bulgarian companies over the past few years.
BAEZ was founded in 1998 with a share capital of 10,000,500 levs. Since 2004 it is fully owned by the Bulgarian state. It offers insurance against commercial marketable risk, insurance of payments against non-marketable commercial and political risk, and insurance of bank loans for pre-shipment and credits and financing granted to small and medium-sized enterprises.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)