Local Business

Fitch awards AA- rating to ECI with stable outlook

Filed on November 14, 2020 | Last updated on November 15, 2020 at 10.18 pm

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI

Etihad Credit Insurance has issued over 1,700 revolving credit guarantees, covering Dh4 billion worth of non-oil exports

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), praised the efforts of ECI after it was awarded the Insurance Financial Strength (IFS) Rating and an Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of AA- with stable outlook from Fitch Ratings for the second year.

He said that the high rating reflects the federal export credit company’s unyielding commitment to help UAE businesses gain a competitive edge in the international market through providing them protection and confidence in trade, thereby bolstering the UAE’s non-oil economy, in line with the vision of the wise leaders.

With its strong presence in the global arena through its bespoke export credit, financing, and investment insurance products, the rating of ECI reflects the systemic importance of ECI to the UAE, given its specific government policy role in the diversification of the UAE's economy.

ECI was founded to insure UAE-based non-oil export companies against non-payment, and to protect investments outside of the UAE against political risks, while supporting corporate bidding for international tenders.

"Congratulations to the board of directors and the entire team of ECI for receiving the AA- rating with a stable outlook from Fitch Ratings, which is one of the strongest credit ratings a financial institution can receive, not just in the UAE, but in the entire region. This feat is a testament to the Federal Export Credit Company’s commitment to constantly improving and innovating, in order to help position the country further as a global hub for trade and business," Dr. Al Zeyoudi noted.

ECI was assigned a high score due to its systemic importance to the promotion of UAE’s non-oil exports, trade, investments and strategic sector development, in line with the economic agenda of the UAE’s Vision 2021.

Fitch also views ECI’s ownership by the UAE authorities, combined with the extremely high probability of additional support, if needed, as supportive of its ratings.

ECI is in its third year of operation, and the UAE’s export credit agency has already made solid contributions to employment and the economy of the UAE.

It has issued over 1,700 revolving credit guarantees, covering Dh4 billion-worth of non-oil exports to more than 70 countries in the first 10 months of 2020, thereby providing a solid contribution to employment, business continuity and the non-oil economy of the country.

Fitch added that ECI’s investments are "prudent," with its invested assets allocated in fixed deposits in five different UAE banks, and in bonds rated in the AA categories, as well as with the AAA rating.

Massimo Falcioni, CEO of ECI, said: “On behalf of ECI management, I am immensely grateful to the UAE leaders and the ECI Board of Directors for their continued support and inspiration, which is mirrored in the reaffirmation of this high rating. UAE exporters, re-exporters and investors have a solid partner in the Federal export credit company to secure their access to international markets, protect their cash flow and offer guarantees to their lenders.”

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