home  › Business and economy

SACE’s support to Italian companies operating abroad at all-time high, €22 billion

by Celestina Dominelli

Italian exporter insurer SACE saw a boom in resources last year to support exports and international expansion. The subsidiary of state bank Cassa depositi e prestiti, led by Alessandro Decio, ended 2016 with €22 billion for Italian companies operating beyond national borders, up 30% from 2015.

“Significant results, achieved in a complicated landscape,” said CEO Decio, “SACE is demonstrating it understands how to combine its growing commitment to companies with a solid asset base and robust profitability. The results for 2016 surpassed in every parameter the goals of the strategic plan,” for export and internationalization.

The biggest slice went to exports: €11.6 billion, or growth of 42% from 2015, through guarantees and interest contributions on financing to foreign buyers of Italian goods and services, and risk insurance for missed payment. The bulk of the resources dealt with nations like the U.S., which represent a high potential markets, but also emerging areas (like Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, the UAE and Saudi Arabia) as well as pure “frontier” zones like Africa, starting with Kenya and Cameroon.

Commitments to support international activity for Italian companies stood at €2.3 billion (versus €2.2 billion in 2015), with 53% of resources going towards guarantees to Italian companies for international development; 32% to deposits for tenders and international contracts; and the remaining 15% to financing breaks and capital investment.

SACE’s 2016 budget also showed an increase in factoring, with Italian companies managing to transform into liquidity €2.7 billion in credits (+9% from 2015), along with an additional €1.8 billion in freed up in tandem with other divisions of the group.

Short-term credit insurance and guarantees showed progress: resources mobilized came to €5.9 billion (+25%), in favor of small and mid-sized companies.
The total portfolio of insured deals reached €87 billion (+6%).

As for economic-financial indicators, the group saw gross premiums of €534.2 million (+10%) and claims liquidated of €344.1 million (+33%). Credit recovery from sovereign borrowers was also solid, at €731.4 million, more than 70% of which came from Iran (€526.5 million). Net equity was €4.5 billion (+6%), with a solvency-capital ratio of 154%, up from 2015 (135%).

Net income was €303.5 million, down 25% due to the financial management division (given the performance of markets) and strengthening of financial reserves (+12%).
Consolidated net profit was €481.9 million (+56%).