More than 200 clients and insurance industry representatives attended the February 14th event at the Madrid Stock Exchange celebrating the recent launch of Solunion in Spain and Argentina.
Below are speech highlights from the event:
- Global economic outlook 2013: GDP forecast +2.5%. There is reason for optimism as the main stock market indices were on the rise in late 2012, early 2013. However, it is the sixth consecutive year of crisis for businesses.
- A reason for some concern is the rise in business insolvencies. Globally, insolvencies rose by +1% in 2012 and should further increase by 4% in 2013, mainly driven by high levels in Europe, but also by increases in Africa.
- Eurozone outlook 2013: GDP forecast -0.1%. Major challenges remain despite important progress in 2012, such as the reversal of budget deficits, gains in competitiveness and structural reforms. Further progress is needed in terms of integration, to recover higher GDP growth in the region, and bringing down public debt.
- Spain is still in for a bumpy ride in 2013 and may need additional ECB support, as the country remains in recession: GDP forecast -1.6% in 2013. A gradual recovery is expected in 2014 with higher household spending and business investment: GDP growth forecast 0.6%.
- In Spain, external trade will provide some cushion even in 2013. On the other hand, the deep domestic housing crisis remains a concern -- activity in the sector is at an all-time low. Credit to the private sector may suffer from necessary deleveraging.
- Exports can boost growth if Spanish businesses target the right countries and sectors. Strongest growing markets are the BRICs, the Asian Dragons and Tigers, and the Latin American Jaguars.
- Latin America has strong potential for sustained growth (+3.5% in 2013, +3.8% in 2014), and not only in Brazil. Yet the region still requires sound economic policies and more stable governments to ensure adequate investment.
- Key Latin America markets include Mexico, which is seeing good growth (GDP +3.8% in 2012) and improved competitiveness, as well as Colombia (GDP +3.7% in 2012) that benefits from a strong and diverse commodity base (coal, coffee, ferro nickel, oil).
- Chile achieved +5.3% GDP growth in 2012 thanks to its rich natural resource base: a leading copper producer, agriculture, fishing, forestry. Nevertheless, the country remains vulnerable to oil prices.
- Argentina currently presents the highest Latin American country business, economic, political and financing risks. The country faces fading growth (GDP +1.8% in 2012) due to the tightening of import controls. Its fiscal balance continues to deteriorate and inflation remains high.
The Solunion event also provided participants with the latest update on the Euler Hermes Global Insolvency Index.
BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and
For further information, please contact:
Solunion – Communication Department
Phone. +34 91 417 80 11
Avda. General Perón, 40
Euler Hermes Group Media Relations (Paris)
Phone +33 (0)1 8411 6141; firstname.lastname@example.org
MAPFRE Corporate Communications (Madrid)
Phone + 34 91 581 81 96; + 34 91 581 87 14; fax 91 581 83 82; email@example.com