Fitch Ratings affirmed the credit rating of the UAE’s Etihad Credit Insurance, citing its strong capital base with a total paid-in capital of Dh250 million ($68.07m) and a further commitment from its shareholders totalling Dh750m.
The agency assigned AA- ratings to the ECI with a stable outlook as the company continues to support the private sector with credit guarantees and other measures.
“This achievement 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 the global hub for trade and business,” said Mohammed Al Hussaini, UAE’s Minister of State for Financial Affairs and chairman of the board of directors of ECI.
Established in 2018, ECI provides export guarantees and trade insurance for UAE companies to minimise payment risks associated with exporting.
It has partnerships with local and international banks that offer loans to UAE companies to fund exports to overseas buyers, with ECI providing insurance.
The ECI issued Dh3.4bn worth of revolving credit guarantees as of September 2021. The volume is three times higher than the guarantees issued last year for the same period, the company said.
The credit rating “reiterates ECI’s important role in the diversification of the country’s economy and confirms the federal agency’s strong financial position and capability to protect UAE’s exporters and investors in the international marketplace”, said Massimo Falcioni, chief executive of ECI.
ECI also plans to provide about $3bn in guarantees to back renewable energy projects in the UAE and its developers operating abroad, after the country's pledge to become climate neutral.
"The total sector will attract approximately $3bn of investment in the UAE for renewable energies. This is what I see in the next couple of years," Mr Falcioni told The National.
The $3bn being pledged over the coming years will support developments carried out by Masdar, as well as those by SkyPower, a utility scale solar developer.
The export credit agency also plans to support the Operation 300bn initiative launched by the UAE government this year through its offerings.
The UAE is focused on developing its local manufacturing industry to diversify its economy, create jobs, attract foreign investment, improve local skill sets and export locally made products. As part of its strategy to drive industrial growth, the country aims to double the industrial sector's contribution to national economic output to Dh300bn by 2031, from Dh133bn currently.