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Coface has opened a new office in Canada, signalling its intention to become a major player in the Canadian market for trade credit protection and management services.

Coface has requested approval to establish a Canadian branch from the Minister of Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI).

The office is being established to amplify and broaden Coface’s existing presence in Canada. Coface North America already operates indirectly in Canada, serving several hundred customers through independent sales agents in Toronto and Montreal. With the branch office, which will be located in Montreal, Coface will be able to issue credit insurance policies directly to companies in Canada.

The country manager for the Canada office is Bernard Labadie, senior vice-president Canada, Coface North America.

“This is exciting news,” says Michael Ferrante, president of Coface North America. “While we have been underwriting Canadian business risk for some time now, we are ready to produce this new business in Canada directly by Coface. I have every confidence that the branch will enhance Coface’s position in the Canadian market for credit management protection and services.”

Coface SA expects its Canadian branch to be fully operational in 2005.