Insurer and credit management solution provider Coface is set to offer factoring services in five new countries. The new regions are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, China, Australia and Israel. These openings are in line with the company’s aim to increase its total number of entities offering factoring to 48 by the end of 2009. The current total of Coface factoring providers stands at 23.

The decision to expand its factoring services is a reaction to the global credit crisis, according to Coface’s CEO Jerome Cazes.

“All across the world we see increased interest in factoring as a safe way to obtain financing. It is important to note that there is more credit extended by companies to other companies (their customers) through inter-company credit, than credit extended by banks to companies. Factoring reduces lending risk for the factor and secures liquidity for its customer,” Cazes explains.

In early June, Coface announced that it was offering export factoring services in China, via Natixis in Shanghai. China is regarded as one of the fastest growing markets for factoring. The potential market for factoring in Asia is thought to be substantial, with Asia accounting for around 35% of world trade, but under 15% of the factoring market.

Coface is also offering export factoring services in Australia and Israel via local subsidiaries.
In Eastern Europe, Coface acquired HP Finance, a factoring company based in the Czech Republic with a subsidiary in Slovakia.