Sace has announced €1.2bn worth of new operations in Russia, confirming the country’s top position in the export credit agency’s portfolio.

The Italian ECA insured €5.2bn worth of operations in Russia in 2011, marking an 11% increase from the previous year. Sace’s deals focused mainly on the oil and gas sector (39.4%), banking (27%) and the metal industry (25.2%).

Although Russia’s GDP growth is expected to slow down from 4.5% to 4.3% between 2012 and 2013, and its risk of non-payment has shown a slight increase due to the eurozone crisis, Sace considers the country’s business climate as “full of opportunities”. It notes decreased risks of expropriation, breach of contract and political violence.

Among the ECA’s biggest deals in 2011 was a €500mn loan guarantee to Gazprom for the implementation of pipelines designed by Italian company Saipem as part of the Nord Stream project.

Sace was also awarded the advisory contract to help with the creation of Russia’s new ECA Exiar.

Read more:
Sace increases presence in Brazil
Sace expands Chinese focus