Open Banking Solutions at Creditinfo

In 2020 Creditinfo Group decided to be part of the Open Banking initiative by starting to investigate the options of using customers’ bank account statements in their offering. The account information service is based on the PSD2 directive. For known reasons, it is not possible and acceptable to have access to customer bank account data without consent.

Creditinfo have tackled the opportunity in two different ways. In the Baltics and Iceland, the chosen route was to apply for an FSA licence to offer end-to-end customer account statements transfer from their home bank to a third party, from whom the customer applies for credit , e.g. car loan. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia namely due to the long and cost-intensive process of “passporting” CI’s Estonian license, the chosen route was collaboration with a local technical partner called Sokordia Tech.

A little bit more about above-mentioned two ways to offer Open Banking solutions in Creditinfo Group.

In 2021 Spring, Creditinfo Estonia received permission from the Financial Supervision Authority to start offering account information services in Estonia, which later in Autumn expanded to the markets of Latvia and Lithuania. Today, Creditinfo has been offering the account information service in the Baltic market for almost three years. Creditinfo have real-time access to the transaction data of customers of banks and financial institutions using a secure data transmission channel and customer consent.

In Spring 2024, Creditinfo Estonia finalised the Iceland licence application process from Estonian FSA and can officially offer account information service in Iceland.

Beside regulative and compliance part, Creditinfo also has full technical integration and capability in developing categorization when offering account informatoin service. With opportunity to access customers bank account data, the aim is to offer more transparent credit risk evaluation to customers and third parties, who find high value from the knowledge of their customers account information to make data-driven, intelligent credit and business decisions.

As mentioned above, Creditinfo also have Open Banking cooperation and partnership in the Czech Republic and Slovakia with fintech company Sokordia Tech, teaming up to capitalize on Creditinfo’s market position  whilst leveraging Sokordia Tech’s AISP and PISP licenses and Open Banking services platform to provide PSD2/Open Banking services to several financial services clients in the market.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia market, Creditinfo currently has 5 customers utilizing the Open Banking platform, processing more than 1.2 million open banking transactions per month. Depending on the specific requirements, pain points, and use case of the Client, Creditinfo  has developed a “Categorization In-a-Box” , Multi-Service platform called Transaction Analysis Service replete with 40,000 pre-installed business rules that can sit atop and work with any Open Banking Open APIs in any country. The service is comprised of 6 unique methods/services (AIS+CIS+PIS) & PDF tools via one API as detailed below:

  1. PSD2parser: extracting raw data from PSD2 bank statements
  2. PSD2tags: tag each bank transaction with one to N identifying tags
  3. PDFparser: Extracting raw data from PDF bank statements
  4. PDFtags: Tag each bank transaction with one to N identification tags
  5. 1UnitPay: Verification PSD2 payment (the advantage is that the payment is made in one step with statement extraction)
  6. Bank Account Views: Repeated viewing of bank accounts without the need for customer re-authentication

Together with our partner Sokordia Tech, we currently have Open Banking APIs and are able to provide all these services under one single API for the following countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland.

Development work on the 3rd generation of the Transaction Analysis Service is currently in development, highlighted by:

  • Deeper AI involvement in processes & rules & analysis
  • Expansion of new online data inputs into transactional analytics
  • Multi-language analytical tools
  • GUI for clients to manage and report transactional analytics themselves

For more information, please visit: www.creditinfo.com

Authors:

Seth Marks – Regional Director Central, Eastern & Southern Europe, Creditinfo Group

Ivo Vallau – Open Banking Product Manager, Creditinfo Group

 

Creditinfo appoints TransUnion veteran as new Global Chief Commercial Officer

Seasoned commercial leader, John Cannon, looks to use wealth of financial and executive leadership experience in new role to unlock new value for customers and drive Creditinfo’s international growth

London – 18 April 2024: Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has today announced the appointment of John Cannon as its Global Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). With over 25 years of experience in finance and credit bureaus, John will spearhead the strategy and execution behind Creditinfo’s solutions and products for all 30 of its credit bureaus, which are spread across 50 different countries.

John brings almost three decades of experience in leading top-performing teams, delivering pioneering solutions, and galvanising high-value market leading companies within the global financial community. A reputable industry expert, John led Transunion’s GFS business for international regions and has spent the last couple of years as an advisor to Private Equity firms in addition to helping scale early stage technology companies, most recently Xapien.

As CCO of Creditinfo, John will draw on his extensive sector knowledge and experience to leverage Creditinfo’s technology and data to push innovation forward and ensure it meets customer expectations and needs. He will play a key part in promoting financial inclusion globally and in doing so bolster Creditinfo’s international growth. In his new role, John will also be responsible for delivering the right products and services to Creditinfo’s customers to maximise value, as well as identifying new business opportunities. 

John Cannon, newly appointed Global Chief Commercial Officer at Creditinfo said: “I’m delighted to join Creditinfo, a company that is committed to enriching people’s lives through unlocking access to financial inclusion. This, and its international culture, is what drew me to the company. I look forward to working with the remarkable Creditinfo team to support the next phase of its growth journey.”

Satrajit Saha, Global CEO at Creditinfo said: “With firm roots in the global financial industry and a strong track record as a senior executive leader, John is an excellent addition to our senior leadership team. As we look to expand our global footprint and facilitate access to finance for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide, having John on board is a huge advantage, not only for our own innovation and growth but also for our customers as they turn to us to provide worldclass and transformative solutions and products.”

John will report directly to Satrajit Saha, Creditinfo’s Global CEO.

 

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About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, Creditinfo is a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in its field, Creditinfo facilitates access to finance, through intelligent information, software and decision analytics solutions.

With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this field of credit risk management, with a significantly greater footprint than competitors. For decades it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to some of the largest, lenders, governments and central banks globally to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com

ICRA and Creditinfo Tanzania launch first credit rating agency for Tanzania institutions

Dar Es Salaam, 24th January 2024 – Creditinfo Tanzania, provider of credit information and risk management solutions, and ICRA (International Credit Rating Agency) have partnered to launch the ICRA Rating Agency, the first credit rating agency locally based in Tanzania.

The joint venture will provide credit rating and evaluation services to Tanzanian financial institutions, creating for the financial industry. Combined, ICRA and Creditinfo’s Tanzania team bring decades of experience and practical knowledge in credit risk management and analysis to support and improve credit assessment in Tanzania.

Adv Hassan Mansur, Local Director of ICRA Rating Agency Limited said: “We are delighted to launch Tanzania’s first credit rating agency that is fully geared towards strengthening the economy through providing credit rating services that are tailored to the African market. Our partnership with Creditinfo will provide ample opportunities and offer a competitive edge for various institutions, most especially the Tanzanian institutions in the International Market.”

Edwin Urasa, CEO of CreditInfo Tanzania said: “At Creditinfo, we are committed to sustainably growing our business and identifying ideal opportunities to build strong and profitable credit rating agencies, while helping more local citizens and businesses access finance. Our partnership with ICRA marks an important milestone for us and gives us the opportunity to improve the standards of credit assessment. Tanzania is an optimal market for us to introduce this service because of its tremendous promise for inclusive financial services. This venture will set a new standard in credit rating and promote financial health and empowerment across Tanzania.”

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About Creditinfo  

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, Creditinfo is a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in its field, Creditinfo facilitates access to finance, through intelligent information, software and decision analytics solutions.

With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this field of credit risk management, with a significantly greater footprint than competitors. For decades it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to some of the largest lenders, governments and central banks globally to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

For more information, please visit tz.creditinfo.com

www.creditinfo.com

 

About ICRA Rating Agency

ICRA Rating Agency Limited has been accredited for being the First Ever Credit Rating Agency approved by Bank of Tanzania (Central Bank of Tanzania) to which we are the only regional central bank approved credit rating agency offering credit rating services. Our organisation also gets the special status of ecai (external credit assessment institution).

ICRA has an expert team with a combined experience of more than 25 years in Audit, Inspection, Financial Analysis, Credit Research, Banking, Compliance, AML and Certification. Our ratings significantly influence corporate and financial institutions to achieve better market standing. ICRA ratings aim to help various corporations and institutions demonstrate their financial capability.

For more information, please visit www.icrallc.com

Creditinfo Estonia’s sanctions’ monitoring solution for small businesses

With the ongoing aggression initiated by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the need to implement international sanctions has to be embedded in the daily business activities of our companies.
We know that companies – operating in the fields of activity subject to such a special obligation – must do more due diligence to mitigate the risks associated with implementing sanctions, but the processes should be somewhat similar to all of the companies operating in Estonia.

Such companies, whose daily economic activities do not deal with continuous customer background research or transaction monitoring, can sometimes be in a difficult situation where they do not have enough know-how or manpower resources to assess the risk of whether one of their customers or partners falls under the established restrictions or not.

Finding such a necessary workforce is always possible, but as you know, making such a fixed cost can sometimes be impossible according to the company’s business model. In this case, one of the options is to delegate the control of said risks outside the company or to use convenient and straightforward, but at the same time reliable services to help with this task, which are available on the market.

For these cases, Creditinfo is offering small businesses the opportunity to mitigate their risks in two ways – by delegating the checking of compliance with sanction lists for their customers and partners entirely to us or by using a straightforward and convenient solution on our e-Krediidiinfo portal – WebScreening.

The web-based service WebScreening allows you to request the entry of a person of interest to you through a convenient and comprehensive user interface, both on international sanctions (European Union and the United Nations) and watch lists (so-called local sanctions and “black lists” of various countries, in some instances, for example, wanted persons) as well as persons with a national background ( PEP) from the lists.

With additional functions, it is possible to perform user management in the portal (if the company has more than one user) or view the archive of requests made. At this point, it is good to note that the archive of performed requests is convenient to use, for example, to check the performance of the employee’s duties and prove the requests made to the supervisory authority, if necessary.

Check out the service: www.creditinfo.ee/kyc

www.creditinfo.com

Access to customer bank transaction data provides a basis for more intelligent business decisions

In 2021, Creditinfo Estonia received permission from the Financial Supervision Authority to start offering account information services in Estonia, which later expanded to the markets of Latvia and Lithuania. Today, they have been offering the account information service on the market for almost two years. The PSD2 directive regulates the account information service, that grants account information service provider (Creditinfo) access to the transaction data of end-customers of banks and financial institutions, using a secure data transmission channel and customer consent.

Intelligent business decisions can only be made when decision-makers have enough information when making the decision. Decisions made without comprehensive information may remain superficial or rely too much on intuition. A joint decision becomes smart by including relevant, up-to-date, appropriate and verified data for decision-making, analyzing it and drawing conclusions from it.

Companies that want to be competitive in the market and, at the same time, grow faster than the market must act consciously and operatively to take advantage of the exponentially increasing amount of data and to navigate the diverse data landscape. The word “action” means the application of well-thought-out multiple technologies, the careful selection of primary data and adaptation to large, innovative data sets that provide the company with necessary data inquiries and detail-specific analyses. The actions mentioned in the previous sentence are based on the data value chain – a framework for managing data from collection to decision-making.

Access to bank transaction data gives the financial sector and several other sectors an unlimited opportunity to use innovative data sets to improve their business processes. Data (including account data) collection, analysis, targeted use and data-driven decision-making directly relate to Creditinfo’s core business. Creditinfo has invested a lot of time and knowledge to ensure and support its customers in successfully using the account information data. Remember that the customer does not have to invest resources in implementing the necessary specific technologies and data analysis in addition to their core business to filter and acquire value from bank transaction data.

Creditinfo adds value to account data with information from other sources

Bank transaction data helps to make more intelligent and more informed decisions regarding the products, services and conditions offered to the end customer. Figuratively speaking, credit bureau data enlighten one corner of the room of a person’s financial behavior, and the information obtained from account transactions enlightens the other corner of the room of a person’s financial behaviour.

Account information, besides evaluating financial behavior, provides information about a person’s daily habits, experiences, preferences, hobbies and much more.

In summary, access to the data of the end customer’s bank transactions provides a foundation for making business decisions based on an even more extensive and significantly more diverse data set, in other words, making decisions even smarter. As a universal, comprehensive solution provider throughout the Baltics, Creditinfo is the only partner for its customers with access to credit bureau data, global KYC data, and bank account data.

Visit creditinfo.ee/en for more information.

Ivo Vallau

Open Banking Product Manager, Ceditinfo Estonia.

Creditinfo appoints Satrajit Saha as new Global CEO

Former CEO of TransUnion Europe – Satrajit Saha – brings his expertise to Creditinfo, planning to drive growth across its credit bureaus globally.

London – 29th November 2023: Creditinfo, a global service provider for credit information and risk management solutions, has today announced the appointment of Satrajit Saha as its Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO). With over 20 years of experience in banking and credit bureau, Satrajit will drive the growth of Creditinfo and the maturity of its credit bureaus globally. He joins the company from TransUnion Europe, where he held the position of CEO for the last five years.

In his role, Satrajit will lead Creditinfo in advancing its strategic initiatives, with a particular focus on promoting financial inclusion worldwide. Drawing on his rich background in the credit information industry, spread across Asia, Africa, and Europe, he will lead the next phase of Creditinfo’s growth on a global level as it strives to become a truly global bureau and the leader for facilitating access to finance in both developed and emerging markets.

As an experienced strategic leader, Satrajit has an impressive reputation in the financial services space. At TransUnion Europe, he led the board of all TransUnion’s European owned entities. Before joining TransUnion Europe, he was Chief Business Officer at TransUnion India, where he was responsible for crafting and executing TransUnion’s CIBIL’s market strategy. He was also Cards Head, Africa Region, at Barclays Bank.

Satrajit Saha, newly appointed Global CEO at Creditinfo said: “I am honored to take on the role of Global CEO at Creditinfo, a company that is at the forefront of promoting financial inclusion. Together with the talented team at Creditinfo, we will continue to leverage innovative data sets and solutions to bridge information gaps and create opportunities to facilitate access to finance for individuals and businesses globally.”

Monty Ismail, Director at Levine Leichtman Capital Partners and Creditinfo Group Board member said: “We are delighted to welcome Satrajit “Satty” Saha as our new Global Chief Executive Officer. He is an accomplished executive with successful leadership experience relevant to our business, including his time as CEO of TransUnion UK. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Creditinfo, and we are excited to see Satty, with extensive knowledge of our key markets, take over as CEO. We are looking forward to working with Satty in continuing to expand our global footprint and unlock access to finance for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Paul Randall for his important contribution as CEO. He has been key to our success, and we are all grateful for his leadership and dedication.”

He will begin his new role as Creditinfo CEO on 1st January 2024 and will report directly to the Creditinfo Group Board.

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About Creditinfo

Established in 1997 and headquartered in London, UK, Creditinfo is a provider of credit information and risk management solutions worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in its field, Creditinfo facilitates access to finance, through intelligent information, software and decision analytics solutions.

With more than 30 credit bureaus running today, Creditinfo has the most considerable global presence in this field of credit risk management, with a significantly greater footprint than competitors. For decades it has provided business information, risk management and credit bureau solutions to some of the largest, lenders, governments and central banks globally to increase financial inclusion and generate economic growth by allowing credit access for SMEs and individuals.

For more information, please visit www.creditinfo.com

One in five construction companies on the brink of bankruptcy in Lithuania

As shown in a recent analysis of the construction sector conducted by Creditinfo Lietuva, almost a fifth (18%) of construction companies1 are currently on the brink of bankruptcy, while almost a third (31%) are at risk of defaulting on their payments. According to publicly available data2, construction companies, as a whole, exhibit shorter operating histories and offer lower wages compared to other sectors. Financial experts are therefore advising caution when engaging with construction firms.

There are currently 19,167 construction companies in Lithuania, employing almost 108,000 people. The numbers of construction companies and their employees have shown consistent growth since 2020. In 2020, there were 16,144 construction companies with an employee count of nearly 102,000. By 2021, the numbers had risen to 17,171 companies and over 102,000 employees, and at the beginning of 2022, the sector boasted 18,512 companies, employing in excess of 106,000 people.

The average age of a construction company CEO is  about 46 years, with a striking 87.5% of these leaders being male. Compared to other sectors, construction companies have a comparatively shorter average lifespan in the market, standing at 10 years, in contrast to the national average of over 13 years.

Despite witnessing among the fastest growth in the current year, salaries for construction workers still lag behind the Lithuanian average. According to data from Sodra, construction worker wages surged by 22% year-on-year in the second quarter, reaching EUR 1,300 before tax (EUR 880 net), while the average earnings of full-time workers across Lithuania rose by 12.3% year-on-year, amounting to EUR 1,980 before tax.

The risk of bankruptcy among construction companies is twice as high as the national average

Currently, 18% of construction firms fall into the high and highest bankruptcy risk categories, compared to 20% at the beginning of this year and 19% at the beginning of 2022. The high and highest risk classes of late payment now account for 31% of construction companies, up from 37% at the beginning of 2023 and 34% at the beginning of last year.

For all companies in Lithuania, excluding the construction sector, 9% of all companies in the country were in the high and highest bankruptcy risk classes at the beginning of 2023, compared to 12% at the beginning of 2022. At the beginning of this year, 17% of all Lithuanian companies belonged to the high and highest risk classes of late payment, with 21% at the beginning of 2022.

“Although the construction sector has experienced a period of growth in recent years, it is particularly sensitive to borrowing conditions, fluctuations in demand and geopolitical changes. During the pandemic, builders experienced a boom in demand – with many people deciding to improve their homes – low energy prices and relatively cheap borrowing. Subsequently, the construction sector encountered a number of challenges stemming from disrupted supply chains and the need to withdraw from cooperation with sanctioned countries,” explains Ekaterina Rojaka, Head of Business Strategy and Development at Creditinfo Lithuania. “In recent months, with the European Central Bank raising its base interest rates, borrowing has become a more costly affair, reducing people’s ability to borrow, and homes built with credit have been slower to sell.”

This year, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated for 136 construction companies

Since 2007, a total of 44,256 construction companies have been declared bankrupt in Lithuania. The highest number of bankruptcies occurred in 2009 (445), 2016 (351) and 2017 (367). Only in 2007 was the number of bankruptcies below 100, with a total of 67. In Lithuania, 163 construction companies faced insolvency in 2020, 131 in 2021 and 237 in 2022. In the first 8 months of this year alone, 136 construction companies in Lithuania have declared bankruptcy.

As of the beginning of September this year, there were 11,512 construction company debts on record, collectively burdened with nearly EUR 90 million in debts, with 962 new debts registered in the first 8 months of the year, according to the credit bureau systems. The average size of a single debt is EUR 7,800.

“When entering into contracts with construction companies, it is advisable to pay more attention to their risk assessment and to clearly negotiate payment terms,” Rojaka commented.

According to data provided to the Centre of Registers, the top 10 construction companies with the highest revenues last year are: YIT Lietuva (EUR 140.6 million), AB Kauno Tiltai (EUR 134.4 million), Conres LT (EUR 100.1 million), Autokausta (EUR 83.2 million), Tetas (EUR 79 million), Staticus (EUR 75.9 million), Merko Statyba (EUR 70.4 million), Žilinskis ir Co (EUR 68.7 million) and INGUS (EUR 63.9 million).

Almost one-fifth (19%) of companies in this sector have not yet submitted their financial statements for 2022.

According to Rojaka, state orders and building modernisation programmes will support the construction sector’s activity in the near future, as demand for real estate slows down. However, falling demand has only a limited impact on the final prices of construction services, as cheaper building materials do not compensate for the sector’s rapidly rising wages, which account for more than a quarter of total construction costs. As a result, construction continues to become more expensive, with a 3.7% year-on-year increase in construction costs in July, with the fastest increase in building repair costs, which rose by 9.2%.

More information:
Jekaterina Rojaka, Head of Business Strategy and Development at Creditinfo Lithuania (jekaterina.rojaka@creditinfo.com)

Or visit: lt.creditinfo.com/en

Notes:

1 In this report, construction companies are defined as companies that have publicly declared to the State Data Agency (SDA) the activity codes of Section F (41-43) of NACE2 as the company’s main activity.

2 The data in this press release is based on information publicly provided by the State Enterprise Centre of Registers, SODRA, the State Data Agency (VDA), and other sources.

Creditinfo designated “High Overall Maturity Score” ESG rating by Anthesis

At Creditinfo, we recognize the importance of sustainable business practices. Our commitment to this is reflected in our sustainability policy, which outlines our sustainability focus areas and how we wish to engage them.
 
To better understand where we‘re at and how we can get closer to achieving these goals, we‘ve worked with Sustainability Consultancy Service, Anthesis, on our ESG Maturity Assessment. We‘re proud to announce that we‘ve achieved a High Overall Maturity Score – the most advanced maturity rating that Anthesis designates.
 
As a leading provider of credit information and risk management solutions operating in more than 30 countries, we are committed to improving access to finance for individuals and businesses and want to promote sustainable practices in everything we do. It‘s great to see that our hard work is paying off, and we will continue to make improvements to improve our ESG performance.“ says Paul Randall, CEO of Creditinfo Group.
For more information on our sustainability policy visit –  https://creditinfo.com/about-us/sustainability/

Transport business in the Baltics is in recession, with only Lithuania experiencing a slightly brighter picture

Coface records recovery in air transport, but pre-pandemic figures not yet reached.

The transport sector is the one with the highest improvement in risk scores in the latest Coface Quarterly Survey, although the global macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain. Coface experts note that air transport forecasts and new aircraft orders are providing greater optimism. Transport business is rated higher in Western Europe, the Middle East and Japan, while in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including the Baltic states, the transport sector continues to be rated the highest risk. The transport sector in Estonia and Latvia is facing more challenges this year, while in Lithuania the situation has started to improve since Q2, with a decrease in bankruptcies and an increase in the forecasts for businesses.

According to Coface experts, the higher scores in the transport sector are mainly due to the recovery of the Chinese economy and global tourism, as well as to public policy decisions, such as the priority given to rail traffic in Germany. However, overall risks to the transport sector remain very high due to high energy costs and demand still below pre-pandemic levels.

Head of Coface Baltics, Mindaugas Sventickas, points out that it is air transport that has been the activity most affected in the global transport sector, and that it is now recovering rapidly. This is due to the gradual economic recovery from the second half of 2021 onwards, significantly influenced by the opening up of Japan (end of 2022) and China (early 2023), which has facilitated travel conditions for international tourists.

The Coface survey shows that while the number of commercial flights has increased and is now even above pre-pandemic levels, seat occupancy rates remain lower. For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, total passenger traffic in April 2023 increased by 171% compared to April last year, thanks in particular to China. Despite the strong growth, demand in this region remains lower than in 2019 (-18% in April 2023 compared to April 2019).

New orders for Airbus and Boeing aircraft are rising: aiming to fly greener and save fuel

In Western Europe and the United States, Airbus and Boeing have also reported an increase in aircraft orders, reaching 774 Boeing and 820 Airbus aircraft in 2022. At the 2022 Paris Air Show, a number of new orders were announced, with Air IndiGo ordering 500 A320 aircraft and Air India ordering 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing aircraft. According to the experts at Coface, this acceleration in the aerospace industry has prompted the decision to improve the risk assessment of the transport sector in some countries, e.g. France. Many of the production processes of Airbus are carried out in France, with production sites spread over Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. This has contributed to a better assessment of the transport sector across Western Europe.

“It is also worth noting that the main players in the air transport industry are pursuing a strategy that takes environmental concerns into account. On the one hand, this motivates manufacturers to innovate in order to develop ‘cleaner’ aircraft. On the other hand, it encourages airlines to upgrade their fleets to use less energy,” comments Sventickas.

Cargo transport by sea decreases by almost one third

The situation is different in maritime transport, where activity is slowing down slightly after two exceptional years. Declining sea freight rates, high energy costs and stagflation are adversely affecting the financial performance of sea carriers. The revenues of Maersk and CMA CGM in Q1 2023 decreased by 26% and 30% respectively compared to Q1 last year, although they remain significantly higher than in Q1 2019.

This drop in revenue is primarily due to price effects (a fall in freight rates), while the drop in volumes is smaller, with a 3% annual decrease in the container index for January–April 2023. This drop in volumes is partly passed on to rail and motor transport, which is primarily used for the transport of cargo from ports.

Passenger transport in the Baltic States has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels

When analysing air passenger flows in the Baltic states for the period 2019–2023, the highest passenger traffic is traditionally observed in Q3 of each year. After the pandemic, air passenger traffic in all of the Baltic states, although slowly increasing, has not yet reached the levels recorded in 2019. For example, in Q3 2019, the number of air passengers in Estonia reached 954,000, in Latvia 2,299,000 and in Lithuania 1,821,000. In the same period last year (Q3 2022), the figures were 841,000 (88%), 1,711,000 (71%) and 1,677,000 (92%) respectively. According to Eurostat and Coface, the total number of passengers carried by air in the Baltic states in 2022 was 13,434, compared to 6,094 in 2021, 4,657 in 2020 and 17,548 in 2019.

The situation in rail passenger transport is slightly better. For example, in Q3 2019, the number of passengers in Estonia was 2,105,000, in Latvia 5,256,000 and in Lithuania 1,287,000. In the same period last year, the figures were 1,837,000 (87%), 4,835,000 (92%) and 1,292,000 (100%) respectively. The total number of passengers carried by rail in the Baltic states in 2022 was 27,289, compared to 21,069 in 2021, 22,085 in 2020 and 31,986 in 2019. In Q1 of this year, the figure for the Baltic countries was 6,485.

Sventickas notes that the Lithuanian transport sector is distinguished from other Baltic countries by more optimistic forecasts for 2023: “Although the situation in the Lithuanian transport sector deteriorated in the first quarter of this year, we have seen some positive trends since the second quarter of this year: the transport of freight by sea and water has stabilised and the transport of freight by land has returned to almost pre-pandemic levels. Since February this year, the forecasts of transport companies in Lithuania have become more stable, while previously they had been declining for several months.”

Creditinfo: Optimism of Lithuanian transport companies is good news for almost 200,000 employees in the sector

According to 2022 data, Lithuania’s transport and storage sector generated 11.2% of the country’s GDP, which is 2.6 times more than the average for other EU countries. In total, there are currently 8,568 transport and logistics companies in Lithuania, employing 171,300 people, i.e. a quarter more than in 2019.

Jekaterina Rojaka, Head of Business Development and Strategy at Creditinfo Lietuva, points out that the majority (72%) of companies in the transport sector in Lithuania are involved in road freight transport. According to the data of July this year, even 6,195 out of 8,568 transport companies registered in Lithuania indicate that their main activity is transportation of goods by land. Transport accounts for over 55% of Lithuania’s total exports of services. The number of air and water transport companies is 21 and 37 respectively; 2,233 companies in the sector provide storage and transport-related activities and 82 companies provide postal and courier services.

“During the pandemic, the risk exposure of Lithuanian transport companies increased due to travel restrictions, changes in the demand for goods, and then the rise in fuel prices,” says Rojaka. “In 2022, there was a sharp increase in the number of bankruptcies in the transport sector, which started to stabilise this year. In the first half of this year, bankruptcies in the transport sector accounted for only 6% of all company bankruptcies, compared to 24% in the trade sector and 20% in the construction sector. In total, 35 transport service companies have gone bankrupt since the beginning of the year, compared to 50 companies in the sector that went into bankruptcy in the same period last year.”

Rojaka says that although the number of bankruptcies of transport companies has decreased, the number of new companies has slowed down slightly: last year, despite bankruptcies, new companies were actively registering, while in the first four months of this year that number has contracted by 2%. According to a representative of the credit bureau, transport companies have started to borrow more, and the average debt of a company has increased by approximately 35%. There is also a lower number of companies with a low risk of bankruptcy, that is 58.1%, compared to the overall assessment of Lithuanian business of 69.5%. The share of companies in the transport sector experiencing financial difficulties in 2022 is lower than the national average, and amounts to 13.2% (compared to 17.6% for the economy as a whole).

“With the slowdown in domestic consumption in the EU, transport service providers continue to face challenges this year, with competition in the sector increasing due to limited demand, and service fees shrinking. Waterborne transport has seen a particularly sharp fall: The Baltic Dry index contracted by 57% over the year, and this year similar trends have been observed in road transport,” explains Rojaka. “The best short-term prospects for the sector at the moment are for airlines, which are steadily both increasing the number of flights and trying to rebuild the revenues lost in the pandemic. With inflation gradually slowing and demand stabilising, the situation for land and water transport companies should improve next year.”

Creditinfo Lithuania.

Visit: www.lt.creditinfo.com

www.creditinfo.com

Retrospective of the semi-annual statistics of the Register of Payment Failures in Estonia

The Payment Default Register managed by Creditinfo Eesti reflects the debts of private individuals and companies and thus helps to make smart credit decisions. It is the first and oldest register containing debt data, which was established in 2001 by Estonian banks.

 There are tens of thousands of people with payment defaults in Estonia

As of the end of the first half of 2023, there were 57,694 individuals with valid payment defaults. Compared to the period a year ago, the number decreased a bit.

When the debt is liquidated, the current payment default is marked as closed – at the end of the first half of 2023, there were 109,766 private individuals with closed payment defaults.

A closed default shows that the debt has been paid, but at the same time it gives the creditor a warning that the person has had problems paying bills in the past and it allows for a more accurate assessment of their creditworthiness. In the case of private individuals, closed payment defaults are published for up to 5 years after the payment default has ended.

The number of companies with payment defaults is increasing

As of the end of the first half of 2023, there were 21,121 legal entities or companies-institutions with valid payment defaults. Thus, there has been an increase of 3.3% compared to last year.

There were 32,836 legal entities with closed payment defaults. In the case of companies, the information provided will be published for another 7 years after the closing of the payment default.

There are more than 150 thousand active payment defaults in the Register

There were 128,405 active payment defaults in the Payment Default Register of private individuals at the end of the first half of the year. The closed payment defaults for private individuals with payment defaults reached to 350,120.

There were 44,472 active defaults of legal entities at the end of the first half of the year. There were 65,816 closed defaults of legal entities.

The number of active payment defaults has increased

In total, there were 172,877 active payment defaults published in the Payment Default Register. If one also adds information of closed payment defaults, the total number of payment defaults in the Payment Default Register is 588,832, which has increased by approx. 6.6% compared to the end of 2022.

By Creditinfo Estonia.

Visit: www.creditinfo/ee/en 

www.creditinfo.com