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《经济学人》:商业与保险,政治风险如何能抗?

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Businesses and insurance商业与保险How to become politics-proof政治风险,如何能抗
Businesses can get cover against some, but not all, political upheavals
某些政治动乱引起的商业损失能够得到补偿,但非全部

REGIME change has an awkward way of turning useful political contacts into liabilities. Just ask Ahmed Ezz, an Egyptian steel magnate and friend of Gamal Mubarak, son of the country’s ousted president, when you next visit his jail cell. But businesses face political risk even in the absence of the kind of turmoil rocking the Middle East. Governments nationalise assets: in recent years, Congo has taken several mines from their private owners. They change the rules unexpectedly, making it harder to do business, as Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, found when some governments demanded access to users’ messages. They can enforce the law in the most draconian fashion against firms that displease them, as Russia’s Yukos found.

政权的更迭会让一桩有利的政府合同变成包袱。不信的话,你可以去问问艾哈迈德??伊斯。此人是埃及的钢铁巨头,前总统的儿子贾迈德??穆巴拉赫的朋友。但此时,他正身陷囹圄。但是,即使在那些有别于中东的动荡政局的地方,商业活动同样要面临政治风险。政府不断的对私人资产实行公有化:近年来,刚果政府收购了好几家私人煤矿。RIM(黑莓生产商)遭遇一些国家的政府希望获得手机用户的信息的情况时就意识到,政府对游戏规则出人意料的改变,使得生意越来越难做。俄罗斯的尤科斯也意识到,政府对于那些惹恼了他们的企业,采取的最严厉的方式,甚至是强制改变国家的法律。

A survey last year by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) found that political risk was the biggest deterrent for investors in developing countries over the longer term, ranked ahead of economic instability and bad infrastructure. What can they do about it?

去年,由世界银行多变投资担保机构(MIGA)的研究表明,政治风险超过了经济不稳定以及基础设施恶劣,成为投资者们在发展中国家进行长期投资的最大顾虑。对此,他们能够做些什么呢?

Private insurers, national export-credit agencies and multilateral bodies like MIGA offer businesses cover against political shocks. But which firms they will insure, and on what terms, varies. National agencies, such as America’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation, tend to sell cover only to companies from their home country. Private insurers can be more risk-averse than multilateral agencies.

私营保险公司,国家出口信用机构以像MIGA一样的多边机构都为企业提供应对政治风险的保障。但是对被担保公司的种类以及保险条款上各有不同。国家机构,例如美国海外私人保险公司只为本国的公司提供保险。而私人保险公司相较于多边机构来说,对风险更为厌恶。

Not all risks are insurable. Cover is available for the sudden imposition of currency controls, expropriations, conflicts and terrorism, and for governments failing to keep their part of an investment deal, such as supplying a new factory with electricity. But legitimate policy changes (tax rises, say, or stricter environmental rules) cannot be covered, because of the insurer’s slim chances of recovering anything from the government concerned.

并非所有的风险都能投保。保险只针对突发的汇率管制,公司被征收,地区冲突恐怖袭击,以及政府无法保持的投资活动,例如对一家新工厂的持续供电。但是政策的变化(税收增加,或者更加严厉的环境保护措施等)不再保险范围之内。因为保险公司从相关政府得到补偿的机会是相当渺茫的。

The demand for political-risk insurance slumped during the financial crisis, as companies made fewer investments. Members of the Berne Union, the largest group of providers of such cover, wrote only $36 billion of new policies in 2009, down 38% on the previous year. But business rebounded sharply in 2010 when foreign investment into developing countries recovered. As regimes totter across the Middle East, those who offer cover against nasty political surprises look set to be even busier this year.

金融危机期间,由于各个公司投资的减少,政治风险保险的需求量有所下滑。全球最大的保险提供联盟——伯尔尼联盟的成员,在2009年的新政策保险业务额只有360亿美元,较2008年下降38%。但是在2010年,由于发展中国家的外资投资增加,保险额大幅反弹。随着中东地区的政权动荡,那些提供政治风险保险的公司将迎来忙碌的一年。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
awkward ['ɔ:kwəd]

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adj. 笨拙的,尴尬的,(设计)别扭的

 
survey [sə:'vei]

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v. 调查,检查,测量,勘定,纵览,环视
n.

 
concerned [kən'sə:nd]

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adj. 担忧的,关心的

 
magnate ['mægneit]

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n. 巨头

 
instability [.instə'biliti]

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n. 不安定,不稳定(性)

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guarantee [.gærən'ti:]

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n. 保证,保证书,担保,担保人,抵押品
vt

 
insure [in'ʃuə]

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vt. 保险,确保
vi. 买保险

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jail [dʒeil]

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n. 监牢,监狱,拘留所
vt. 监禁,下狱

 
previous ['pri:vjəs]

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adj. 在 ... 之前,先,前,以前的

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turmoil ['tə:mɔil]

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n. 骚动,混乱

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