2010 Political Risks

Emily Holbrook


March 1, 2010

For the 17th year in a row, Aon unveiled its annual political risk map, which featured nine countries with improved risk profiles and 18 countries that have worsened since last year. Included in those downgrades is Ukraine, due to payment defaults by private sector banks. It was reported that Lloyd's of London paid out nearly $50 million in claims for Ukrainian banks, with more expected to come. Ghana was downgraded as well, due to the fact that state-owned oil refineries have defaulted on nearly $60 million in debt. Yemen was another downgrade, with Aon citing the country's multiple claims notifications and its food and water insecurity as the trouble areas. In contrast, Myanmar was upgraded because of reduced risk of sovereign default, Sri Lanka was upgraded because of reduced risk of civil war and Columbia was upgraded because its supply chain risk has been sufficiently reduced. Vietnam also improved since its economy performed the best in Asia during the last 12 months. Though it may not be a surprise to many, Africa is home to the most high-risk countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan. Aon also listed the commodities most at risk for disruption, including cocoa, maize, rice, sugar cane and coffee, most of which is produced by high-risk countries.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.