Aon's 2013 Interactive Political Risk Map draws on 15 years of emerging markets data collection

   Aon's 2013 Interactive Political Risk Map draws on 15 years of emerging
                           markets data collection

PR Newswire

LONDON, March 19, 2013

LONDON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --As the world seeks to re-establish
itself following the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 Arab Spring, Aon's
2013 political risk map, developed in partnership with Roubini Global
Economics, identifies certain emerging markets that are experiencing reduced
political risk exposures.


To complement its print version, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk
management business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), today unveiled a new online and
interactive political risk map with data going back more than 15 years. The
map measures political risks, political violence and terrorism in 163
countries and territories to help companies assess the risk levels of exchange
transfer, legal and regulatory risk, political interference, political
violence, sovereign non-payment, and supply chain disruption. In 2013, for the
first time, the Aon Political Risk Map also measures banking sector
vulnerability, risk to fiscal stimulus and risk of doing business. The map
can be accessed at

The Aon Political Risk Map produces high level country overviews and tailored
comparisons of country ratings and changes in risk over time. By accessing
Aon's interactive map, institutions can track their specific political risk
exposures in emerging markets, both on a current and historical basis. The map
data will be updated quarterly and at the time of significant political risk

For 2013, Aon's Political Risk Map shows an increase in the number of
countries with upgraded political risk ratings (where the overall country or
territory risk is rated lower than the previous year). Thirteen countries
were upgraded in 2013 as opposed to three in 2012. The 2013 map also shows
only 12 countries experiencing downgrades in comparison to 21 in 2012. A list
of these countries and the risks facing entities doing business with or in
them are described below.

Leading insight from a leading team
Aon's long-standing strength in Political Risk management has been bolstered
this year by partnering with Roubini Global Economics, an independent, global
research firm founded in 2004 by renowned economist Nouriel Roubini, in order
to take advantage of RGE's unique methodology, Quantitative Country Analytics,
for systematically analyzing political risks around the world. Unlike other
approaches to country risk, QCA systematically analyses 158 data series, and
provides clients with an unparalleled level of transparency on how each
country is assessed.

  oThe Aon Political Risk Map is unique as it now follows a three layered
    approach in analysing political risk in emerging countries (excluding EU
    and OECD countries). Country ratings reflect a combination of:

       oanalysis by Aon Risk Solutions
       oanalysis by Roubini Global Economics
       othe opinions of more than 20 Lloyd's syndicates and corporate
         insurers actively writing political risk insurance

Luigi Sturani, head of Aon Risk Solutions' property, casualty and crisis
management team of the Global Broking Center in London, commented, "With
political risk rising up the boardroom agenda, our clients must have access to
first-class data and analytics to determine the global drivers of change.
Aon's leading crisis management expertise combined with the current and
historical data means we can provide our clients with a valuable and in-depth
Political Risk Map unsurpassed in the market."

Matthew Shires, head of Aon Risk Solutions' political risk team in London,
comments, "Aon is always looking at ways to provide innovative solutions for
our clients. This interactive map, now available online, not only allows our
clients to see what is happening in selected regions in 2013 but now offers
access to the insights from our leading team going back as far as 1998. This
will inform our clients' strategic and financial decision-making in today's
highly regulated and demanding marketplace."

Shires added, "Despite the upgrades this year, businesses operating in
emerging markets still face significant political risks. We work closely with
our clients to identify their exposures to these risks. Supported by powerful
data and analytics of current and historical trends this new interactive map
gives clients unprecedented clarity when assessing their political risks in
the emerging markets."

Richard Green CEO, Roubini Global Economics, said "Roubini Global Economics is
proud to partner with Aon to deliver this insightful approach to mapping
political risk and political violence for its clients. This year the political
risk exposure across emerging markets remains volatile, however our data
illustrates a differentiation led by a country's financial ability to bolster
its balance sheets. Our analysis indicates that Oman, Bahrain and UAE have all
experienced upgraded political risk exposure, illustrating their strength in
the region to withstand the impact of the 2010 Arab Spring. The unique and
interactive Aon Political Risk Map will give clients a fresh insight into the
trends in emerging markets and a quarterly snapshot of how political risk is
evolving based on the industry's strongest research."

Map overview:

2013 Upgrades and Downgrades in Country Ratings
Upgrades (where the overall country or territory risk is rated lower than the
previous year)
13 upgrades (2012: three upgrades): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados,
Belarus, Guatemala, Macedonia, Montenegro, Oman, Pakistan, Swaziland,
Thailand, the United Arab Emirates

Downgrades (where the overall country or territory risk is rated higher than
the previous year)
12 downgrades (2012: 21 downgrades): Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia,
Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Panama and

More upgrades than downgrades: After several years of greater downgrades due
to the Arab Spring, the political effects of the global financial crisis and
persistent strains in South Asia - political risk has eased in 13 countries,
compared to downgrades in 12 countries. We identified the following trends:

Improvements on Europe's Periphery
Several Central Asian and Caucasus countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, for
example, showed improvement, admittedly from a low base. This reflects a
concerted effort in emerging Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States
toward structural reform to attract investment and to increase market share.
While there is still room for improvement, the persistent economic strain in
Western and Eastern Europe increased economic pressure on several regional
governments and brought downgrades in Moldova and Uzbekistan (the improvement
in government institutions mitigates the effect of these risks on investments
by strengthening country balance sheets).

A new order in the Middle East
After dominating the downgrades in 2012, three Middle Eastern countries
(Bahrain, Oman and UAE) were upgraded in 2013, reflecting a stabilization and
differentiation of political risk in the MENA region. While this might be
temporary, as the region is still fragile, this crystallizes a divergence in
the region between the countries with stronger economic and financial
institutions and those with greater wealth which increases their resilience to
adverse political and economic events. Moreover, it underscores the importance
of strong corporate and financial institutions, which cushion the effects on
individual countries.

Aftershocks in Western Africa
Cameroon, Chad, and Mali all were downgraded, along with adjoining Algeria,
reflecting the spillovers from the difficult regime changes in North Africa
which destabilized these countries. Flows of weapons and insurgents across
borders have exacerbated high political risk. Developments so far in 2013
indicate the potential for further downgrades.

About the 2013 Aon Political Risk Map
Aon measures political risk in 163 countries and territories to assess the
risks associated with exchange transfers, sovereign non-payment, political
interference, supply chain disruption, legal and regulatory regimes, political
violence, ease of doing business, banking sector vulnerability and
governments' capability to provide fiscal stimulus. In each specific risk
category, as well as the overall rating, each country is rated as Low,
Medium-Low, Medium, Medium-High, High or Very High. Member countries of the EU
and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are not rated in the
2013 map.

Country ratings reflect a combination of analysis by Aon Risk Solutions,
Roubini Global Economics—a global analysis and advisory firm—and the opinions
of 26 Lloyd's syndicates and corporate insurers actively writing political
risk insurance.

Roubini Global Economics and Quantitative Country Analytics
Aon partnered with Roubini Global Economics, an independent, global research
firm founded in 2004 by renowned economist Nouriel Roubini, to produce the
2013 Political Risk Map in order to take advantage of RGE's unique
methodology, Quantitative Country Analytics, for systematically analyzing
political risks around the world. Roubini's proprietary Quantitative Country
Analytics allows RGE and its partners to track changes in countries
systematically, provides meaningful cross-country comparisons and, most
importantly, decomposes each risk to uncover the various elements that drive
that risk.

As well as producing more robust results, Aon's shift to this methodology will
allow its clients the opportunity to interact with the risk map. They will be
able to perform such tasks as decomposing each risk icon and monitoring the
drivers of changes in risk icon scores.

Each country on the map is rated according to the different types of risks it
faces. These risks are indicated by the individual icons, with the first six
icons driving the overall country rating, and the three new icons included for
additional information.

Brief Descriptions of Each Risk Icon
Country rating on the map derives from six core risk icons, which represent
insurable risk and these are;

Exchange Transfer: The risk of being unable to make hard currency payments as
a result of the imposition of local currency controls. This risk looks at
various economic factors, including measures of capital account restrictions,
the country's de-facto exchange rate regime and foreign exchange reserves.
This risk icon has been newly added to 29 countries and territories since the
2012 map, including Bermuda, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine. This risk has
receded in 13 countries, including Albania, Cambodia, Paraguay and Zambia.

Legal and Regulatory: The risk of financial or reputational loss as a result
of difficulties in complying with a host country's laws, regulations or codes.
This risk comprises measures of government effectiveness, rule of law, wider
property rights and regulatory quality. This risk icon has been newly added to
two countries and territories since the 2012 map: Armenia and Mali. This risk
has receded in 10 countries, including Brazil, Croatia, Peru and Saudi Arabia.

Political Interference: The risk of host government intervention in the
economy or other policy areas that adversely affect overseas business
interests; e.g., nationalization and expropriation. This risk is composed of
various measures of social, institutional and regulatory risks. This risk icon
has been newly added to three countries and territories since the 2012 map:
Guatemala, Honduras and Moldova. This risk has receded in 14 countries,
including El Salvador, Peru, Thailand and Zambia.

Political Violence: The risk of strikes, riots, civil commotions, sabotage,
terrorism, malicious damage, war, civil war, rebellion, revolution,
insurrection, a hostile act by a belligerent power, mutiny or a coup d'etat.
Political violence is quantified using measures of political stability,
peacefulness and specific acts of violence. This risk icon has been newly
added to 21 countries and territories since the 2012 map, including Argentina,
Philippines, Russia and Serbia. This risk has receded in 12 countries,
including Columbia, Kuwait, Indonesia and Oman.

Sovereign Non-payment: The risk of failure of a foreign government or
government entity to honor its obligations in connection with loans or other
financial commitments. This risk looks at measures of both ability and
willingness to pay, including fiscal policy, political risk and rule of law.
This risk icon has been newly added to 12 countries and territories since the
2012 map, including Gambia, Lesotho, Russia and Senegal. This risk has receded
in 7 countries, including Bosnia, Croatia, Trinidad & Tobago and the United
Arab Emirates.

Supply Chain Disruption: The risk of disruption to the flow of goods and/or
services into or out of a country as a result of political, social, economic
or environmental instability. This risk icon has been newly added to 47
countries and territories since the 2012 map, including Algeria, Burundi, Mali
and Tunisia. This risk has receded in 8 countries, including Brazil, China,
India and Panama.

Icons new to 2013 and not used in overall country rating
Risks to Doing Business: The regulatory obstacles to setting up and operating
business in the country, such as excessive procedures, the time and cost of
registering a new business, dealing with building permits, trading across
borders and getting bank credit with sound business plans. This risk is found
in 96 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Dominica, Nigeria and Russia.

Banking Sector Vulnerability: The risk of a country's domestic banking sector
going into crisis or not being able to support economic growth with adequate
credit. This risk comprises measures of the capitalization and strength of the
banking sector, and macro-financial linkages such as total indebtedness, trade
performance and labor market rigidity. This risk is found in 106 countries and
territories, including China, El Salvador, India and Thailand.

Risks to Fiscal Stimulus: The risk of the government not being able to
stimulate the economy due to lack of fiscal credibility, declining reserves,
high debt burden or government inefficiency. This risk is found in 94
countries and territories, including Albania, Liberia, Morocco, Tanzania and

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About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is the leading global provider of risk management,
insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and
outsourcing services. Through its more than 65,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon
unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and
effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global
resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the
world's best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary,
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