HIH invests in sure thing

Sydney-based HIH Insurance has acquired a 10 per cent holding in ecommerce insurance company SafeTrade, a company that insures against credit card fraud and the non-delivery of goods acquired on the internet.

HIH, which underwrites SafeTrade, also said it had extended its underwriting agreement with the online insurer internationally via HIH's Lloyds of London operations, and other global reinsurers.

Since launching in January last year, SafeTrade has registered 50 sites which now carry the company's brand.

Earlier this month, SafeTrade announced a "partnership relationship" with Ninemsn, and jointly launched the SafeTrade product with Microsoft's online security offering, Passport.

SafeTrade is also in discussions with companies in America, Germany, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia, and is preparing for an IPO in the first half of this year, SafeTrade director Patrick Volpe said.

Volpe said the company planned to raise $10 million through its float, which will be used to expand its marketing and IT departments and increase its off-shore push.

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