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Insolvency numbers on course for decade high 

The number of businesses entering external administration is on track to exceed 10,000 this financial year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission says, after insolvencies rose 36.2% to 7742 in the nine months to March 31.

By sector, construction had the most business failures, with 2142 or nearly 27.7% of insolvencies in the nine-month period, followed by accommodation and food services at 1174 or 15.2%.

“With only one quarter remaining this financial year, it’s expected that the number of companies entering external administration ... will exceed 10,000, a level not seen since the 2012-13 financial year,” the regulator said.

The latest insolvency data shows restructuring and court liquidation appointments increased by 294.6% to 878 and 218.8% to 1593 respectively during the nine months. The numbers are higher than those for the full year to last June 30.

National Credit Insurance (NCI), a specialist trade credit insurance broker, says premiums for the cover have remained competitive in the past year.

“We have not seen these [premiums] rise despite larger uncertain macroeconomic conditions. We expect to see these hold steady for the time being,” Group MD Kirk Cheesman told “Insurers have fared well from a low claim environment along with substantial rises in revenue across the board for existing policyholders.”

The broker says for the March quarter it received on average 115 claims per month, with an average gross value of $91,000. Industries such as building and construction, electrical, manufacturing, and timber have been recording the most claims.

“What’s interesting is that NCI Commercial Collections has seen a dramatic increase in the number of incoming collection matters. February was a record month for incoming matters, which was then eclipsed by March,” Mr Cheesman said.