Welcome to ECA Watch

Export credit agences provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations working internationally in some of the most volatile, controversial and damaging industries on the planet.

Shrouded in mystery, ECAs provide financial backing for risky projects that might never otherwise get off the ground. They are a major source of national debt in developing countries.

ECA Watch is a network of NGOs from around the world. We come together to campaign for ECA reform - better transparency, accountability, and respect for environmental standards and human rights.

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What's New June 2015

What's New! is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive What's New! you can subscribe at www.eca-watch.org  Questions? Email info@eca-watch.org

  • Congress lets Export-Import Bank expire
  • OECD ECAs in stalemate over coal subsidy phase-out
  • More than $73bn of international public finance was given to coal between 2007 and 2014 via credit export agencies
  • Germany's KfW IPEX Bank finances non-polluting shipping AND fossil fuel carriers!
  • Sace guarantees US$200mn for Sonangol
  • US Ex-im: Conservatives vs Big Business
  • General Electric Says They'll Move Jobs Overseas If Ex-Im Bank Ends
  • Gulf countries receive billions in Ex-Im Bank subsidies
  • Dutch state violates own CSR procedures in Egypt's Suez Canal Expansion
  • First ECA-OECD Guidelines complaint submitted on Suape, Pernambuco, Brazil
  • UKEF reports achievement of enhanced capabilities in 2014-15
  • Will NewSat’s Failure Dim Ex-Im’s Appetite for Satellite Deals?
  • UK guaranteed over £130m in loans for repressive governments to spend on arms
  • Russia’s Sberbank and Italy’s Sace sign MoU
  • Despite sanctions on Russia ECA-backed business continues
  • $2 billion line of credit to Bangladesh to create 50,000 Indian jobs
  • The Crony Boondoggle For Ex-Im Bank Insiders

Congress lets Export-Import Bank expire

(USA Today, Washington, 30 June 2015 14:03 EDT) The charter for the Export-Import Bank of the United States expires at midnight Tuesday, delivering at least a short-term victory for fiscal conservatives and activists who targeted the 81-year-old institution as a free market distortion.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/30/export-import-bank-expiri...


OECD ECAs in stalemate over coal subsidy phase-out

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Brussels, 12 June 2015) Talks on phasing out a form of coal subsidies ended in stalemate as Japan, the biggest user of the aid, led calls for more time in defiance of this week's G7 pledge on fossil fuel subsidies, sources said. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been trying for a year to get an agreement from its 34 member nations on phasing out export credits for coal, the most polluting of the fossil fuels. Sources close to talks in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity, said nations would review the situation over the summer ahead of further talks in September. An OECD spokesman, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the OECD's export credit committee planned to meet in September to debate further how "export credits can contribute to our common goal to address climate change." The pressure for a deal is strong, but so is opposition, especially from Japan, the biggest user of the credits that help companies such as Toshiba Corp to sell coal plant and mining technology abroad.

http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/rich-nations-in-stalemate-over-coal-subsi...


More than $73bn of international public finance was given to coal between 2007 and 2014 via credit export agencies

A substantial number of articles appeared this month highlighting massive export credit support for coal projects

Japan and South Korea top list of biggest coal financiers
Germany led EU's $5bn coal splurge
Japan Tops China as World’s Biggest Lender for Coal, Study Says
Japan, Germany, Korea fuelling growth of coal power
Public is Financing $73 Billion in Coal Development NRDC Report Reveals
Rich countries sweep billions in public finance for coal under the rug as climate deadlines loom
Australia given more than $4 billion in foreign subsidies for coal projects

The full Natural Resources Defense Council “Under the Rug” report is available here: http://docs.nrdc.org/international/files/int_15060201a.pdf

A database on coal financing in the report is here: http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2015/06/IFI-ECA-Coal-Investments-06-01-15-NRDC-OCI-WWF-FINAL.xlsb




Germany's KfW IPEX Bank finances non-polluting shipping AND fossil fuel carriers!

In two separate news items this month, KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany brags about financing the world's largest, non-polluting clipper ship along with Croatian ECA HBOR, while also arranging and closing a $186.3 million financing package to cover four new LNG carriers for the international liquefied petroleum gas trading and transport company Petredec along with Euler Hermes.




Sace guarantees US$200mn for Sonangol

(Global Trade Review, Rome, 5 June 2015) Italian export credit agency Sace has guaranteed a line of credit worth US$200mn for Angolan national oil company Sonangol, GTR is able to confirm.The goal is to increase the export of goods and services between Italian companies active in oil and gas in emerging markets, and sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/sace-guarantees-line-of-credit-to-sonangol/


US Ex-im: Conservatives vs Big Business

(Newsweek, Washington, 8 June 2015) The nearly 80-year-old federally run Ex-Im bank claims to cover its own costs—even generating a surplus—thanks to the interest it collects on loans. It claimed to support $27.4 billion in U.S. exports last year, less than 2 percent of all American exports. And its highly technical line of work offering export-related loan guarantees and export credit insurance to exporters and banks is hardly the sort of subject that’s going to galvanize the American public... And yet, thanks to the growing clout of a group of Tea Party–inspired members of Congress and their allies around the country, Ex-Im has become the latest litmus test of fiscal conservatism. Those trying to kill the bank, whose charter expires at the end of June 2015, believe its demise can be a springboard in their bigger fight to remake Washington.

http://www.newsweek.com/smackdown-conservatives-vs-big-business-340661


General Electric Says They'll Move Jobs Overseas If Ex-Im Bank Ends

(Bloomberg, Washington, 17 June 2015) General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt threatened to move U.S. jobs overseas if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter, which expires at the end of June. “We’re not going to lose this business,” Immelt said Wednesday to the Economic Club of Washington. “We’ll build these products in places where export credit financing is available.” GE’s product lineup includes diesel locomotives, medical-imaging equipment and gas turbines. It’s also the biggest maker of jet engines, a business that risks being crimped without the Ex-Im financing for Boeing Co. jets. GE, one of the top three public company exporters in the U.S., has much to lose if the Ex-Im bank disappears: its overseas customers received more than $973 million in credit assistance from the bank last year, according to an Ex-Im annual report.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-06-17/ge-s-immelt-says-he-d-move...


Gulf countries receive billions in Ex-Im Bank subsidies

(Al-Monitor, Washington, 11 June 2015) Companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates together pulled in about $12 billion in trade financing over the past five years — 8.5% of the $141 billion global total — to help pay for nuclear reactors, industrial power generators and new fleets of Boeing jets. That includes a record-setting $5 billion loan to help Saudi Arabia build one of the world's largest petrochemical complexes... Turkey rounded out the top three Export-Import Bank financing recipients in the Middle East, with $4.5 billion for aircraft and power plant equipment, according to a review of five years’ worth of Ex-Im bank financial reports. Overall, companies in the Near East and North Africa accounted for 13% of Ex-Im trade financing from fiscal year 2010 through fiscal 2014, including a high of 27% in fiscal 2012.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/us-export-subsidy-program-anal...


Dutch state violates own CSR procedures in Egypt's Suez Canal Expansion

(One World, Amsterdam, 4 June 2015) Evicting people from their homes is a major human rights violation according to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Therefore, it is disturbing that two Dutch companies are involved in the project that according to several reports in international media has already led to 2,000 evictions. Even more disturbing: the Netherlands guarantees the payment risks that Van Oord and Boskalis incur for this project. Van Oord and Boskalis applied for a so-called export credit insurance from Atradius Dutch State Business for the project from the Dutch state. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, prepared by the State and implemented by Atradius DSB, is based on guidelines drawn up in the OECD, the so-called Common Approaches,  which require an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). Atradius in an early March 2015 email to Dutch NGO Both ENDS noted that its efforts "to obtain information in connection with the environmental and social assessment... have not led to an ESIA, or sufficiently similar information for ex ante publication of the project." It thus appears that Atradius DSB issued an export credit insurance without an ESIA being available for this Cat A project. Political and economic considerations thus seem to have overruled the CSR policies of this ECA. 

http://www.eca-watch.org/node/3752


First ECA-OECD Guidelines complaint submitted on Suape, Pernambuco, Brazil

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 5 June 2015) At the beginning of June an OECD Guidelines complaint was filed with the NCPs of Brazil and the Netherlands against the Dutch dredging company Van Oord and the Dutch ECA Atradius Dutch State Business on the adverse social and environmental impacts caused by ECA supported dredging projects in Suape, Pernambuco, Brazil. This first ever OECD Guidelines complaint against an ECA has been filed by the Associação Fórum Suape Espaço Socioambiental, Conectas Direitos Humanos, Colônia de Pescadores do Município do Cabo de Santo Agostinho (Z08) from Brasil and Both ENDS from the Netherlands.

http://www.eca-watch.org/node/3750


UKEF reports achievement of enhanced capabilities in 2014-15

(The Economic Voice, London, 18 June 2015) UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency and a government department has laid its 2014-2015 annual report before Parliament. It reported clear progress throughout 2014-2015, both on the support it provided exporters and on the development of capabilities in line with its three-year business plan published at the start of the year.

http://www.economicvoice.com/ukef-reports-achievement-of-enhanced-capabilities-i...


Will NewSat’s Failure Dim Ex-Im’s Appetite for Satellite Deals?

(Military Technologies, Singapore, 1 June 2015) Satellite operators on June 1 expressed concern that the U.S. Export-Import Bank and France’s Coface, the world’s two most-active export agencies (ECAs) in funding satellite projects, might reduce their support for the industry in light of the failure of start-up satellite operator NewSat of Australia. But these operators were far from unanimous about whether the failure, in which the Ex-Im Bank has definitively lost well over $100 million, would have a long-term chilling effect on ECA financing for satellite projects. Coface’s loss, as a backer of NewSat’s launch contract with Arianespace of Europe, is uncertain and is much less than the Ex-Im Bank’s as backer of the satellite construction contract.

http://www.military-technologies.net/2015/06/01/will-newsats-failure-dim-ex-ims-...


UK guaranteed over £130m in loans for repressive governments to spend on arms

(The Independent, London, 18 June 2015) Britain has guaranteed more than £130m in loans for repressive governments to spend on arms in the last year, new figures show. Indonesia already owes Britain £246m from historic loans, however this year the UK government has guaranteed a further £132m of loan for the country to purchase arms. The loan guarantee has been used by the Indonesian military to purchase the British-built Starstreak anti-aircraft missile, to the dismay of anti-arms trade campaigners. New figures for 2014 also show that UK Export Finance, Britain’s official export credit agency, backed a bond of £190,000 to allow Saudi Arabia to purchase “unspecified” arms. The figures come as a Jubilee Debt Campaign report claims that 75 per cent of the export owed to debt is “illegitimate” and much of it comes from past loans for arms sales to repressive regimes.The figures come as a Jubilee Debt Campaign report claims that 75 per cent of the export owed to debt is “illegitimate” and much of it comes from past loans for arms sales to repressive regimes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-guaranteed-over-130m-in-loans-f...


Russia’s Sberbank and Italy’s Sace sign MoU

(Global Trade Review, St. Petersburg, 15 June 2015) Sberbank of Russia and Italia export credit agency Sace signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum... Despite the sanctions, Russia remains an important partner for Italy. Alessandro Castellano, Sace’s CEO remarks: “With over €4.4bn of exposure in our portfolio, Russia remains the top foreign market for Sace.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/russias-sberbank-and-italys-sace-sign-mou/


Despite sanctions on Russia ECA-backed business continues

(TFX, London, 12 June 2015) Despite the current sanctions environment, an anonymous industry poll at the recent TXF ECA Finance conference in Paris, suggested 25% of the audience had completed an ECA-backed transaction into Russia in 2015. The poll, which had close to three hundred respondents including banks, ECAs, exporters and borrowers, asked not only when was participants last ECA-backed deal into Russia, but also when would be their next such transaction. 26% said their next deal into Russia would be in the second half of 2015, and 12% said their next would come within quarter two. In particular, 55% of export credit agencies (ECAs) polled said their next deal into Russia would come this year, with 65% of European ECAs. The results seem to demonstrate that despite the current situation, some deals are getting done, and that it is possible to complete transactions that do not violate international sanctions law.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/4032/Russian-ECA-backed-continues-to-see-som...


$2 billion line of credit to Bangladesh to create 50,000 Indian jobs

(Times of India, New Delhi, 7 June 2015) What is good for Bangladesh is good for India. The government is extending a $2 billion line of credit to its neighbour which is expected to create 50,000 jobs in India and provide a big boost to the government's Make in India drive. A line of credit is a promise to provide loans at subsidized rates from agencies such as Exim Bank. These are normally conditional on the recipient using the loan amount to buy equipment and services from Indian entities such as BHEL, RITES, small and medium enterprises.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/2-billion-line-of-cre...


The Crony Boondoggle For Ex-Im Bank Insiders

(Forbes, Washington, 15 June 2015) [Comment/blog from Adam Andrzejewski of American Transparency, Burr Ridge IL] Between now and the end of June, Congress will decide the fate of the federal agency, Export – Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States, either by doing nothing and letting the bank expire or by voting to let the bank continue. Critics say the bank is the epitome of cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare. Supporters, on the other hand, argue the bank boosts our national security, supports domestic jobs, and levels the global economic playing field. American Transparency (OpenTheBooks.com) fact checked the claims of politicians and pundits with the release of a 30 page Federal Transfer Report – Export – Import Bank. One special section of our oversight report addresses a topic that hasn’t received much attention. We looked at large private banks that have processed more than $125 billion in Ex-Im supported transactions since 2007. These private-sector bank beneficiaries processing Ex-Im supported transactions around the world have so far avoided intense scrutiny. They include Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, New York Mellon, Deutsche, Bank of America, and many others.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2015/06/15/the-crony-boondoggle-for...


What's New May 2015

What's New! is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive What's New! you can subscribe at www.eca-watch.org  Questions? Email info@eca-watch.org

  • Deal to phase out rich-world coal export subsidies elusive
  • Cole Commission pushes for UKTI-UKEF merger
  • SACE signs agreement in support of Iranian ECA
  • Sace, Sinosure sign reinsurance agreement
  • Russia’s VEB ramps up business in China
  • Belarus, China's Eximbank sign loan agreements
  • Top Obama Export-Import Bank appointee joins Boeing
  • Democrats mobilise to force vote on US Ex-Im's reauthorisation
  • Conference: Insurers and ECAs team up for European exports (video)

Deal to phase out rich-world coal export subsidies elusive

(Reuters, Barcelona, 27 May 2015) The world's richest nations are unlikely to reach a deal to phase out subsidies for coal exports at talks in June, reducing the chances of a new global climate change agreement at a U.N. conference in Paris, officials and campaigners say. The export credits help developed nations supply coal-fired generation and mining technology to poor nations, a practice critics say harms attempts to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been seeking for a year to agree to phase out export credits for coal, the most polluting fossil fuel. But officials and campaigners said a breakthrough would be difficult when the issue is raised at ministerial level next week and at a meeting of the OECD's coal export credit group set for June 9-12.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/27/eu-subsidies-idUKL5N0YB4LU20150527


Cole Commission pushes for UKTI-UKEF merger

(Global Trade Review, London, 13 April 2015) The Labour Party's Cole Commission has called for the combination of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) agencies into one entity to achieve better co-ordination and support of British exporters. Cornerhouse, the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Friends of the Earth UK have argued that the continued subsidy of exporters through UKEF is only justifiable if such support is conditional on compliance with rigorous human rights and environmental safeguards and directed to incentivising a shift towards a low-carbon economy. This should include the adoption of legally-enforceable environmental and human rights standards and should empower the Secretary of State to prohibit support for classes of exports whose impacts are inconsistent with furthering the UK’s sustainable development and human rights objectives.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/cole-commission-recommends-ukti-ukef-merge/


SACE signs agreement in support of Iranian ECA

(Trade and Export Finance, Rome, 15 May 2015) SACE has signed a technical cooperation agreement to increase the capacity of the Iranian ECA, Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI). Under the agreement, SACE will offer EGFI advisory and training services on products, processes and risk assessment and management, with the objective of transferring to the Iranian ECA the instruments and know-how necessary to sustain Iranian companies in developing and implementing growth plans based on exports.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/3953/SACE-signs-agreement-in-support-of-Iran...


Sace, Sinosure sign reinsurance agreement

(Global Trade Review, Beijing, 14 May 2015) Italy’s ECA Sace and China’s Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure), have signed a reinsurance agreement aimed at facilitating projects and deals involving Italian and Chinese companies. The agreement renews and extends a collaboration initiated in 2006, creating a platform for sharing risk in export-related strategic projects of mutual interest for both Italian and Chinese companies.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/sace-sinosure-sign-reinsurance-agreement/


Russia’s VEB ramps up business in China

(Trade and Export Finance, Moscow, 14 May 2015) Russian state corporation Vnesheconombank (VEB) has increased business with Chinese institutions by signing a $8 billion framework credit agreement with China Development Bank (CDB) and a credit line agreement with Chinese export credit agency the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim). Both agreements were signed during a formal visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping to Russia. The credit line signed with China Exim is worth RMB3.9 billion ($630 million) and has a tenor of 15 years. The loan will go towards a project being implemented by the mining and smelting company CHEK-SU VK.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/3949/Russias-VEB-ramps-up-business-in-China


Belarus, China's Eximbank sign loan agreements

(Belarussian News, Minsk, 11 May 2015) Belarus and China's Eximbank have signed loan agreements to the tune of over $1 billion, Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said as he met with President of the Export-Import Bank of China Hu Xiaolian on 11 May. According to Andrei Kobyakov, China's Eximbank and Belarus are currently implementing 17 loan agreements to the tune of over $4 billon, more than $3 billion have been utilized. According to Andrei Kobyakov, Belarus and the Chinese bank implement joint initiatives within the framework of the concept to revive the Silk Road

http://eng.belta.by/all_news/economics/Belarus-Chinas-Eximbank-sign-loan-agreeme...


Top Obama Export-Import Bank appointee joins Boeing

(Washington Examiner, Washington, 14 May 2015) Kevin Varney, chief of staff at the Export-Import Bank for Obama's first term, joined Boeing as a director this month, according to his LinkedIn page. Boeing is by far the largest recipient of Export-Import Bank subsidies — typically benefitting from about 40 percent of all Ex-Im financing. Varney left Ex-Im in 2013 and joined a consultancy called 32 Advisors, founded by banker and Obama golfing buddy Robert Wolf. RedState has a story on the many revolving door connections between 32 Advisors and Ex-Im, but the new detail is that Varney has jumped to Boeing.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/top-obama-export-import-bank-appointee-joins-b...


Democrats mobilise to force vote on US Ex-Im's reauthorisation

(TXFNews, Washington, 30 April 2015) The US’ House of Democrats today set in motion a process to bypass the House Republican leadership that would force a vote on legislation to the extend the charter of the country’s export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The move comes with just 26 legislative days left until the bank is due to shut down on 30 June. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer and three key members of the Financial Services Committee have joined forces to sign a discharge petition – a procedure that, if supported by the majority of the House, would bring legislation to reauthorise and reform US Ex-Im up for a vote. Rep Denny Heck (D-WA), Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade Rep Gwen Moore (D-WI), led the effort on the House Floor this morning.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/3910/Democrats-mobilise-to-force-vote-on-US-...


Conference: Insurers and ECAs team up for European exports (video)

(Global Trade Review, Hamburg, 15 May 2015) European corporates speaking at GTR‘s Europe Trade and Export Finance Conference in Hamburg are moving away from ECA cover only and resorting to private insurance more and more, due to the growing complexity of deal structures. GTR catches up with exporters, insurers and ECAs to assess the state of the market. Collaboration was one of the key topics discussed at the event: now that the private insurance sector has returned to pre-crisis capacity levels, export credit agencies (ECAs) are involved in fewer export deals.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/insurers-and-ecas-team-up-for-european-expor...


What's New April 2015

What's New! is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive What's New! you can subscribe at www.eca-watch.org  Questions? Email info@eca-watch.org

  • Atradius Dutch State Business Vows Sustained Cooperation with ICIEC
  • Actions on GAO Recommendations since Ex-Im 2012 Reauthorization
  • Former Loan Officer at Ex-Im Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes
  • Brazil's Petrobras secures loans to cover 2015 operations, investments
  • Repubicans grill Ex-Im President over failure to negotiate OECD Arrangement subsidies
  • China Aircraft Leasing lands its first ECA-backed financing
  • Novatek May Secure $5 Billion From ECAs For Arctic Project
  • SACE raises level of support for exports to Cuba
  • China expands export credits
  • World Bank body to help Turkey grow export sector

Atradius Dutch State Business Vows Sustained Cooperation with ICIEC

(Thomson Reuters ZAWYA, Jeddah, 15 April 2015) The Managing Director of Atradius Dutch State Business paid a business visit to the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit ( ICIEC ) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on April 13, 2015. During the visit, the two institutions exchanged ideas on enhancing the cooperation between them in order to support business between the Netherlands and ICIEC 's member countries. Atradius and ICIEC have covered joint projects in the last two years for over US$2 billion, where ICIEC has reinsured Atradius for over US$500 million. [Atradius DSB apparently needs the said reinsurance on Egypt, and therefore is using this contract with ICIEC. This has become even more important as last February Atradius DSB also insured two Dutch dredging companies for their activities in expansion of the Suez canal with an additional maximum insured amount of about € 512 million.]

https://www.zawya.com/story/Atradius_Vows_Sustained_Cooperation_with_ICIEC-ZAWYA...


Actions on GAO Recommendations since Ex-Im 2012 Reauthorization

(GAO, Washington, 15 April 2015) In six reports on the U.S. Export-Import Bank issued since March 2013, GAO presented findings and made 16 recommendations to improve Ex-Im's operations, summarized in this testimony in three broad areas: (1) risk management, (2) underwriting and fraud prevention, and (3) forecasting its exposure and reporting on its estimates of its impact on U.S. jobs. In September 2014, GAO found that Ex-Im had implemented many key aspects of its underwriting process but identified weaknesses in the design, implementation and documentation of some procedures. For example, GAO found that Ex-Im did not have mechanisms to verify compliance with certain loan guarantee eligibility procedures and had not documented its overall processes related to fraud.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-557T


Former Loan Officer at Ex-Im Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes

(US Justice Dept., Washington, 22 April 2015) A former loan officer at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) pleaded guilty in federal court today for accepting more than $78,000 in bribes in return for recommending the approval of unqualified loan applications to the bank, among other misconduct. Johnny Gutierrez, 50, of Stafford, Virginia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler of the District of Columbia to one count of bribery of a public official.  A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 20, 2015.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-loan-officer-export-import-bank-pleads-guil...


Brazil’s Petrobras secures loans to cover 2015 operations, investments

(McGraw Hill Financial, Rio de Janeiro, 20 April 2015) Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras approved a series of financial agreements with local and international banks that will meet its financing needs in 2015, the company said Friday. In a filing with local stock regulators, Petrobras said that the financing deals will provide the company with access to about $6.2 billion. The agreement follows a $3.5 billion financing contract Petrobras reached with China Development Bank on April 1. Petrobras was cut off from global capital markets typically used to fund operations and investments last year and has been under a financial squeeze after federal prosecutors uncovered an alleged bribery and kickback scheme involving former company executives, local politicians, many of Brazil's largest construction and engineering firms, affecting UK, Dutch and perhaps other ECA financing.

http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/riodejaneiro/brazils-petrobras-secures-loa...


Repubicans grill Ex-Im President over failure to negotiate OECD Arrangement subsidies

(The Hill, Washington, 15 April 2015) During congressional hearings, Republicans criticized Treasury Department officials for not negotiating with foreign governments to end subsidized export credit programs, as was mandated in the 2012 reauthorization bill. The Secretary of the Treasury had been ordered to initiate and pursue negotiations with other major exporting countries, including members of the OECD and non-OECD members, to substantially reduce, with the ultimate goal of eliminating, subsidized export financing programs and other forms of export subsidies, especially on commecial civil aircraft. [Annex I of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies, Article (k) exempts the terms of the OECD managed Arrangement on Exports Credits from the definition of subsidies. However, it is well known that the Arrangement is a cozy club where national ECAs only loosely monitor the so-called level playing field. For example, in a moment of transparency, the UK's ECDG in 2005 admitted that it subsidized exports to the tune of some US$271 million per year.]

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/238966-gop-grills-export-import-bank-president...


China Aircraft Leasing lands its first ECA-backed financing

(TxfNews, Beijing, 2 April 2015) Airbus China Aircraft Leasing lands its first ECA-backed financing Chinese aircraft lessor China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) has completed its first aircraft financing backed by an export credit agency (ECA) guarantee – a $224 million facility guaranteed by UK ECA UK Export Finance (UKEF). The UKEF guarantee will cover the purchase of five Airbus A320-200 aircraft, which will then be leased to Air India this year. Lenders on the transaction are ING Bank , who are also the facility agent and co-arranger, and TD Bank.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/3831/China-Aircraft-Leasing-lands-its-first-...


Novatek May Secure $5 Billion From ECAs For Russian Arctic Project

(Capital.gr, Moscow, 13 April 2015) Russian energy firm OAO Novatek (NVTK.MZ) may secure $5 billion from export credit agencies for its $27-billion natural-gas project in the Russian Arctic by mid-year, according to the company's chief executive, Interfax news agency reported Monday. Financing for the project has been hampered by U.S. sanctions imposed against Novatek as a result of Russia's actions in Ukraine. Novatek Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson and Patrick Pouyanne, head of Total SA (TOT) which is Novatek's partner on the Yamal LNG project with a 20% stake, said on Monday they were optimistic about the project's financing and that intentions expressed by the export agencies are valued at $5 billion.

http://english.capital.gr/News.asp?id=2277687


SACE raises level of support for exports to Cuba

(TxfNews, Rome, 27 April 2015) Italian export credit agency SACE is set to expand activity with Cuba and has raised the ceiling for the support of Italian exports and investments in the country. As one of the first export credit agencies to announce such an initiative, SACE has approved a significant increase - from €10 million ($10.9 million) to €100 million ($108.7 million) - in the country ceiling for supporting exports and investments in Cuba.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/3896/SACE-raises-level-of-support-for-export...


China expands export credits

(ECNS.CN, Beijing, 4 April 2015) China is to pilot the removal of preconditioned government approval for offshore corporate bonds, part of a national arrangement to lower the financing cost of enterprises expanding overseas. The move, along with the government's efforts to speed up the growth of China-funded financial institutions and introduce more long-term export credit insurance, will make it easier for Chinese companies to get credit by mortgaging overseas assets, help them manage risks and hence facilitate the export of excess but advanced industrial capacity to countries in need of upgrading.

http://www.ecns.cn/business/2015/04-04/160660.shtml


World Bank body to help Turkey grow export sector

(Hurriyet Daily News, Washington, 7 April 2015) The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, has announced that it will help Turkish Eximbank provide medium- and long-term funds to Turkish exporters. “MIGA is providing guarantees of $333 million to a syndicate of banks jointly led by Citibank N.A. and Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale of Germany, against the risk of non-honoring of financial obligations by a state-owned enterprise on their 10-year loan facility to Turkey’s official export credit agency,” it said April 7. Société Générale S.A. of France is also participating in the loan facility, and the two-tranche facility will complement Turkish Eximbank’s other funding sources.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/world-bank-body-to-help-turkey-grow-export-sect...


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