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 December 2016

"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!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil Ex-Im supported gas project
  • ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution
  • China's Belt and Road Initiative and Ex-Im Chin
  • Indonesian Batang Villagers file objection against JBIC coal-fired power project
  • Hungarian & Canadian ECAs to co-finance Indonesia's GE gas power project
  • Potential Export-Import Bank deals pose grave environmental threat, experts say
  • Ex-Im Bank Critics, Supporters Look to Donald Trump for Help
  • Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg urges Trump to keep Ex-Im Bank or risk losing foreign sales
  • Trends in OECD Arrangement official export credits (2005-2014)
  • Dubai Working with HSBC on $7-B Bank & ECA Financing for Expo 2020
  • Ukraine's Rada approves creation of export-credit agency
  • Ex-Im’s satellite-lending lapse didn’t stop Israel’s Spacecom from buying American
  • JIBC/NEXI to support new loan scheme for Russia
  • Opportunity knocks for Scottish exporters as sterling tumbles
  • Germany’s Hermes in Iran

Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil Ex-Im supported gas project

(wsws.org, Jacksonville, 19 December 2016) The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government announced on Friday that it will deploy military personnel to stop “violence” near the country’s biggest resources installation, the Exxon-Mobil Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project...The security and viability of the ExxonMobil operation is a key concern in Washington. In November 2010, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited PNG and noted that the US Export-Import Bank was helping finance the ExxonMobil project, noting "China is in there every day in every way trying to figure out how it’s going to come in behind us, come in under us.”... Traditional landowners are now threatening to physically attack the LNG plant over the government’s failure to pay promised royalties and equity in the project. The landowners are owed $1 billion kina ($US315 million) in royalties.
Jubilee Australia has had concerns about the potential militarisation of the project since its inception,' said Director Luke Fletcher . 'We first raised these concerns in 2009 in our Risky Business report, and more fully developed them in 2012 with Pipe Dreams.' He questioned the characterisation of the violence as simply tribal. "If that is so, why has it suddenly broken out now, just as landowner unhappiness with the project escalates? And why engage Exxon and Oil Search (project operators) to assist with policing the area?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/12/19/pngt-d19.html


ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution

(TFX News, London, 12 December 2016) ECAs are to offer guarantees for two LNG projects in Mozambique, as commercial lenders watch closely to see how talks progress between the government and the IMF before committing to the project. Export credit agencies (ECAs),including the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim), France's Coface, Italy's Sace, and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), are set to play a key role in the financing of two Rovuma Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects planned in the north of Mozambique.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/5901/ECAs-fuel-Mozambique-LNG-project-amid-I...


China's Belt and Road Initiative and Ex-Im Chin

(Friends of the Earth USA, Washington, December 2016) The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a major Chinese strategy which marks a national push for China to increase economic links to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Russia, and the Baltic region (Central and Eastern Europe) through various infrastructure and development projects. BRI sends a clear signal for Chinese industries to invest along proposed BRI land and maritime routes, and embodies the political, economic, and foreign diplomacy interests of China abroad. The Export-Import Bank of China holds an outstanding loan balance of over 1000 projects involving roads, railways, ports, power resources, pipelines, communication, and industrial parks in the 49 countries along the 'Belt and Road'. [p.6] A researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation has suggested that China must take active measures to reduce upheaval and turmoil from Islamic risk in the BRI, in part through upgraded policy-oriented export credit insurance and foreign investment insurance.

http://www.foe.org/china-belt-and-road-report


Indonesian Batang Villagers file objection against JBIC coal-fired power project

(FOE Japan, Tokyo, 5 December 2016) On December 5, eleven local Indonesian community leaders, who have continued to oppose the “Batang Coal-fired Power Plant Project” over five years now, visited the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Jakarta office and submitted their objections against JBIC. (18 villagers signed on as community representatives and the signatures of more than 900 villagers who supported this objection were also attached.) In their objection, the villagers pointed out that the project has failed to comply with “JBIC Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations”, has made their lives worse and has caused the violations of human rights.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161205.html


Hungarian & Canadian ECAs to co-finance Indonesia's GE gas power project

(Business Journal, Budapest, 12 December 2016) The Hungarian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) will jointly finance a project to build eight mobile power plants using General Electric (GE) technology for Indonesiaʼs state-owned electricity company, Hungaryʼs Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said today, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

http://bbj.hu/economy/eximbank-export-development-canada-to-co-finance-indonesia...


Potential Export-Import Bank deals pose grave environmental threat, experts say

(Guardian, London, 7 December 016) Congress quashed the hopes late Tuesday of reviving the United States’ export credit agency, which had been aiming for a stopgap lifeline allowing them to approve more than $20bn in new deals, many of which pose imminent harms to the environment. Now, the fate of a pristine coral reef, an east African mangrove forest, and the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen in a south-east Asian river delta lie in the hands of a new Congress and president. Since 2009, when Barack Obama became president, the Export-Import Bank has signed almost $34bn worth of low-interest loans and guarantees to companies and foreign governments to build, expand and promote some 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, according to an investigation by the Guardian and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/07/export-import-bank-fossil-fuel-p...


Ex-Im Bank Critics, Supporters Look to Donald Trump for Help

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 8 December 2016) President-elect Donald Trump’s jawboning of executives to keep jobs in the U.S. is putting free-market conservatives in an awkward spot after they fought the Obama administration on other government intervention in business. Now, the fate of an agency that conservatives have fought to close over the past year because they say it is an example of the government picking winners and losers—the U.S. Export-Import Bank—will rest in Mr. Trump’s hands. Ex-Im Bank supporters are already using Mr. Trump’s early moves to build their case. The president-elect’s emerging industrial policy—seen last week when he touted Carrier Corp.’s agreement to keep 800 manufacturing jobs in Indiana in exchange for some tax credits—would appear at odds with conservative opposition that has weakened the bank over the past year, amid charges of “crony capitalism.” Congress recently rejected an amendment that would allow US Ex-Im to function without a full board. However, the news that senator Richard Shelby – who has blocked new nominations to the board – has termed out as senate banking committee chairman bodes well for the ECA, as a new pro-Exim replacement is set to start on 3 January.

http://tinyurl.com/wsj-exim-trump


Boeing CEO urges Trump to keep Ex-Im Bank or risk losing foreign sales

(Pueget Sound Business Journal, Seattle, 2 December 2016) Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg urged the new Republican administration of President-elect Donald Trump to preserve and reopen, not abolish the U.S. government's Export-Import Bank. Muilenburg said if Trump gets rid of the Ex-Im Bank, as he vowed to during the 2016 election campaign, Chicago-based Boeing (NYSE: BA), a maker of commercial and military jet aircraft, will lose foreign customers — and big contracts — to rivals in other countries, including Airbus.

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/12/02/boeing-ceo-dennis-muilenburg-...


Trends in OECD Arrangement official export credits (2005-2014)

(OECD, Paris, 10 October 2016) The OECD ECG has produced a broad stroke two year old sectoral overview of OECD member ECAs activities which is not linked on its "latest documents" page, but can be found well down its home page under "statistics". The most recent highly redacted minutes of the Export Credit Working Group available on their web site are dated April 15, 2011 and no link to them is available via their home page. The lists of Category A & B projects for the period 2005 to 2014 are missing data for 2011 & 2012.

http://www.oecd.org/trade/xcred/business-activities.htm


Dubai Working with HSBC on $7-B Bank & ECA Financing for Expo 2020

(Live Trading News, Singapore, 16 Decembber 2016) Dubai is working with HSBC on the financing of Expo 2020 Dubai, a $7-B exhibition centre project expected to attract 25-M visitors, sources familiar with the matter said. The financing will come from bank loans and from various export credit agencies, the sources said. HSBC has been appointed to coordinate the export credit agencies and financing supported by them, the sources said, adding that the split between the commercial loans and the export credit financing was yet to be defined.

http://www.livetradingnews.com/dubai-working-hsbc-7-b-financing-expo-2020-23655....


Ukraine's Rada approves creation of export-credit agency

(Kyiv Post, Kyiv, 21 December 016) The bill No. 2142a providing for the aggressive exports expansion of Ukrainian manufacturers via insuring, guaranteeing and cheapening of exports crediting was passed at second reading late on Tuesday, Dec. 21, by 237 lawmakers. According to the document, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers creates the export-credit agency to stimulate exports of Ukrainian goods, labor and services. The agency will insure, reinsure exports on a voluntary basis and will secure contracts aimed at developing exports. The agency will participate in the implementation of the program to partially compensate the rates for exports credits.

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rada-approves-creation-export-credit-a...


Ex-Im’s satellite-lending lapse didn’t stop Israel’s Spacecom from buying American

(Space News, Congers NY, 22 December 2016) Spacecom is buying its newest spacecraft from an American supplier without relying on financial support from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, according to a company official. Amos-17 is the first satellite Spacecom has bought from a U.S. supplier. The order comes during a vexing time for U.S. satellite builders trying to sell abroad. The U.S. Ex-Im Bank, a frequently-used source of below-market financing for satellite deals, was closed to new business for nearly half of 2015.

http://spacenews.com/ex-ims-satellite-lending-lapse-didnt-stop-israels-spacecom-...


JIBC/NEXI to support new loan scheme for Russia

(Nikkei Asian Review, Tokyo, 12 December 2016) Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation will jointly launch a new scheme to provide loans for small to midsize Russian businesses via Alfa-Bank. Japanese export credit agency Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) will back up the creditworthiness of the Russian lender. Despite being a major private lender in Russia, Alfa bank's credit profile, including total asset size, is much lower than state-backed lenders. NEXI will provide guarantees in order for Japanese banks to avoid the risk of possible bad loans. The total loan amount is expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Japan-to-launch-new-loan-scheme-...


Opportunity knocks for Scottish exporters as sterling tumbles

(Daily Record, Edinburgh, 21 December 2016)  With the falling value of the pound making UK goods more competitive on the world stage, the environment for Scottish businesses looking to trade internationally is arguably more positive than for many years. According to a recent business survey by Grant Thornton, confidence among firms that their exports will rise has more than doubled in the wake of sterling’s steep fall. UK Export Finance (UKEF) - the UK’s export credit agency which operates through a network of advisers including two based in Scotland - aims to bridge the gap by offering insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance.
 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-features/insider-special-report-e...


Germany’s Hermes in Iran

(Mehr News Tehran, 24 December 2016) Iran always has been considered as an eye-catching and money-spinning market for several European countries like Germany offering not only 80 million people it has but also a 400-million-people marketplace it can provide access to. Following the termination of the nuclear deal between Iran and great powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the European Union countries, Germany in particular, are trying to foster their economic cooperation with the Islamic Republic. For decades before sanctions were imposed, Germany, which enjoys the largest economy in Europe with a nominal gross domestic product in 2016 of $3.5 trillion, was Iran’s major trading partner.

http://en.mehrnews.com/news/122237/Report-Germany-s-Hermes-in-Iran


What's New November 2016

"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!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  1. Dutch NCP rules that Dutch ECA is subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  2. An open letter to the Equator Principles Association on the Dakota Access pipeline
  3. How Obama's climate change legacy is weakened by US ECA investment in dirty fuel
  4. G20 countries still financing overseas coal
  5. Indonesian Villagers File Objection against JBIC
  6. Stopping coal financing for Indonesian coal plants is crucial in the fight against climate change
  7. Jubilee Protests Against Efic Plans to Finance South African Coal Mine
  8. COP blog: Big dams must not be allowed to sink the Green Climate Fund
  9. Here’s What We Really Should Be Debating When It Comes To Trade
  10. Iran accuses European ECAs of not fully supporting nuclear deal
  11. UKEF £79m post-Brexit export boost
  12. Mexican ECA Bancomext looks to dollar, euro bond markets
  13. Trump's Election Casts Doubt on Ex-Im: "Boeing's Bank"
  14. A closer look at the trends and issues shaping the market
  15. Ukranian Economy Ministry estimates cost for setting up ECA at 200 mln Euros
  16. Indian President inaugurates diamond jubilee celebrations of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation
  17. Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded
  18. AMAN UNION hosts its 7th Annual Meeting in Beirut
  19. Segezha Group signs Euro 383.6 M loan facility with Russian & international banks & European ECAs
  20. US federal jury finds Darien man guilty in $25 million export finance fraud case

Dutch NCP rules that Dutch ECA is subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

(ECA Watch, 30 November 2016, Ottawa) In a report dated November 30th 2016 the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP), official monitoring body of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the Netherlands, found that the Dutch official ECA, Atradius State Business (ADSB), may not have exercised sufficient due diligence or fulfilled its duty to use its leverage over its client, the Dutch dredging company Van Oord Marine, to prevent or mitigate possible adverse impacts of its dredging activities in Brazil's Suape Industrial Port Complex, two projects insured with ADSB by Van Oord.

Following lengthy discussions mediated by the Dutch NCP between ADSB, Van Oord and Dutch ECA Watch member Both ENDS, together with Brazilian NGOs representing the affected communities and the Brazilian NCP, the report notes that "adverse impacts have occurred", but avoids taking an "opinion on the parties' respective degree of responsibility for this", believing that "the Brazilian NCP has the primary responsibility to ascertain the causality of the adverse impacts referred to in the complaint."

The Dutch NCP found that ADSB is an MNE under the OECD Guidelines and that ADSB "is 'directly linked' to the possible adverse impacts 'contributed to or caused by a business relationship' (Van Oord) under paragraph II.A.11, and therefore, has an
independent duty to use its leverage on such business relationships to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts resulting from the dredging activities." This is an important precedent, as national ECAs have traditionally claimed to exercise due diligence on the social and environmental impacts of the projects they support solely via the OECD Export Credit Working Group's Common Approaches, a set of non-binding recommendations which apply only to a limited set of OECD ECA supported projects and are monitored by a secretive ECA peer review body akin to foxes choosing which hen houses they might protect.

Both ENDS submission on the “Gaps between the Common Approaches and the OECD Guidelines” has been shared with the Dutch NCP, the OECD and other interested stakeholders. It should be noted that the OECD Guidelines are grounded in an OECD Council Decision that has a similar status to a treaty or a convention. A Council Decision is therefore firmly anchored in international law. Unlike the OECD Guidelines, the Common Approaches are incorporated in an OECD council recommendation, which is a political commitment only, and not anchored in international law. In addition, the Common Approaches only call for a one-time due diligence moment, while the OECD Guidelines clearly call for an ongoing process.

The OECD Guidelines oblige government established NCPs to contribute to the resolution of issues that arise from alleged non-observance of the Guidelines in specific instances and have built-in grievance mechanisms. In this case, the Dutch NCP has recommended that an evaluation of outcomes of the discussions and agreements of the parties be conducted in October 2017, ensuring that there is ongoing follow-up on the adverse impacts that have been alleged: lack of consultation with affected communities, the destruction of fisheries, endangerment of fishing crews, unannounced deep sea explosions, soil and water contamination, lack of mitigating and compensatory measures and remuneration for lost livelihoods and lands, etc.

http://www.bothends.org/en/News/newsitem/490/Dutch-Export-Credit-Agency-did-not-...


An open letter to the Equator Principles Association on the Dakota Access pipeline

(Bank Track, Nijmegen, 30 November 2016) Members of Banktrack wrote to the Chair of the Equator Principles Association earlier this month, to urge the Association at its upcoming Annual Meeting to address two distinct and important issues: Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) must take long overdue, concrete steps to strengthen their climate commitments; and Banktrack's deep concern about the involvement of a substantial number of EPFIs in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). ECA Watch considers this an important issue, as many ECAs work closely together in underwriting investments of private banks in the fossil fuel sector. The portfolios of some ECAs consist of more than 50% underwriting for fossil fuel related transactions. To effectively contribute to stopping climate change from going from bad to worse, ECAs urgently need to change track. DNB, Norway's largest bank, has sold off about $3 million in assets, but its banking division is still responsible for offering the Bakken pipeline companies up to $460 million dollars in credit, over 10 percent of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline construction costs. The New York Times reported on November 8 that in their battles with the banks, environmentalists have scored some early victories. Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other wealthy nations, a retreat that followed similar announcements by Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. The banks’ move away from coal, however, appeared motivated as much by the plunging profitability of coal as by concerns over climate change. Another Banktrack letter signed by over 400 organizations from more than 50 countries, including many members of ECA Watch, has just gone out to a broader set of banks expressing deep concern about their participation in a $2.5 billion credit agreement led by Citibank with Dakota Access LLC and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company LLC.

http://www.banktrack.org/show/article/an_open_letter_to_the_equator_principles_a...


How Obama's climate change legacy is weakened by US ECA investment in dirty fuel

(Guardian, 30 November 2106, Washington) resident Barack Obama has staked his legacy on the environment, positioning his administration as the most progressive on climate change in US history. However, an obscure agency within his own administration has quietly spoiled his record by helping fund a steady outpouring of new overseas fossil fuel emissions – effectively erasing gains expected from his headline clean power plan or fuel efficiency standards. Since January 2009, the US Export-Import Bank has signed almost $34bn worth of low-interest loans and guarantees to companies and foreign governments to build, expand and promote fossil fuel projects abroad.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/30/us-fossil-fuel-investment-ob...


G20 countries still financing overseas coal

(China Dialogue, London, 15 November 2016) G20 countries have financed US$76 billion in coal projects in the past nine years. With more projects in the pipeline, they should stop coal financing or risk creating stranded assets, writes Natural Resources Defense Council's Chen Han... As the threat of climate change looms, the world must transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible and avoid burning most fossil fuel reserves. Coal is of particular concern. It accounts for 40% of global carbon emissions from fossil fuel use, which is more than any other individual source. Despite last year’s Paris Agreement, G20 countries – the world’s largest economies – continue to invest in projects that increase the world’s dependence on coal. Last month we noted that OECD ECAs are scheduled to limit support to so called less environmentally friendly coal-fired power projects after January 2017.

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/9391-G2-countries-still-fin...


Indonesian Villagers File Objection against JBIC

(Friends of the Earth Japan, 10 November 2016, Jakarta) On November 10, 2016, three villagers affected by "Cirebon coal-fired power plant project in West Java, Indonesia" (*1) handed their objection to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) at its Representative Office in Jakarta. They also took their protest action in front of Japanese Embassy, calling on JBIC not to decide its loan for the expansion project in Cirebon which is slated to commence the construction within this year or early next year. In the Project, the Unit 1 power plant (660 MW, invested by Marubeni), for which JBIC provided its loan, has already caused serious damages to the community’s livelihood, such as small-scale fishing and salt making. In addition, the expansion or Unit 2 power plant (1000 MW, invested by Marubeni and Chubu Electric Power) has been criticized for the issue of land acquisition and the illegality of its environmental permission.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161110.html


Stopping coal financing for Indonesian coal plants is crucial in the fight against climate change

(Friends of the Earth Japan, 17 November 2016, Tokyo) Within the next couple of months, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will decide whether to fund two giant dirty coal-fired power plants in Indonesia. These power plants will have a total capacity of 3000 Megawatts. They are the Cirebon 2 coal-fired power plant is in West Java and the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant is in Jepara, Central Java. Six months ago, JBIC approved funding for one of Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plants in Batang in Central Java, which is already having terrible negative social and environmental impacts, and will make a massive contribution to climate change. French Bank Crédit Agricole also wants to join JBIC in funding the coal power plant in Cirebon and the Tanjung Jati B power plant. This is in spite of a very recent public commitment made by Crédit Agricole to stop providing finance to new coal plants. Civil society groups from across the world, including Friends of the Earth France, Banktrack and Oxfam France, have criticized the double standards of Crédit Agricole in making new climate commitments a few weeks before COP22 in Marrakech, whilst continuing with its coal finance business as usual. They argue Crédit Agricole must not finance these two damaging power plants.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161117.html


Jubilee Protests Against Efic Plans to Finance South African Coal Mine

(Jubilee Australia, 21 November 2016, Sydney) Jubilee Australia has urged Efic to reject an application to take part in financing a new coal project in the Waterberg region of South Africa. Efic announced in September that it was considering financing the Boikarabelo mine, a project of the Joint Australian-South African company ResGen. 'We were encouraged to see that Efic had not to our knowledge financed a major fossil fuel project since 2009,' said Jubilee Director Luke Fletcher, 'which we felt was a step in the right direction.' 'But this new project would be a disaster for the planet. It would open up the entire Waterberg region, the fourth largest coal deposit in the world, to exploitation. If this project continues, we will have no chance of keeping global warming below the 1.5 degree threshold agreed to in Paris last year.'

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/jubilee-protests-again-efic-plans-to...


COP blog: Big dams must not be allowed to sink the Green Climate Fund

(Environmental Finance, 15 November 2016, Washington) On a promising note, the US recently led successful opposition to official partnerships between the GCF and export credit agencies. In arguing against the GCF partnering with the Export-Import Bank of Korea, US board member Leonardo Martinez-Diaz said: "We do not think it is proper to channel [GCF resources] through entities whose job is export promotion." Touché! But the US should consistently apply that principle; it currently counts some US export credit agency financing toward its contribution to the $100 billion.

https://www.environmental-finance.com/content/analysis/cop-blog-big-dams-must-no...


Here’s What We Really Should Be Debating When It Comes To Trade

(Manufacturing Net, 4 November 2016, New Jersey) Small ecommerce business need better export credit support for online export working capital loans. 97% of American micro and small businesses that sell on eBay export, as opposed to the 1% of brick-and-mortar U.S. businesses that export... The rise of online sellers and online lenders is an opportunity for export credit agencies... Export credit agencies (ECAs) have traditionally helped finance exporters with such means as by guaranteeing bank-issued export working capital loans an exporter uses to pay for raw materials, labor and inputs that go to fulfilling the export order. However, onerous Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money Laundering rules and Basel III capital standards are today squeezing banks’ profit margins, reducing their appetite for small business loans – right when there are more and more small businesses in need of export credit. E-commerce undoes geographic distance that has kept buyers blind to far-flung sellers for centuries. By 2020, 6.1 billion people will have smartphones with which to get online and shop, up by 3 billion netizens from today’s levels. Is the world ready to facilitate small business trade on that scale?
[Editorial comment: Or of that nature? Similar state subsidy arrangements could facilitate a transition to trade amongst cooperative producers and consumers based on the commons and local production and needs, vs consumer glitz and multinational corporate megaprojects which feed global warming.]

http://www.manufacturing.net/blog/2016/11/heres-what-we-really-should-be-debatin...


Iran accuses European ECAs of not fully supporting nuclear deal

(Financial Times, 27 October 2016, Tehran) A senior Iranian official has accused European governments of not being fully committed to implementation of a nuclear deal with Iran, blaming them for stymieing investment into the Islamic republic. Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, deputy transport minister, told the Financial Times that European financing agencies were failing to support businesses keen to invest in the oil-rich country. Export credit agencies were demanding premiums on insurance that made banks insist on putting “unacceptable” terms in contracts related to political risk, he said.

https://www.ft.com/content/0abe52f2-9b69-11e6-8f9b-70e3cabccfae


UKEF £79m post-Brexit export boost

(CCH Daily, 24 November 2016) Financial support for UK exporters will double through UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK's export credit agency. The Treasury's Autumn Statement included details of an additional £79.4m in funding over the lifetime of this Parliament for the Department for International Trade (DIT) to build capacity to support the UK’s exit from the EU and negotiations for the best possible global trading arrangements for the UK. The DIT will use the money to develop and deliver an independent international trade policy. The Treasury said the new measures will see UKEF’s total risk appetite double to £5bn and the maximum cover limit for individual markets increase by up to 100%, potentially resulting in as much as £2.5bn of additional capacity to support exports to some destinations.

https://www.cchdaily.co.uk/2016-ps79m-post-brexit-export-boost


Mexican ECA Bancomext looks to dollar, euro bond markets

(Latin Finance, 28 November 2016, Mexico City) The Mexican export credit agency could raise up to $1bn in the cross-border bond markets next year, Bancomext CEO Alejandro Diaz tells LatinFinance. The Mexican ECA will likely target a cross-border issue between $500m and $800m, although going up to $1bn is not out of the question, he said. The ECA in August priced a $700m Basel III-compliant bond, which proved a "useful instrument" for Bancomext to mitigate its exposure to foreign currencies. The peso has slumped since Donald Trump won the US presidential election earlier this month, but Díaz de León said Bancomext had hedged its assets with its liability positions to correspond with any volatility, adding that the ECA's balance sheet was "fully hedged."

http://www.latinfinance.com/Article/3605244/Mexicos-Bancomext-looks-to-dollar-eu...


Trump's Election Casts Doubt on Ex-Im: "Boeing's Bank"

(Forbes, 9 November 2017, Seattle) The reaction from diverse quarters in the aviation industry to Trump’s election was swift. FlightGlobal worried that ExIm and the aerospace supply chain faces uncertainty. “As some Republicans in Congress have blocked nominations to the board of directors, Ex-Im Bank has been unable to approve any loan greater than $10 million for more than a year. That leadership vacuum is unlikely to change under a Trump administration, if the bank is allowed to survive at all,” FlightGlobal wrote.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scotthamilton5/2016/11/09/trumps-election-casts-doub...


A closer look at the trends and issues shaping the market

(Spend Matters Network, 2 November 2016, Chicago) As global trade expands, so does the importance of trade finance. Kapronasia’s new report takes an in-depth look into these issues and analyzes how trade finance is changing in the world’s largest exporting economy. Total trade volume in China was 24.59 trillion RMB ($3.95 trillion) last year, even despite a fall in import and export volumes. This is especially crucial in the world’s largest exporting nation. Trade financing is typically viewed as letters of credit, lending, export credit and insurance, usually offered by traditional banks and export credit and insurance agencies. However, fintech and the internet have been changing the face of trade finance. For instance, Barclay has announced the first trade finance deal using Blockchain-based technology in September this year, which increased efficiency in the process. In addition, more and more international trade in retail is conducted through online marketplaces such as Alibaba and eBay. These new technologies are reducing paperwork and increasing the speed of communication between companies, banks, and other counter parties.

http://spendmatters.com/tfmatters/china-trade-finance-2016-closer-look-trends-is...


Indian President inaugurates diamond jubilee celebrations of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation

(Indian Express, 8 November 2016, New Delhi) President Mukherjee said that in the present day context the role of an Export Credit Agency (ECA) is of central importance in international trade and investment flows.. “These institutions are, in a manner of speaking, akin to policy instruments at the disposal of the sovereign to ensure adequate and timely support to national exports by way of extending credit, insurance and guarantees. They develop the platform upon which exporters and bankers sustain existing markets in addition to exploring new markets. Absence of an ECA adds to the underlying political, economic and financial uncertainty. ECAs offer more than just trade credit insurance. Their role in an economy is multifaceted with protection against risks, enabling access to bank finance, information and expertise in trade finance,” he added

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/president-mukherjee-inau...


Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded

(Reuters, 24 November 2016, Dubai)Gulf governments are increasingly turning to export credit agencies to finance billions of dollars of infrastructure projects as low oil prices squeeze liquidity in the region. Bankers say that since oil prices fell more than two years ago, eroding state revenues and drying up funding from local and international banks, borrowers are considering ECA finance for everything from airports to oil refinery expansion.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-financing-idUSKBN13J1BR?il=0


AMAN UNION hosts its 7th Annual Meeting in Beirut

(Thomson/Reuters/Zaya, 16 November 2016, Beirut) The Aman Union is a professional forum assembling Commercial & Non-commercial Risks Insurers & Reinsurers in Member Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and of the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation. Day two hosted a presentation titled ‘The Areas of Cooperation Between Banks and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and the Role of the Banking Sector in Supporting Trade.’, presented by Mr. Hai Liang, SEO – Group GM, Saudi Hollandi Bank, Saudi Arabia.

http://www.zawya.com/mena/en/story/AMAN_UNION_hosts_its_7th_Annual_Meeting_in_Be...


Segezha Group signs Euro 383.6 M loan facility with Russian & international banks & European ECAs

(Lesprom, Moscow, 24 November 2016) Segezha Group signs a five-year Euro 383.6 million syndicated facility agreement potentially extendable up to 7-10 years through export credit financing to be provided with insurance coverage from European export credit agencies. ING BANK (EURASIA) JSC, ING Bank N.V. Dublin Branch, AO Raiffeisenbank, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Sberbank acted as mandated lead arrangers and lenders. The funds will be used to finance Segezha Group investment programme, which includes long-term projects such as an overhaul of Segezha pulp & paper mills and construction of a new plywood factory in Kirov, Russia, as well as general corporate needs. Segezha Group is one of Russia's largest vertically integrated forest holding companies that performs a full cycle of logging and advanced wood processing operations.

http://www.lesprom.com/en/news/Segezha_Group_signs_a_Euro_383_6_million_syndicat...


US federal jury finds Darien man guilty in $25 million export finance fraud case

(Drien Times, 10 November 2016, Darien CT) A federal jury in New Haven has found Pablo Calderon, 61, of Darien and Brett C. Lillemor, 46, of Minneapolis, Minn. guilty of conspiracy and fraud offenses related to a multimillion dollar scheme to defraud banks participating in a USDA-backed export financing program.

http://www.darientimes.com/77394/federal-jury-finds-darien-man-guilty-in-25-mill...


What's New October 2016

"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!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • UK fraud agency boss expects to move quickly in Airbus inquiry
  • Villagers suffer at the hands of Mozambique LNG gas development under consideration by US Ex-Im
  • Export credit financing for coal-fired power projects - A thing of the past?
  • NGOs oppose OECD moves to count export credits as ODA
  • Insurance firms expect Iran opening in 2017
  • Saudi Arabia blasts Korean Ex-Im bank for “playing” with UN climate fund
  • Animal welfare deserves better from ECAs
  • Boeing Reports Q3 Deliveries: Commercial Down, Defense Up
  • CAGW Names Rep. Charlie Dent October Porker of the Month
  • Zimbabwe Government to repay Sinosure arrears
  • Kuwait’s KNPC aims to finalise $5 billion-plus ECA backed loan by first quarter
  • Irish budget to target measures to help exporters

UK fraud agency boss expects to move quickly in Airbus inquiry

(Reuters, London, 12 October 2016) Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is working with French authorities in its investigation into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption at European aerospace group Airbus (AIR.PA) and expects to proceed "fairly quickly", its head said on Wednesday. The SFO launched a criminal inquiry in August into Airbus' use of third-party agents to win commercial jet sales after the company's compliance teams informed Britain's export credit agency, which arranges credit guarantees for overseas sales, of inaccuracies.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-sfo-idUKKCN12C24T


Villagers suffer at the hands of Mozambique LNG gas development under consideration by US Ex-Im

(Medium, Washington, 15 October 2016) Friends of the Earth USA conducted a field study of the impacts of the development of liquefied natural gas on rural communities and their lands in northern Mozambique, a project considered for financing by the U.S. government Export Import Bank. Friends of the Earth U.S. is working with Justiçia Ambiental/Friends of the Earth Mozambique and the Center for Biological Diversity to discourage Ex-Im Bank from supporting this project. Not far from the city of Pemba, Mozambique, villagers clamored to tell their stories of threats and lost land and livelihoods. Read the report here.

https://medium.com/economic-policy/villagers-suffer-at-the-hands-of-mozambiques-...


Export credit financing for coal-fired power projects - A thing of the past?

(Lexology Newsfeed, 5 October 2016) On 17 November 2015, members of the OECD which are party to the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (the Arrangement), agreed to a new sector understanding that limits the availability of export credit finance for less environmentally friendly coal-fired power projects (the New Sector Understanding). The New Sector Understanding is due to come into force in January 2017. The members of the OECD that have signed up to the New Sector Understanding are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The New Sector Understanding is likely to have a notable effect on the availability and terms of OECD export credit financings. However, it remains to be seen whether local commercial banks and development finance institutions in countries that are party to the Arrangement will align their approach to financing coal-fired power projects with that of the participating OECD export credit agencies.

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=cddabde5-3523-4dd7-992c-e2bac6b07a...


NGOs oppose OECD moves to count export credits as ODA

(Eurodad, Brussels, 7 October 2016) Eurodad has learned that at an October 10 meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) it was to be decided that the DAC would approve a blurring of lines between export credits and Official Development Assistance (ODA). The issue is now to be discussed with the OECD's Export Credit Group at the ECG's mid-November meetings. In times of shrinking ODA budgets and shrinking political support for ODA in donor countries, efforts have been proposed to design administrative tricks to stop this diminished support, developing measures that would allow export credits to be counted as ODA. NGOs oppose this move as export credits are only meant to support the corporate sector in industrialized countries.

http://www.eurodad.org/psi_2016


Insurance firms expect Iran opening in 2017

(PressTV, Tehran, 21 October 2016) International insurance companies say they expect to see a major opening in the Iranian market in 2017 with several key players saying they have already won deals to cover businesses in the country. Industry experts told Reuters that industry executives say aviation and energy are two main sectors in focus in Iran’s multi-billion insurance market. They emphasized that top tier European export credit agencies had specifically become active in guaranteeing trade finance for Western companies doing business with Iran. Reuters further added that Germany's Hermes, Italy’s SACE, and France's Coface have all recently signed agreements to guarantee a certain trade activity with the Islamic Republic.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/10/21/490064/Insurance-firms-expect-Iran-openi...


Saudi Arabia blasts Korean Ex-Im bank for “playing” with UN climate fund

(Climate Change News, London, 14 October 2016) The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Exim) has drawn sharp criticism from Saudi Arabia for withdrawing its application to be a conduit for climate funding, days after protests attacked its history of financing coal. The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set to decide on Friday whether to accredit the bank. This would have allowed it to oversee projects that will help poor countries cope with the transition demanded by a changing climate. The Saudi Arabian representative noted: "We have spent time and effort at the last board meeting discussing this case and now for no obvious reason I can see the applicant has withdrawn” The accreditation of export credit agencies, such as Korea Exim, has proven to be a controversial issue both inside and outside the GCF. Several board members, particularly Sweden’s Anders Wallberg, have expressed concern that the parochial motivations of these agencies, which primarily exist to help domestic businesses win overseas contracts, were incompatible with the fund’s supranational vision. Lidy Nacpil, the regional coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), said: “[The bank’s] withdrawal of its GCF application is an important victory for many networks and movements worldwide. But our work is far from over. We want to stop all financing of fossil fuels.”

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/10/14/korean-export-bank-withdraws-climate...


Animal welfare deserves better from ECAs

(EuroActiv, Brussels, 7 October 2016) International finance institutions and member state export credit agencies continue to invest in projects outside the EU involving cruel farm animal confinement systems banned in the EU. Better joined-up thinking is needed with regard to investment policy and animal welfare, writes Joanna Swabe, executive director for Humane Society International/Europe. In 2013, Humane Society International released a report that revealed that EU countries were funding many animal agricultural projects in non-EU members, either through international finance institutions (IFIs) or export credit agencies, which employ housing systems that have long been prohibited and phased-out in the EU.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/euro-finance/opinion/animal-welfare-deserves-be...


Boeing Reports Q3 Deliveries: Commercial Down, Defense Up

(NASDAQ, New York, 10 October 2016) Boeing's third-quarter 2016 commercial deliveries of 188 airplanes were down due to lower demand for the 737, 777 and 787 Dreamliners. During the release of first-quarter delivery numbers, CEO Muilenburg had revealed that the company is losing out on important contracts related to aircraft and satellites to overseas rivals due to a stand-off in Congress over the future of U.S Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. This has restricted the export credit agency's financing capabilities.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/boeing-reports-q3-deliveries-commercial-down-defen...


CAGW Names Rep. Charlie Dent October Porker of the Month

(Business Wire, Washington, 25 October 2016) [A vignette from the polarized US debate over Ex-Im] Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) its October Porker of the Month for his efforts to allow the wasteful Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to function with limited accountability... Rep. Dent is failing to tell his constituents the inconvenient fact that 64 percent of Ex-Im Bank financing is directed to just 10 giant, highly profitable corporations, including a whopping 40 percent to Boeing... Rep. Dent is fighting to allow the bank to operate with just two board members instead of three, which means one-third less accountability for the taxpayer-backed corporate welfare it provides.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161025006253/en/CAGW-Names-Rep.-Charlie-...


Zimbabwe Government to repay Sinosure arrears

(The Herald, Harare, 5 October 2016) The Zimbabwe Government has mobilised $7,2 million which will go towards part repayment of debt arrears owed to China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) following reports the insurance company has been reluctant to guarantee loans from Chinese banks to Zimbabwean companies.It is reported that Sinosure has been reluctant to guarantee loans from Chinese banks to Zimbabwean companies because of Government’s failure to repay arrears owed to the Asian country.

http://www.herald.co.zw/govt-to-repay-sinosure-arrears/


Kuwait’s KNPC aims to finalise $5 billion-plus ECA backed loan by first quarter

(Indian Express, Dubai, 16 October 2016) Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) expects to finalise a loan of well over $5 billion to finance its Clean Fuels project by the end of the first quarter of next year, one of the world's largest-ever loans backed by export credit agencies. NBK Capital is acting as exclusive financial adviser for the facility, which would have backing from the South Korean, Dutch, British and Italian export credit agencies. HSBC is coordinating the transaction.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/kuwaits-knpc-aims-to-finalise-...


Irish budget to target measures to help exporters

(The Irish Times, Dublin, 6 October 2016) The Government is planning a series of budget initiatives to help Irish companies raise finance, particularly in targeting new export markets in light of Brexit. The schemes will focus on circumstances where normal finance would not be available from banks. The Government is likely to ramp up SME lending from the State-owned Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and to develop specific programmes to support export sales to new markets.

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/budget-to-target-measures-to-help-exp...


Heads of BRICS ECAs meet in New Delhi

(India Infoline, Mumbai, 13 October 2016) Members of the BRICS ECAs Forum are also the members of the International Union of Export Credit and Investment Insurers, London (U.K.) also known as Berne Union. BRICS countries had a share of around 22 percentage of World Trade with total Exports of about USD 3.5 trillion in 2015. BRICS ECAs supported more than USD 473 billion of exports from the Member countries. Members exchanged notes about various credit insurance products, business sectors and major destinations covered by the group. Members also discussed business trends and the rising defaults and claims in the light of heightened political and economic risk. The Terms of Reference for co-operation finalized in the last BRICS heads of ECAs meeting held at Russia were signed by the CEOs of BRICS ECAs. The next BRICS Heads of ECAs meeting will be hosted by SINOSURE, China under the chairmanship of China.

http://www.indiainfoline.com/article/news-top-story/heads-of-brics-ecas-meet-in-...


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