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 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?

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

  • Bangladesh project puts Exim Bank's global credibility at risk
  • JBIC rule change will allow higher risk and boost lending
  • Iran pays off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany
  • Korean environmentalists flag Kexim Bank coal financing & GCF membership conflict
  • EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on business and human rights: More decisive action needed on access to justice
  • GE Announces Agreement with French Export Credit Agency
  • Shelby Blocks Democratic Efforts to Vote on Export-Import Bank Nominee
  • Italian export credit agency plans Islamic finance push
  • Azerbaijan to build a gas chemical complex jointly with Russia and Italy
  • Belarus, Russia to organize economic forums abroad together
  • State aid: Commission approves the Estonian short term export credit scheme
  • Nigerian central bank sets aside US$2.5 billion for ECA loans to non-oil exporters

Bangladesh project puts Exim Bank's global credibility at risk

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 17 June 2016) A US-based think tank today said the Bangladesh-India Maitree project could effectively end up in a financial mess. The coal-based power plant proposed to be built near the city of Khulna, close to the Sundarbans mangrove forest, is a joint venture between India and Bangladesh’s state-owned entities. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said electricity produced from the project would cost 32 per cent more than the average electricity in Bangladesh, assuming an average plant load factor (PLF) of 80 per cent. This despite the project being heavily subsidized, "exposing investors, taxpayers and consumers to high risk and is a potential stranded asset in the making". A senior executive associated with the project, however, said the Indian government was not subsidising the project in any form. “It was only providing loan through Exim Bank to promote Indian investment in Bangladesh,” he said.
http://wap.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/ntpc-s-bangladesh-projec...


JBIC rule change will allow higher risk and boost lending

(Financial Times, Tokyo, 14 June 2016) Japanese investment in Asean infrastructure is set to rise. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has changed its lending rules to allow higher risk investment through a special account... Power and transport infrastructure projects are likely to be the main targets for Japanese firms. JBIC currently has ¥1.6tn ($15bn) in outstanding commitments to Asean countries, with much of the investment in power plants and other power-related infrastructure. The rule change will allow Japanese companies to better compete for contracts with Chinese competitors, as the two rivals vie for influence across Asean. Many projects in Asean previously fell foul of stringent [ECA] credit standards, but now Japanese firms investing in the region with the support of the government - a cohort referred to as Japan Inc - will be able to compete more aggressively with rivals from China. [Questions as to whether these rules comply with OECD and WTO rules on ECA state subsidies to exports seem inevitable, and if not, why not?]

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ve...


Iran pays off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany

(Bloomberg, 20 June 2016) Iran has paid off outstanding export-credit debt to Germany, paving the way to open renewed trade ties between the two countries after last year’s nuclear agreement scaled back sanctions on Iran. “This is a further important step to revive our economic relations,” Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister and vice chancellor, said in a statement on Monday. Gabriel said the payment will allow Germany to re-establish credit guarantees that support exports to Iran. The Iranian government had declined to fulfill all its credit obligations while it was subject to sanctions, some of which were lifted in January, the ministry said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-20/iran-pays-german-export-debt-o...


Korean environmentalists flag Kexim Bank coal financing & GCF membership conflict

(Korea Federation for Environmental Movements, Seoel, 27 June 2016) There have been big concerns over Korea Exim bank’s involvement in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as the bank has a long record of providing financing support for coal projects. The objective of GCF is “to promote the paradigm shift towards low emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries.” Korea has been praised internationally as a model on climate change and green growth as it announced the ‘low carbon and green growth’ as a national vision in 2008 and hosted GCF headquarter in Songdo.

In addition to our concerns with KEXIM's application, in general we do not believe that export credit agencies are appropriate entities to be accredited by the Green Climate Fund. Export credit agencies are created by governments with the narrow mission of promoting exports and job creation in the agency's home country. This limited mission is inconsistent with, and may be in direct conflict with, the mission and core principles of the GCF, including promoting country ownership, local sustainable development benefits, the efficient use of GCF resources, and the Fund's international competitive bidding requirements.

http://www.apmdd.org/news/333-korean-federation-for-environmental-movements-urge...


EU Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on business and human rights: More decisive action needed on access to justice

(ECCJ, Brussels, 20 June 2016) European NGOs, while welcoming the EU Foreign Affairs Council's Conclusions on business and human rights, have called for their rapid translation into practice. They note too that the Conclusions reflect the Dutch presidency and EU Members States’ acknowledgement that the measures taken so far to ensure that companies respect human rights and are accountable for violations, remain insufficient. In particular, Article 11 notes that " The Council encourages EU Institutions and Member States to address their responsibilities as commercial actors (e.g. in public procurement) and when supporting or partnering with businesses (e.g. through export credit, trade promotion, or subsidies for the private sector).

http://corporatejustice.org/news/143-eu-foreign-affairs-council-conclusions-on-b...


GE Announces Agreement with French Export Credit Agency

(Global Trade Magazine, Newport Beach, 27 June 2016) GE has announced an agreement under which COFACE, the French export credit agency, will provide an additional line of credit for gas turbine combined cycle projects that require export financing in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Brazil. As a result, GE will invest $40 million to develop 60 hertz heavy duty gas turbine manufacturing capabilities in Belfort, France. The announcement came at a time when the Export-Import Bank of the United States is prevented from funding large projects because of funding issues involving the U.S. Congress.

http://www.globaltrademag.com/global-trade-daily/news/ge-announces-agreement-wit...


Shelby Blocks Democratic Efforts to Vote on Export-Import Bank Nominee

(Morning Consult, Washington, 9 June 2016) The Obama administration’s nominee for the Export-Import Bank’s board of directors became the latest pawn in the ongoing floor fight between Senate Democrats and Republicans over executive nominations. On Thursday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) blocked an an attempt by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) to call a vote on the nomination of J. Mark McWatters to serve on the export credit agency’s board. Heitkamp’s request marked the latest effort by Senate Democrats to bring stalled nominations out of committee and directly to the floor — all of those attempts have been blocked by Republicans. GE also announced on June 1st that Welland, Ontario, would be the new home of its Waukesha, Wis., facility, following Congress’s failure last summer to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and that they intend to use Canada’s export-financing entity to pursue new business.

https://morningconsult.com/alert/shelby-blocks-democratic-efforts-to-vote-on-exp...


Italian export credit agency plans Islamic finance push

(Gulf News, Dubai, 27 June 2016) Italy’s export credit agency SACE plans to move into Islamic finance, becoming one of the first Western trade finance bodies to do so, in order to support expansion of its business in the Middle East and North Africa. SACE insured €40.7 billion ($46.4 billion; Dh169.8 billion) of international risk at the end of last year, up 11.6 per cent from a year earlier. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for 14 per cent of the total, the largest fraction outside Italy. Around a quarter of banking business in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council is Sharia-compliant. Italy is also keen to develop business with Iran, where the entire banking system is designated Islamic, after the lifting of international sanctions on that country last January.

http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/italian-export-credit-agency-plans-islamic-...


Azerbaijan to build a gas chemical complex jointly with Russia and Italy

(Trend News Agency, Baku, 18 June 2016) Gazprombank, the Italian export credit agency, the Russian export credit agency EXIAR and Azerbaijani company SOCAR have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the financing and construction of a gas chemical complex in Azerbaijan. The new large-scale petrochemical project envisages the construction in Azerbaijan processing and gas chemical plants with participation of Russian and Italian partners. According to preliminary estimates, total investment budget of the project is 3.5 billion USD. The potential volume of deliveries of Russian equipment and materials and the cost of construction and installation services to Russian contractors for the project will amount to 20% of the investment budget.

http://en.trend.az/business/energy/2547281.html


Belarus, Russia to organize economic forums abroad together

(Belarus News, Minsk, 17 June 2016) The National Center for Marketing and Price Studies of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR) have reached an agreement on sharing information and working together to arrange visits and economic forums abroad, including in distant-arc countries. The sides agreed to share information about forthcoming foreign events, including expos, conferences, business visits for the sake of involving representatives of the Belarusian and Russian private sectors in them. “The agreement is important for diversifying export and for exporting more Belarusian products particularly to the countries, which are not traditional trade and economic partners of Belarus.

http://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarus-russia-to-organize-economic-forums-ab...


State aid: Commission approves the Estonian short term export credit scheme

(European Commission, Brussels, 20 June 2016) The European Commission has found that the Estonian short-term export-credit scheme was in line with EU state aid rules, and in particular with the 2012 Short-term export-credit Communication. The Commission concluded in particular that the kind of insurance cover provided by the scheme to exporters established in Estonia is currently unavailable in the private market. There is a lack of insurance coverage for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a small export turnover or for single export transactions (i.e. on a transaction-by-transaction basis as compared to insuring the entire export portfolio of a company). This is because private insurers are less interested in this type of transaction. In this context, the Estonian scheme allows the State to cover risks of single export transactions and risks incurred by SMEs with a small export turnover. The scheme is authorised until 31 December 2023.

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEX-16-2260_en.htm


Nigerian central bank sets aside US$2.5 billion for ECA loans to non-oil exporters

(Reuters, Lagos, 16 June 2016) Nigeria's central bank is setting aside 500 billion naira ($2.5 billion) through a debenture to be issued by Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), for loans to non-oil exporters, after a slump in oil revenues led to the worst crisis in Africa's biggest economy in decades. The OPEC member, whose economy shrank 0.4 percent in the first quarter, has been hit hard by a slump in global oil prices. It relies on sales of crude for around 70 percent of national income and 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings.

http://www.reuters.com/article/nigeria-exports-idUSL8N1984VS


What's New May 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

  • Ex-Im Bank considers deals with corrupt governments
  • Some G7 Countries Are Still Providing Billions in Financing for Coal Plants
  • Should ECAs support [subsidize?] exports to Greece, an EU Member?
  • Ex-Im Bank stalemate threatens nuclear projects
  • China looks to export credit insurance to boost exports
  • South Africa to support automotive sector with export credit
  • South Africa to use export credit to support reindustrialization of the economy
  • SACE boosts trade ties with Argentina announcing €700m in guarantees
  • Offshore downturn hits Norway’s export credit agency GIEK
  • Italy to help Belarus improve its OECD country risk ratings
  • Germany’s SMS eyes TNG vanadium mine with ECA support
  • Trans Adriatic Pipeline financing to include OECD ECAs
  • Chinese ECA supports shale oil fired Jordanian power plant
  • UK, Kenya sign MoU on renewables including UKEF suport

Ex-Im Bank considers deals with corrupt governments

(Friends of the Earth, Washington, 11 May 2016) The U.S. Export-Import Bank loves to remind us that it is not a development agency, and, therefore, is not held to the same requirements as say a development finance institution. Even still, some of the governments that the head of Ex-Im, Fred Hochberg, has recently been meeting with would be enough to give anyone pause. While Ex-Im Bank’s mission might not be to alleviate poverty, Friends of the Earth hopes that it would not use taxpayer dollars in countries where there have been serious concerns about freedom of the press, safety of their citizens and corruption. Considering that the bank has recently been in hot water for deaths that have occurred at projects it has financed, you would think it would want to be a little more careful with the countries it engages with. This article provides examples of corrupt governments that Ex-Im has recently been communicating with.

https://medium.com/economic-policy/ex-im-bank-considers-deals-with-corrupt-gover...


Some G7 Countries Are Still Providing Billions in Financing for Coal Plants

(Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, 24 May 2016) Co-written by the NRDC, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Oil Change International (OCI), Kiko Network, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), and Friends of the Earth Japan, a new report (pdf) finds that between 2007 and 2015, the G7 countries have provided more than $42 billion of public finance for coal in the form of direct finance, guarantees, technical assistance, and aid for coal power, coal mining and related projects. G7 nations are trying to sweep the coal financing under the rug by increasing coal financing through export credit agencies and other entities that provide limited disclosure on their projects.

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/han-chen/some-g7-countries-still-providing-billions...


Should ECAs support [subsidize?] exports to Greece, an EU Member?

(Lexology, London, 2 May 2016) The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) prohibits State aid to support [subsidize?] export-credit insurance in "marketable risk" countries, which includes EU Member States. Given the difficult economic circumstances in Greece and the resulting dearth of insurance or reinsurance capacity to cover exports to Greece, in December 2013 the European Commission decided to temporarily remove Greece from the list of "marketable risk" countries in 2013 and again in 2015 - an exception set to expire on 30 June 2016. The Commission is now asking Member States, credit insurers, and other interested parties to submit information on private credit insurance capacity; the activity of insurers acting on behalf of or with State guarantee or the state itself in the provision of short-term credit insurance for exports to Greece during the period March 2015 to March 2016; changes in Greece's credit ratings for the last six months; corporate sector performance in Greece; and any other relevant data and information. The deadline for responses is 24 May 2016. [Comment: The TFEU prohibition mirrors the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures which prohibits export credit premiums (or interest rates) that "are not inadequate to cover long-term operating costs and losses", i.e. subsidies to national corporations. While professing allegiance to free markets, the EU, OECD and WTO in these ways support negotiations and exceptions which favour national and corporate interests through poorly monitored, non-transparent fora and regulations which are tantamount to a special interest "Gentleman's Club".] 

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=47a56105-01c4-4abb-adfd-af4511ec60...


Ex-Im Bank stalemate threatens nuclear projects

(E&E Daily, Washington, 24 May 24 2016) A long-running political standoff over the Export-Import Bank of the United States threatens to delay billions of dollars in loans and other financial guarantees for overseas nuclear energy projects. Congress last year, after months of acrimony, voted to reauthorize Ex-Im. But the bank's foes on Capitol Hill are succeeding in limiting its ability to operate. Senate Democrats are trying to increase pressure on Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to move forward with voting on bank board nominee Mark McWatters. The five-member board currently lacks a quorum and can't approve any export financing deal over $10 million until it adds a third member. McWatters, nominated in January, would fill that opening.

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060037741


China looks to export credit insurance to boost exports

(Reuters, Beijing, 8 May 2016) China's cabinet has vowed to take steps to boost exports, including encouraging banks to boost lending, expanding export credit insurance and raise tax rebates for some firms after exports and imports fell more than expected in April, underlining weak demand at home and abroad and cooling hopes of a recovery in the world's second-largest economy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-trade-idUSKCN0XZ02J


South Africa to support automotive sector with export credit

(Bloomberg, Johannesburg, 9 May 2016) South Africa is working on a plan to extend support for the automotive industry beyond the current 2020 timeframe and expand the scope of the policy. The effort forms part of the government’s latest Industrial Policy Action Plan, which also includes steps to improve buying of local products by government departments, develop labor-intensive businesses and increase industrial financing and incentives including stronger export-credit and export credit insurance support.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-09/south-africa-readies-plan-to-e...


South Africa to use export credit to support reindustrialization of the economy

(Business Day Live, Capetown, 9 May 2016) A greater focus on the use of gas as a pillar of industrialisation is one of the new elements in the latest industrial policy action plan (Ipap), launched on Monday by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. The minister said the Ipap 2016 continued the department’s drive to reindustrialise the economy. The targeted industrial financing and incentive support placed more emphasis on export credit and export credit insurance to support the country’s export effort. It also focused more on sector-specific rather than generalised incentives. In particular sector-specific incentives will be designed for the agro-processing and rail components sectors.

http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2016/05/09/sa-should-become-regions-oil-...


SACE boosts trade ties with Argentina announcing €700m in guarantees

(TFX News, Rome, 30 May 2016) Italian ECA SACE reopened its support of transactions with Argentina after the Italian undersecretary for development Ivan Scalfarotto last week announced guarantees for €700 million credit lines during his visit to the newly-liberalised Latin American country.

http://www.txfnews.com//News/Article/5594/SACE-boosts-trade-ties-with-Argentina-...


Offshore downturn hits Norway’s export credit agency GIEK

(Offshore Suport Journal, London, 27 May 2016) The Norwegian Export Credit Agency (GIEK) has said that the sharp downturn in the offshore industry means that a massive 50 per cent of its NKr102 billion (US$12.3 billion) loan guarantee portfolio has been placed under what it describes as “close scrutiny”. At the end of 2015, NKr87.2 billion of its guarantees were in the oil and gas sector.

http://www.osjonline.com/news/view,offshore-downturn-hits-norways-export-credit-...


Italy to help Belarus improve its OECD country risk ratings

(BelTA, Minsk, 12 May 2016) Italian insurance companies will assist Belarus in improving its ratings in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country risk classification. The matter was discussed at the meeting between Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Italy Alexander Guryanov and Giovanni Castellaneta, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SACE, the Italian Export Credit Agency.

http://eng.belta.by/economics/view/italy-to-help-belarus-improve-its-oecd-countr...


Germany’s SMS eyes TNG vanadium mine with ECA support

(The Australian, Canberra, 5 May 2016) The Germans missed out on the Australian submarines contract to the French. But it looks as if they are about to get deeply involved in the $970 million Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory, owned by ASX-listed TNG.TNG went into a trading halt yesterday pending an announcement involving the German engineering and construction giant SMS, previously flagged as a group likely to become involved in the building of the refinery for Mount Peake product at Darwin. When TNG comes back from a trading halt it wouldn't be surprising if it had put out a smallish placement to SMS to cement their new relationship. But more to the point is SMS's history of being a regular user of Germany's Export Credit Agency scheme, meaning it could help provide part of the financing that needs to be secured before Mount Peake becomes a reality.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/dataroom/germanys-sms-eyes-tng-vanadium...


Trans Adriatic Pipeline financing to include OECD ECAs

(Azernews, Baku, 16 May 2016) The Trans Adriatic Pipeline's (TAP) project financing continues to progress according to the schedule, said Ian Bradshaw, Managing Director at TAP AG. "TAP expects to secure funding from a number of multilateral institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank, as well as Export Credit Guarantee Agencies of a number of OECD countries involved in the supply of goods and services," Bradshaw said. The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy's south.

http://www.azernews.az/oil_and_gas/96655.html


Chinese ECA supports shale oil fired Jordanian power plant

(Stockhouse Publishing, Vancouver, 6 May 2016) China's Yudean Group joins Attarat Power Company as a strategic investor in the Attarat Power Company (APCO) a subsidiary of Eesti Energia of Estonia, the world's biggest oil shale to energy company. Yudean has agreed to purchase 45% of the shares and Malaysia's YTL a further 15% of the shares, with Eesti Energia stepping down to 10% and Jordan's Near East Investments exiting the project. Following the completion of the share transfers (which is subject to a number of conditions), APCO will be indirectly owned by Eesti Energia AS of Estonia (10%), YTL Power International Bhd of Malaysia (45%) and Yudean Group of China (45%). Earlier this year APCO signed agreements with Bank of China (BoC) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to provide debt funding for the project.  The USD 1.6 billion debt financing is expected to be provided on the basis of support by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure).

http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2016/05/06/yudean-joins-apco-as-a-...


UK, Kenya sign MoU on renewables including UKEF suport

(SeeNews Renewables, SofiA, 18 May 2016) The UK and Kenya governments on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation on renewable energy. As part of the agreement, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, is ready to consider requests for export financing or insurance for eligible renewable energy projects in Kenya, drawing on a risk appetite of up to at least GBP 250 million (USD 360m/EUR 319m).

http://renewables.seenews.com/news/uk-kenya-sign-mou-on-renewables-525408


What's New April 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

  • OECD approves revisions to the Common Approaches for Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence
  • OECD Agreement on export credits and coal plants: WWF raises key implimentation issues
  • France, Germany halt Airbus export credit amid UK corruption probe
  • U.K. touts satellite finance advantages over Coface, US ExIm
  • ECAs and Coal in Turkey’s Energy and Climate Policies
  • Bpifrance to take over as French ECA by end of 2016
  • China unveils steps to support exports to help economy
  • Italy extends $5bn credit line and export guarantees to Iran
  • Global call to Exim Bank of India to Stop support for the Rampal Coal Power plant
  • Late Payment Affects 90% of Businesses in Western Europe, Atradius Survey Reveals
  • Could Trump winning the nomination be a good thing for US Ex-Im?
  • Emerging trends in Gulf PPP projects and ECA finance

OECD approves revisions to the Common Approaches for Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence

(OECD, Paris, 6 April 2016) In 2015, the ECG agreed that a thorough review of the 2012 Recommendation was not necessary, given Members’ limited implementation experience, but that some of its elements should be revised. The Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence was adopted by the OECD Council on 28 June 2012; a revised text was subsequently adopted by the OECD Council on 6 April 2016 based on discussions finalized in November 2015.

http://www.oecd.org/trade/xcred/the2012commonapproaches.htm


OECD Agreement on export credits and coal plants: WWF raises key implimentation issues

(WWF, Brussels, 8 March 2016) A WWF short brief to the OECD's Export Credit Working Group (ECG) highlights scientific research showing that new coal plants are not compatible with 1.5/2°C climate change scenarios, and what this should mean in terms of implementation of the OECD sector understanding on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation adopted on 17 November 2015. A full briefing with detailed NGO views/recommendations will be presented at the next OECD ECG meeting planned for the 6th to 10th of June 2016. In order to contribute to the fight against climate change, the OECD Export Credit Group on the 17th of November 2015 adopted a ‘Sector Understanding on export credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects’. This Sector Understanding has been added as Annex VI to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits.

http://www.eca-watch.org/sites/eca-watch.org/files/WWF%20OECD%20agreement%20key%...


France, Germany halt Airbus export credit amid UK corruption probe

(Reuters, Paris/Berlin, 8 April 2016) - France and Germany have joined Britain in suspending export credit facilities for Airbus jet deliveries, expanding the fallout from a potential corruption probe in Britain, several people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The move follows Britain's decision last week to suspend financing and alert the Serious Fraud Office after Airbus Group said it had found anomalies over the declaration of overseas agents and that it had itself notified the UK authorities. Unusually, it leaves the world's two largest planemakers, Airbus and Boeing, both facing paralysis over government export financing as Congressional delays leave U.S. Export Import bank unable to support Airbus's U.S. rival. To make things more complex, Airbus Group SE may open itself up to financing from an unlikely source when the first jet is delivered Monday from its new factory in Alabama: the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKKCN0X526X?irpc=932


U.K. touts satellite finance advantages over Coface, US ExIm

(Space News, London, 15 April 2016) Britain’s export-credit agency may be the most attractive source of satellite project financing that almost none one has heard of or uses. While its more active counterparts in the United States and France are most comfortable guaranteeing loans only when a large majority of the work done in these nations, U.K. Export Finance is willing to support projects with as little as 20 percent U.K. content, said Peter Maplestone, senior underwriter at the agency and responsible for satellite export programs.

http://spacenews.com/u-k-export-finance-says-it-has-satellite-finance-advantages...


ECAs and Coal in Turkey’s Energy and Climate Policies

(Sabanci University, Istanbul, Novermber 2015) A November 2015 report from the Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center recently translated to English addresses the current status of coal in Turkey as an energy and greenhouse gas source, its impacts on health, the association between increasing the share of coal in electricity generation and climate and economic policies, and the discussions on “clean coal.” The share of coal, oil, and gas in Turkey’s primary energy supply was 88% in 2013. Almost more than 70% of electricity is produced from fossil fuels. Total installed capacity is 71 GW, 20.5% of this coming from coal-fired power plants. The installed capacity of coal-fired power plants has increased by 77% when compared to 2004. According to a September 2015 Oil Change International report on The Cost of Subsidizing Fossil Fuel Production In Turkey, "most of the US$1.5 billion of international public finance going to coal in Turkey came from ECAs, specifically OECD export credit agencies. (p.12)

http://ipc.sabanciuniv.edu/en/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CoalReport.pdf


Bpifrance to take over as French ECA by end of 2016

(Global Trade Review, Paris, 16 April 2016) France’s export credit agency (ECA) activities will be placed under the responsibility of the Banque Publique d’Investissement (Bpifrance) by the end of this year, now that the conditions of the transfer from Coface have been agreed on. Under the agreement, all of Coface’s public export guarantee activities will be moved to Bpifrance Assurance Export, a new subsidiary created for that purpose. All employees working on these activities will become Bpifrance employees, and even relevant IT systems will be transferred.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/bpifrance-to-take-over-as-french-eca-by-end-...


China unveils steps to support exports to help economy

(Reuters, Beijing, 20 April 2016) China will take steps to boost exports, including encouraging banks to boost lending, expanding export credit insurance and raise tax rebates for some firms, the cabinet said on Wednesday, in the latest step to underpin growth. The government will also implement proactive import policies, supporting imports of advanced equipment and technology and will step up investment in roads, railways and airports in poorer regions and encourage its less developed western and central provinces to attract investment from more developed eastern provinces.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-trade-idUKKCN0XH12F


Italy extends $5bn credit line and export guarantees to Iran

(Financial Times, Tehran/Rome, 12 April 2016) Italian financing agencies have teamed up to give Iran nearly €5bn in credit lines and guarantees for exports, in one of the most significant financial deals with the Islamic Republic since the landmark nuclear agreement that led to lifting of international sanctions. The Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Italy’s state financing agency, which controls more than €350bn in assets, will issue €4bn in credit lines to Iranian public entities for them to fund big infrastructure projects such as railways and motorways. Italian companies such as Ferrovie dello Stato are expected to participate in those contracts. Sace, Italy’s export credit agency, will support the transactions by providing €4bn in guarantees for those deals and an additional €800m in funding for Italian SME’s doing business in the country.

https://next.ft.com/content/aac121ae-00c2-11e6-99cb-83242733f755


Global call to Exim Bank of India to Stop support for the Rampal Coal Power plant

(Bank Track, Nijmegen, 19 April 2016) The proposed Rampal coal-fired power plant (also known as the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project) in Bangladesh with the EPs. A July 2015 research report (pdf) shows that serious deficiencies in project design, planning, implementation and due diligence obligations render the project non-compliant with the minimum social and environmental standards established by the Equator Principles, as well as the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards which are a key part of the EPs. The Rampal coal plant is a proposed 1320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station to be located at Khulna division in southwest Bangladesh. The project is a 50:50 joint venture between the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and India's partly state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2010 to jointly implement the project by 2016. The Indian Exim Bank is the main financier of the project and a coalition of Indian and Bangladesh organisations as well as European environmental and finance monitoring NGOs are petitioning them to refrain from financing the Rampal coal power plant.




Late Payment Affects 90% of Businesses in Western Europe, Atradius Survey Reveals

Around 90% of the respondents of the latest edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey for Western Europe had invoices paid late by their B2B customers over the past year. Respondents in Great Britain were the hardest hit by late payment from export customers (46.4% of the total value of British export credit sales were reported to have been paid late by B2B customers, compared to a 38.3% average for Western Europe). Late payments resulted in an average of nearly 40% of the total value of B2B receivables being defaulted on. Respondents in Italy and Greece were the most adversely affected by late payments by domestic B2B customers (on average, nearly half of the total value of their B2B invoices were defaulted on, which is around 10% above the average for Western Europe).

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/late-payment-affects-90-of-businesses-in...


Could Trump winning the nomination be a good thing for US Ex-Im?

(Trade & Export Finance, Washngton, 7 April 2016) Donald Trump seems to be on course to win the US Republican nomination. Trump, a conservative, is in favour of small government and it is believed would cheerfully close the US export credit agency, US Ex-Im Bank if he could. And although the ECA is now protected until 2019, a Republican appointed chairman and vice-chairman could effectively muzzle the capabilities of US Ex-Im until that time.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/5509/Could-Trump-winning-the-primary-be-a-go...


Emerging trends in Gulf PPP projects and ECA finance

(Gulf Times, Doha, 24 April 2016) The fall in crude oil prices has had a significant impact on the fiscal positions of states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and a number of infrastructure projects in the region have been delayed for the indefinite future. While GCC economies will continue to pursue infrastructure development as part of non – hydrocarbon diversification there are significant developments in the PPP segment in recent years to encourage the private sector to participate in a diverse range of projects and thus relieve the government from seeking additional debt or to suspend further essential projects. Debt financing for regional PPPs structured on a project finance basis has generally been characterised by long tenors, and mainly sourced from commercial banks and in the case of large projects through export credit agencies (ECAs). GCC governments are expected to pursue private sector financing as a way to plug budgetary gaps for public infrastructure development in a weak oil market.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/489902/Emerging-trends-in-Gulf-PPP-projects


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