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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Test What's New May 2015

info about What's New

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

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

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 (US Ex-Im). 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-...


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...


March 2015 What's New

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

  • Petrobras scandal project received millions from UKEF & UKTI
  • Three Individuals Charged with Defrauding Banks and USDA Export Financing Program
  • New Report Sheds Light on Overseas Coal Financing by Export Credit Agencies
  • Reuters: Rich nations’ fossil fuel export funding dwarfs green spend - documents
  • Australian government resists US moves against ECA support for coal power
  • US Senators release new Export-Import Bank blueprint
  • Emirates picks banks to arrange Islamic bond with UKEF backing
  • Canadan and US ECAs finance South African purchase of Bombardier & GE locomotives
  • UK and Mexico sign memorandum to further expand and finance trade
  • EBRD and Taiwan ECA join forces
  • Belarus to negotiate export credit with Russian banks
  • Nine Chinese companies keen to build Bangladesh port with export credit
  • Bernardo Attolico appointed head of Debt Capital Markets at SACE

Petrobras scandal project received millions from UKEF and UKTI

(Guardian, London, 20 March 2015) The UK government provided hundreds of millions of pounds worth of support for a controversial energy project in Brazil that is now at the centre of a sprawling corruption scandal engulfing the country’s political and business elite. Hundreds of contracts for energy projects, from refineries to oil rigs, have been implicated in the scandal which has seen executives at Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras and many of its contractors charged in connection with alleged bribery and money-laundering. ECA Watch member Both Ends drew attention to Dutch bribes paid to Petrobras in December 2014.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/20/petrobras-scandal-project-rec...


Three Individuals Charged with Defrauding Banks and USDA Export Financing Program

(FBI, Washington, 16 March 2015) United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that on February 20, 2015, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 23-count indictment charging 3 individuals with conspiracy, fraud and money laundering offenses related to a multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud banks participating in a US Department of Agriculture backed export financing program. The indictment alleges that the three defendants engaged in a conspiracy to defraud U.S. financial institutions that secured loans to Russian Banks based on altered documents. The loans were backed by an export credit guarantee program run by the USDA, and when the loans went into default and were subsequently not paid back, the USDA lost millions of dollars.

http://www.fbi.gov/newhaven/press-releases/2015/three-individuals-charged-with-d...


New Report Sheds Light on Overseas Coal Financing by Export Credit Agencies

(Huffington Post, 13 March 2015) As the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) met in Paris last week, Oil Change International released a new report with a shocking revelation. Not only has export credit agency (ECA) financing for coal by OECD countries increased, these ECAs financed nearly one-quarter of all new coal development outside of China between 2005 and 2012.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicole-ghio/new-report-sheds-light-on_b_6849222.ht...


Reuters: Rich nations’ fossil fuel export funding dwarfs green spend - documents

(Reuters, Brussels, 30 March 2015) Rich nations provided around five times as much in export subsidies for fossil-fuel technology as for renewable energy over a decade, according to OECD data seen by Reuters. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) figures on export credits are central to a debate on targeting funding ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris at the end of the year. Just when the European Union is leading the push for a new global deal on curbing emissions and is phasing out domestic coal subsidies, the documents underline the scale of the developed world's investment in exporting technology for the most polluting fossil fuel.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/03/30/eu-coal-idINKBN0MQ0R720150330


Australian government resists US moves against ECA support for coal power

(Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 26 March 2015) The Abbott government has again put itself on a collision course with US President Barack Obama, this time over government funding for coal-fired power plants. After adopting a contrary position to the US on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, about which a final decision is expected within days, the Abbott government has been leading international resistance to White House moves to strip back subsidies for fossil fuels. A leaked briefing paper, obtained by Fairfax Media, shows the government is using an international forum to frustrate efforts by the US, the United Kingdom and France to wind back export subsidies for new but environmentally harmful coal stations in third world countries. At OECD talks this month, Australian officials were instructed to oppose moves within the OECD's export credit group to curb government financial assistance for coal plants.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-government-resists-...


US Senators release new Export-Import Bank blueprint

(Reuters, Washington, 19 March 2015) A bipartisan plan to save the U.S. Export-Import Bank seeks to extend the bank's term until 2019, increase lending to small businesses and overturn limits on coal-fired power plants projects, according to documents released on Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/19/us-usa-trade-exim-idUSKBN0MF2DH2015031...


Emirates picks banks to arrange Islamic bond with UKEF backing

(Emirates 24/7 Business and Reuters, Dubai, 12 March 2015) Emirates  airline has hired eight banks to arrange an Islamic bond that will be guaranteed by Britain's export credit agency, a document from lead arrangers showed on Thursday. The deal assumes significance as this is the first time the export credit agency has guaranteed a sukuk, as Islamic bonds are known. London is seeking to boost its position as a centre for Islamic finance.

http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/emirates-picks-banks-to-arra...


Canadan and US ECAs finance South African purchase of Bombardier and GE locomotives

(Financial Post, Johannesburg, 2 March 2015) Export Development Canada is providing South Africa’s national rail operator with a US$450-million loan to finance a major purchase of rail equipment from Quebec-based Bombardier. The rail operator, Transnet SOC Ltd., recently awarded a US$1.2-billion contract to Bombardier Transportation South Africa Ltd. for the delivery of 240 TRAXX dual-voltage locomotives. The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. will also guarantee US$500 million in loans provided by Barclays Africa Group Ltd., Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Old Mutual Plc for the manufacture of 293 locomotives by GE.

http://business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/export-canada-finances-sou...


UK and Mexico sign memorandum to further expand and finance trade

(Mercopress, Montevideo, 6 March 2015) The UK and Mexico have signed a memorandum to further support trade and markets, and advance cooperation between the two countries export promotion organizations, UK Export Finance and Bancomext, Mexican Trade Development Bank. Should Bancomext join UKEF’s existing panel of 20 financial organizations approved to partner the UK’s export credit agency in delivering its Direct Lending Facility (DLF), UK exporters to Mexico could benefit from a £3 billion direct source of credit for the Mexican marketplace. The £3 billion facility is designed to help overseas buyers purchase goods and services from UK exporters.

http://en.mercopress.com/2015/03/06/uk-and-mexico-sign-memorandum-to-further-exp...


EBRD and Taiwan ECA join forces

(the Financial, Tbilisi, 19 March 2015) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Export-Import Bank of Taiwan (Eximbank) agreed on March 19 to boost their cooperation and co-finance projects in regions where the EBRD invests. According to the MoU, the two organisations will explore opportunities to work together in sectors such as power and renewable energy, natural resources, transport, infrastructure, telecommunications and information technology. Established in 1979 to facilitate Taiwanese export and import trade, Eximbank is a publicly-owned bank. The EBRD, an international financial institution owned by 64 countries, the European Union and the European Investment Bank, invests in more than 30 countries.

http://finchannel.com/index.php/business/banks/item/41623-ebrd-and-export-import...


Belarus to negotiate export credit with Russian banks

(Belarusian News,Minsk, 20 March 2015) The Belarusian government will hold talks with Ak BARS Bank, the Moscow Industrial Bank, and Bank VTB 24 on disbursement of loans for the acquisition of Belarusian goods in Russia. Draft agreements were approved by the Council of Ministers and published on the National Legal Internet Portal on 20 March. It has also been reported that the export credit agreement will be signed with Sberbank of Russia.

http://eng.belta.by/all_news/economics/Belarus-government-to-negotiate-export-cr...


Nine Chinese companies keen to build Bangladesh port with export credit

(Financial Express, Dhaka, 28 March 2015) Ten foreign companies have expressed their interest in funding constrluction of Paira port, the country's third sea port in Patuakhali district, officials said. Of the 10 proposals, 9 came from China and one from Denmark. Officials said the Chinese companies in their proposals stated that they would arrange 'buyers' credit' to fund construction of the port. Expressing interest to sign a MoU with the shipping ministry, Denmark's APM Terminals said it has already obtained initial support from the Danish government to participate in the project construction. It will arrange funding from the Danish government-linked funding institutions like EKF (Danish Export Credit Agency), and IFU (Investment Fund for Developing Countries).

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2015/03/28/86629


Bernardo Attolico appointed head of Debt Capital Markets at SACE

(SACE, Rome, 23 March 2015) Bernardo Attolico has been appointed the head of the Debt Capital Markets division of SACE, created within the Business area to develop services dedicated to companies active in the capital markets. Attolico will oversee the origination and structuring of debt capital market transactions and coordinate the operation of the Sviluppo Export Fund, the new SACE initiative to support the exports and internationalization of Italian companies by opening the national market to new sources of medium/long-term financing beyond the banking channel.

http://www.sace.it/en/media/press-releases/press-release/bernardo-attolico-head-...


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