Index for August 2015

Volume 14, Issue 8

  • (ClimateWire, 13 August 2015) In the northern Greek city of Ptolemaida, a new 660-megawatt power plant that burns lignite, a plentiful soft brown coal, is scheduled to be built by 2020. The European Investment Bank has withdrawn funding from the project because of its high CO2 emissions and other pollutants, but the German government-owned development bank KfW, which has a large portfolio of green investments in Germany, is planning to provide half the money needed, roughly €800 million ($888 million) in loan guarantees. The deal has come at considerable expense to Germany's reputation as a climate leader. By funding the plant in Ptolemaida, KfW is helping to block the expansion of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, while cementing coal-fired power into Greece's grid for decades.

  • (Reuters, Singapore, 5 August 2015) Chinese banks are leading a group of lenders in financing a 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Zambia that is needed to meet rising demand from miners and an electricity-starved public... The new power plant is part of an $828 million project that includes revamping Zambia's biggest coal mine and aims to tackle power shortages that are curbing copper mining operations... The plant - to be commissioned by mid-2016 - is being constructed by Chinese companies... Nava Bharat Ventures, an Indian company holds a 65 percent stake in the project... China has pledged some $30 billion in credit lines to Africa over the last two years. It was the biggest foreign investor into infrastructure projects in Africa in 2013, with state export banks leading investments worth $13.4 billion, data from the African Development Bank showed.

  • (Fortune, 25 August 2015) In the months leading up to an expected vote to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import bank, Boeing did what large corporations with lots of cash and deft political maneuvering skills often do so well. It spoke softly and lobbied hard, scattering a few pro-Export-Import soundbites from high-ranking officials where members of the media would find them and while spending millions on those representing its interests on Capitol Hill. Boeing loses large satellite deal due to trade credit woes. The Ex-Im Bank has become a major issue in US politics, with business asking for its reauthorization (and its subsidies) and elements of the Republican party arguing it undermines their preferred free market ideology. NYT: Revenge of the ideologes: Killing the Export Import Bank

  • (TXF News, 20 August 2015) In a development that might raise a few eyebrows in the export finance world, Italian export credit agency (ECA) SACE has topped the ECA export finance table* in the first half of the year – according to TXF’s H1 Export Finance Report. Knocking the previously-unassailable Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) off its perch, SACE supported export finance volumes worth $4.05 billion in the first half – a staggering 249% year-on-year increase. The Italian institution’s star performance was matched by strong showings from its European counterparts, and contrasted by heavy declines for the traditionally-dominant US and East-Asian ECAs.

  • (Premium Times, Abuja, 28 August 2015) The World Trade Organization, WTO​,​ on Wednesday pledged to collaborate with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, NEXIM, to explore areas of synergy to help remove trade barriers and provide better access to market commodities towards regional integration and poverty eradication.

  • (Globe Newswire, Helsinki, 13 August 2015) Finnvera’s mandates and tasks have expanded on several occasions during last year and the current year. In the period under review, it became possible for Finnvera to guarantee the refinancing of export credits granted by banks. This arrangement promotes the acquisition of funds for financing exports.

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  • (Jewish Voice, New York, 19 August 2015) Part 1: European politicians and business leaders, resembling the running of the bulls in Spain, are falling over themselves in a rush to secure the "first-mover" advantage in Iran's $400 billion economy. Under the nuclear deal reached in Vienna on July 14, international sanctions will be removed on Iran's banking, energy and trade sectors if Tehran agrees to certain curbs on its nuclear program. The lifting of sanctions on Iran, a market of 80 million consumers (the second-largest market in the Middle East after Turkey in terms of GDP) creates the potential for staggering business opportunities. Although the United States Congress will not vote on the accord until September, Europeans appear to be operating on the premise that Iran is now open for business.

    Part 2 26 August  2015 This article summarizes many European export credit and other initiatives, while echoing Israeli concerns about the Vienna agreement.

    Italian government mission in Iran