Index for March 2017

Volume 16, Issue 3

  • (FOE Japan, Tokyo, 27 March 2017) On March 23, Indonesian and Japanese CSOs submitted an international petition signed by 280 CSOs from 47 countries to the Japanese government, calling on JBIC and JICA not to finance the Cirebon expansion coal-fired power plant (1,000 MW) and the Indramayu expansion coal-fired power plant (1,000 MW), both located in West Java, Indonesia.

  • (AI News, Midland Park, 6 March 2017) France’s Parquet National Financier has joined the UK Serious Fraud Office in an investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group...  The UK agency launched its official investigation last August, following months of deliberation over whether or not to pursue charges related to the manufacturer’s failure to reveal the identity of some intermediaries in applications for export credit financing for certain airline customers... Last April Airbus issued a statement acknowledging it notified the SFO of “certain inaccuracies” in the applications following an internal investigation and that an interruption in UK export funding would likely result. At the time it said expected no interruption in financing from the export credit agencies in France and Germany—the other European countries in which it builds most of its components and assembles airplanes. However, those countries subsequently cut off funding as well in cooperation with the UK agency. Export credit accounted for some 6 percent of funding for Airbus airliners in 2015 and, due to the investigation, virtually none last year. Despite these investigations, Airbus has stated that it "expects to have access to European export credit financing on a 'case by case' basis in 2017"

  • (European Comission, Brussels, 2 February 2017) The European Commission in February 2017 published its "annual" report on the activities of 21 member state's official Export Credit Agencies for the year 2014. ECA Watch notes that, in addition to the two year delay in its issue, the report provides an incomplete and in some respects misleading picture of the activies of official EU ECAs, which we are now reviewing and will comment on.

  • (Forbes, Arlington, 3 March 2017) Loren Thompson of the centre-right Lexington Institute comments on "the dwindling band of Export-Import Bank critics who think America should be the only major trading nation without an export credit agency." He notes that while Ex-Im actually make a profit, most national ECAs actually do susidize national exporters, i.e. distort markets. An interesting view into the ideological battles currently underway in Washington.

  • (Financial Tribune, Tehran, 14 March 2017) Multibillion-dollar deals have been signed with East Asian companies to develop dam infrastructure in Iran, including a $1.7 billion agreement with South Korea for developing the Bakhtiari hydroelectric dam and a $341 million Sinosure credit line for an hydroelectric dam in the western Lorestan Province as well as an offer of a €290 million Sinosure credit line for Chamshir hydroelectric dam in Kohgiluyeh - Boyer Ahmad Province.

  • (IranOilGas, Tehran, 4 March 2017) Officials from the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and Norwegian Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) discussed expansion of ties during a meeting held in Tehran... Commenting on Norway’s $1 billion credit line for covering trade with Iran, Wenche Nistad, GIEK’s chief executive, said: “The plan is still in its early phases; more time is needed for starting such projects as we need to learn more about each other, know more about doing business with Iran and get familiar with Iran’s banking system.”

  • (Business Standard, New Delhi, 20 March 2017) Leading global financers, export credit funds from China and Korea and international banks which earlier refused to fund the Carmichael coal mine project of the Adani Group are in talks with the Indian conglomerate to fund the project. The company has yet again rubbished the opposition from the climate groups saying this will not impact the funding for the project.

  • (Austral Asian Lawyer, St. Leonards NSW, 15 March 2017) Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised on a US$100 mn term loan and guarantee facility which will be used by Woodside for its offshore operations in Western Australia. The facility has export credit support provided by DNB Bank ASA and the Norwegian Export Credit Agencies (ECA)... NRF advised Eksportkreditt Norge AS as lender; DNB Bank ASA as agent and arranger, ECA co-ordinator and ECA guarantor; and Norway’s Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) as ECA guarantor on the loan and guarantee facility. The facility will be used to support the delivery of subsea equipment for installation on the seabed to support Woodside’s $1.9bn Greater Enfield project, an offshore oil project which will include up to 14 wells, according to projectconnect.com.au.

  • (All Africa News, Kampala, 27 March 2017) The British government has announced a major increase in the export credit for Uganda, from £300 million (Shs1.35 trillion) to £600 million (Shs2.7 trillion). The new export finance support is made available through UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK Government's export credit agency which provides competitive finance for UK exports.

  • (Andina, Lima, 4 March 2017) The United Kingdom will provide US$1.2 billion to Peru to finance infrastructure projects in favor of development, British Ambassador to Lima Anwar Choudhury announced on Friday. Resources will be provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the bloc's export credit agency, to finance exports of UK products and services in infrastructure, energy and sanitation sectors, among others. In addition, UKEF will provide an additional US$200 million in funding for the development of projects carried out in cooperation with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

  • (Arab News, Riyadh, 5 March 2017) The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is developing a roadmap to strengthen Arab-African trade over the next three years, according to Hakim Elwaer, IDB’s official spokesman... At a forum held in Rabat last month it was noted that IDB’s support for development programs and infrastructure projects in Africa has reached more than $43 billion, which included funding for projects in infrastructure. IDB President Bandar Hajjar added that the volume of trade financing granted to Arab and African member countries since the establishment of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), which is IDB’s trade financing arm, has reached about $15 billion.

  • (Bloomberg, Dubai, 2 March 2017)  Middle East borrowers are increasingly using loans backed by export credit agencies to fund projects as tightening liquidity makes conventional borrowing more expensive and difficult to secure, according to Societe Generale SA. France’s second-largest bank by market value is in talks with governments, state-owned and private companies for about twelve loans backed by ECAs for projects including in the energy and oil industries in the Middle East, Richad Soundardjee, regional chief executive officer, said in an interview in Dubai. The lender more than doubled the number of ECA backed loans it helped raise last year, compared with 2015, he said, without revealing the number of loans.

  • (Mmegi Online, Gabarone, 23 March 2017) The Botswana Export Credit Insurance (BECI) will for the first time host the annual meeting of international credit insurers in Kasane next month. The event, called the Prague Club Committee (PCC) spring meeting, will see around 50 senior participants from 20 international members of the Berne Union gather to discuss political risk, trade finance and credit insurance... The meeting [will] cast a spotlight on Botswana with delegates expected to explore the culture, heritage and natural environment across a range of thrilling excursions organised alongside the conference.

  • (BizNis Africa, Johannesburg, 29 March 2017) South Sudan, Africa’s youngest country, has become the latest country to join the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) as a participating state... Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, stated that membership of the Bank would give South Sudan automatic access to the full range of products and facilities offered by Afreximbank, including trade finance facilities, project finance services, trade information and advisory services, support in the development of a local content policy and assistance in developing and implementing industrial parks and special economic zones... Participating states become shareholders when they acquire shares in the Bank. Afreximbank shareholders are a mix of public and private entities divided into four classes and consist of African governments, central banks, regional and sub-regional institutions, private investors and financial institutions, as well as non-African financial institutions, export credit agencies and private investors.

  • (QUWA, Islamabad, 22 March 2017) With the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) seeking 18 next-generation multi-role fighters to supplant its MiG-29, leading aviation vendors are beginning to actively position their respective platforms. IHS Jane’s and Shepard Media report that Saab and BAE Systems are willing to provide credit or financing terms for the JAS-39 Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon, respectively... Malaysia’s defence procurement strategy is tailored for diversification, which results in purchases from Eastern and Western vendors. One need only look at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) recent purchases from France (Scorpene-class submarines and Gowind-class frigates) and China (Littoral Mission Ships).

  • (Military News, Ulaanbaatar, 24 March 2017) The Mongolia Ministry of Finance and the World Bank today launched the Export Development Project aimed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises in non-minerals sectors strengthen their export capabilities and boost their access to export markets. The project, to be implemented by the government of Mongolia in the next 4 ½ years, will support Mongolia’s economic diversification by providing those firms with training, matching grants and access to export credit-insurance products.