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 September 2013

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

  • US Ex-Im and OPIC brace for shutdown
  • Are US Senators regretting Ex-Im vote?
  • POTATOMATION: Jubilee Australia brings ECA-backed PNG LNG project concerns to Sydney Fringe Festival
  • US and French ECAs Keep Spigots Open for Space Ventures
  • European ECAs to Fund Russian Superjet Project
  • BNDES president says Cuba and Angola have requested confidentiality in financing contracts
  • NEXIM Bank - Repositioning for Nigeria's Non-Oil Exports
  • Miami Businesswoman Sentenced In US Export-Import Bank Fraud
  • Aureus Mining Given US$88 Million South African ECA Support

US Ex-Im and OPIC brace for shutdown

(Trade Finance, 27 September 2013, Washington) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Ex-Im) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have published contingency plans in the event that Congress fails to agree to a continuing resolution to fund the US government. For OPIC, “commitments of new loans, loan guarantees, and political risk insurance will not take place during shutdown – not because of a hiatus in appropriations, per se , but because a temporary reauthorisation provision dependent on the appropriations process will lapse during the shutdown”. At US Ex-Im, new obligations as well as delegated authority to exporters and/or banks under insurance and guarantee programmes will be suspended. The bank will continue to process and deposit funds received, and will pay claims under its guarantee and insurance programme, which carry the full faith and credit of the US government. Of Ex-Im’s employees, 17 will be retained out of the total of 409 (4.1%) in addition to three contractors, three Presidential appointees, and 24 employees on an on-call status. Details of US Ex-Im’s plans can be found here, and OPIC’s here.

http://www.tradefinancemagazine.com/Article/3260401/US-Ex-Im-and-OPIC-brace-for-...


Are US Senators regretting Ex-Im vote?

(Heritage Foundation, 3 September 2013, Washington) For some lawmakers, corporate welfare is okay, unless it hurts someone in their district. Four lawmakers from Minnesota and Michigan are up in arms over a proposed $650 million financing deal for Roy Hill, an Australian mining company. The deal, backed by the Export-Import Bank, the U.S. government’s export credit agency, is for the purchase of Caterpillar mining equipment manufactured in the U.S. But Senators Amy Klobuchar (D–MN), Al Franken (D–MN), Carl Levin (D–MI), and Debbie Stabenow (D–MI) don’t like this deal because Roy Hill competes with American iron ore producers, the majority of which operate in the Senators’ home states of Minnesota and Michigan.
 

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09/03/are-these-senators-regretting-their-export-i...


POTATOMATION: Jubilee Australia brings its concerns about the ECA-backed PNG LNG project to the Sydney Fringe Festival

Jubilee Australia has teamed up with a group of Sydney visual artists to create a visual arts installation for the Sydney Fringe Festival that profiles the themes in Jubilee Australia's 2012 report Pipe Dreams: The PNG LNG Project and the future hopes of a nation.  The report is the most complete discussion to date of the potential risks and benefits to the people of PNG of the LNG Project, which was provided with financial support by no fewer than five ECAs and pivotal diplomatic support from the Australian government.  The report argues that, contrary to the official discourse, there are serious risks that the revenues generated by the Project will not mitigate the negative economic and social impacts of the Project.  In fact, it is very likely that the Project will exacerbate poverty, increase corruption and lead to more violence in the country.

Potatomation Art Collective's installation entitled Retelling PNG Pipe Dreams will be on exhibit at the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival through Saturday 21 September.

Jubilee Australia published Pipe Dreams in December 2012 as a follow to its 2009 report on Australia's export credit agency, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) called Risky Business: Shining a spotlight on Australia's export credit agencyJubilee Australia advocates for reforms to EFIC and keeps a close watch on its business providing financial products to Australian multinationals in the extractives industry.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/dont-miss-our-big-event-at-sydney-fr...


US and French ECAs Keep Spigots Open for Space Ventures

(SpaceNews, 23 September 2013, Paris) Representatives of the U.S. and French export-credit agencies gave no sign of pulling back on their support for their domestic rocket and satellite builders despite ongoing concerns by private-sector bankers that the agencies are funding projects that cannot survive. The allegation that ECA low-interest financing stimulates projects of dubious long-term solvency is not new. But it has assumed a new relevance with the spate of emerging-market nations using ECA support for telecommunications satellite systems whose national markets raise questions of their survivability.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/financial-report/37300us-and-french-export-cred...


European ECAs to Fund Russian Superjet Project

(Moscow Times, 13 September 2013, Moscow) European credit agencies will help finance the sales of Russia's Superjet 100 aircraft, Vedomosti reported Thursday. A source close to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, which produces the planes, said the Superjet has been deemed a European product because 70 percent of its components are European. The move paves the way for European export credit agencies, which can provide government-backed loans without seeking a commercial return, to push the plane on the international market... The U.S. and European financing deals allow the Superjet to compete with its biggest rivals, the Embraier 190 and CRJ 1000, bringing it a step closer to Russia's ambitious goal of manufacturing $250 billion worth of aircraft by 2025.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/european-credit-agencies-to-fund-...


BNDES president says Cuba and Angola have requested confidentiality in financing contracts

(Folha de Sao Paulo, 27 August 2013, Brasilia) BNDES President Luciano Coutinho said that financing granted to Angola and Cuba were classified as secret by the government because of an agreement made between the two countries and Brazil. "The contracts are subject to provisions from the countries of destination. They are subject to a treaty or a provision by a sovereign country benefiting from an export," he said on the 27th during a public hearing at the Senate's CAE (Committee on Economic Affairs). Folha revealed in April that the Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel had declared documents on loans to the two nations secret, which did not occur with another 13 beneficiaries of funding from the state bank. At that time, the ministry claimed that the contracts contained "strategic" information and were "covered by commercial confidentiality". In 2012 alone, BNDES disbursed $ 875 million to Cuba and Angola. According to Coutinho, the global values ​​involved are public, but the details of the transaction can not be revealed. He said the loan money was destined for supporting the production and export of capital goods and engineering services to both countries.

http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/2013/08/1332714-presidente-do-bndes-diz-que-c...


NEXIM Bank - Repositioning for Nigeria's Non-Oil Exports

(All Africa News, 19 September 2013, Abuja) NEXIM, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank was established in 1991 and is owned equally by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance. Since 2009, NEXIM has reformed its processes and redefined its focus to promoting the diversification of the Nigerian economy and deepening the external sector, particularly the non-oil sector, through provision of credit facilities, export credit guarantee & export credit insurance; business development and financial advisory services. The bank's current strategic initiatives are targeted towards boosting employment creation and foreign exchange earnings in the manufacturing, agro-processing, solid minerals and services (tourism, transportation and entertainment) industries.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201309190220.html


Miami Businesswoman Sentenced In US Export-Import Bank Fraud

(PRN Newswire, 12 September 2013, Washington) The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today that Teolinda Briseyda Angeles, an owner of an electronics company in Miami, Florida, was sentenced to serve one year and one day in prison for her role in a scheme to defraud Ex-Im Bank of nearly $446,876.

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/12/5731277/miami-businesswoman-sentenced.html


Aureus Mining Given US$88 Million South African ECA Support

(Alliance News, 23 September 2013, London) - Aureus Mining Inc. Monday said the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa has approved export credit support for the company's US$88 million project debt finance facility to fund the development of its Liberian New Liberty Gold Project, with the finance facility being provided by Nedbank Ltd and Rand Merchant Bank. South Africa's ECIC has experienced a "phenomenal" growth in its insurance portfolio to R17bn (US$1.69bn) in the year to end-March from the previous year’s R11bn (US$1.01bn).

http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=bgofjmwz&headline=Aureus_Mining_Given_Expo...


What's New August 2013

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

  • Export credit agencies step into the breach
  • Turkish Export Credit Bank plans to give $300 million credit facility to Pakistan
  • Oman weighs credit risks on Egypt exports
  • OECD 2012 ECA Bribery Survey Responses Now Available
  • Nigeria seeks NEXIMs support on ECOWAS trade
  • U.S. Export-Import Bank Hindered by Budget Fight, Hochberg Says
  • Atradius DSB supports fewer applications but doubles risk exposure
  • Rinehart Record Debt Lures Even as China Slows: Australia Credit
  • ECAs and satellite financing

Export credit agencies step into the breach

(Business New Europe, Moscow, 17 August 2013) Seated next to Fred Hochberg in Prague is Danny Roderick, president and CEO of Westinghouse, the US nuclear company that's one the main reasons for Hochberg's visit to the Czech Republic. Westinghouse is in the midst of a battle with Russia's Rosatom to win the right to build two new nuclear reactors in the country, in a deal worth €8bn-12bn, and Ex-Im bank wants to play its part by offering low-interest loans to companies that buy American equipment and services... Hochberg, fresh from being confirmed in July by the US Senate for a 2nd term as president of Ex-Im Bank, presided over a banner year in 2012 - and 2013 looks like it could surpass even that. The bank’s overall financing in 2012 exceeded $35.7bn, backing $50bn of exports by US companies. Exports in the year continued their recovery from the depths of the global crisis in 2008, with US exports reaching a then record high of $188.7bn set in December 2012.

http://www.bne.eu/story5278/THE_INSIDERS_Export_credit_agencies_step_into_the_br...


Turkish Export Credit Bank plans to give $300 million credit facility to Pakistan

(Business Recorder, Karachi, 29 August 2013) The Export Credit Bank of Turkey (Exim Bank) is to give $300 million credit facility to Pakistan for 2013-14 for which a formal pact will be signed during the 3-day (September 16-18) official visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Turkey... According to sources, considerable scope for further Turkish investments especially in the energy (hydel/coal and wind) and infrastructure sectors exists.

http://www.brecorder.com/market-data/stocks-a-bonds/0/1225979/


Oman weighs credit risks on Egypt exports

(Times of Oman, Muscat, 21 August 2013) In light of the political instability and current events in Egypt which have affected businesses, export credit agencies  (ECAs) of several countries are exercising considerable caution in providing new cover to their exporters to that country. A number of ECAs have cancelled credit limits to buyers in Egypt as the payment risks have been compounded by political risks which could inhibit buyers to fulfil their payment commitments. In October 2011, ECA Watch reported that Britain was pursuing Egypt for debts of up to £100m that funded the purchase of arms.

http://www.timesofoman.com/News/Article-21225.aspx


OECD 2012 ECA Bribery Survey Responses Now Available

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 31 August 2013) The latest available OECD ECA bribery survey responses on how member ECAs implement the 2006 OECD Recommendation on Bribery and ECAs is available on their web site. However, despite the OECD's claims of transparency and effective gathering and dissemination of statistics, a confusing public link for what they say are the 2012 responses as of 30 June 2013 actually takes you to their blank 2007 questionnaire form. One has to persist and know how to uncompress all the individual country reports from another document in order to review the 2012 individual responses. It appears from the wording of the OECD announcement that only 6 of the 35 reporting countries (36 ECAs) responded to the 2012 survey. Most ECAs rely largely on reporting by corporate applicants who have little interest in providing information that might lead to rejections. In addition, some individual ECA forms (for example see p.10 Part 8 of the Atradius applicant form) only require the briefest of information on bribery, making it less likely that problematic situations will surface through this rather weak OECD monitoring and reporting process.




Nigeria seeks NEXIMs support on ECOWAS trade

(Premium Times, Abuja, 24 August 2013) The Federal Government on Friday asked the Board of the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to support Nigeria in maintaining its leading position as the powerhouse in regional trade in West Africa... Mr. Ngama, Minister of State for Finance, said last year was the third time in a row that the bank was posting profit on its balance sheet and declaring dividends to its shareholders; a development that has put the bank on a path of sustained profitability. He said the management has also taken steps to clean up the balance sheet through the establishment of Debt Recovery Task Force which recovers bad debts and write-off irrecoverable legacy loan. He added that efforts have been made to improve the credit culture through training and enforcement of strict credit evaluation processes. However he asked the board to work towards securing a credit rating that would enable the bank go out and source for funds and increase its capital base.

http://premiumtimesng.com/business/143411-nigeria-seeks-nexims-support-on-ecowas...


U.S. Export-Import Bank Hindered by Budget Fight, Hochberg Says

(Bloomberg, Washington, 23 August 2013) The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s ability to compete with similar lenders from nations including China and Brazil has been hurt by questions stemming from last year’s reauthorization fight, according to the bank’s chairman. Fred Hochberg said reporters have asked him on recent trips abroad about the bank’s future, after it survived a Republican campaign last year to end its lending authority. Its $140 billion lending limit runs through September 2014. “That uncertainty is damaging to U.S. competitiveness,” Hochberg said today in an interview at the bank’s headquarters in Washington.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-23/u-s-export-import-bank-still-hindered-b...


Atradius DSB supports fewer applications but doubles risk exposure

(Atradius Dutch State Business, Amsterdam, May 2013) The 2012 Annual Review of Atradius Dutch State Business shows that while the number of approved applications actually declined in 2012 as compared to the previous year, the total aggregate nominal risk exposure in the same year more than doubled to a formidable € 16.6 billion. The Annual Review also reflects sustained efforst to expand the business of the Dutch ECA by developing new instruments, such as the 'Export Credit Guarantee' to facilitate bank financing for export transactions.

http://www.atradiusdutchstatebusiness.nl/Images/dsben/Annual%20Review%202012%20s...


Rinehart Record Debt Lures Even as China Slows: Australia Credit

(Bloomberg, Sydney, 11 August 2013) Gina Rinehart, chairwoman of Roy Hill Holdings Pty, is seeking about A$4 billion (US$3.56 billion) from export credit agencies, Banks are betting the economics behind Rinehart’s 21-year-long ambition outweigh concern that $250 billion of planned mines will create a glut as slowing growth in China saps demand in the biggest buyer of the raw material.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-11/rinehart-record-debt-lures-even-as-chin...


ECAs and satellite financing

(Satnews, Sonoma, 14 August 2013) After years that saw a clear domination by Export Credit Agency backed financing, which remains important for emerging regional players, financial transactions have picked up strongly in the satellite industry over the last 12 months. With the financial sector seemingly ready to take more risk again... Financing for satellite projects and the related challenges will be discussed from different points of view during the September 9-13 Summit for Satellite Financing welcoming executive-level speakers from leading financial institutions, ECAs and satellite operators.

http://www.satnews.com/story.php?number=1494772758&menu=1


US Ex-Im report grades competitiveness with other ECAs

(Shopfloor, Washington, 30 July 2013) Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg outlined the unprecedented challenges facing U.S. exporters and released the annual competitiveness report that stacks Ex-Im Bank up against other major export credit agencies (ECAs) around the world. In presenting the report he noted:

  • "it’s time [to] drop the fantasy that a purely free market exists in the world of global trade... In the real world, our private-enterprises are pitted against an array of competitors that are often government-owned, government-protected, government subsidized, government-sponsored, or all of the above."
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