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.

Featured publications and stories

NGO Statement Ending Fossil Fuel Support

In May 2014, more than 50 NGO have endorsed common recommendations provided by the briefing 'Ending Fossil Fuel Support: the way forward' (to be downloaded on the bottom of this page). This briefing was developed by ECA Watch members in close collaboration with other international and regional organisations.

What's New April 2014

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

  • Battle over US ExIm reauthorization begins again
  • UK Chancellor George Osborne announces export credit scheme
  • Japan Urged To Stop Financing Coal at Obama-Abe Summit
  • Russia's Aerospace Industry Faces Squeeze Over Sanctions
  • Czech ECA subsidized by Finance Ministry
  • Azeri State Oil Company SOCAR to Sign $3.5 Billion Turkish Refinery Deal
  • Fiji's ECA faces teething problems

Battle over US ExIm reauthorization begins again

(Financial Times, Washington, 20 April 2014) The Export-Import Bank of the United States, which provides finance for foreign purchases of US products, faces a fresh battle to survive... That threatens some of its biggest beneficiaries in corporate America, from Boeing to Caterpillar and General Electric. With renewal of Ex-Im’s charter due at the end of September, there are conservative voices on Capitol Hill, as well as at many corporations within the US, that want to see its operations scaled back, if not halted altogether. A Times editorial argued that: "Vital planks of US international economic engagement are at stake. Each delay deepens the uncertainty and imposes a cost on America’s reputation. In the case of the Exim Bank, it also imposes a cost on US exporters. The sooner Congress acts, the better. Waiting until Exim’s licence expires in September should not be an option." The conservative Heritage Foundations claims: "The bank is beset by mismanagement, dysfunction, and risk, all of which have been documented for years by Ex–Im’s own inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The problems are the inevitable result of government assuming a function far beyond its proper purview and one that rightly belongs to private business alone."

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/17dc9bea-c585-11e3-97e4-00144feabdc0.html#axzz30J...


UK Chancellor George Osborne announces export credit scheme

(Guardian, London, 8 April 2014) Banks will have access to a Bank of England facility to make it less risky for them to finance exports under a new scheme to boost Britain's trade announced by George Osborne on April 7. Speaking in Brazil, the chancellor said billions of pounds of extra loans would be made available to UK firms competing in global markets after the Bank broadened the support it provides to lenders. Osborne has set British companies a target of doubling exports to £1tn by 2020. Loans guaranteed by Britain's export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), will now fall under the Bank's sterling monetary framework, which provides financial help in times of unexpected stress.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/08/george-osborne-export-credit-sch...


Japan Urged To Stop Financing Coal at Obama-Abe Summit

(Oil Change International, Washington, 22 April 2014) Japanese ECA, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is the world’s number one public financier of coal projects. In an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to his April 24th meeting with us President Obama, 30 NGOs urged Japan to follow the United States and other countries’ pledges to stop financing coal overseas.

http://priceofoil.org/2014/04/22/japan-urged-stop-financing-coal-ahead-obama-abe...


Russia’s Aerospace Industry Faces Squeeze Over Sanctions

(Wall Street Journal, London, 30 April 2014)  U.S. sanctions on Russia in response to the country's threats and incursions against Ukraine have created uncertainty over aerospace transactions, from plane purchases to satellite launches... "I see the market now as frozen for lease and financing," said Bertrand Grabowski, managing director of aviation finance at DVB Bank. Export credit guarantees, often provided by the U.S. and European governments to help underpin exports, are effectively suspended in the case of Russia, he said.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303948104579533301731239502?...


Czech ECA subsidized by Finance Ministry

(Prague Daily Monitor, Prague, 28 April 2014) Czech Export Guarantee and Insurance Company (EGAP) received a subsidy of Kc1bn (US$50.5 million) a year from the Finance Ministry in 2011 and 2012 despite having enough own funds, according to findings by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU)... "At that time, EGAP had enough own resources and did not need money from the state budget to top up its insurance funds," NKU said... EGAP said the decision about the form and amount of the state's subsidy to export is a decision made by the government, and is therefore a purely political decision. [Editors note: The article made no mention of Czech adherence to the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures which prohibits ECA premiums that are not inadequate to cover long-term operating costs and losses.]

http://praguemonitor.com/2014/04/29/nk%C3%BA-egap-gets-billions-subsidies-despit...


Azeri State Oil Company SOCAR to Sign $3.5 Billion Turkish Refinery Deal

(Bloomberg, Istanbul, 22 April 2014) Azerbaijan’s state oil company, Socar, is in the final stages of negotiations for a $3.5 billion loan to help build a refinery in Turkey, said Kenan Yavuz, chief executive for the company’s Turkish unit... Most of the $3.5 billion package, arranged by the Turkish unit of Unicredit SpA (UCG), Italy’s biggest lender, will be provided by 15 international lenders with guarantees from the ECAs of six countries, the US Ex-Im Bank, JBIC, Export-Import Bank of Korea, and the Italian, Canadian and Spanish ECAs.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-22/socar-said-to-near-3-9-billion-turkey-r...


Fiji’s ECA faces teething problems

(The Jet, Lautoka, 30 April 2014) The Fiji Development Bank has reviewed the Export Credit Facility (ECF), an initiative geared towards assisting export oriented businesses that fall under government’s priority sectors for economic development. FDB acting chief executive officer Nafitalai Cakacaka highlighted that the reason for the review was the under-utilisation of the facility... In 2008 the bank received a grant of $1.5M from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to administer a loan product that would assist in the priority sectors of agriculture, forestry, marine products, mineral water products, ICT and audio visual.

http://thejetnewspaper.com/2014/04/30/fdb-reviews-export-credit-facility/


What's New March 2014

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

  • Australia's EFIC extends US$100m loan to BHP Billiton & Rio Tinto for Chile & world's largest copper mine
  • Rinehart wins Roy Hill funding with ECA support
  • UK Export Finance to end 13 years as operating lessor
  • Boeing: Global aircraft financing market rebalancing away from export credit support
  • ILS To Get Fewer Launches in 2014, Expects Boost from New Russian Export Credit Agency
  • India's credit risk insurer monitoring Ukraine turmoil for risk assessment
  • Indian ECA adds new credit line for Africa
  • India's Competition Commission rejects complaint against Export Credit Guarantee Corp
  • EDC Finances Turkey's AkLease to Create Opportunities for Canadian Equipment Makers
  • Ex-Im Bank Partners With FCIB Association, Accelerates Access to Export Financing
  • Dubai looks to boost trade flows with Sharia-compliant export credit agency

Australia’s EFIC extends US$100 m loan to BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for Chile and world’s largest copper mine

(Herald Sun, Melbourne, 18 March 2014) Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have been granted a $110 million “soft loan” from taxpayers to help expand the world’s biggest copper mine, in Chile. Australia’s export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, has extended the $US100 million ($110.5 million) loan to the miners — the world’s biggest by market value. The funds will help cover the cost of a $US3.8 billion equipment upgrade being carried out by BHP and Rio at the Escondida mine, in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The latest deal by the credit agency — a little-known government de facto bank — has spark renewed criticism that it is favouring the big end of town over smaller exporters struggling to break into global markets. Jubilee Australia chief Brynnie Goodwill said the agency should be supporting small and medium-sized enterprises rather than “well-endowed companies which have access to global capital through their shareholders or the markets”.

A 2004 Chilean study showed that, with 0.25% of the earth's surface, Chile holds 37% of known copper reserves, and that neoliberal denationalization of mining in the 1990s, followed by a tripling of production by foreign transnational corporations, led to a drop in prices and a fall in government revenues from U$1.8 billion a year at the end of the 1980s to US$300 million in 2000.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/bhp-rio-score-110m-soft-loan-from-export-fi...


Rinehart wins Roy Hill funding with ECA support

(Business Spectator, Melbourne, 21 March 2014) Gina Rinehart has secured backing from a group of global banks and export credit agencies for a new $US10 billion ($A11.0bn) iron-ore mine that can feed Asian steel demand, just as miners like BHP Billiton scale back investments amid a broad decline in commodity prices. Australian and international counsel Allen & Overy has worked closely with the export credit agencies, namely Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and Export-Import Bank of the US, and the 19 commercial banks to negotiate, document and complete the transaction.
 

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/3/21/resources-and-energy/rinehart...


UK Export Finance to end 13 years as operating lessor

Centre for Aviation, Melbourne, 26 March 2014) UK Export Finance head of aerospace Gordon Welsh, speaking at the CAPA – Airline Fleet & Finance Summit 2014, stated the export credit agency will sell the last of 40 aircraft returned after 9-11 “hopefully next week”, ending 13 years as operating lessor. He also said the UK Export Finance’s objective is to keep a level playing field, stating “frankly we take risks that others cannot.” He also said there must be rules to ensure that export credit agencies in each country all work in a similar way.

http://centreforaviation.com/news/uk-export-finance-to-end-13-years-as-operating...


Boeing: Global aircraft financing market rebalancing away from export credit support

(Centre for Aviation, Sydney, 20 March 2014) Boeing stated it expects the market for financing new aircraft to remain strong as airline customers continue to demand for new, fuel-efficient airplanes. Boeing Capital Corp VP/general manager for aircraft financial services Tim Myers said the globally the liquidity balance "looks good as the industry rebalances itself to move away from export credit support, with its more expensive pricing, and more toward reliance on the commercial markets.” Boeing said that airplane financing globally is experiencing a rare balance among primary delivery financing sources – leasing companies, commercial banks, the capital markets, export credit agency support and private equity and hedge funds among them – as global aircraft deliveries are expected to require USD112 billion in financing for 2014.

http://centreforaviation.com/news/boeing-global-aircraft-financing-market-rebala...


ILS To Get Fewer Launches in 2014, Expects Boost from New Russian Export Credit Agency

(Space News, Washington, 11 March 2014) Commercial launch services provider International Launch Services (ILS) expects to conduct 4 or 5 commercial campaigns this year, compared with 7 in 2013, as demand for Russian government launches, not handled by ILS, consumes most of the rocket’s 10-launch manifest this year. In what they called a potentially major boost to ILS’s competitiveness, ILS said the Russian government has created an export credit agency whose mandate is to be much more active than its predecessor organization in giving financial assistance to Russian exports. The Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR), whose operating terms are being vetted by Western banks, will not provide direct loans as the U.S. Export-Import Bank does, but rather provide government guarantees for loans provided by commercial banks — in this case, denominated in dollars, euros or rubles. The French export-credit agency, Coface, operates in a similar manner.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39812news-from-satellite-2014-ils...


India’s credit risk insurer monitoring Ukraine turmoil for risk assessment

(Hindu Business Line, Chennai, 5 March 2014) India's state-controlled Export Credit Guarantee Corporation that covers exporters against credit risk is closely looking at the turmoil in Ukraine to determine whether the situation calls for a risk upgrade, Though, theoretically, India stands to benefit from a depreciating hryvnia, the political turmoil may affect movement of goods, and the currency benefit may not be realised. ECGC has tie-ups with agencies and industry bodies abroad to gauge the situation.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/macro-economy/shipments-to-ukraine-u...


Indian ECA adds new credit line for Africa

(TwoCircles, New Delhi, 9 March 2014) A new Exim Bank Line of Credit for Africa has been introduced to speed up infrastructure project development in the continent, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here Sunday. "We've also introduced another Line of Credit, added to the Exim-Bank. The finance ministry has put it together under the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) and the National Exports Insurance Authority (NEIA), for which Buyer's Credit is available for infrastructure projects in Africa," Sharma said at the 10th CII-Exim Bank (Export-Import Bank of India) conclave on India Africa Project Partnership.

http://twocircles.net/2014mar09/commerce_ministry_adds_new_line_credit_africa.ht...


India’s Competition Commission rejects complaint against Export Credit Guarantee Corp

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 5 March 2014) The Competition Commission has rejected allegations of unfair trade practices against Export Credit Guarantee Corp related to credit insurance for exporters. A complaint filed by Tavoy Apparels and its group firms had alleged that even after one-time settlement with Union Bank of India for export credit loan taken from it, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) refused to delete the name of the complainants from the defaulters list known as 'Special Approval List'.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/cci-rejects-complaint-again...


EDC Finances Turkey’s AkLease to Create Opportunities for Canadian Equipment Makers

(Marketwired, Ottawa, 26 March 2014) - Export Development Canada (EDC) today announced that it has provided a USD 10 M line of credit to Turkish leasing company Ak Finansal Kiralama (AkLease), which will be used to provide financing to Turkish companies leasing equipment from Canadian manufacturers. "EDC's partnership with AkLease is about making it easier for Canadian companies to win new equipment leasing business in the booming Turkish market," said Zenon Woychyshyn, EDC's Chief Representative in Turkey. "EDC has been working with AkLease and their customers for many years, and we see this formal financing agreement as the next logical step in connecting Canadian equipment with new Turkish buyers."

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1813617#ixzz2xNQRlZaQ


Ex-Im Bank Partners With FCIB Association, Accelerates Access to Export Financing

(USNewswire, Washington, 18 March 2014) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced its cross-marketing partnership with thousands of credit and finance professionals who are represented by the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB), a division of the National Association of Credit Management.  The Bank and FCIB signed a memorandum of understanding that expresses their mutual interest in providing information to business owners about how they may finance and expand export sales while sustaining U.S. jobs.
Read more:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1797211#ixzz2xNKrT8fj


Dubai looks to boost trade flows with Sharia-compliant export credit agency

(The National, Abu Dhabi, 19 March 2014) Dubai is studying plans to establish the world’s first fully Sharia-compliant export credit agency in a bid to double trade flows over the next five years.

http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/economics/dubai-looks-to-bo...


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