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 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!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

  • China's 'highly polluting project' decision to spur coal export credit subsidy talks
  • Crédit Agricole announces new coal power policy: Major blow for Croatian coal plant
  • 63 CSOs Call on JBIC to Reject Financing for Batang Coal Plant in Indonesia
  • General Electric to shift engine plant to Canada, creating 350 jobs
  • OECD Export Credit consultation with CSOs
  • Banks to Unveil the Future of Project Financing in the Oil and Gas Sector This November in London
  • International Chamber of Commerce launches Global Export Finance Committee
  • Ilisu dam protest
  • Zimbabwean firms to get export insurance
  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): regional solution or global threat?
  • Dutch export credit agency can finance Russia’s shipbuilding projects despite sanctions
  • Oman's ORPIC to use debt to finance most of $5.2 bln plastics plant

China's 'highly polluting project' decision to spur coal export credit subsidy talks

(Reuters, London, 30 September 2015) China's promise to curb public funding of "highly polluting projects" has isolated Japan and increased the pressure to close a deal to phase-out coal export subsidies after months of wrangling. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has been hosting talks on the issue since last year. Wary of regional competition from China, Japan has been at the vanguard of opposition to phasing out coal export credits that help OECD nations send coal plant technology abroad and benefit companies such as Toshiba Corp. But on Friday in a joint U.S.-China statement on Climate Change, China signaled it would take similar steps to those already promised by the United States, the World Bank and others to end coal financing overseas.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/30/us-coal-oecd-subsidies-idUKKCN0RU128201...


Crédit Agricole announces new coal power policy: Major blow for Croatian coal plant

(FOE France, Paris, 30 September 2015) Today's publication of new criteria for coal-fired power plant financing by French bank Crédit Agricole suggests that the bank will be unable to finance the controversial €800 million Plomin C coal power plant in Croatia, campaign groups beleive. The policy now rules out finance for coal power plants in high-income countries, which includes Croatia. The new policy from Crédit Agricole has been announced less than a month after the publication by a campaign group study which showing incompatibility of the Plomin C project with the bank's own corporate social responsibility standards. Crédit Agricole had responded to the report and publicly defended its advisory role in the project. However today’s policy changes now rule out the bank’s involvement in Plomin C. Civil society organisations are now focused on stepping up pressure on the worst coal finance offenders, including BNP Paribas in France, Deutsche Bank in Germany and Morgan Stanley in the United States, for example calling on customers of major French banks to switch their accounts away from climate damaging banks to banks with no fossil fuels in their portfolios.

http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ca4ff3016df790ab4c04c0ddd&id=3f7fcea6a5&e=a1...


63 CSOs Call on JBIC to Reject Financing for Batang Coal Plant in Indonesia

(FOE Japan, Tokyo, 25 September 2015) At the proposed project site of the controversial 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Batang, Central Java, Indonesia, further cases of human rights violations have been reported. On September 25, the undersigned 63 organizations from 20 countries, have submitted the urgent petition as below to call on Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to reject financing for the project, which has been pushed through in the forcible way, neglecting the local people’s opinion and rights.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/150925.html


General Electric to shift engine plant to Canada, creating 350 jobs

(Globe & Mail, Toronto, 28 September 2015) General Electric Co. is planning to build a state-of the art $265-million (U.S.) engine plant in Canada, as it shifts more business out of the United States following the collapse of U.S. government-sponsored export financing. GE said Monday it will close down its operation that makes gas-powered engines in Wisconsin and construct a plant in Canada, creating 350 new jobs there. In mid-September GE said it would invest $26-million in an aircraft engine facility in Winnipeg, including a major upgrade to a massive wind tunnel used for testing jet engines. GE says it is making the moves because it can no longer get U.S. export credit financing and is currently bidding on $11-billion of projects that must have export financing in order to be completed. GE also recently announced an agreement with the UK export credit agency UK Export Finance to access export financing for up to $12 Billion. [It is not yet clear if such efforts are part of an effort to re-establish US export credit financing blocked by the US Republican Tea Party faction, or to stimulate competition amongst OECD ECAs to further sweeten official subsidies to exporting corporations.]

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-busi...


OECD Export Credit consultation with CSOs

(OECD, Paris, 29 September 2015) A Consultation between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Members of the OECD’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees (ECG) and the Participants to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits will take place on Tuesday, 17 November 2015, from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m., at the OECD Conference Centre, Paris.




Banks to Unveil the Future of Project Financing in the Oil and Gas Sector This November in London

(BUSINESS WIRE, London, 29 September 2015) Leading experts involved with project financing in oil and gas will meet this November 23-24 in London, at the Project Financing in Oil and Gas Conference. Project Financing in Oil and Gas has a varied amount of risk attached to a project, and this differs between up – mid – downstream. Sponsors, who are developing the projects, must therefore prove that their investments are not too risky and that satisfactory revenue will be produced once the project is built.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/smi-group-deutsche-bank-societe-generale-niger-...


International Chamber of Commerce launches Global Export Finance Committee

(ICC, Barcelona, 7 September 2015) The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is launching today the “ICC Global Export Finance Committee” – an export finance working group, chaired by Eric de Jonge, Global Head of Structured Export Finance at ING Bank. The launch event of the Committee took place in Barcelona, Spain, and is supported by many leading banks across the export finance industry. Operating under the umbrella of the ICC Banking Commission, the committee is the first step towards building a real global export finance community - representing medium- and long-term (MLT) export finance banks. The Global Export Finance Committee has three key objectives:

1. To create a credible standing global discussion forum of banking experts in MLT export financing,
2. To create a representative body to discuss industry matters with various stakeholders,
3. To advocate for and help develop improvements and efficiencies through the standardization and harmonization of processes and regulations.

http://www.iccwbo.org/News/Articles/2015/ICC-launches-Global-Export-Finance-Comm...


Ilisu dam protest

(Hasankeyf Action Day, Hasankeyf, 20 September 2015) On September 20th, activists, social movements and NGO's joined an international action day for the conservation of Hasankeyf and the Tigris River. Protesting against the Ilisu Dam Project, a large demonstration took place in the 10.000 year old town of Hasankeyf, which is threatened by the Ilisu Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant Project. If the ongoing construction of the project is completed, there will be a massive social, ecological and cultural destruction in Turkish-Kurdistan, the North of Mesopotamia. The Ilisu Project will also intensify ongoing Middle East conflicts within and outside Turkish borders, in particular in Iraq and Syria. Protesters requested UNESCO designation of Hasankeyf as a world heritage site. In July 2010 after several years of local and international campaigns, the Export Credit Agencies of Germany, Austria and Switzerland suspended credit guarantees due to Turkey's failure to comply with required environmental, social and cultural heritage conditions. However, the Turkish state and the companies found new financing and continue with the project.

http://www.hasankeyfgirisimi.net/


Zimbabwean firms to get export insurance

(All Africa News, Harare, 2 September 2015) The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is discussing with banks an insurance package for exports, as it moves to tackle a high political risk premium that has affected international trade. Zimbabwe's import bill has been rising while exports have been retreating, fuelling a widening trade deficit estimated at over US$700 million in the first quarter of 2015. Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha, said the RBZ had agreed to mobilise funding, estimated at not less than US$7,5 million, for the country to join the African Trade Insurance agency (ATI), which was set up by the Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (COMESA) to cover exports. Launched in 2001, ATI has supported over US$13 billion worth of trade and investment across Africa, and government says joining the agency would open doors to more markets for local products. Meanwhile, a delegation from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation was in Zimbabwe from September 21-25 to facilitate insurance cover on loan facilities extended to Zimbabwe's companies by Chinese banks.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201509030544.html


Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): regional solution or global threat?

(Global Capital, London, September 2015) The stated aim of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), officially launched in June 2015, is to respond to a need for massive spending across Asia. But its creation has caused political controversy, with supporters arguing it shows up previous iniquities while opponents fear it will be a mere tool for China's projection of power. An American campaign to boycott the AIIB collapsed in March when George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that Washington’s staunchest ally would be joining the Chinese-initiated bank. Membership of the AIIB has since swelled to 57 countries, more than twice the number that half a century ago joined the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the incumbent Japanese- and American-led rival based in Manila. There will be significant support from Chinese policy banks for the One Belt, One Road strategy. State-owned banks experienced in financing overseas, such as ICBC or Bank of China, will be very well placed to provide support. There will probably be policy bank support from either Export-Import Bank of China or China Development Bank. And Sinosure will also have a role to play in terms of some of their export credit insurance. Canadian absence from the AIIB roster has largely escaped notice, although China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the US. Jack Austin, a former Canadian senator and influential politician who helped establish Canada’s diplomatic relations with China back in the 1970s, notes that Prime Minister Stephen Harper belongs to an evangelical Christian church that believes in the inerrancy of the Bible, and Christian fundamentalists are a core part of his support base. Austin says “The constituency sees China’s regime as totally hostile to their values”.

http://www.globalcapital.com/special-reports?issueId=tgmngl34p42s


Dutch export credit agency can finance Russia’s shipbuilding projects despite sanctions

(PortNews, Moscow, 21 Septeember 2015) The Dutch export credit agency is ready to finance shipbuilding projects in Russia, Jan Fijnekam, Customer Finance Manager at Damen Shipyards, said today, September 21, at the International Conference “Advanced port fleet - the basis of safety” organized by media-group PortNews.

http://en.portnews.ru/news/206830/


Oman's ORPIC to use debt to finance most of $5.2 bln plastics plant

(Reuters, SOHAR, Oman, 8 September 2015) State-owned Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (ORPIC) will borrow money to finance 70 percent of its $5.2 billion plastics production complex, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday. The complex, the Liwa Plastics Project, is being built in the northern port city of Sohar and aims to further diversify the sultanate's economy away from hydrocarbons. It is due to be completed in 2018. ORPIC has contacted 35 banks - both domestic and international - and eight export credit agencies, to fund the project.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/08/oman-orpic-debt-idUSL5N11E1RK20150908


What's New August 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

  • New coal-fired power enjoys support among bankers in Germany and Asia
  • Chinese lenders lead team to finance Indian coal power plant in Zambia
  • Europeans Rush to Profit from Iran Deal
  • Boeing strikes back hard at Export-Import bank opponents
  • SACE tops ECA table, as big-hitters see slowdown
  • WTO to partner with Nigeria's NEXIM bank to promote regional trade
  • Finnvera Group’s Interim Report for January-June 2015

New coal-fired power enjoys support among bankers in Germany and Asia

(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.

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060023389


Chinese lenders lead team to finance Indian coal power plant in Zambia

(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.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/05/china-zambia-coal-financing-idUSL3N10B...


Europeans Rush to Profit from Iran Deal

(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

http://jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11961%3Aeu...


Boeing strikes back hard at Export-Import bank opponents

(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

http://fortune.com/2015/08/25/boeing-export-import-bank/


SACE tops ECA table, as big-hitters see slowdown

(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.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/5193/SACE-tops-ECA-table-as-big-hitters-see-...


WTO to partner with Nigeria's NEXIM bank to promote regional trade

(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.

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/banking-and-finance/189178-%E2%80%8Bworld...


Finnvera Group’s Interim Report for January-June 2015

(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.

http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/08/13/760471/0/en/The-Finnvera-Group-...


What's New July 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

  • Senate Resurrection of Export-Import Bank Goes to Divided House
  • EU tries again for compromise on deal to phase out coal aid via ECAs
  • France’s plans to end coal export credits at risk of cancellation
  • First ever offshore renminbi (RMB) financing - UKEF aircraft support
  • Italy, UK and Korea see billions in export boost from lifting of Iran sanctions
  • Japan's NEXI halts export insurance cover for Venezuela
  • U.S. Ex-Im Bank Suspends $1 Billion Loan for Energy in India
  • Moody's: Boeing will be hardest hit if Congress does not revive Ex-Im Bank
  • Russia extends military export credit of USD 200 million to Armenian

Senate Resurrection of Export-Import Bank Stalled by Divided House

(New York Times, Washington, 25 & 29 July 2015) In a rare and fiery weekend session, the Senate voted on Sunday to resurrect the federal Export-Import Bank, handing the Republican Party’s most conservative wing a major defeat and setting up a showdown this week with House leaders divided over the moribund export credit agency. Congress recessed on Wednesday however without reauthorizing the 81-year-old agency, leaving its future more uncertain than ever before. Though conservatives were all but claiming a scalp in their crusade to shrink government, the Ex-Im Bank is not closed entirely. It must still manage a $107 billion portfolio of loans and loan guarantees, It cannot, however, enter new contracts and without reauthorization it will wind down over time. An alliance of exporters will continue to lobby to revive the agency, then, in part by alerting local and national media to examples of export deals and jobs that are threatened if foreign buyers turn to companies in China, Russia and other countries that provide credit assistance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/27/business/senate-resurrection-of-export-import-...


EU tries again for compromise on deal to phase out coal aid via ECAs

(Reuters, Brussels, 27 July 2015) EU bosses are pushing to resolve a clash between industry and environmental policy with a new strategy to phase out funding to export coal technology to developing nations, ahead of a meeting of leading economic powers on the issue. The European Commission, the EU executive, urges tougher rules on when subsidies, known as coal export credits, can be used in a paper seen by Reuters, ahead of interim talks this week. Political pressure is growing to reach agreement on restricting the coal subsidies before United Nations climate change talks in Paris at the end of the year. But opposition is also strong. Negotiations at the Paris-based OECD in June ended in statemate as Japan, the biggest user of export credits that help companies such as Toshiba Corp to sell coal plant and mining technology abroad, led resistance.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/07/27/eu-coal-idUKL5N10724H20150727


France’s plans to end coal export credits at risk of cancellation

(Bellona Foundation, Oslo, 20 July 2015) Earlier this year the French government announced plans to withdraw credits for the construction of coal power plants in developing countries (‘export credits’). The French President noted that guarantees would only be granted to plants equipped with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. Bellona is, however, disappointed to find that France may be abandoning these promises due to feared economic losses for the energy sector.

http://bellona.org/news/climate-change/2015-07-frances-plans-end-export-subsidie...


First ever offshore renminbi (RMB) financing - UKEF aircraft support

(TXF News, London, 17 July 2015) The UK export credit agency and HSBC have teamed to arrange the first ever offshore renminbi (RMB) financing for an aircraft purchase – in this case the sale of a new Airbus A330-300 passenger aircraft to China Southern Airlines. The transaction represents a huge step forward in terms of export credit agencies (ECAs) expanding their range of new currencies to match the requirements of clients. [GTR: David Godfrey, UKEF chief executive, says: “[The] Rmb is already the second most used currency in trade finance after the US dollar and we fully expect to support many more such deals in the future.”]

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/5142/Landmark-deal-sees-UK-Export-Finance-an...


Italy, UK and Korea see billions in export boost from lifting of Iran sanctions

(Reuters, Milan, 14 July 2015) A gradual lifting of sanctions against Iran could lift Italian exports to the Asian country by around 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the next four years, Italy's export credit agency SACE said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Britain's export credit agency UKEF also announced on Tursday the initiation of a review of Iran to assess creditworthiness after a nuclear deal was reached between world powers and Tehran. South Korea's export credit agency also pledged to provide financial support to Korean firms trying to secure business in Iran, as industrial countries jockey to enter the market after the nuclear deal.

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFI6N0ZG01A20150714


Japan's NEXI halts export insurance cover for Venezuela

Argus, Kyoto, 13 July 2015) Japan's state-backed export insurance agency Nexi has suspended underwriting new insurance for trade and investment in Venezuela as the Latin American producer faces foreign currency shortages amid weaker oil prices. Nexi will halt issuing almost all new insurance policies for trade deals and investment in Venezuela tomorrow and some comprehensive export credit and buyers' credit insurance by 21 July. The move follows some Japanese trading houses failing to recover around ¥20bn ($160mn) in payments from Venezuelan firms for their automobile exports.

http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=1069520


U.S. Ex-Im Bank Suspends $1 Billion Loan for Energy in India

(Bloomberg, Washington, 7 July 2015) The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s $1 billion program to boost India’s clean-energy industry has been suspended after the institution’s lending authority lapsed, an Indian government official working on the project said. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd., or Ireda, signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. export credit bank in November covering the program. The funding wasn’t finalized when the Ex-Im Bank’s charter expired on June 30.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-07/u-s-ex-im-bank-suspends-1-bill...


Moody's: Boeing will be hardest hit if Congress does not revive Ex-Im Bank

(Moodys, New York, 22 July 2015) Without the renewal of the US Export-Import Bank charter, which Congress allowed to expire at the end of June 2015, aerospace giant The Boeing Company will take the biggest blow, says Moody's Investors Service in a new report. Moody's does expect that the US Congress will ultimately reauthorize the charter, but this is far from assured and the timing is unclear.

https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-Boeing-will-be-hardest-hit-if-Congress-do...


Russia extends military export credit of USD 200 million to Armenian

(Armenpress, Yerevan, 1 July 2015) The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of Armenia has examined a Russian export credit agreement signed on June 26, 2015. The agreement was introduced into the National Assembly of Armenia by Ara Nazaryan, the deputy minister of defense, who said Russia will extend to Armenia a state export credit of USD 200 million to finance the purchase of Russian military hardware. The agreement was ratified by the Armenian parliament on July 2nd.

http://armenpress.am/eng/news/811006/russia-to-extend-a-state-export-credit-of-u...


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