ECA Watch Newsletter

What's New September 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices
  • The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects
  • Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits
  • China says it is helping Africa develop - not pile up ECA debt
  • Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project
  • Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support
  • UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales
  • China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war
  • International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?
  • Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 26 September 2018) Ottawa has ordered the nation’s export credit agency to consider more carefully the human-rights implications of loans and insurance it offers in support of Canadian businesses. A Sept. 24 letter from International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr to Martine Irman, chair of Export Development Canada’s board of directors, urged the Crown corporation to ensure its internal procedures accord with Canada’s obligations under international humanitarian law. Human-rights and environmental-advocacy groups have criticized EDC for decades over what they say is a pattern of giving financial assistance to companies involved in harmful projects overseas. “The agency is essentially self-governing in the areas like environment, human rights and anti-corruption,” Karyn Keenan, director at ECA-Watch member Above Ground. Above Ground's submission to EDC on strengthening environmental and human rights protection can be found here and their recommendations on bringing EDC’s climate change policy in line with Canada’s commitments can be found here.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ottawa-orders-export-developmen...


The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects

(Daily Maverick, Johannesburg, 3 September 2018) The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) uses public funds for international projects it chooses to invest in. Right now, the agency is considering lending a part of $14-billion needed by US energy company Anadarko for a giant liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. Four ECAs are showing interest in providing them with credit for $12-billion of that amount –Italy (SACE), Japan (JBIC), China (C-EXIM), the US (US EXIM) and South Africa. According to an EIA conducted for Anadarko by Environmental Resources Management/Impacto, there will be “major” negative environmental and social impacts during the construction and operational phases. According to ECIC CEO Mandisi Nkuhlu, they are not bound by the ECA transparency guidelines of the OECD. The ECAs involved have collectively contracted an Italian consulting firm, RINA, to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the project. For local communities and the environment the project will be disastrous. The project is leaving entire communities landless, with no livelihood, and insufficient resettlement and compensation, if any. Unique ecosystems such as mangroves, endangered species of sea life, ocean flora and pristine beaches will be put at great risk. ECAs have a history of funding projects that are sometimes corrupt, violate human and environmental rights, and are financially and ethically questionable. The Canadian ECA, Export Development Canada, financed $41-million of a $52-million jet sold by Canadian company Bombardier to the notorious Gupta family, who have been deeply embroiled in state capture and systemic corruption in South Africa. The Canadian agency lent the Guptas $41-million to purchase a Canadian product from a company that was struggling financially.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-09-03-sa-export-agency-invest-billi...


Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits

(Global Legal Post, London, 29 August 2018) 20 environmental and civil liberties groups have joined foceces to protest against companies using lawsuits they say are aimed at silencing critics. The ‘Protect the Protest’ task force is targeting what it says are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, which use legal action and the threat of financial risk to deter people and groups from speaking out against something they oppose. The twenty environmental and civil liberties groups say the lawsuits are aimed at limiting free speech and silencing critics. Katie Redford, co-founder and director of EarthRights International, says ‘we know from our own experience that this legal bullying tactic will work if it's not shut down.’

http://www.globallegalpost.com/corporate-counsel/environmental-groups-to-campaig...


China says it is helping africa develop - not pile up ECA debt

(Reuters, Beijing, 4 September 2018) A wave of African nations seeking to restructure their debt with China has served as a reality check for Beijing’s ties with the continent, though most of its countries still see Chinese lending as the best bet to develop their economies. China is helping Africa develop, not pile up debt, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday, as the government pushes back against criticism it is loading the continent with an unsustainable burden during a major summit in Beijing. Bloomberg noted that in recent months, Beijing has faced criticism about its debt practices from countries ranging from Australia to India, with even some Chinese academics airing doubts at home. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned against “a new version of colonialism” during a visit to Beijing last month after suspending a $20 billion Chinese-built rail project. Claims that China was an “economic predator” in Africa, pillaging natural resources and dragging it into a debt crisis, were “as false as they are sensational,” the Xinhua official news agency said in a commentary. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged debt relief to some poorer African nations, attempting to push back against a major criticism of his signature Belt and Road Initiative. A recent Time Magazine opinion piece noted "As African countries sink deeper and deeper into Beijing’s carefully laid debt trap, the United States could pay a steep cost in reduced cooperation on counterterrorism and job creation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-africa/china-says-it-is-helping-africa-...


Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project

(Daily Trust, Abuja, 3 September 2018) China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has assured the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of its unflinching commitment towards securing funding for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project. Financing for the 40-inch by 614km AKK gas pipeline, enabling connectivity between the East, West and North that is currently non-existent, is expected to cost about $2.8 billion, for the project described as the single biggest gas pipeline in the history of oil and gas operations in Nigeria. While 85 percent of the money is expected to be funded by the financiers which include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency (ECA) providing insurance cover, the remaining 15 percent will be provided by the contractors which include Oilserve/Oando consortium, as well as Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP) Bureau consortium.

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/chinese-oil-firm-agrees-to-secure-funds-for-nnpcs-...


Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support

(Handelsblatt, Berlin, 24 September 2018) German engineering conglomerate Siemens is nearing a massive contract to boost Iraq’s power generation infrastructure. The deal is thought to be worth between €8 and €13 billion ($11.75 – $15.25 billion) and consists of numerous smaller projects. They would involve partnerships with local contractors, which would receive part of the sum. Siemens' chief Joe Kaeser meeting with Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, in Baghdad, came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel had put in a special call to Mr. al-Abadi in support of the deal, government sources told Handelsblatt. A senior official in the economics ministry joined Mr. Kaeser to Iraq and Ms. Merkel’s government has also promised extensive export credit guarantees. If successful, the contract will be one of the largest in the company’s history.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies/siemens-massive-iraq-deal-germany-ge-g...


UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales

(The Canary, London, 15 September 2018) UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently hailed the UAE’s important role and pioneering initiatives to promote international peace and security and combat extremism and terrorism. Javid’s comments come after the UN released a report on 28 August indicating the UAE may be guilty of committing war crimes in Yemen. In April 2018, the UK Government’s Export Credit Agency declared that the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is a member, is a priority market and it established a “dedicated UK Export Finance team” based in the UAE. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UAE is Britain’s ninth largest purchaser of arms. From 2008 to 2018, UK weapons sales to the UAE totalled nearly £904m, a number which increases to more than £7.3bn if “dual-use” technology is included.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2018/09/15/sajid-javid-hails-a-country-accused-...


China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war

(South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 21 September 2018) The Export-Import Bank of China, the country’s leading provider of export financing, will team up with other government agencies to help companies who have been hit hard by the US trade tariffs. Following Tuesday’s meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, Premier Li Keqiang announced a series of measures to support exporters, including cutting customs clearance red tape, reducing the cost of customs procedures, expanding export credit insurance and increasing export tax rebates. The announcement came hours after the US imposed tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, on top of the $50 billion Chinese imports already sanctioned.

https://www.scmp.com/news/article/2165169/chinas-exim-bank-boost-lending-effort-...


International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?

(Out-Law, London, 4 September 2018)  A new UK authority called the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has been established to better inform businesses of the risks that arise from financial and trade sanctions that restrict trade and transactions with sanctioned persons, businesses and certain sectors. Arms embargoes and restrictions on exporting equipment and technology that can be used by the military are common and generally understood. What is also common, but less well understood, are the prohibitions or licence requirements on doing business with the thousands of people who are listed on sanctions lists or connected with such persons, and the sectoral trade restrictions can apply. For example, US government officials are warning UK banks (and OECD ECAs?) not to breach US sanctions against Iran and Russia. China's state-controlled Sinopec is pressing ahead with a $1.06bn upgrade project at Iran's 400,000 b/d Abadan refinery, despite the imminent return of US sanctions on Iran's energy sector. Companies have been rethinking plans to invest in Iran since the US withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. Some contracts have been cancelled with state-owned NIOC and its subsidiaries.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/september/international-trade-increased...


Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

(Korea Times, Bangkok, 9 September 2018) [translation] At the UN office in Bangkok, Thailand, where negotiations were held to prepare detailed guidelines on the implementation of the 2015 Paris Convention on Climate Change, there were dozens of Asian environmental group activists including Japan's Friends of the Earth and WWF China Office. They criticized Korea, China, and Japan for their financial support for coal-fired power plants in Asia. "South Korea is one of the world's largest financial supporters of coal-fired power," said Bhadiy Dindinger, a member of the INSAF environmental group in India. "It has a huge impact on health damage and climate change."

http://www.eca-watch.org/dodgy-deals/asian-environmental-groups-strongly-crlitic...


What's New August 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee
  • European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies
  • Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights
  • ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey
  • US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China
  • South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit
  • Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support
  • Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran
  • Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis
  • Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court
  • ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project
  • France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy
  • Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities
  • UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel
  • Trinidadian form minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee

(Washington Examiner, Washington, 23 August 2018) The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday voted 25-0 in favor of Kimberly Reed to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. export credit agency, which the group Friends of the Earth fears could be a move to subsidize fossil fuel projects around the world. The environmental group warns that billions of dollars in federal subsidies could be released once Trump's nominee is seated, as 13 fossil fuel projects are still pending at the bank. “There are serious concerns that Ex-Im under Reed will return to its past practice of supporting projects that damage the global climate, harm community health, violate human rights and hasten corruption,” said Kate DeAngelis, senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, after the vote.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/friends-of-the-earth-warns-agai...


European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies

(Bankwatch, Prague, 9 July 2018)  The European Ombudsman has sided with the civil society demanding the European Commission to improve its oversight of the EU Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). The decision upholds an earlier ruling that required the Commission to ensure better compliance of these financial institutions with the EU law.

https://bankwatch.org/blog/ombudsman-calls-for-greater-transparency-of-export-cr...


Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights

(OECD Watch, Amsterdam, 20 August 2018) NCP finds company failed to do due diligence and breached the Guidelines at Turkey's Ilisu mega-dam. On 20 August 2018, the Dutch NCP released its final statement on the case of FIVAS et al v. Bresser, the first OECD Guidelines case filed on the subject of cultural rights as human rights. The statement determines Bresser “has not fully met the expectations and satisfied the due diligence criteria of the OECD Guidelines”. In July 2017, Fivas helped Turkish communities file a complaint with the Dutch NCP against Bresser, an SME that performs foundation relocation projects. The Ilisu Dam was the first ever project to have export credit guarantees from European governments withdrawn after the guarantees had already been agreed. ECA Watch members campaigned hard to make this happen.

https://mailchi.mp/7d9c602b92e3/case-alert-new-oecd-guidelines-complaint-against...


ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 28 August 2018) When President Trump agreed to press Israel to release a Turkish prisoner in exchange for Turkey's release of an American Christian pastor, Israel complied but Turkey didn't, resulting in a crippling increase in US tarifs on Turkey, including threats of possible export credit sanctions. In a similar case in July 2018, a German journalist arrested in Turkey was released when Germany, Turkey’s biggest trading partner, lifted export credit guarantee sanctions implemented a year earlier to protest the arrests and the ongoing Turkish state of emergency (OHAL). When faced with the prospect of losing export credits and a project to update Turkey's German-made Leopard tanks, Erdoğan changed course and freed Die Welt correspondent DenizYücel without a trial. Turkey had originally asked the US release a Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions as well as to waive U.S. government fines totaling billions of dollars against Turkey's state owned Halkbank over violations of US sanctions on Iran.




US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China

(NASDAQ, New York, 3 August 2018) The United States, Japan and Australia are collaborating to form an alliance that will aim to finance infrastructure projects across Asia. The partnership is a move to lower China's influence on the Indo-Pacific region through the Chinese government's Belt and Road initiative. A 30 July joint statement by U.S., Australian and Japanese official investment, finance and export-credit bodies noted that: "The United States, Japan, and Australia have formed a trilateral partnership to mobilise investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

https://www.nasdaq.com/help/contact-information.aspx


South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit

(Devdiscourse, Haryana India, 27 August 2018) President Cyril Ramaphosa is next week set to travel to Beijing, where he will co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit. The gathering is set to put infrastructure and industrial development at center stage. “These areas are aimed at addressing the three bottlenecks in Africa, as identified by China and Africa, which are hampering Africa’s development, namely, inadequate infrastructure; lack of professional and skilled personnel and a funding shortage. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding. To build the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, China committed to implementing 10 cooperation plans with Africa, namely in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/137366-south-africa-to-co-chair-forum-on-ch...


Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 7 August 2018) India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other, said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). With the US imposing additional duty of 25% on imports worth $34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive, according to CII. It was noted that Indian companies require better access to export credit to intensify the export effort.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/us-china-trade-differences-to-...


Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 August 2018) Two weeks after renewed US sanctions against Iran, it appears trade credit insurers are winding down the little business they had reinstated in the country since 2016. Arash Shahraini, board member and deputy CEO of the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) stated that "After the announcement of the US sanctions, all private credit insurers who had some interests in dealing with the US stopped their cover on Iran. Now as far as I know, only export credit agencies (ECAs) continue to give cover to Iran.” Technically speaking, cover cannot be cancelled retrospectively, so companies should be able to use the insurance they have already subscribed to in case of default due to the re-implementation of sanctions. Iranian companies that have made use of private insurance will now have to turn to other options, such as ECAs. “Right now, I am in the process of negotiations for some transactions and projects for getting cover from ECAs for Iranian projects and transactions,” noted Katayoon Valizadeh, a senior consultant in credit insurance and risk management in Tehran.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/mena/trumps-sanctions-halt-trade-credit-insurers-r...


Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 August 2018) The Danish export credit agency EKF has frozen all new guarantees to Turkey, as concerns about the country’s economic health continue to mount. The Turkish lira has lost more than 45% of its value this year and continued its plunge this week amid a growing geopolitical storm between Turkey and the US.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/danish-government-freezes-new-guarantees-to...


Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 9 August 2018) For the Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani group, the fate of its ambitious coal mine-to-rail project in Australia could hinge on a court case filed by native owners of the land in question, near the Carmichael mine in the province of Queensland. Environment groups and others in opposition have alleged the current ruling party in Australia has helped Adani in getting regulations and clearances for the project, including possible EFIC support. Adani had signed a land agreement with the local authorities now being contested in court by native Wangan and Jagalingou land claimants. Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners in the area did not consent to the Carmichael mine. Since 2012, their claim is that group meetings rejected a Land Use Agreement with Adani four times, the latest in December 2017. Five members of the W&J Native Title filed case in the high court on behalf of the claim group in August 2017. Sources said Adani had not been able to tie up any financing for the coal project. Jeyakumar Janakraj, chief executive and country head, Adani Group Australia, told this publication last year that the company was in talks with leading global financers and export credit funds from China and Korea in this regard.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/adani-s-rail-project-in-aust...


ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project

(Global Trade Review, London, 22 August 2018) Peruvian miner Minsur has secured US$900mn in project financing for its Mina Justa copper mine. The lenders are: BBVA Continental, BBVA, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Crédit Agricole, Export Development Canada (EDC), Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC, the Australian ECA), ING, KfW Ipex-Bank, Natixis, SG Americas Securities, Société Générale and the Export Import Bank of Korea (Kexim). Mina Justa is set to produce 100,000 tonnes of copper a year when it comes online in 2020. Total project cost is expected to run to US$1.77bn, with Minsur providing the rest of the capital. The mine will be located in the district of Marcona, in Nazca province, in the Ica region of Peru.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/lenders-flock-to-huge-peruvian-project-fi...


France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy

(Trend News Agency, Baku, 24 August 2018) French CIFAL company is ready to help Uzbekistan in the development of nuclear energy noting they are ready to provide their technological solutions and share experience to train specialists of Uzbekistan in the field of nuclear energy. CIFAL plans to support the Uzbekistan's Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy "Uzatom" in the implementation of technical, commercial and financial negotiations with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" and also take part in the solution of issues of financing of the project in coordination with the Uzbek and Russian sides. The Russian side proposes to build in Uzbekistan a station consisting of two modern blocks of pressurized-water reactors VVER-1200 of "3+" generation. The project for the construction of a similar station, which Rosatom is building in Bangladesh, is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion are provided by Russia as an officially supported export credit.

https://menafn.com/1097337844/French-CIFAL-ready-to-help-Uzbekistan-develop-nucl...


Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities

(VESTNIK, Moscow, 13 August 2018) Arms supplies on credit are a usual practice. Almost all countries involved in the sphere of military-technical cooperation practice it. The reasons for this may be different, but usually they are of purely political nature: this is the way a country that provides a state export credit for the purchase of weapons produced in the same country indicates that the recipient country is considered as if not an ally, then a very close partner, friend, the Independent Military Review writes. That's who the Republic of Armenia (RA) was for Russia for a long time. Yerevan received both political and military support (including the Russian military base) and economic preferences from Moscow. The Kremlin's position on Nagorno-Karabakh was also quite clear. That is why no one was surprised when in 2015 the Russian Federation agreed to provide the RA with a $200 million loan to buy weapons. Last month, deliveries under this loan agreement, which entered into force in February 2016, were completed. In recent years, the balance of forces in the South Caucasus has been violated because of the growing military power of Azerbaijan, which threatened the resumption of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Arms supplies from Russia will help to slow down the escalation of the conflict, bringing the military advantage of one of the parties to an approximate equality. But not everyone is happy to see the military-technical cooperation of Moscow and Yerevan. According to a Worldwide Threats Assessment report of the director of US National Intelligence Daniel Coats, "both sides' reluctance to compromise, mounting domestic pressures, Azerbaijan's steady military modernization, and Armenia's acquisition of new Russian equipment sustain the risk of large-scale hostilities in 2018."

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Russian-weapons-in-Armenia.html


UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel

(Global Trade Review, London, 24 August 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF), the country’s export credit agency, is providing a guarantee for a US$125mn loan from Citi to El Al Israel Airlines to finance their purchase of one Rolls-Royce-powered Boeing 787 aircraft. The deal is part of Rolls-Royce’s contract to supply engines for 16 such aircraft for the Israeli airline. According to UK international trade secretary Liam Fox, this contract is “the largest single export deal the UK has had with Israel, and a marker of the strength of the trade relationship between the two countries”. The announcement comes days after the UK government launched its new export strategy, which lays the foundation for how the government plans to support exporters in the years ahead.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/ukef-backs-countrys-largest-export-deal-wit...


Trinidadian former minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

(Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, Port of Spain, 15 August 2018) Former minister Devant Maharaj today said he is still waiting for a reply from the Australian government about concerns he has about alleged corruption in the procurement of two naval vessels for the Coast Guard. Maharaj told Newsday he sent correspondence to Australian Attorney General Christian Porter outlining his concerns by e-mail and a hard copy of his letter was delivered to the Australian High Commission in St Clair as well. Maharaj insisted six fast patrol boats acquired from Austalia under the former administration were not suited for TT's waters. Trinidad's National Security Minister Stuart Young said the purchase of 12 Damen naval vessels by the former government prior to the September 2015 general elections is now under international criminal investigation, and attacked Maharaj's allegations of corruption. Funding for the procurement of the vessels was to come through the Export Credit Agency of Australia.

https://newsday.co.tt/2018/08/15/devant-waits-for-australia/


What's New July 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines
  • European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs
  • Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs
  • Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack
  • Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office
  • Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing
  • Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline
  • World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threa
  • Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets
  • Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels
  • Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters
  • Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank tal
  • ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 28 June 2018) Following years of advocating with the Dutch export credit agency Atradius Dutch State Business (ADSB) to establish a complaints mechanism, and following active discussions between a number of Dutch NGOs and the Dutch ECA in recent months, ADSB has published new “Guidelines for submitting a complaint”. While this does not yet compare to an independent complaints mechanism, it at least offers an additional venue for communities affected by ADSB supported projects to make eventual complaints known to the Dutch ECA, and hopefully to start a process to resolve issues raised. This comes in addition to the venue of filing a complaint under the OECD Guidelines for MNEs to the Dutch NCP. We welcome these Guidelines as an important step forward. As always the usefulness of the new procedure will have to be proven following the submission of real complaints from the ground.




European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs

(European Ombudsman, Brussels, 17 July 2018) Following a complaint launched by ECA Watch members, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Commission wrongly decided not to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to the 2015 Sector Understanding on Export Credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects, negotiated in the context of the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits. The Ombudsman found maladministration on the part of the Commission for having taken this decision in the absence of a thorough analysis of whether it was likely there would be any significant economic, social or environmental impacts, including on human rights. The Arrangement and its subsidiary Sector Understandings are a loosely monitored “Gentlemen’s Agreement” among participating OECD members, which provide “a framework for the orderly use of officially supported export credits”. This is a welcome decision and follows the Ombudsman's recent demand for greater transparency on the part of European ECAs.

https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/recommendation/en/99655


Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs

(UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 2 May 2018) The report, prepared pursuant to Council resolutions 17/4 and 35/7 for discussion at its 18 June to 6 July 2018 meetings, examines the duty of States to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises, including export credit agencies, to whom they provide support for trade and investment promotion. It explores how States can incentivize business respect for human rights in this context, including through withdrawal of trade and investment support in situations where businesses fail to meet their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Nine of the 20 pages cover examples and gaps in good ECA practices and moving beyond OECD efforts to avoid race to the bottom approaches. It notes that current National [human rights] Action Plans do not include discussions of the ways in which export credit agencies address and enable access to remedy by rights holders who are harmed in connection with a project or transaction funded or supported by an export credit agency.

http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/HRC/38/48&Lang=E


Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack

(Tampa Bay Times, Bismark, 26 July 2018) A federal judge has ruled that the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline has no claim under federal racketeering law for damages against a Dutch environmental group that urged banks not to finance the $3.8 billion project. U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson dismissed Netherlands-based BankTrack as a defendant in a lawsuit that Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners filed in August against that group, Greenpeace and Earth First. In separate rulings this week, he also cast doubt on whether the lawsuit will succeed against the other two groups. Wilson said the lawsuit "vaguely attempts" to connect BankTrack to acts of radical ecoterrorism, but he concluded that "None of BankTrack's actions promoted, assisted or condoned violent criminal conduct,". BankTrack Director Johan Frijns in a statement said the judge's ruling "confirms that this type of advocacy work is legitimate."

https://www.tampabay.com/judge-says-dakota-access-developer-cant-sue-banktrack-a...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018) Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine. They say the Adani coalmine would fail EFIC's three investment rules requiring projects to be commercially viable, in the national interest and in the public interest. There were more than 20 similar protests held across Australia on Friday and Saturday.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing

(Space News, Washington, 19 July 2018) Kimberly Reed, President Trump’s latest nominee to chair the Export-Import Bank of the United States, received a warm reception during a July 19 Senate hearing, indicating a much stronger chance for her confirmation than Trump’s initial pick, Scott Garrett. Members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee spent the majority of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing questioning another Trump nominee, Kathleen Laura Kraninger, for director of the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, allotting little time on Reed. Reed’s approval would bring Ex-Im Bank closer to the minimum three full board members needed to approve export credit transactions over $10 million,

https://spacenews.com/ex-im-bank-nominee-fairs-well-in-senate-hearing/


Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline

(Azernews, New York, 28 July 2018) A presentation titled “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline: A new energy Great Silk Road to provide access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” was organized at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York with the assistance of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. “Turkmenistan views this gas pipeline as a new energy Silk Road that will connect the regions of Central Asia and South Asia," said Aksoltan Atayeva, Turkmen ambassador to the UN. A road show on financing issues is planned in July to promote the TAPI gas pipeline project and hold negotiations. Several meetings have already been held with a number of export credit agencies (including SACE, Hermes and ECIO), which expressed support for the project. In other news, the TAP project has so far secured €1.5 ($1.74) billion in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and further contributions from the export credit agencies of France, Germany and Italy are currently under consideration. The pipeline is owned by BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%).

https://www.azernews.az/region/135140.html


World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threats

(AFP, Vienna, 6 July 2018) Iran’s remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed Friday to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy despite the US withdrawal and sanctions threat. Britain, France and Germany along with Russia and China met with Iran in Vienna to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions announced by Trump. Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover and maintain open air, sea and overland transport links.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/world-powers-back-iran-oil-exports-despite-us-sanc...


Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets

(Bloomberg, Doha, 10 July 2018) Qatar is seeking to raise more than $4 billion from banks to finance the purchase of Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The government is working with financial advisers on the deal that it is said will be backed by export credit agencies. The gas-rich Gulf state is also holding talks with banks and export credit agencies from Italy, France and the U.K. to raise billions of dollars in loans for other defense deals, two other people said. Qatar is beefing up defense spending after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with it in June 2017, accusing the country of close links to Iran and financing terrorism.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-11/qatar-is-said-to-seek-4-billi...


Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels

(Oil Change International, Washington, 23 July 2018) Each year, approximately $20 billion from government-backed financial institutions around the world flows to energy projects in Africa. According to a new analysis by Oil Change International, nearly 60 percent of this finance from 2014 through 2016 went to support fossil fuel development, compared to 18 percent for clean energy projects. Much of the bilateral public finance for energy in Africa appears to support the commercial interests of the countries providing the finance. In part, this is because a third of the finance assessed in this analysis comes from export credit agencies, which aim to support home-country companies to secure business overseas. Titled “Assessing International Public Finance for Energy in Africa: Where Do Development and Climate Priorities Stand?”, the report examines financial flows and support from development agencies, export credit agencies, and major development banks to energy in Africa.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2018/07/23/report-public-finance-energy-af...


Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters

(Sputnik International, Moscow, 13 July 2018) The construction work on the second unit of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), which is the first ever nuclear power plant for Bangladesh, is scheduled to be launched next Saturday. On July 8, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), issued a license to Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for the design and construction of RNPP Unit 2. The project will cost around $13 billion, of which Russia provides a state export credit of up to $11.38 billion and the rest is financed by the government of Bangladesh. "In RNPP we will have the 'Generation 3+' technology, developed from the experience of Japan's Fukushima disaster, which will ensure more safety and security in case of tsunami, cyclone and other similar type of disasters," Dr. Shaheed Hossain, consultant of RNPP Project told Sputnik.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201807131066321010-rooppur-npp-safe-against-natural...


Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank talks

(Reuters, London, 12 July 2018) Exxon Mobil will expand its Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique by half to cut production costs as the partners prepare to book the plant's supply and formally tap lenders in September, the company told Reuters. The U.S. oil giant took charge of the East African LNG project's onshore operations following a $2.8 billion deal with Italy's Eni last year, adding to its suite of projects in Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the United States. Mozambique's two rival LNG projects are ramping up to take final investment decisions (FID) in 2019 and both are teeing up buyers and loans to underpin hefty construction costs. But there the similarities end. Anadarko Petroleum's approach involves raising a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies (ECAs) to fund the build. At the same time, it is lining up long-term LNG sales deals with external companies in China, Asia and Europe to guarantee the loans. Exxon in contrast will finance a larger share of costs from its own pockets as well as drawing on project partners, including Eni, Korea Gas Corp and China National Petroleum Corporation, bank and industry sources say.

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/exxon-expands-mozambique-lng-project-to-cut-costs...


ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

(Daily Monitor, Kampala, 24 July 2018) Uganda hurriedly firmed up plans to revamp the country’s defunct airline in March 2019, after signing a purchase agreement for four Canadian Regional Jets 900 series, while at the Farnborough airshow in the United Kingdom. Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for two A330 planes that are to be delivered in October 2020. Since Uganda doesn’t have the money to purchase the aircraft, it has committed to borrow from different lenders, on yet to be agreed terms. The biggest value of the loan will be provided by four Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). Export Development Canada will provide 80 per cent of the money to buy regional jets from Bombardier. United Kingdom Export Finance, Bpifrance, the French Public Investment Bank, and Euler Hermes a company that provides credit insurance, bonding and debt collection services will deliver the 80 per cent of the $215.4 million (Ush800.2 billion) needed for two the long haul planes from Airbus.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Reviving-Uganda-Airlines-How-government-...


What's New June 2018

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!

ECA Watch applaudes European Ombudsman demand for greater EU ECA transparency on human rights and environmental impacts

(ECA Watch, Amsterdam, 28 June, 2018) ECA-watch applauds the European Ombudsman’s ruling on maladministration of the European Commission in checking compliance of European Export Credit Agencies with EU law In a landmark ruling1, the European Ombudsman has found that the European Commission failed to fulfil its legal obligation to assess the compliance of EU-based official Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) with EU laws and human rights obligations. The Ombudsman has recommended that changes be introduced to the EC’s reporting procedures. If implemented, the ruling could mean that EU-based ECAs – national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business overseas, including in ‘risky’ markets – are to be named and shamed where their activities fail to meet EU human rights and environmental obligations.

http://www.eca-watch.org/publications/eca-watch-applaudes-european-ombudsman-dem...


Turkey Halts Filling Tigris Dam After Iraq Complains of Water Shortages

(Reuters, Ankara/Baghdad, 7 June 2018) Turkey has temporarily stopped filling a huge dam on the Tigris River after complaints from neighboring Iraq, which is suffering water shortages, officials said on Thursday. Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad and Iraq's water minister also said that the two countries had agreed that when Ankara resumes filling the Ilisu dam in July it will still allow sufficient water to flow into Iraq. The dam, more than 20 years in the making, will generate electricity for a large area of southeast Turkey. But it has been heavily criticized over its impact on the environment and on the tens of thousands of villagers who will be displaced. Its waters will also submerge a 12,000-year-old town.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-06-07/turkey-halts-filling-of-il...


U.S. embassy warns Americans to leave northeastern Mozambique due to imminent attacks

(AfricaNews/Reuters, Maputo, 12 June 2018) The U.S. embassy in Mozambique said Americans should consider leaving a northeastern district close to a major gas field as imminent attacks are likely after suspected Islamist militants beheaded 10 people and killed seven others since May. Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project there, sources close to the matter said in May. The company declined to comment on reports it had suspended work on its massive LNG project in the war-scarred southeastern African country. Environmental NGOs and Mozambicans have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan.

http://www.africanews.com/2018/06/12/us-embassy-warns-americans-to-leave-northea...


Trump taps nominee to lead Export-Import Bank

(The Hill, Washington, 20 June 201) President Trump on Wednesday nominated Kimberly Reed to lead the Export-Import Bank, taking a step toward getting the agency running back at full lending strength. The 84-year-old bank has been in financial limbo over the past three years, short of enough members on its board of directors to make loans above $10 million. During her November confirmation hearing, Reed said that she looked "forward to bringing two decades of bipartisan experience to my work at the Bank, which has more than 400 dedicated career professionals." A Wall Street Journal commentator noted that "By turning to Ms. Reed, a former Treasury Department staffer during the George W. Bush administration, the White House is backing a nominee for the bank who thinks the Ex-Im Bank’s role is essential for the U.S. to counter foreign governments that operate their own export-finance agencies. At her nomination hearing late last year for a less-senior post at the bank, she said not having a functional export-finance agency amounted to “unilateral disarmament.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/393383-trump-taps-nominee-to-lead-export-impor...


Europe says U.S. Threat of Sanctions Imperils Bid to Save Iran Deal

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 6 JUne 2018) Senior European officials conceded in a letter to the Trump administration that their efforts to save the Iranian nuclear accord by maintaining major trade, investment and export credits with Tehran are buckling in the face of planned U.S. sanctions. European countries have vowed to keep commerce with Iran flowing in order to persuade Tehran to remain in the accord and restrict its nuclear activity. An effort to persuade central banks to make one-off payments to Iran to pay for future oil imports has so far borne little fruit, officials say. The EU is still working on giving Iran fuller access to European Investment Bank loans. Officials are also considering extending credit lines, like the €5 billion ($5.85 billion) program set up by the Italian government, or providing export credit guarantees to companies. However, even these programs could be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/european-officials-say-u-s-threat-of-sanctions-impe...


Germany Sets Up Iran Advice Office for Companies

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 17 June 2018) The German government has set up a special office to advise companies worried about their business dealings with Iran amid fears they will be targeted for US sanctions. The European signatories to a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran—Germany, France and Britain—have vowed to keep the deal alive after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it last month. Germany’s Economy Ministry said on Friday it has established an “Iran contact point” for companies to pose their questions by email.  The ministry stressed that European sanctions relief for Iran, one of the terms of the nuclear agreement, remain in place, and that government-backed export credit guarantees are still available, AP reported.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-domestic-economy/88079/germany-set...


UK signs £1.5BILLION trade deal as Brexit Britain expands on world stage

(Express, London, 9 June 2018) Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced the UK has secured a £1.5 billion trade deal and signed off £75 million in other trade agreements in a major boost for the UK economy after Brexit. Dr Fox is expected to release a new Export Strategy which will set out the Government’s plan to get businesses of all sizes exporting their products to boost the economy after Brexit. The lucrative trade deals come as Britain’s exit from the EU looms. Dr Fox announced today a deal worth more than £1.5 billion had been secured by a UK company to deliver natural gas project in Cameroon. Additional deals have also be secured in Panama, Turkey, India and Qatar worth £75 million for British businesses. Capitalising on recent foreign visits by Cameroon’s Minister Secretary General, the Presidents of Panama and Turkey and the Prime Minister of India, UK businesses have been exploring exporting opportunities with some of the fastest-growing economies.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/971445/brexit-news-eu-uk-trade-deals-liam-fox-...


UKEF provides £2.5bn in support for UK exports

(Bridging & Commercial, London, 21 June 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF) has revealed that it helped UK exporters – 77% of which were smaller businesses – secure sales to over 75 countries during the financial year 2017/18. In its annual report and accounts, the UK’s export credit agency reported that it provided £2.5bn in support for UK exports during the same period. It also stated that since 2011, it had supported £4.1bn in export contracts through its trade finance products, which were introduced to give smaller businesses an exporting edge. The annual report and accounts are availalable here.

https://bridgingandcommercial.co.uk/article-desc-13661_UKEF%20provides%202.5bn%2...


Intra-Africa trade boosted by launch of $1 bln promotion programme

(African Independent, Cape Town, 27 June 2018) The African Export-Import Bank and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa have launched a  $1 billion trade and investment programme expected to boost business between South Africa and the rest of the continent. The programme will help address the need for African countries to work closely together in addressing the challenges of fragmented markets, under-developed production structures and inadequate economic diversification, the deputy director general of trade at the department of trade and investment Lerato Mataboge said at the launch on Tuesday. "Our aim as a government is to increase the levels of South African investments in the rest of the continent through targeted support measures," Mataboge said. "We have targeted $100 billion of investments to be reached in the next five years and we want to ensure a sizable amount of investments into South Africa that are of African origin."

https://www.africanindy.com/news/intra-africa-trade-boosted-by-launch-of-1-bln-p...


Gazprom signs $1.2bn Bolivia deal

(Energy Reporters, Istanbul, 20 June 2018) Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom has committed to invest US$1.2 billion in exploration and production at the Vitiacua onshore field in southern Bolivia.  “This contract will mean an investment by Gazprom of US$1.2 billion, the drilling of two exploratory wells, six development wells, adding a total of eight wells, with a maximum production of 400 million cubic feet in coming years,” Bolivia’s state-owned oil and gas company YPFB chief executive Oscar Barriga said. The Viticua block in the Chaco oil and gas basin has potential reserves of 2.17 trillion cubic feet, Barriga told the media. The Russian agency for export credit and investment insurance, Exiar, and Bolivia’s energy ministry signed a deal to secure financing for supplies of gas-fuelled machinery and equipment produced in Russia. Around 20,000 Russian public transport vehicles will be shipped to Bolivia as part of the Bolivian government’s efforts to boost natural gas as a transport fuel instead of oil.

https://www.energy-reporters.com/consumption/gazprom-signs-1-2bn-bolivia-deal/


Uzbekistan and Rosatom to build joint nuclear power plant

(Vestnik Kavkaza, Tashkent?, 4 June 018) Uzbekistan will be the first country in Central Asia to have a nuclear power plant. Rosatom proposes to build a station consisting of two modern VVER-1200 units of 3+ generation. A similar project is being implemented by Rosatom in Bangladesh. It is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion provided by Russia as a state export credit. The cost of the Belarus NPP was $10 billion. The cost of the Uzbek nuclear power plant is unknown yet. Expert Kubat Rakhimov believes that the Uzbek nuclear power plant will be more expensive, since it will be difficult to solve the issue of a cooling system in Navoiy without sufficient quantity of running water and / or large water bodies. Russia is ready to offer Uzbekistan several options for financing the project, including on the terms of a state loan, a scheme of borrowed money from the market, investing its own funds, as well as the BOO scheme (build-own-operate). In addition, the possibility of allocating borrowed funds for the construction of the station from the Russian Export Center is being discussed.

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Uzbekistan-and-Rosatom-to-build-joint-nuclear...


Vietnam's Long Phu coal plant delayed due to US embargo on Russian Contractor

(Vietnam Investment Review, Hanoi, 17 June 2018) On January 26, Power Machines, the EPC contractor of Long Phu 1 thermal power plant, was put on the US Department of Treasury’s extended list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. The move may delay the construction of Long Phu 1 project by 36 months. After the sanctions were imposed on Power Machines, General Electric announced cancelling the contract of supplying turbines and generators, which are two important segments of the project.

http://www.vir.com.vn/three-billion-dollar-thermal-power-plants-running-behind-s...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside Australian ECA office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018)  Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. They chanted "money for health and education, not for mining corporations" and unfurled a large banner reading "No Future In Coal #NoNewCoal" before being moved on by NSW Police after an hour. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


What's New May 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada
  • EDC requests public input during policy review
  • Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project
  • Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)
  • Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project
  • Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank
  • US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017
  • South Korea braces for trade with North
  • Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game
  • Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit
  • World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada

(National Observer, Ottawa, 30 April 20188)Canada’s federal auditor general says there are “significant deficiencies” at Export Development Canada when it comes to risk management.The Office of the Auditor General of Canada announced the results of an audit into Export Development Canada (EDC), which facilitates international business deals as Canada's export credit agency, on April 30, that “found a number of weaknesses."The warning comes on the heels of a report by Ottawa-based watchdog Above Ground that found EDC did not have effective screening for corruption.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/04/30/news/auditor-general-finds-deficienc...


EDC requests public input during policy review

(Canada News Wire, Ottawa, 16 May 2018) EDC is now inviting stakeholders from across the Canadian trade and business ecosystems to offer input and constructive feedback on the following key policies under its environmental and social risk management framework on: Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM); Climate Change policy; Environmental and Social Review Directive (ERD); Human Rights Statement; and Disclosure Policy. A discussion paper has been published, and a dedicated webpage has been created to further explain the review process. Submissions are welcome during a 90-day comment period from May 14 – Aug 17, 2018.

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/edc-requests-public-input-during-a-review-...


Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project

(Australian Associated Press, Sydney, 1 May 2018) Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has dismissed as “fake news” a report that claims a partially Australian-funded liquefied natural gas project is failing to deliver a promised economic boom to his people. Peter O’Neill was in Brisbane for the Australian-PNG business forum and used a keynote speech to attack a damning report by Jubilee Australia, which questioned whether projected economic benefits were flowing from the ExxonMobil-led project. Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, made its largest ever loan of $500m to ExxonMobil, OilSearch, Santos and the PNG government in 2009. “The people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all,” said report co-author Paul Flanagan, a former Australian Treasury official. OilSearch chief executive Peter Botten said the report would be subject to "rigorous analysis" to find out where Jubilee was right and where it could be challenged. The Guardian Australia reported that despite company celebrations of gas flowing since 2014 and  the 300th shipment of LNG from the project’s export terminal, the landowners in Hela hadn’t been paid any royalties. Santos chairman Keith Spence has stated that "We have met every obligation... the moneys that were promised to the landholders have been paid to the government" Predictably, this was raising tensions in the area and there were – and are – very real fears that the project could end up triggering an armed insurgency. One news agency noted that undelivered infrastructure projects which resource companies promised landowners, including roads, airports, hospitals, housing and sewerage projects, could even lead to civil war. Between 1987-1997, 20,000 people died in a civil war between PNG and its Bougainville province. Panguna, one of the world's largest copper and gold mines, sparked that conflict.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/01/fake-news-papua-new-guinea-prime-m...


Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)

(Reuters, Paris/Brussels, 3 May 2018) France, Britain and Germany all say they will stay in the deal even if the United States withdraws, and try to protect and foster European trade and ECA support with Iran, which has soared since the European Union lifted most of its economic sanctions. Iran’s exports of mainly fuel and other energy products to the EU in 2016 jumped 344% to 5.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) compared to the previous year, while investment in Iran jumped to more than 20 billion euros. The Europeans aim to present a separate political agreement to the White House that commits to taking a tougher stance on Iran, if they can agree it in time with the U.S. France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are continuing to lobby Trump, but with the prospect of him changing his mind remote, the focus has shifted to managing the fallout and avoiding a dangerous vacuum. The German Economy Ministry said it was waiting for a formal U.S. decision on the Iran deal before deciding whether to stop offering German firms export guarantees for business deals with Tehran. Such guarantees provide state protection for companies doing business abroad when foreign debtors fail to pay. The EU may also be considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran The prospect of trade with Europe would provide the Europeans with a chance to assuage the Iranians, and dissuade them from rash decisions such as leaving the deal or reviving the nuclear activities they agreed to give up. The Financial Times notes that even as European leaders prepared their pleas for exemptions from US president Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran, advisers were warning of a deepening chill on multinationals’ willingness to do business with the Islamic republic.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-europe/europeans-push-last-bid-t...


Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project

(Reuters, London, 18 May 2018) - Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique, sources close to the matter said. Fast-growing gas demand from China and Southeast Asia is reassuring export project developers sitting on huge untapped gas discoveries in Mozambique and elsewhere that the market cycle is turning after three years of low prices. The full amount would be the largest loan ever in the LNG sector. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan. Environmental NGOs and Mozambican have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-anadarko-petroleum-mozambique-lng-exc/exclusi...


Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank

(Law360, New York, 30 April 30 2018) On the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to tap one of his top trade advisers as the interim head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a throng of Democratic senators on Friday pressed the White House to move ahead with a permanent leader for the beleaguered export credit agency. In a letter spearheaded by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D.-Wash., and Heidi Heitkamp, D.-N.D., the senators once again noted that the bank has been unable to finance high-value export projects since December 2015 due to the lack of a sufficient quota on its board of directors and that the appointment of a new bank president would go a long way to remedying that dynamic. “Since December 2015, Ex-Im has not had a fully operational board that is able to review and approve the types of deals that would expand U.S. exports,” they said. “As a result, foreign export credit agencies have been and will continue to rush to fill the void. In turn, more U.S. jobs will be sent overseas, and both American workers and companies will be at a serious disadvantage.” Trump’s first nominee for the job, former congressman Scott Garrett, was eventually withdrawn after stern backlash that focused on Garrett’s past as staunch advocate for shuttering the bank. Since then, movement on Ex-Im has remained mostly quiet as Trump’s board nominees have earned the blessing of the Senate Banking Committee but are still awaiting a full vote.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1038568/dems-want-a-permanent-fix-for-hobbled-ex...


US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017

(GAO, Washington, 10 May 2018) The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) administrative account balance grew by over 950 percent from fiscal years 2007 to 2017—from $391 million to $4.1 billion—due in part to insufficient management controls, including the lack of timely rate reviews. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has some controls to manage the account balance. By not performing timely rate reviews or setting an upper bound, DSCA has limited its ability to prevent excessive balance growth.  U.S. foreign partners buy billions of dollars of defense equipment and services each year through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The program charges fees to purchasers to cover the U.S. government's cost of operating the program. As the value of these sales has increased, the balances in the 2 main fee accounts have grown in excess of 950% and now top $5 billion. GAO found that the substantial growth in these accounts was due to insufficient management controls.

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-401?mobile_opt_out=1#summary_recommend


South Korea braces for trade with North

(Korea JoongAng Daily, Seoul, 3 May 2018) As relations between the two Koreas warm, Seoul is gearing up to create new economic ties with Pyongyang, according to the South’s top economic official. According to Kim Dong-yeon, South Korea’s minister of strategy and finance, the so-called inter-Korean cooperation fund, a government fund established in 1991 that is devoted to projects that promote ties and exchanges between the two Koreas, has about 1 trillion won in its budget for 2018, with about 350 billion won (US$324 million) assigned specifically for economic projects. The fund is sourced from the government budget and public sector funds and is under the supervision of the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a state-run export credit agency.

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3047641


Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game

(Australia Financial Review, Melbourne, 8 May 2018) In the overall rankings, Australia is defined as an over-performer, or a country that punches above its economic and military strength. Indeed, we are ranked third in the over-performer stakes behind Japan and Singapore, coming in one place ahead of South Korea. This is primarily due to the strength of Canberra's military connections into the region and the cultural power associated with the university sector. But when it comes to business, Australia has shown itself to be sub-scale and insular. Seoul's export credit agencies, a mark of economic integration and regional influence, have extended $US82 billion of credit (third in the region) compared to Australia's $US2.7 billion (11th in the region).

http://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/lowy-asia-power-index-australia-down-in-regio...


Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 12 May 2018) At a recent conference in Kuwait, the Saudi kingdom pledged $1 billion in loans and $500 million in export credit to support Iraq's reconstruction after the war with IS, also known as Daesh. Saudi Arabia's rapprochement with Iraq in the run-up to its parliamentary elections appears to take place in the context of a new policy designed to expand its sphere of influence in the oil-exporting country, says a former diplomat.  The May 12 ballot will decide Iraq's leader for the next four years, when the government will face the monumental task of rebuilding entire cities and towns after decades of wars, internal strife and the massive harm inflicted by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/86222/saudis-trying-to-influence-...


World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

(Reinsurance News, Brighton, 9 May 2018) MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, and NEXI, Japan’s state-owned export credit agency, have entered an official agreement to share risk, through reinsurance, on investments made by Japanese firms in developing countries.

https://www.reinsurancene.ws/world-bank-groups-miga-to-share-risk-with-japans-ne...


What's New April 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC
  • Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy
  • Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0
  • UKEF support for arms sales under fire
  • Australian defence industry export plan release imminent
  • Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia
  • Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate
  • JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant
  • China-Africa summit preparations in high gear
  • Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list
  • EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal
  • Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure
  • German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative
  • Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started
  • Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 30 April 2018) In this report, ECA Watch member Above Ground examines reforms needed to raise Export Development Canada’s anti-corruption client screening to a more robust standard. The recommendations are informed by leading anti-corruption policies and guidance documents from other export credit agencies, international financial organizations and the private sector. A Bombardier jet, the subject of an EDC loan to South Africa's Gupta family amid multiple corruption claims, has reportedly returned to South Africa, although Gupta familiy members have still effectively disappeared. Since 2016 the British, French and German export credit agencies have blocked support for Airbus on the basis of bribery concerns. The Above Ground report notes that in the second half of 2017, EDC provided Airbus with between $750 million and $1.5 billion in financing, as well as citing examples of questionable support for SNC-Lavalin and Kinross Gold. Canada's Auditor General today released a hard hitting report noting that EDC is mishandling loan risks and keeping board members in the dark about key financing arrangements.

http://aboveground.ngo/anti-corruption-and-export-development-canada/


Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy

(Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 29 April 2018) A new report on the economy of Papua New Guinea will reopen the case for the Australian government to be held accountable for the negligent decision to lend AU$500 million (US$376.5 million) of taxpayers' money to the PNG-LNG project. Jubilee Australia’s new report,‘Double or Nothing: The Broken Economic Promises of PNG LNG’, notes that “In 2008 Australian economics consultants, ACIL-Tasman provided inflated projections of growth in employment, essential services, household income and the broader economy if the PNG LNG project went ahead. This new analysis proves just how misleading these promises were and how PNG has slipped back into the poor policies associated with the resource curse. Currently, on almost all economic indicators, the people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all." An Australian Broadcasting Corporation business report notes that the immense benefits predicted to flow from Papua New Guinea's liquified natural gas project have not been realised, and the country's economy has even gone backwards on some indicators.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/new-jubilee-report-shows-that-efic-f...


Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0

(EURACTV, Brussels, 6 April 201) It used to be a Eurosceptic fantasy for the Commonwealth to replace the EU as the UK’s main trading partner. That may still be a fantasy, but Theresa May’s government sees the organisation, which includes Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Singapore, as a launch pad for negotiating bilateral trade agreements and has earmarked six Commonwealth members as priorities for renewed incentives to promote trade and investment. Britain has already promised to double the current export credit finance for trade and investment with South Africa to £3.5 billion. South Africa is critical of the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African regional blocs and expects Britain, once outside the EU, to offer better terms. In economic terms the Commonwealth is a fraction of the size of the EU market. Forty-two percent of the UK’s exports went to the EU in 2017, compared to around 7% for the ten largest Commonwealth markets.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/brexit-britain-looks-to-commonwe...


UKEF support for arms sales under fire

(London Review of Books, London, 26 April 2018) Arms exports constitute around 1.6% of total UK exports in value but receive 50% of export credits in the form of loans or guarantees, underwritten by the taxpayer. Almost half of British arms exports go to Saudi Arabia, up fivefold since the kingdom intervened in Yemen’s civil war. In July 2014, in an effort to pre-empt embarrassing revelations that might emerge from the UN’s decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, the British foreign secretary made a tactical confession. Between 1983 and 1986, Britain had approved sales of chemical weapons precursors to Syria, which was known to be developing a massive weapons programme. William Hague told Parliament that the chemicals were probably ‘used by Syria in their programmes to produce nerve agents, including sarin’. In March 2015, the Committees on Arms Export Controls said that ‘the decision of the present government to give two export licence approvals for dual-use chemicals to Syria in January 2012 after the civil war had started in Syria in 2011 was irresponsible.’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2018/04/26/lloyd-russell-moyle/priority-markets/


Australian defence industry export plan release imminent

(Defence Connect, Sydney, 18 April 2018) The much-awaited Defence Industrial Capability Plan is set to be released soon, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed. The plan, which will aim to give Australian businesses a better idea of how to capitalise on the $200 billion of investment going into the industry, is set to be released before the federal budget on 8 May this year. The soon-to-be-released plan includes a new Australian Defence Export Office, Australia's first Defence Export Advocate, a $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility to be administered by Australia's export credit agency Efic and a $20 million a year commitment to implement the strategy.

https://wwaw.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/2172-industry-plan-release-immin...


Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia

(PanARMENIAN.Net, Yerevan, 29 March 2018) Russia will begin supplying arms to Armenia under a new defense loan agreement worth $100 million in 2018. In June 2015, an agreement was signed to provide Armenia with a Russian state export credit worth $200 million to purchase Russian-made military products. 18 contracts were signed within the framework of the loan, Armenia’s defense ministry reportedly said.

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/253625/


Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate

(Observer Research Foundation Online, New Delhi, 19 April 2018) The role of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in promoting climate compatible development has been controversial. Despite independent and collaborative efforts from countries ensuring that [environmental degradation] is not an option when their ECAs extend support, fossil fuel financing has overshadowed ECAs energy financing portfolio. Oil Change reports that 88 percent of G20 ECA energy financing went towards fossil fuels. One of the worst performer amongst ECAs of G20 countries is the US EXIM Bank. Anecdotal evidences suggest that [ExIm's] support has enabled American exporters to walk the globe leaving behind green footprints. Yet an inquiry in our paper on the EXIM Bank’s authorisation portfolio paints a relatively different picture. [ExIm] authorisations towards environmentally beneficial exports and renewable energy exports constituted only 1.83% and 0.98% respectively of the Bank’s total authorisation. Evidently, the Bank’s performance has been dismal at best.

https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/export-credit-agencies-changing-climate/


JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant

(Straits Times, Singaport, 18 April 2018) DBS and OCBC are among a group of banks and lending agencies that have signed off on financing of about US$1.87 billion (S$2.45 billion) for a controversial coal-fired power station in Vietnam. The 1,200MW Nghi Son 2 power station in Tinh Gia district, Thanh Hoa province, is one of a number of large coal-fired power plants planned to meet Vietnam's energy needs. But green groups, the International Energy Agency and the World Bank fear such big coal projects will exacerbate climate change by locking in years of polluting emissions. Burning coal is a major source of local air pollution and carbon emissions blamed for heating up the planet. The loan was signed last Friday (April 13) with export credit agencies Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim); Japanese banks Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, MUFG, Mizuho and Shinsei Bank; DBS and OCBC; and Maybank of Malaysia. US Ex Im turned down funding in February 2018.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/dbs-and-ocbc-among-lenders-of-245-bill...


China-Africa summit preparations in high gear

(New Times, Rwanda, 29 April 2018) Preparations for the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place in September in South Africa are in high gear officials have said. In the 2015 summit, China pledged a new round of funding support to Africa’s development, worth $60 billion. The $60 billion pot was divided into $5 billion of free aid and interest-free loans, $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit and $5 billion dollars of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and $10 billion of funding for a China-Africa production capacity cooperation. “Our investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion US Dollars and Chinese enterprises in Africa exceeded more than 3000; and over 70 percent of these are private Chinese companies,” said Dai Bing, the Director General of the Department of African affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

http://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/china-africa-summit-preparations-high-gear-offici...


Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list

(Financial Express, New Delhi, 5 April 2018) The CBI today said it had registered a criminal case against a Vadodara-based company dealing in electric cable and equipment and its directors for allegedly cheating various banks to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore (US$400 million). The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Bank of India’s defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the agency alleged.

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/banking-finance/no-end-to-bank-scams-c...


EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal

(Guardian, London, 23 March 2018) The EU is looking to provide European companies trading with Iran access to emergency credit lines and funding support if Donald Trump presses ahead with his plan to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. A US pullout, leading to the reimposition of a tough sanctions regime, would expose multinational firms trading with Iran to potentially devastating loss of financial support by commercial banks. The US is due to make a decision on 12 May, and it has the potential to pitch Europe and the US into dispute.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/eu-may-offer-credit-to-firms-tradi...


Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure

(Financial Times, London, 28 April 2018) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought forward by a year and a half elections he intends will crown his quest for one-man rule in Turkey. One reason for the snap early election is that Turkey’s overheating economy is vulnerable. The president needs to provide jobs and services to his base. Despite his xenophobic tub-thumping and absolute intolerance of dissent, Mr Erdogan does respond to pressure and has released some journalists. The German government, although courting Ankara’s help in holding back the flood of Syrian refugees, lost patience with what it saw as hostage-taking. It ordered a travel advisory steering German tourists away from Turkey, a review of export credit guarantees for German companies trading with Turkey, and a freeze on defence contracts.

https://www.ft.com/content/bdacd27e-4a3d-11e8-8ae9-4b5ddcca99b3


German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative

(Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, 25 April 2018) The German bank KfW IPEX-Bank has become the first German bank to join the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards initiative. With a lending volume of EUR 13.9 billion ($17 billion) in 2017, KfW IPEX-Bank is one of the top five ship financiers in the world, and, by joining the initiative, highlights that it is setting high standards for the environmental and social compatibility of its financing. At the end of May 2017, ABN Amro, ING and NIBC established the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards. The initiative now has eight members worldwide, with Nordea, DNB, SEB and Export Credit Norway having joined the three founding banks.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/german-bank-joins-responsible-ship-recycl...


Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started

(Reuters, Paris, 27 April 2018) Airbus has received European export credits for the first time since public funding was suspended in 2016 at the outset of a corruption investigation, the company said on Friday. The credit was granted under enhanced compliance procedures agreed between Airbus and the UK, French and German export credit agencies after the company’s own discovery of misleading applications for the aid triggered the Anglo-French probe.

https://www.reuters.com/article/airbus-results-exports/airbus-gets-first-europea...


Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

(UzDaily, Tashkent, 20 April 201) Uzbekistan plans to sign an agreement with Russia on construction of a nuclear power plant in 2018. Currently, Rosatom is building a similar station in Bangladesh at a cost estimated at about US$13 billion, of which US$11.3 billion is provided by Russia as a state export credit.

https://www.uzdaily.com/articles-id-43588.htm


What's New March 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Bombardier-Gupta affair provokes timely public debate on accountability of EDC
  • Report finds major banks ramped up fossil fuel financing to $115 billion in 2017
  • Judge Demands Explanation in Pipeline Lawsuit
  • UKEF seeks new markets at Brexit looms
  • Hermes as a factor in German Turkish relations?
  • Turkish Bridge Attracts $2.8 Billion From Banks & KEXIM
  • Saudi Arabia’s use of ECA finance in Iraq is making Iran nervous
  • Australia moves up defence exporter list
  • Canadian business optimistic about potential in China: EDC
  • New ICC report confirms trade & export finance are not risky business
  • Banking on Energy: The Determinants of Export Credit Agency Energy Financing from China and Japan
  • Italy's SACE plans to back nearly $5bn in UAE projects

Bombardier-Gupta affair provokes timely public debate on accountability of EDC

http://aboveground.ngo/bombardier-gupta-accountability-edc/

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 26 March 20188) Ongoing media coverage regarding the sale of a Bombardier jet to the Gupta family in South Africa has triggered an important public debate about the accountability and transparency of Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC). With Parliament set to review the agency’s governing legislation this year, the timing for such a discussion could not be better. In response to a Globe and Mail op-ed asserting that public oversight of EDC “is not just scant, it’s non-existent,” EDC recently published a statement in which it defends its “exceptional track record,” arguing that it operates transparently, that it is subject to “multiple levels of government and public oversight” and that it welcomes public scrutiny of its operations.

We offer several observations to further this important debate.




Report finds major banks ramped up fossil fuel financing to $115 billion in 2017

(BankTrack, Amsterdam, 28 March 2018) A report released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor The Earth, endorsed by over 50 organisations around the world, reveals that in spite of the urgent climate crisis, 2017 was a year of backsliding by private banks. Despite 2017 being the costliest year on record for weather disasters, the new report reveals that banks increased extreme fossil fuel financing last year [US$115 billion], led by a more than doubling in lending to tar sands companies and pipelines.The report provides invaluable data on specific banks and sectoral investments. In our November 2017 What's New, ECA Watch noted that export credit agencies fund almost $40 billion worth of fossil fuel projects each year. (Some of that overlapping as guarantees for private banks.) That is a whopping 12 times more than what they spend on clean energy projects.

http://mailchi.mp/banktrack/report-finds-major-banks-ramped-up-fossil-fuel-finan...


Judge Demands Explanation in Pipeline Lawsuit

(WTOP, Washington, 30 March 2018) Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners in August sued Earth First, Greenpeace and BankTrack for up to $1 billion, alleging they disseminated false and misleading information about the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s now moving oil from North Dakota to Illinois, and instigated violent protests while the pipeline was under construction. Greenpeace and BankTrack maintain the lawsuit is meritless and an attack on free speech. The Center for Constitutional Rights maintains Earth First is an unstructured social movement or philosophy, similar to Black Lives Matter, and can’t be sued. However, U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson says Earth First has been a listed plaintiff in three federal lawsuits in the 1980s and 1990s, involving a water project in Arizona, a wilderness area in Oregon and a New Mexico canyon important to American Indians. “If Earth First can sue, it seems to me that it is subject to being sued,” Wilson said in a March 22 order.

https://wtop.com/national/2018/03/judge-demands-explanation-in-dakota-access-law...


UKEF seeks new markets at Brexit looms

(Arabian Business, Dubai, 30 March 201) As the spectre of Brexit looms, speculation has swirled that the European Union’s loss will be the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) gain. British firms have been eyeing international expansion ahead of the country’s departure from the economic and political bloc for some time, and these closer economic ties are now rapidly becoming a reality. The opening of a permanent UK Export Finance office in Dubai is a clear sign of a booming post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the Middle East. In addition to the GCC, UKEF is looking to African infrastructure projects. The UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith recently noted that the decision for the UK to move away from the European Union provides an opportunity to re-engage and refresh the way we operate across Africa. “For example, the UKEF has the ability to support infrastructure projects in South Africa (up to £4bn), Kenya (up to £1bn) and Nigeria (up to £750m). British home secretary Amber Rudd recently celebrated the strength and depth of the UK and Pakistan's "shared history" in announcing that UKEF would double its support, allowing Pakistan’s buyers to access finance to source high-quality UK goods and services.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/393226-how-the-uk-is-doubling-...


Hermes as a factor in German Turkish relations?

(Handelsblatt, Berlin, 7 March 201) Turkey and Germany recently agreed to try to “normalize” their fraught relationship. Turkey had adopted hostage-taking as an instrument of foreign policy, with Germany being a target. Germany’s response was to reconsider economic aid and export credit guarantees, to advise German tourists against travel to Turkey, and to put weapons deliveries to Turkey on hold. Between 2006 and 2011 Germany had delivered 354 Leopard 2 tanks to Turkey... Nevertheless, there is every sign that Germany is intent on going back to business as usual as soon as possible. One German-Turkish joint venture, for instance, is helping Turkey to construct its own battle tank, the Altay. The German partner, Rheinmetall, will produce the first 100-200 tanks of the 1,000 planned.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/opinion/germany-must-not-sell-soul-turkey-restor...


Turkish Bridge Attracts $2.8 Billion From Banks & KEXIM

(Bloomberg, London, 1 March 2018) A consortium of South Korean and Turkish construction firms are raising 2.3 billion euros ($2.8 b) from a group of about 20 banks and South Korea's export credit agency to build a 3.1 billion euro suspension bridge and toll roads in western Turkey.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-01/turkey-south-korea-jv-is-said...


Saudi Arabia’s use of ECA finance in Iraq is making Iran nervous

(Economist, London, 8 March 2018) At a conference in Kuwait last month, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pledged $1bn in loans and $500m in export credit to support Iraq’s reconstruction after the war with Islamic State (IS). Saudi interest in Iraq was initially pricked by America, which has been marshalling Gulf support to help stem Iran’s push west. Iraq, under Saddam, threatened to invade Saudi Arabia. More recently, it has allowed Shia militias backed by Iran to set up camp on the Saudi border. In response the kingdom, which considers itself the region’s Sunni champion, is accused of bankrolling Sunni jihadists in Iraq. In 2015 Muhammad bin Salman was central to restoring diplomatic relations with Iraq and last year reopened the kingdom’s borders. He has shifted money from Sunni politicians to more effective Shia ones. Diplomats note the disparity in help offered by Saudi Arabia and Iran, which pledged nothing at the February conference in Kuwait. “Having failed to outfight Iran, the Saudis now want to outspend it,” says a delighted Iraqi official. Meanwhile, EU officials are trying to think of mechanisms to counter potential future sanctions against European companies and banks, the more important challenge is how to entice Iran to remain committed to the nuclear deal, even if Washington withdraws. Iranian officials have been clear that Tehran would only stay committed if it receives enough benefits from staying in the deal.

https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21738405-kingdom-eyeing-so...


Australia moves up defence exporter list

(Defence Connect, North Sydney, 13 March 2018) The latest Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report looking at trends in international arms transfers has seen Australia move up to 19th place among the top 25 largest exporters of major arms. News of the move to 19th place comes just weeks after the federal government unveiled its Defence Export Strategy, which outlined its ambitions to become a top 10 major arms exporter. A $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility will be administered by Australia's export credit agency, Efic.

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/2029-australia-moves-up-defence-e...


Canadian business optimistic about potential in China: EDC

(Xinhua, Ottawa, 21 March 2018) There are currently over 1,000 Canadian companies doing business in China, more then 600 of them supported by the EDC, the country's export credit agency which offers trade finance, export credit insurance, bonding services and foreign market expertise, EDC's Liew told Xinhua in a phone interview from Hong Kong. China and Canada plan to double their bilateral trade volumes during the decade from 2015 to 2025. China remains Canada's second largest trade partner, second largest export destination and second largest import source for years.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-03/21/c_137053585.htm


New ICC report confirms trade & export finance are not risky business

(International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, 6 March 2018) The 2017 ICC report draws on information from 22 member banks to present a global view of the credit risk profiles of trade and export finance transactions. It is based on over US$10.5 trillion of exposures and more than 20 million trade finance transactions from 2008 to 2016—constituting approximately 40% of global traditional trade finance flows. The trade finance products in the register are import letters of credit, export letters of credit, loans for import/export, and performance guarantees.

https://iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/new-icc-report-confirms-trade-export...


Banking on Energy: The Determinants of Export Credit Agency Energy Financing from China and Japan

(Global Development Policy Cente, Boston, 28 February 2018) ABSTRACT  In a very short period, Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM) and China Development Bank (CDB) have become some of the largest Export Credit Agencies in the world. This paper examines the extent to which CHEXIM and CDB behave similarly to Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), their Japanese counterpart in energy loans approval. Utilizing a new database on publicized overseas loans for energy from the two banks, this paper econometrically analyses the determinants of CHEXIM and JBIC’s overseas energy loans in a comparative perspective. Like their Japanese counterparts, the Chinese banks exhibit a certain degree of concern for the recipient’s domestic economy but exhibits risk seeking tendencies as well. Unlike current JBIC energy loans, Chinese energy loans have a significant correlation to China’s growing energy dependence. Contrary to c,laims that China’s ECA is a tool to gain geopolitical advantage; geopolitical concerns do not appear to be a determinant of CHEXIM’s overseas finance. (PDF file)

http://www.bu.edu/gdp/files/2018/03/Economy-in-Command_Ye_Draft_26.01.pdf


Italy's SACE plans to back nearly $5bn in UAE projects

(Arabian Business, Dubai, 3 March 2018) Italy's SACE says evaluating nearly $5bn of UAE projects Export credit agency sees its exposure in the Middle East almost triple to $14.7bn since opening offices in Dubai. It said growth is expected to continue in the region as it is currently evaluating new projects in the MENA region worth €12 billion ($14.7 billion) – nearly $5 billion of which is dedicated to the UAE.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/390486-italys-sace-says-evalua...


What's New February 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Export credit agencies lurk in the shadows of responsible financing
  • G20 Countries' Public Coal Financing Reaches 5 Year High
  • Vietnam Pulls Request for U.S. Ex-Im Help to Build a Coal-Fired Power Plant
  • Standard Chartered & ECAs ‘breaching climate policy’ with Vietnam coal plant investment
  • Attorney calls for sanctions against Energy Transfer Partners in Dakota Access pipeline suit
  • Airbus executives get swept away by a corruption investigation
  • BAE proposes UKEF financing to Malaysia for Typhoon jet deal
  • No job estimates on arms export plan
  • Western banks rush to gain deals on China's Belt and Road Initiative
  • U.S. Treasury official slams China's 'non-market behavior'
  • US leads the way on protectionism in 2017 with tarifs and export credit
  • Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees
  • U.S. urges help for Iraq, extends $3 billion Ex-Im credit line
  • South Africa joins Afreximbank as a shareholder
  • South Africa’s Guptas hid Bombardier jet, EDC says in court repossession efforts
  • Armenian NGO challenges controversial ECA supported gold mine
  • Brazil grants US$2 billion ECA credit line to Angola
  • Anadarko agrees Mozambique LNG sale, banks/ECAs discuss finance terms

ECAs go to Market

(Finance & Trade Watch and CEE Bankwatch, Dec. 2017) Export credits are big business. Members of the industry’s Berne Union, both state and private, insured approximately USD 1.9 trillion per year between 2012 and 2016, of which USD1 trillion was state ECA insured. That amount far exceeds the total investments of multilateral lenders such as the World Bank and the regional development banks and represents some 11% of world trade Between 2015 and 2017, Finance & Trade Watch and Bankwatch, together with their national partners, researched state export credit agencies (ECAs) in seven countries of the European Union (Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The aim of this research was to assess how the procedures and performance of these institutions comply with the relevant national, European and international regulatory frameworks. These include transparency, accountability, environmental and social standards as reflected in the OECD (Common Approaches), the EU (ECA Regulation) and the UN (Sustainable Development Goals, the Aarhus Convention and the Paris Agreement). Their report finds: a lack of ECA transparency, dubious investements, particularly in fossil fuels, projects contrary to national greenhouse gas commitments under the Paris Agreement, and OECD and EU standards and monitoring which are voluntary and unable to guarantee that prohibited investments are being approved. This has led to their involvement in a number of economically and politically-compromising projects. This first-of-its-kind research examines ECAs in the ‘new’ EU Member States and compares these with an example from the EU 15 – the Austrian ECA OeKB – as well as examples from other EU 15 countries. It shows regulatory gaps and offers a range of policy recommendations. The full report is available here and a summary here.

http://www.intellinews.com/comment-export-credit-agencies-lurk-in-the-shadows-of...


G20 Countries' Public Coal Financing Reaches 5 Year High

(Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, 8 February 2018) In 2017, financing from G20 governments for overseas coal projects reached a 5 year high, totaling at least $13 billion in loans, credits, and guarantees. This financial support for coal projects directly undermines G20 climate commitments and ignores the reality that a rapid coal phase out is needed if the world is to reach the 1.5 degree temperature goal under the Paris Climate Agreement. This is the 2nd year in a row that G20 public financing has increased for coal power projects in foreign countries. G20 public financing here refers to financial backing from government export credit agencies, like Japan Bank for International Cooperation, development banks, like China Development Bank, and government insurance entities, like Korea Trade Insurance Corporation. Public financial support is given to benefit domestic companies who are involved in projects abroad — for example, in 2017, Japan Bank of International Cooperation provided a $730 million dollar loan to enable Marubeni, a Japanese company, to develop the 1000 MW Cirebon 2 Coal Power Station in Indonesia. Public financial support can take the form of loans, guarantees, export and import credits, grants, and equity financing.

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/han-chen/g20-countries-public-coal-financing-reache...


Vietnam Pulls Request for U.S. Ex-Im Help to Build a Coal-Fired Power Plant

(New York Times, Hong Kong, 13 February 2018) A Vietnamese company is no longer seeking American financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, bringing to an abrupt end a closely watched test of whether Washington would back international projects that could potentially contribute to climate change. On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a lender run by the American government, said the Vietnamese state-controlled company, PetroVietnam, had withdrawn its application for financial support. In this case, a green light would have allowed PetroVietnam to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of turbines and other equipment from General Electric, the American manufacturer. The project, which is already under construction, faced intense criticism inside and outside the United States. Environmental and other groups said the project would have had a greater environmental impact than reports submitted by PetroVietnam had suggested. The World Bank and other major institutions have increasingly avoided backing projects supported by developing countries that burn coal and other fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The UK’s version of the Ex-Im Bank had declined to offer financial support for the Long Phu 1 project for similar reasons.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/11/business/us-exim-vietnam-coal.html


Standard Chartered & ECAs ‘breaching climate policy’ with Vietnam coal plant investment

(Climate Home News, London, 14 February 2018) The London-based bank plans to co-finance Nghi Son 2 power plant, which NGOs say uses dirty old technology, against company and OECD guidelines. The proposed financing arrangements also appear to breach the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s guidelines on coal, which restrict governments from using public export finance for new coal plants. Both Japan's and Korea’s export credit agencies, which help companies to export and win international business, are backing the project. Environmental NGOs Market Forces and Greenpeace analysed data from the project’s environmental impact assessment,  released last week by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) — an export credit agency wholly owned by the Japanese government. Vietnam’s expansion of coal-fired power generation to meet booming energy demand has led to major concerns over public health. The number of coal plants in Vietnam is projected to rise from 38 to 133, including all plants currently planned or under construction. Citing a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology  last year, Myllyvirta said coal-fired power plants were responsible for an estimated 4,300 premature deaths in Vietnam in 2011 alone. The study forecasts that by 2030 there will be more than 19,220 deaths per year due to coal pollution.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/02/14/standard-chartered-breaching-climate...


Attorney calls for sanctions against Energy Transfer Partners in Dakota Access pipeline suit

(Associated Press, Bismark, 9 February 2018) Attorneys for a Florida-based environmental publication want a federal judge in North Dakota to sanction the Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in a dispute over whether the publication can be sued. Earth First Journal maintains Energy Transfer Partners attorneys aren't acting in good faith by associating the publication with the Earth First social movement, which the company contends was part of an effort to undermine the pipeline project and the company. Energy Transfer in August sued Greenpeace, BankTrack and Earth First for up to $1 billion, alleging the environmental groups disseminated false and misleading information about the $3.8 billion pipeline moving oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois, and instigated violent protests. Journal attorney Pamela Spees maintains the journal and movement aren't the same thing, and that the insistence of company attorneys to the contrary is "intentional and reckless disregard of their duties to the court." Spees asked Hovland to order the plaintiffs to pay the center's fees and to educate lawyers at the plaintiff firms about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which she claims have been violated.

https://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/attorney-calls-sanctions-dak...


Airbus executives get swept away by a corruption investigation

(The Economist, Singapore, 8 February 2018) A management shake-out may reawaken national rivalries at the European aerospace giant. “The success of Airbus is intimately linked to the success of John [Leahy],” says Eric Schulz, successor to John Leahy, who has been chief salesman for the planemaker since 1994. Mr Leahy’s aggressive strategy to gain orders expanded Airbus’s market share for civil jets from 18% in 1994 to over 50%. But this year’s Singapore Airshow, which began on February 6th, will be Mr Leahy’s last before retirement. Staff turnover does not stop there. In December the firm said Tom Enders, its German-born chief executive, would step down in 2019; his French second-in-command, Fabrice Brégier, will leave this month. These changes follow the news that several countries, including Britain, France and America, are investigating allegations that in the past Airbus bribed officials to win contracts. That created divisions between French and German executives over how to respond.

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21736580-management-shake-out-may-reawak...


BAE proposes UKEF financing to Malaysia for Typhoon jet deal

(Reuters, London, 12 February 2018) BAE Systems will provide Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal if it decides to replace its fleet of combat jets with the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior company officials said. Malaysia has for several years been weighing France’s Rafale jet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a European consortium including Britain’s BAE, as it looks to buy up to 18 jets to replace its Russian MiG-29s - most of which are grounded. The contest, potentially worth over $2 billion, is one of the biggest fighter deals under consideration in Asia. Financing would be provided via the UK Export Finance export credit agency.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bae-systems-malaysia/bae-proposes-uk-governme...


No job estimates on arms export plan

(Associated Press Australia, Sydney, 28 February 2018) The Defence Department can't say exactly how many Australian jobs will be created out of the Turnbull government's plan to make the country a top 10 global arms exporters in the next decade. The issue was canvassed during a robust exchange between Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Defence Minister Marise Payne at a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday. The centrepiece of the government's ambitious plan is a $3.8 billion defence export facility within the export credit agency to help companies get finance to underpin sales of equipment overseas. "How is this good bang for our buck?" Senator Whish-Wilson asked, adding he wanted evidence it was the most cost-effective way for the government to create jobs. Department official Marc Ablong said no calculations had been carried out. "It's up to other agencies to determine whether there are more cost-effective ways for the government to spend the government's resources," Mr Ablong said.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/no-job-estimates-on-arms-export-pl...


Western banks rush to gain deals on China's Belt and Road Initiative

(Xinhua, Beijing, 28 February 2018) With China's Belt and Road Initiative gaining more recognition globally, Western banks are rushing in for a piece of the pie in this once in a generation opportunity. British and U.S. banks, including Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered have been seizing opportunities brought about by the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The initiative aims to create greater trade, infrastructure and people-to-people links between Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond by reviving and expanding the ancient Silk Road routes. The modern version comprises an overland Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. As one example, Standard Chartered Bank has taken the initiative as a key part of its plan to generate the revenue growth necessary to achieve its target of making a return on equity above 10 percent. The bank has won 20 financing deals linked to the initiative over the past four years, such as a 515 million U.S. dollars project financing for a power plant in Zambia, a 200 million dollars loan for a Bangladesh electricity plant, and a 42 million dollars export credit facility for a gas terminal in Sri Lanka. [We will be following how ECAs swing in behind the banks on this initiative.]

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/28/c_137005861.htm


U.S. Treasury official slams China's 'non-market behavior'

(Reuters, Washington, 21 February 2018) The U.S. Treasury’s top diplomat ramped up his criticisms of China’s economic policies on Wednesday, accusing Beijing of “patently non-market behavior” and saying that the United States needed stronger responses to counter it. He said market-oriented, democratic governments were awakening to the challenges posed by China’s economic system, including from its state-owned banks and export credit agencies. And he reiterated his view that China had stopped liberalizing its economy and was actually reversing these trends. China says that its state-owned enterprises operate on free-market principles and is battling within the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system to be recognized as a “market economy” -- a designation that would weaken U.S. and EU trade defenses. [and their own ECA trade subsidies?]

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-treasury/u-s-treasury-official-slam...


US leads the way on protectionism in 2017 with tarifs and export credit

(Global Trade Review, London, 22 February 2018) No less than 467 protectionist measures were implemented worldwide in 2017, with the US responsible for 90 of them. But while protectionism is still rising, the scale of the increase is slowing: in 2016 there were 827 new measures introduced. Research from Euler Hermes, a trade credit insurer, found that the US “decided to bolster measures to counteract perceived protectionism from key competitors” in 2017. The Trump administration implemented 30 new import tariff measures, 20 anti-dumping measures and 17 tariffs on China alone, with the headline tariff being the 30% import tariff on Chinese solar panels. Euler Hermes also found that many trading powerhouses use what it considers to be protectionism to boost their exports. Among these is export credit agency (ECA) support, with Japan being highlighted for adopting 137 protectionist measures pertaining to its ECAs over the past four years.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/us-lead-the-way-on-protectionism-in-2017/


Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees

(The Hill, Washington, 20 Feb 2018) A bipartisan group of 68 House lawmakers are urging Senate leaders to get the Export-Import Bank running at full speed again. In December, the Senate Banking Committee approved four nominees to the Ex-Im board — Kimberly Reed, Spencer Bachus, Judith Pryor and Claudia Slacik. Since 2015, the Ex-Im Bank has been without a quorum on its board, which prohibits the agency from making deals of more than $10 million. Without a quorum in fiscal 2017, the bank only authorized $2.4 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance, supporting just 2,412 exporters, 40,000 jobs and $7.4 billion in U.S. export sales, the letter said. That is a sharp decline from 2014, when the bank approved $20.5 billion in business, which supported 3,563 exporters, 165,000 jobs, and $27.5 billion in exports.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/374755-bipartisan-group-of-house-lawmakers-urg...


U.S. urges help for Iraq, extends $3 billion Ex-Im credit line

(Reuters, Kuwait, 13 February 018) The United States has urged members of the coalition fighting Islamic State to help rebuild Iraq or risk a reversal of the gains made against the group. Secretary of State Tillerson said the official U.S. export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), would sign a $3 billion memorandum of understanding with Iraq’s finance ministry “that will set a stage for future cooperation”. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose government puts the costs of reconstruction at more than $88 billion, said Iraq could not rebuild without outside help.  Iraq received pledges of $30 billion, mostly in credit facilities and investment, on Wednesday from allies but this fell short of the $88 billion Baghdad says it needs to recover from three years of war. Officials say almost $23 billion is needed for short-term reconstruction and over $65 billion in the medium term. UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told Reuters Iraq might have been unable to attract more pledges due to its association with corruption. Investors see Iraq as the 10th most corrupt country, according to Transparency International.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tillerson-mideast/u-s-urges-help-for-iraq...


South Africa joins Afreximbank as a shareholder

(Business Live, Johannesburg, 20 February 2018) Showing its commitment to promoting intra-African trade and economic integration, South Africa has taken up shareholding in the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the continental multilateral trade finance institution. The South African government is represented by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) as its designated investor, in line with the terms of the provisions of the charter of the bank. The shareholding makes South Africa the 47th African country to join Afreximbank as a participating state and/or shareholder. “South Africa accounts for about 30%–35% of total intra-African trade,” he added, “making its membership critical for the attainment of the bank's strategic goal of moving intra-African trade share of Africa’s total trade from about 15% currently to 22% by 2021, and raising its annual value to more than $250bn by that year.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/business-and-economy/2018-02-20-sa-joins-afrex...


South Africa’s Guptas hid Bombardier jet, EDC says in court repossession efforts

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 19 February 2018) Canada's export credit agency is worried that a Canadian EDC financed Bombardier luxury jet could become the escape vehicle for the controversial Gupta brothers as they flee a corruption prosecution in South Africa, according to court papers filed by the agency in Johannesburg.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/south-africas-guptas-hid-bombardier-j...


Armenian NGO challenges controversial ECA supported gold mine

(Armenian Environmental Front, Yerevan, 11 February 2018) In February 2017, the Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) published information on supporters of a gold mine in Amulsar Mountain next to the resort of Jermuk. They now have presented the key entities responsible for funding and equipping the Amulsar gold mine project. The AEF is challenging plans to develop a gold mine in close proximity to the environmentally sensitive Jermuk resort in violation of Armenian legislation. Environmental and social impact assessments are said to be substantially incomplete and incorrect and international expert groups from Australia, USA and Canada, having studied dozens of documents available on the Lydian International corporate website, have presented their assessments and conclusions on the environmental risks of the gold project in Amulsar. They note: "Our overall conclusion remains that the high risk of acid drainage and contaminant leaching, the poor geochemical evaluation, the inadequate water quality predictions and mitigation measures and Lydian’s inexperience combine to make this an environmentally high-risk project during mining and for a lengthy period after operations cease." The AEF notes that a number of ECAs and international finance bodies have supported the project, among them: SEK - Sweden’s Export Credit Corporation (US$50 million via Dutch ING Bank); EKN - Swedish Export Credit Agency (Guarantees for the SEK credit); Sandvik SRP AB – a Swedish mining equipment company (recipient of the SEK & EKN support); the Swiss-Swedish ABB Group; the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group (IFC's compliance branch concluded in 2017 that there were "shortcomings in IFC’s appraisal and supervision of the project as relate to a  number of the issues raised in the complaints and found that IFC’s pre-investment E&S review of the project was not commensurate to risk.";  and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (Which has apparetnly refused to respond to the arguments of Armenian ecological organizations concerning social and ecological risks of the project and continues to support it.)

http://www.armecofront.net/en/amulsar-2/those-responsible-for-funding-and-equipp...


Brazil grants US$2 billion ECA credit line to Angola

(Macahub, Luanda, 12 February 2018) Brazil has agreed to grant a credit insurance facility to Angola under the Export Guarantee Fund and support for the equalisation of interest rates through the Brazilian Export Financing Programme (Proex) for goods and services up to US$2 billion. Brazilian resources now made available through the state-owned National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) will be used to carry out some projects included in the Public Investment Programme of the State Budget. BNDES has financed several projects with social and economic impact in Angola, including the construction of the Laúca Hydroelectric Dam, the Cambambe Dam, the water supply system for the cities of Benguela, Lobito and Catumbela, the construction of the Luanda-Viana Expressway, the construction of Catumbela International Airport and the construction of the Capanda Industrial Hub, among others.

https://macauhub.com.mo/2018/02/12/pt-brasil-concede-linha-de-credito-de-2000-mi...


Anadarko agrees Mozambique LNG sale, banks/ECAs discuss finance terms

(Reuters, London, 20 February 2018) Anadarko Petroleum’s plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Mozambique moved a step closer to completion on Tuesday after it agreed a 15-year LNG sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Electricite de France. France’s state-controlled utility will take 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the Mozambique Area 1 marketing venture led by Anadarko and consisting of Japanese trader Mitsui, India’s ONGC Videsh and Thailand’s PTT, among others. LNG project developers across the board have struggled to find the long-term buyers needed before banks and export credit agencies could commit financing for new plants.

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1QA7U4


What's New January 2018

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Aussie defence fund a reminder of ECAs’ murky history with the arms industry
  • Australian ECA underwriting arms exports is 'baffling', expert says
  • Turkish, French, Italian firms awarded missile system development project
  • Aramco Seeks Cheap ECA backed loans prior to IPO
  • Asia could attract $250B in coal power investment
  • G20 billions feed Viet Nam's coal-fired future
  • US Ex-Im may back a controversial Vietnamese coal plant
  • Exporters urging Ottawa and EDC to undo uneven application of Russian sanctions
  • Mexican chapter in the Odebrecht saga underscores need to bolster transparency at EDC
  • Does the OECD really support environmentally conscious economic policies?
  • Airbus, Boeing Hopeful on Return of State-Backed Plane Financing
  • China eyes stronger ties with Mekong countries with ECA support
  • Britain cancels plan to forgive North Korean ECA debt
  • Britain doubles ECA backing for India

ECAs go to Market

(Finance & Trade Watch and CEE Bankwatch, Dec. 2017) Export credits are big business. Members of the industry’s Berne Union, both state and private, insured approximately USD 1.9 trillion per year between 2012 and 2016, of which USD1 trillion was state ECA insured. That amount far exceeds the total investments of multilateral lenders such as the World Bank and the regional development banks and represents some 11% of world trade Between 2015 and 2017, Finance & Trade Watch and Bankwatch, together with their national partners, researched state export credit agencies (ECAs) in seven countries of the European Union (Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The aim of this research was to assess how the procedures and performance of these institutions comply with the relevant national, European and international regulatory frameworks. These include transparency, accountability, environmental and social standards as reflected in the OECD (Common Approaches), the EU (ECA Regulation) and the UN (Sustainable Development Goals, the Aarhus Convention and the Paris Agreement). Their report finds: a lack of ECA transparency, dubious investements, particularly in fossil fuels, projects contrary to national greenhouse gas commitments under the Paris Agreement, and OECD and EU standards and monitoring which are voluntary and unable to guarantee that prohibited investments are being approved. This has led to their involvement in a number of economically and politically-compromising projects. This first-of-its-kind research examines ECAs in the ‘new’ EU Member States and compares these with an example from the EU 15 – the Austrian ECA OeKB – as well as examples from other EU 15 countries. It shows regulatory gaps and offers a range of policy recommendations. The full report is available here and a summary here.

http://www.intellinews.com/comment-export-credit-agencies-lurk-in-the-shadows-of...


G20 Countries' Public Coal Financing Reaches 5 Year High

(Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, 8 February 2018) In 2017, financing from G20 governments for overseas coal projects reached a 5 year high, totaling at least $13 billion in loans, credits, and guarantees. This financial support for coal projects directly undermines G20 climate commitments and ignores the reality that a rapid coal phase out is needed if the world is to reach the 1.5 degree temperature goal under the Paris Climate Agreement. This is the 2nd year in a row that G20 public financing has increased for coal power projects in foreign countries. G20 public financing here refers to financial backing from government export credit agencies, like Japan Bank for International Cooperation, development banks, like China Development Bank, and government insurance entities, like Korea Trade Insurance Corporation. Public financial support is given to benefit domestic companies who are involved in projects abroad — for example, in 2017, Japan Bank of International Cooperation provided a $730 million dollar loan to enable Marubeni, a Japanese company, to develop the 1000 MW Cirebon 2 Coal Power Station in Indonesia. Public financial support can take the form of loans, guarantees, export and import credits, grants, and equity financing.

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/han-chen/g20-countries-public-coal-financing-reache...


Vietnam Pulls Request for U.S. Ex-Im Help to Build a Coal-Fired Power Plant

(New York Times, Hong Kong, 13 February 2018) A Vietnamese company is no longer seeking American financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, bringing to an abrupt end a closely watched test of whether Washington would back international projects that could potentially contribute to climate change. On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a lender run by the American government, said the Vietnamese state-controlled company, PetroVietnam, had withdrawn its application for financial support. In this case, a green light would have allowed PetroVietnam to purchase millions of dollars’ worth of turbines and other equipment from General Electric, the American manufacturer. The project, which is already under construction, faced intense criticism inside and outside the United States. Environmental and other groups said the project would have had a greater environmental impact than reports submitted by PetroVietnam had suggested. The World Bank and other major institutions have increasingly avoided backing projects supported by developing countries that burn coal and other fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The UK’s version of the Ex-Im Bank had declined to offer financial support for the Long Phu 1 project for similar reasons.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/11/business/us-exim-vietnam-coal.html


Standard Chartered & ECAs ‘breaching climate policy’ with Vietnam coal plant investment

(Climate Home News, London, 14 February 2018) The London-based bank plans to co-finance Nghi Son 2 power plant, which NGOs say uses dirty old technology, against company and OECD guidelines. The proposed financing arrangements also appear to breach the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s guidelines on coal, which restrict governments from using public export finance for new coal plants. Both Japan's and Korea’s export credit agencies, which help companies to export and win international business, are backing the project. Environmental NGOs Market Forces and Greenpeace analysed data from the project’s environmental impact assessment,  released last week by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) — an export credit agency wholly owned by the Japanese government. Vietnam’s expansion of coal-fired power generation to meet booming energy demand has led to major concerns over public health. The number of coal plants in Vietnam is projected to rise from 38 to 133, including all plants currently planned or under construction. Citing a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology  last year, Myllyvirta said coal-fired power plants were responsible for an estimated 4,300 premature deaths in Vietnam in 2011 alone. The study forecasts that by 2030 there will be more than 19,220 deaths per year due to coal pollution.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/02/14/standard-chartered-breaching-climate...


Attorney calls for sanctions against Energy Transfer Partners in Dakota Access pipeline suit

(Associated Press, Bismark, 9 February 2018) Attorneys for a Florida-based environmental publication want a federal judge in North Dakota to sanction the Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in a dispute over whether the publication can be sued. Earth First Journal maintains Energy Transfer Partners attorneys aren't acting in good faith by associating the publication with the Earth First social movement, which the company contends was part of an effort to undermine the pipeline project and the company. Energy Transfer in August sued Greenpeace, BankTrack and Earth First for up to $1 billion, alleging the environmental groups disseminated false and misleading information about the $3.8 billion pipeline moving oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois, and instigated violent protests. Journal attorney Pamela Spees maintains the journal and movement aren't the same thing, and that the insistence of company attorneys to the contrary is "intentional and reckless disregard of their duties to the court." Spees asked Hovland to order the plaintiffs to pay the center's fees and to educate lawyers at the plaintiff firms about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which she claims have been violated.

https://www.nydailynews.com/newswires/news/business/attorney-calls-sanctions-dak...


Airbus executives get swept away by a corruption investigation

(The Economist, Singapore, 8 February 2018) A management shake-out may reawaken national rivalries at the European aerospace giant. “The success of Airbus is intimately linked to the success of John [Leahy],” says Eric Schulz, successor to John Leahy, who has been chief salesman for the planemaker since 1994. Mr Leahy’s aggressive strategy to gain orders expanded Airbus’s market share for civil jets from 18% in 1994 to over 50%. But this year’s Singapore Airshow, which began on February 6th, will be Mr Leahy’s last before retirement. Staff turnover does not stop there. In December the firm said Tom Enders, its German-born chief executive, would step down in 2019; his French second-in-command, Fabrice Brégier, will leave this month. These changes follow the news that several countries, including Britain, France and America, are investigating allegations that in the past Airbus bribed officials to win contracts. That created divisions between French and German executives over how to respond.

https://www.economist.com/news/business/21736580-management-shake-out-may-reawak...


BAE proposes UKEF financing to Malaysia for Typhoon jet deal

(Reuters, London, 12 February 2018) BAE Systems will provide Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal if it decides to replace its fleet of combat jets with the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior company officials said. Malaysia has for several years been weighing France’s Rafale jet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a European consortium including Britain’s BAE, as it looks to buy up to 18 jets to replace its Russian MiG-29s - most of which are grounded. The contest, potentially worth over $2 billion, is one of the biggest fighter deals under consideration in Asia. Financing would be provided via the UK Export Finance export credit agency.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bae-systems-malaysia/bae-proposes-uk-governme...


No job estimates on arms export plan

(Associated Press Australia, Sydney, 28 February 2018) The Defence Department can't say exactly how many Australian jobs will be created out of the Turnbull government's plan to make the country a top 10 global arms exporters in the next decade. The issue was canvassed during a robust exchange between Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and Defence Minister Marise Payne at a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday. The centrepiece of the government's ambitious plan is a $3.8 billion defence export facility within the export credit agency to help companies get finance to underpin sales of equipment overseas. "How is this good bang for our buck?" Senator Whish-Wilson asked, adding he wanted evidence it was the most cost-effective way for the government to create jobs. Department official Marc Ablong said no calculations had been carried out. "It's up to other agencies to determine whether there are more cost-effective ways for the government to spend the government's resources," Mr Ablong said.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/no-job-estimates-on-arms-export-pl...


Western banks rush to gain deals on China's Belt and Road Initiative

(Xinhua, Beijing, 28 February 2018) With China's Belt and Road Initiative gaining more recognition globally, Western banks are rushing in for a piece of the pie in this once in a generation opportunity. British and U.S. banks, including Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered have been seizing opportunities brought about by the initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The initiative aims to create greater trade, infrastructure and people-to-people links between Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond by reviving and expanding the ancient Silk Road routes. The modern version comprises an overland Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. As one example, Standard Chartered Bank has taken the initiative as a key part of its plan to generate the revenue growth necessary to achieve its target of making a return on equity above 10 percent. The bank has won 20 financing deals linked to the initiative over the past four years, such as a 515 million U.S. dollars project financing for a power plant in Zambia, a 200 million dollars loan for a Bangladesh electricity plant, and a 42 million dollars export credit facility for a gas terminal in Sri Lanka. [We will be following how ECAs swing in behind the banks on this initiative.]

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/28/c_137005861.htm


U.S. Treasury official slams China's 'non-market behavior'

(Reuters, Washington, 21 February 2018) The U.S. Treasury’s top diplomat ramped up his criticisms of China’s economic policies on Wednesday, accusing Beijing of “patently non-market behavior” and saying that the United States needed stronger responses to counter it. He said market-oriented, democratic governments were awakening to the challenges posed by China’s economic system, including from its state-owned banks and export credit agencies. And he reiterated his view that China had stopped liberalizing its economy and was actually reversing these trends. China says that its state-owned enterprises operate on free-market principles and is battling within the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system to be recognized as a “market economy” -- a designation that would weaken U.S. and EU trade defenses. [and their own ECA trade subsidies?]

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-treasury/u-s-treasury-official-slam...


US leads the way on protectionism in 2017 with tarifs and export credit

(Global Trade Review, London, 22 February 2018) No less than 467 protectionist measures were implemented worldwide in 2017, with the US responsible for 90 of them. But while protectionism is still rising, the scale of the increase is slowing: in 2016 there were 827 new measures introduced. Research from Euler Hermes, a trade credit insurer, found that the US “decided to bolster measures to counteract perceived protectionism from key competitors” in 2017. The Trump administration implemented 30 new import tariff measures, 20 anti-dumping measures and 17 tariffs on China alone, with the headline tariff being the 30% import tariff on Chinese solar panels. Euler Hermes also found that many trading powerhouses use what it considers to be protectionism to boost their exports. Among these is export credit agency (ECA) support, with Japan being highlighted for adopting 137 protectionist measures pertaining to its ECAs over the past four years.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/us-lead-the-way-on-protectionism-in-2017/


Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees

(The Hill, Washington, 20 Feb 2018) A bipartisan group of 68 House lawmakers are urging Senate leaders to get the Export-Import Bank running at full speed again. In December, the Senate Banking Committee approved four nominees to the Ex-Im board — Kimberly Reed, Spencer Bachus, Judith Pryor and Claudia Slacik. Since 2015, the Ex-Im Bank has been without a quorum on its board, which prohibits the agency from making deals of more than $10 million. Without a quorum in fiscal 2017, the bank only authorized $2.4 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance, supporting just 2,412 exporters, 40,000 jobs and $7.4 billion in U.S. export sales, the letter said. That is a sharp decline from 2014, when the bank approved $20.5 billion in business, which supported 3,563 exporters, 165,000 jobs, and $27.5 billion in exports.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/374755-bipartisan-group-of-house-lawmakers-urg...


U.S. urges help for Iraq, extends $3 billion Ex-Im credit line

(Reuters, Kuwait, 13 February 018) The United States has urged members of the coalition fighting Islamic State to help rebuild Iraq or risk a reversal of the gains made against the group. Secretary of State Tillerson said the official U.S. export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), would sign a $3 billion memorandum of understanding with Iraq’s finance ministry “that will set a stage for future cooperation”. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose government puts the costs of reconstruction at more than $88 billion, said Iraq could not rebuild without outside help.  Iraq received pledges of $30 billion, mostly in credit facilities and investment, on Wednesday from allies but this fell short of the $88 billion Baghdad says it needs to recover from three years of war. Officials say almost $23 billion is needed for short-term reconstruction and over $65 billion in the medium term. UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told Reuters Iraq might have been unable to attract more pledges due to its association with corruption. Investors see Iraq as the 10th most corrupt country, according to Transparency International.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tillerson-mideast/u-s-urges-help-for-iraq...


South Africa joins Afreximbank as a shareholder

(Business Live, Johannesburg, 20 February 2018) Showing its commitment to promoting intra-African trade and economic integration, South Africa has taken up shareholding in the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the continental multilateral trade finance institution. The South African government is represented by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) as its designated investor, in line with the terms of the provisions of the charter of the bank. The shareholding makes South Africa the 47th African country to join Afreximbank as a participating state and/or shareholder. “South Africa accounts for about 30%–35% of total intra-African trade,” he added, “making its membership critical for the attainment of the bank's strategic goal of moving intra-African trade share of Africa’s total trade from about 15% currently to 22% by 2021, and raising its annual value to more than $250bn by that year.

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/business-and-economy/2018-02-20-sa-joins-afrex...


South Africa’s Guptas hid Bombardier jet, EDC says in court repossession efforts

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 19 February 2018) Canada's export credit agency is worried that a Canadian EDC financed Bombardier luxury jet could become the escape vehicle for the controversial Gupta brothers as they flee a corruption prosecution in South Africa, according to court papers filed by the agency in Johannesburg.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/south-africas-guptas-hid-bombardier-j...


Armenian NGO challenges controversial ECA supported gold mine

(Armenian Environmental Front, Yerevan, 11 February 2018) In February 2017, the Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) published information on supporters of a gold mine in Amulsar Mountain next to the resort of Jermuk. They now have presented the key entities responsible for funding and equipping the Amulsar gold mine project. The AEF is challenging plans to develop a gold mine in close proximity to the environmentally sensitive Jermuk resort in violation of Armenian legislation. Environmental and social impact assessments are said to be substantially incomplete and incorrect and international expert groups from Australia, USA and Canada, having studied dozens of documents available on the Lydian International corporate website, have presented their assessments and conclusions on the environmental risks of the gold project in Amulsar. They note: "Our overall conclusion remains that the high risk of acid drainage and contaminant leaching, the poor geochemical evaluation, the inadequate water quality predictions and mitigation measures and Lydian’s inexperience combine to make this an environmentally high-risk project during mining and for a lengthy period after operations cease." The AEF notes that a number of ECAs and international finance bodies have supported the project, among them: SEK - Sweden’s Export Credit Corporation (US$50 million via Dutch ING Bank); EKN - Swedish Export Credit Agency (Guarantees for the SEK credit); Sandvik SRP AB – a Swedish mining equipment company (recipient of the SEK & EKN support); the Swiss-Swedish ABB Group; the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group (IFC's compliance branch concluded in 2017 that there were "shortcomings in IFC’s appraisal and supervision of the project as relate to a  number of the issues raised in the complaints and found that IFC’s pre-investment E&S review of the project was not commensurate to risk.";  and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (Which has apparetnly refused to respond to the arguments of Armenian ecological organizations concerning social and ecological risks of the project and continues to support it.)

http://www.armecofront.net/en/amulsar-2/those-responsible-for-funding-and-equipp...


Brazil grants US$2 billion ECA credit line to Angola

(Macahub, Luanda, 12 February 2018) Brazil has agreed to grant a credit insurance facility to Angola under the Export Guarantee Fund and support for the equalisation of interest rates through the Brazilian Export Financing Programme (Proex) for goods and services up to US$2 billion. Brazilian resources now made available through the state-owned National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) will be used to carry out some projects included in the Public Investment Programme of the State Budget. BNDES has financed several projects with social and economic impact in Angola, including the construction of the Laúca Hydroelectric Dam, the Cambambe Dam, the water supply system for the cities of Benguela, Lobito and Catumbela, the construction of the Luanda-Viana Expressway, the construction of Catumbela International Airport and the construction of the Capanda Industrial Hub, among others.

https://macauhub.com.mo/2018/02/12/pt-brasil-concede-linha-de-credito-de-2000-mi...


Anadarko agrees Mozambique LNG sale, banks/ECAs discuss finance terms

(Reuters, London, 20 February 2018) Anadarko Petroleum’s plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Mozambique moved a step closer to completion on Tuesday after it agreed a 15-year LNG sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Electricite de France. France’s state-controlled utility will take 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the Mozambique Area 1 marketing venture led by Anadarko and consisting of Japanese trader Mitsui, India’s ONGC Videsh and Thailand’s PTT, among others. LNG project developers across the board have struggled to find the long-term buyers needed before banks and export credit agencies could commit financing for new plants.

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1QA7U4


What's New December 2017

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

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Inside EDC one of Canada's most secretive agencies
  • Banks criticised for funding coal deals despite Paris agreement
  • Pipeline developer sues social movements
  • The UK arms trade with repressive regimes has no moral or economic sense
  • Turkey to Acquire Four Russian S-400 Missile Divisions with ECA support
  • Lenders jostle for mega PNG LNG financing deal
  • Africa – a new frontier for Floating LNG projects
  • Senate Panel Rejects Trump's Nominee to Lead Export-Import Bank
  • Former Ex-Im Bank Director under investigation for undisclosed foreign agent contract
  • Indonesia - Dirty man of Asia deepens addiction to coal
  • UKEF lines up new delegated supply chain finance (SCF) guarantees
  • An African corridor to prosperity [and coal fired global warming!]
  • Sinopec Signs $1b Iranian Abadan Refinery Expansion Deal
  • Kuwait Seals US$6.245bn ECA-Backed Corporate Transaction

Inside EDC one of Canada's most secretive agencies

(The Walrus, Toronto, 19 December 2017) Export Development Canada lends foreign buyers billions of taxpayer dollars. Critics say it's knowingly banking some of the world's worst regimes.  EDC has perfected the art of lending billions of taxpayer dollars to scandal-ridden foreign buyers. In May 2017, a trove of hundreds of thousands of emails was leaked to the press from an organization belonging to the Gupta family of South Africa. In a lengthy email thread strung out over the course of 2014, it was revealed that Bombardier had negotiated a C$52 million sale of a luxury jet to a Gupta subsidiary, with US$41 million of the jet’s financing provided directly to the Guptas by Export Development Canada, a Canadian Crown corporation. The Guptas are not EDC’s only controversial clients. The agency’s client list is studded with some of the most ­scandal-ridden multinationals on the planet including Kinross Gold whose West ­African mining operations were, as of 2016, under investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for bribery and corruption. [ECA-Watch member Above Ground has questioned EDC financing for controversial projects such as Omai Gold Mines in Guyana and Petrobas in Brazil, with EDC refusing to comment on the possible illegal or inappropriate use of Canadian tax dollars. Above Ground's 11 December 2017 report on Kinross Gold shows that, among other harms, Kinross’ dramatic expansion of the mine displaced the residents of traditional communities formed over a century ago by former African slaves who have land rights under Brazilian law. The legal process to formalize their collective title was well underway when Kinross announced its expansion plan and Export Development Canada provided financing, forcing them off their land. The report also raises concern about environmental oversight of the mine, which is located within 500 metres of neighbourhoods where hundreds of families live, as well as safety measures to keep people from entering the mine site.]  EDC activities are protected by disclosure protocols that are entirely opaque, with the result that few in ­Canada - including the Minister presiding over it - seem to know the full details about what the agency does, who it finances, and why. With EDC’s mandate up for review in 2018, it seems like a good time to examine the considerable reputational risks the agency often takes. [As well as its compliance with its own international, WTO and OECD agreed due diligence requirements on human rights, environmental standards and corruption.] On December 21, 2017, 2 days after this article was published online, EDC announced that it was suddenly terminating its $41 million loan to the Guptas for the purchase of a luxury Bombardier jet.

https://thewalrus.ca/inside-one-of-canadas-most-secretive-agencies/


Banks criticised for funding coal deals despite Paris agreement

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 31 December 2017) At the One Planet Summit in Paris in December 2017 a number of NGO, environmental and social movement organizations released briefings and research reports highlighting fossil fuel projects that are being funded by multilateral and national development banks and export credit agencies. The Big Shift global campaign released a briefing titled Dirty Dozen (pdf); complementary reports, ‘Banks vs. the Paris Agreement’ and ‘Investors vs. the Paris Agreement’ (pdf) were launched by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Urgewald, Friends of the Earth France, and Re:Common at the Climate Finance Day in Paris; and the Natural Resource Defense Council released Power Shift: International Coal vs. Renewable Energy Finance.




Pipeline developer sues social movements

(Kallanish Energy News, Greensburg, 18 December 2017) Dakota Access Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Florida-based environmental publication Earth First Journal are arguing in federal court whether something called a “social movement” can be sued. ETP in August filed a lawsuit against enviro-groups Earth First, Greenpeace and BankTrack, alleging they issued false and misleading information about the $3.8 billion pipeline, to move North Dakota crude to Patoka, Ill., interfered with construction, and damaged the company's reputation and finances through illegal acts. The company's lawsuit, filed in federal court in North Dakota, seeks damages that could approach $1 billion, The Associated Press reported.

https://www.kallanishenergy.com/2017/12/18/etp-publication-argue-over-social-mov...


The UK arms trade with repressive regimes has no moral or economic sense

(The Guardian, London, 20 December 2017) As the spectre of Brexit emerges, so do the first meaningful signs of the Tory vision of “building a global Britain”. The Department for International Trade, set up by Theresa May to put some flesh on the bones of her slogan, has prioritised arms sales for Britain’s post-Brexit industrial policy. The DIT, which licences Britain’s exports guns, planes and bombs, has overseen a sharp spike in sales to repressive regimes, many of which it has identified as “priority markets”. The biggest of these is Saudi Arabia, which is using our arms to bomb into famine its political enemies in Yemen. Our arms export control regime clearly states that it is illegal for the government to licence weapons to nations that oppress their own people or violate international humanitarian law. When buyers cannot afford our weapons, the government subsidises loans for them through export credit guarantees; UK Export Finance, which is supposed to support all British exports, says 50% of the support it provides (in the form of loans or guarantees) was given to defence exports.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/20/uk-arms-trade-no-moral-or-...


Turkey to Acquire Four Russian S-400 Missile Divisions with ECA support

(Prensa Latina, Moscow, 28 December 2017) Turkey will acquire, for 2.5 billion dollars, four divisions of the modern Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile divisions, which will be delivered in 2020. The finance ministries of Turkey and Russia have concluded negotiations for the granting of an export credit to Ankara, Chemezov head of the Russian state conglomerate Rostec said. Turkey will pay an advance equivalent to 45% of the total and the Russian side will grant an export credit that will cover the other 55% of the contract. Ankara [a NATO member] received strong criticism and even threats from the United States for its decision to acquire the Russian arms. In other Russian ECA news, four Iranian banks have signed an "unlimited finance deal" with the Eximbank of Russia for public and private sector approved projects using Russian technical and engineering services.

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=22657&SEO=turkey-to-acquire-four-russ...


Lenders jostle for mega PNG LNG financing deal

(Australian Financial Review, Sydney, 5 December 2017) Key project debt lenders have been giving their passports and travel insurers a workout as they troop up to Papua New Guinea to get to grips with what could be the region's biggest financing since the record US$20 billion deal for Ichthys LNG. While the final configuration of the next stage of LNG expansion in PNG is yet to be settled, those behind the circa US$17 billion project - primarily ExxonMobil, Total and Oil Search - are already well advanced. In considering funding export credit agencies are again expected to be well in evidence, while the backing of two oil majors and the sheer size of the project count in favour of commercial lender interest.

http://www.afr.com/street-talk/local-lenders-jostle-for-mega-png-financing-deal-...


Africa – a new frontier for Floating LNG projects

(LNG Worldshipping News, London, 4 December 2017)) Floating LNG (FLNG) is opening new offshore gas basins for LNG development in Africa. The ownership structure of Africa’s new LNG production and the willingness of international oil companies to deploy new technologies will drive the commoditisation of LNG and cement its growing role as such in the global trading of energy. Uniquely, FLNG vessels will provide the first liquefaction plants in Mozambique and Cameroon and the technology is also expected to lead an expansion of capacity in Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Mauritania. Italy’s Eni and its partners took a final investment decision on the 3.4M tonnes a year (mta) Coral FLNG scheme off Mozambique in June 2017. The project will be the first of this type to have as much as 60% of its cost funded on a project-finance basis, backed by 15 international banks and guaranteed by five export credit agencies. The financing was provided in the form of covered loans from five export credit agencies (Italy's Sace, China's Sinosure, Japan's Ksure, South Korea's Kexim, and Portugal's BPI) and two direct loans (one provided by Kexim, the other by an unnamed 'commercial bank').

http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,africa-a-new-frontier-for-flng_49905.h...


Senate Panel Rejects Trump's Nominee to Lead Export-Import Bank

(New York Times, Washington, 19 December 2017) Two Republican senators broke with their party to block President Trump’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank, a setback for the White House that reflects deep divisions in the Republican Party over the role that the government should play in steering the United States economy toward prosperity. The nominee, Scott Garrett, a former representative and a Republican from New Jersey who had wanted to see the government’s export credit agency shuttered, was rejected by the Senate Banking Committee in a 13-to-10 vote. Since 2015, the agency has been hobbled by a lack of personnel necessary to approve projects over $10 million, formerly the bulk of the agency’s work. An estimated $42.2 billion worth of deals are stuck in the pipeline waiting for approval, which could support an estimated 250,000 American jobs, a spokeswoman for the Export-Import Bank said. Some of the biggest Ex-Im customers are General Electric, Boeing and Caterpillar, Some senators and the Trump administration have threatened to pull the other board nominees, leaving the bank without a quorum and barred from financing deals over $10 million and Boeing to fend for itself. However, in 2017 the Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium has supported more than $1 billion of new airplane deliveries and Boeing has 661 firm orders for 2018, in addition to 6,600 backorders. Meanwhile it has been said that Boeing is upset that Garrett was getting help throughout the nomination process from Dan Murphy, a lobbyist for a high-powered Washington firm that counts Airbus among its clients.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/us/politics/republicans-senate-export-import-...


Former Ex-Im Bank Director under investigation for undisclosed foreign agent contract

(Newsweek, Washington, 20 June 2017) Federal investigators probing the lobbying work of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn are focused in part on the role of Bijan Kian, Flynn’s former business partner, according to a person interviewed by the FBI. In private conversations with potential clients, Kian portrayed himself as a rainmaker for Flynn, tapping into connections cultivated during a five-year tenure as a director at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, according to one person who worked with the firm. Inovo, a Netherlands-based company controlled by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, hired Flynn Intel Group to research Fethullah Gulen’s activities in the United States, which he suspected were “poisoning” relations between the United States and Turkey. Like Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan, Alptekin blamed the coup on followers of Gulen. Kian played a central role in securing and overseeing the Inovo contract, two people with knowledge of that project said. The FBI has been investigating whether Flynn’s consulting firm lobbied on behalf of Turkey - after being paid $530,000 by Inovo - without making the proper disclosure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

http://www.newsweek.com/flynn-trump-russia-investigation-turkey-bijan-kian-gulen...


Indonesia - Dirty man of Asia deepens addiction to coal

(The Nation, Bangkok, 30 December 2017) Already the world’s fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter,  Indonesia is leading Southeast Asia’s boom in coal-fired power. Already one of the world’s biggest carbon polluters because of deforestation, Indonesia has back-pedalled on a pledge to cap coal production. The government initially planned to reduce its coal production to 413 million tonnes this year, from 419 million tonnes in 2016. The figure was expected to fall to 406 million tonnes next year, before hovering at only 400 million from 2019. However, this year’s coal production has already reached 477 million tonnes, far outstripping last year’s 434 million tonnes. The boom is being bankrolled by foreign governments and banks, the Guardian reports. Activist group Market Forces examined 22 deals involving 13.1 gigawatts of coal-fired power in Indonesia and found that 91 per cent of the projects had the backing of foreign governments through export credit agencies or development banks. The majority of the money was coming from Japan and China, with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation involved in five deals and the Export-Import Bank of China involved in seven deals.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30335079


UKEF lines up new delegated supply chain finance (SCF) guarantees

(Global Trade Review, London, 7 December 2017) UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced plans for a new invoice financing scheme for exporters in a bid to boost exports through supply chain efficiency. GTR has learned that the new scheme will allow an exporter to set up a supply chain discounting facility with its bank, through which suppliers can receive up to 95% of their payment on invoice submission. The facility will be based on an export contract and support will be based on the buyer’s creditworthiness. UKEF will provide the bank with a guarantee for up to 80% of the amount of credit provided through the facility. The finer details of the scheme, which is due to be launched next year, are still being ironed out. Earlier in the year, the export credit agency (ECA) launched the Bank Delegation scheme, which gives banks authority to issue UKEF guarantees for their customers simply by telling UKEF they are issuing the guarantee based on the banks' own due diligence. [How UKEF will ensure compliance with its own international, WTO and OECD agreed due diligence requirements on human rights, environmental standards and corruption is not clear under this delegation of responsibility to private sector banks.]

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/ukef-lines-up-new-scf-scheme-2/


An African corridor to prosperity [and coal fired global warming!]

(African Law & Business, London, 7 December 2017) London's Linklaters & US firm White & Case, together with local law firms, have shared the plaudits in agreeing financing of the US$4 billion Nacala Corridor rail and port project, which spans Mozambique & Malawi. It involves Brazil's Vale & Japan's Mitsui and will enable the construction, refurbishment and operation of nearly 1000 kilometres of railway line, as well as the construction and operation of a coal terminal in the port of Nacala, linking Vale’s coal project in Tete Province, in western Mozambique home to some of the world’s richest remaining coal deposits, with a deep sea port to be constructed in Nacala – the so-called Nacala Corridor, in eastern Mozambique. Banks involved in the deal, who were advised by Linklaters, included the African Development Bank (AfDB), Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) together with ECIC and NEXI covered commercial banks.

https://www.africanlawbusiness.com/news/7797-a-corridor-to-prosperity


Sinopec Signs $1b Iranian Abadan Refinery Expansion Deal

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 30 December 2017) China's Sinopec Engineering Company has signed a deal worth $1 billion to develop Abadan Oil Refinery, Iran's oldest crude processing facility in the southern oil-rich Khuzestan Province, the Chinese oil and gas group announced. According to Iranian officials, the venture will be financed by China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, or Sinosure. The funding is reportedly part of a deal worth $3 billion to overhaul and expand the facility. Sinosure is China's major state-owned export credit insurance company. Its financing since its establishment in 2001 has totaled $290 billion for exports and investments. Commissioned in 1912, Abadan refinery is the longest-running Iranian crude refinery and once the largest oil refinery in the world.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/78896/sinopec-signs-1b-abadan-refin...


Kuwait Seals US$6.245bn ECA-Backed Corporate Transaction

(Bonds & Loans, London, 5 December 2017) Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s (KNPC) US$6.245bn ECA-backed loan was a triumph for the company’s Clean Fuel Project and the region’s credit markets, setting a new record for the largest ECA-backed corporate loan to date. The Project involves modernisation of the Mina Al Ahmadi and Mina Abdullah oil refineries of KNPC located in Al Ahmadi Governorate, south of the country, to make their products meet stringent environmental requirements. Total debt financing for the Project is estimated to be around US$10bn. The financing package is supported by 7 ECAs: Atradius Dutch State Business N.V., Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, SACE, and UK Export Finance. JBIC and KEXIM extended direct financing to KNPC while the other agencies provided cover to commercial bank lenders involved in the transaction.

http://www.bondsloans.com/news/article/1471/case-study-knpc-seals-usd6245bn-loan...


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