ECA Watch Newsletter

What's New May 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?

Indonesian Community Reps File Cirebon Coal Plant Objections with JIBC

(Friends of the Earth Japan, Tokyo, 24 May 2017) On May 24, 2017, two Indonesian community representatives affected by the JIBC supported Cirebon Coal-fired Power Plant Project in West Java arrived in Japan and handed their objections to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) with respect to the expansion of the Unit 2 power plant (1,000 MW). At the same time, Indonesian and Japanese NGOs filed their complaints with the Japanese National Contact Point (NCP) under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). Japanese public and private sectors, including Marubeni and JERA as investors, have pushed through the project despite already serious damages to the livelihoods of the local community and the April 19 revocation of its environmental permit by the District Court in Bandung.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/170524.html


World Coal: IEA CCC Report - Global financing for coal power goes East

(World Coal, Surrey, 19 May 2017) Development finance is essential to help the advancement and empowerment of low and middle income economies. But, past announcements by multilateral development banks restricting finance for greenfield coal plants cast doubts on future funding. This approach to coal investments spread to other development agencies and also became a foundation for the rules governing OECD export credits (pdf). A new report from the IEA Clean Coal Centre by Paul Baruya, Trends in international lending for coal-fired power plants, examines the implications of these announcements and explores the roles and policies of different financial institutions. In 2014 alone, US$152 billion of funding was received by the coal power and mining sectors from such institutions. Of this total, just US$9 billion was provided by multilateral development banks and export credit agencies. Thus these publicly financed institutions make a minor contribution to direct funding of coal projects, although they maintain a role in attracting commercial funding to higher risk projects.

https://www.worldcoal.com/power/19052017/iea-ccc-global-financing-for-coal-power...


Turkey in 'final phase' of secretive Saudi arms export deal

(Defense News, Ankara, 3 May 2017) Turkey’s defense and procurement officials are expecting to finalize a large defense export contract with Saudi Arabia, but its contents will be kept top secret. Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik has said the defense export contract with Saudi Arabia will be the largest-ever single export deal for the Turkish industry...  Turkey, he said, would launch a new export lending mechanism outside the scope of Eximbank loans in order to finance Turkish exports. Eximbank is a state-owned export credit bank in Turkey. The Minister said his government was working on a broad plan to boost Turkish defense and aerospace exports. He admitted that financing was often a major problem for potential markets.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/turkey-in-final-phase-of-secretive-saudi-exp...


N.J. critic of Export-Import Bank appointed to overhaul federal credit agency

(National Public Radio Newsworks, Delaware, 16 May 2017) Republicans who want to disband the Export-Import Bank of the United States were heartened during the presidential campaign when candidate Donald Trump indicated he would kill it if he were elected president. Now, President Trump said he supports the bank and the micro-financing it gives U.S. companies. Republican Ryan Costello and other lawmakers from the Delaware Valley are in that corner as well, but are now perplexed by the President's tapping of former U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett to serve on the  bank's board. Garrett, a founding member of the very conservative House Freedom Caucus, has long been a critic of the bank — even voting against its reauthorization. Democrats fear Garrett and Trump are trying to undermine the bank from within. Democrat Brendan Boyle said it's difficult to discern whether Trump is being devious or if he just doled out a favor to a loyalist who recently lost a bid for re-election. "It could just be that there's no forethought in this whatsoever,” Boyle said.

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local//item/103984-nj-critic-of-export-import...


Airbus tightens fraud controls

(Air Transport World, Arlington, 22 May 2017) Airbus has established a new independent compliance review panel (ICRP) to ensure “irreproachable” behavior, following allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in its civil aviation business. The move follows an investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and France’s Parquet National Financier (PNF), after Airbus self-disclosed misstatements and omissions found a year ago. Revelations started emerging in April 2016, when the UK Export Finance (UKEF), Britain’s export credit agency (ECA), placed a temporary hold on all guarantees and credit export support of Airbus products. Coface, the French ECA, and Euler Hermes, the German ECA, followed within days. The probe is focused on alleged misuse of third-party agents and European export credit by Airbus.

http://atwonline.com/manufacturers/airbus-tightens-fraud-controls


Iran in talks with UK export credit agency over jetliner export funding

(Reuters, Paris, 4 May 2017) Iran is in talks with Britain's export credit agency to facilitate the financing of aircraft sales to state airline IranAir as part of its pact with world powers to lift sanctions over its nuclear program, a senior Iranian official said. IranAir's plan to buy more than 180 jets from Airbus and Boeing is the most visible economic deal on the table after major powers last year lifted most sanctions on Iran in return for restrictions on its nuclear activities. But financing for the purchases has been hard to secure because most Western banks are holding back, concerned about the future of the 2015 agreement after U.S. President Donald Trump called it a bad deal and ordered a review. So far, IranAir has taken delivery of just three Airbus jets, for which it paid cash, industry sources say. Meanwhile, other news reports say that Theresa May’s snap decision to hold general elections in June discourages Britain’s export credit arm from taking defining decisions affecting foreign policy during such a critical time. The government is also likely to postpone dealing with the issue until after the elections. Meanwhile, the Iranian government was under immense pressure to show results of the Nuclear Deal before the country’s elections in May. The Slovakian and Finnish ECAs have also signed deals with Iran.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-britain-financing-exclusive-idUSKBN1800VW


China's Export Credit Agency Covering Iran Investment

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 9 May 2017) China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) will provide export insurance for Chinese construction and production investments in Iran. According to a recently signed Meorandum of Understanding, the Chinese export credit agency will insure state-owned and private Chinese companies that intend to invest in Iranian projects, enabling them to use new lines of credit, particularly for the export of high-value added goods from China. Prior to this, the entity had provided credit lines and export insurance for mining and refinery projects in Iran.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/64046/chinas-...


Like spring weather, Delta’s positions on EXIM change quickly and dramatically

(eTurbo News, Hawaii, 11 May 2017) A recent high-profile example of Delta’s advocacy agility was its position on export credit financing and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Delta opposed it before it supported it. In the beginning, Delta was a leading voice opposing reauthorization of the EXIM. It was a visible and vocal member of the chorus decrying export credit financing as inherently bad public policy and crony capitalism. Delta claimed it was chased out of the US-India market by EXIM lending to Air India to purchase Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Simultaneously, it spent millions of dollars repeatedly suing EXIM seeking to use the courts to block guarantees for Air India’s 787s. Then Delta pivoted. It claimed it never opposed export credit financing and, after waging a scorched earth lobbying campaign against EXIM, it in fact was prepared to support its reauthorization provided the legislation included an anticompetitive carve-out prohibiting widebody financing for state-owned carriers.

https://www.eturbonews.com/154422/like-spring-weather-deltas-positions-change-qu...


State Bank of India could fund Gautam Adani’s coal mine in Australia

(National Herald, New Delhi, 9 May 2017) Australia's Market Forces environmental finance group has warned that Indian businessman Gautam Adani could turn to the Indian government to get his $21 billion coal mine funded, as Australian and international investors increasingly pull out of the project due to environmental concerns. "The (funding) model now looks like a combination of North Australia Infrastructure Funding (NAIF) funding, State Bank of India (SBI) and foreign export credit providing the bulk of the debt. The remainder would likely rely heavily on Indian commercial banks that Adani has a close relationship with, and some other foreign commercial banks that have not yet ruled out finance," Julien Vincent, the Executive Director at Market Forces, told National Herald, replying to an emailed questionnaire. Taxpayers in Australia and India are most likely to fill the funding gap that Adani is experiencing, Vincent said.

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/news/2017/05/09/sbi-could-fund-gautam-adanis...


Kenya’s stake in pan African ECA diluted

(The Star, Nairobi, 8 May 017) Kenya's shareholding in African Trade Insurance Agency has been marginally diluted following entry of four new investors, the largely political risk and investment guarantee firm has said. Chief executive George Otieno said Kenya's stake has dropped to about 12 per cent from 15 per cent. This was after Ethiopia and Zimbabwe joined the pan-African investment and commercial risk insurance provider last year, while Ivory Coast came on board last month. UK’s national export credit agency, UK Export Finance, has also acquired undisclosed stake in ATI, joining African Development Bank and Italian Export Credit Agency as non-state shareholders. “Kenya, however, remains the single largest shareholder in ATI and by some measure the single biggest beneficiary of ATI cover since its inception,” ATI’s chief underwriting officer John Lentaigne said. “We have investments in Kenya equivalent to 15 per cent (about Sh1.08 trillion) of the current GDP (about Sh7.2 trillion) since its (ATI's) inception.” The company was formed by seven African countries, with Kenya as single largest shareholder, in 2001 but started operating fully in 2003. The agency was financially and technically supported by the World Bank Group during its formation.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/05/08/kenyas-stake-in-pan-african-firm-dilut...


US Trade Finance for Cuba ‘Much Further Down the Road’ says Ex-Im Bank Officer

(Sputnik News, Washington, 15 May 2017) Trade finance to Cuba is not expected in the near future because of the quantity of work that needs to be completed, including the country's payments due to export credit agencies, US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) Business Development Officer Kate Bishop told Sputnik on Monday. "It looks like trade restrictions are easing, but trade finance, which is where we come in, I think that would be much further down the road before it would even be considered," Bishop said on the sidelines of the Fifth Annual Doing Business with the BRICS Conference on Monday.

https://sputniknews.com/business/201705151053637579-us-trade-cuba-exim/


What's New April 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.

  • In policy reversal Trump names new Ex-Im president
  • Don't fund South African coal mine, activists plead with Australian export credit agency
  • JBIC Must Immediately Review and Repeal its Loan Agreement for Illegal Coal Project
  • German, Swedish, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Italian and French ECAs support Yamal LNG project
  • Brazil will offer export credit-line for defence products
  • Ex-Im Bank of India confirms $1.6bn loan for Rampal coal plant to bankroll Sundarbans destruction
  • EDC Signals Millions in New Loans for India with the Opening of Singapore Branch
  • Canada's EDC and UK UKEF eye Philippine growth and infrastructure
  • Alba secures $700m in export credit financing
  • Iran, Portugal ECAs Sign Cooperation Deal

In policy reversal Trump names new Ex-Im president

(Deutsche Welle, Washington, 15 April 2017) US President Trump has named Scott Garrett, a conservative Republican former lawmaker, to head the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. Garrett voted to close the official US export credit agency when he was a member of Congress. Trump also named Spencer Bachus, a Republican former congressman from Alabama, to be a member of the Ex-Im board of directors. During last year's presidential election campaign, Trump dismissed the bank as "unnecessary." He alleged in August that "it's sort of a featherbedding for politicians and others, and a few companies." On April 12th, in comments reported by the Wall Street Journal, Trump announced a policy change on Ex-Im, saying: "Actually, it's a very good thing. And it actually makes money, it could make a lot of money." Garrett, a New Jersey Republican, served seven terms in the House of Representatives and voted in 2012 and 2015 against renewing the Ex-Im charter. A founding member of the Freedom Caucus and reported to have made a series of anti-gay remarks, Garrett was defeated in the November elections. Speaking about Ex-Im at a congressional hearing in 2014, Garrett said "when you mix big corporations and taxpayer-backed guarantees, you get a little something that looks an awful like crony capitalism." In a tweet in October 2015, Garrett described the bank as a "corporate welfare program."

http://www.dw.com/en/in-policy-reversal-president-trump-names-new-president-for-...


Don't fund South African coal mine, activists plead with Australian export credit agency

(Guardian, London, 6 April 2017) Environmental action groups including Greenpeace, Oxfam and GetUp have signed an open letter to Australia’s export credit agency asking it not to fund a controversial new coal mine. The groups say a loan to the proposed Resgen Boikarabelo mine in South Africa will lead to human rights abuses and hinder Australia’s Paris commitment to keep global warming below 2C. The open letter to the Efic Board of Directors from civil society organizations led by ActionAid and Jubilee Australia, and representing some 2 million Australians all together, expressed their belief that by funding this coal mine, Efic is at risk of funding human rights abuses in South Africa.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/17/australia-export-credit-a...


JBIC Must Immediately Review and Repeal its Loan Agreement for Illegal Indonesian Coal Project

(Friends of the Earth Japan, Tokyo, 19 April 2017) Following objections from local affected villagers, on April 19th the regional court in Bandung, West Java revoked the environmental permit for the 1000MW Cirebon coal-fired power plant expansion plan known as Cirebon 2 (which Marubeni and JERA invested in). The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) had concluded a loan agreement for Cirebon 2 on April 18, the day immediately before the court verdict was due. JBIC now must sincerely take into account the local villagers’ rights and the judicial decision in the host country. JIBC must immediately review and repeal its decision to provide financing for Cirebon 2, as the project is illegal according to local law and in violation of the “JBIC Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations” (Guidelines) which require “the compliance with environmental laws of the host nation and local governments concerned” and “the submission of environmental permit certificates issued by the host governments.”

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/170419.html


German, Swedish, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Italian and French ECAs support Yamal LNG project

(Kyiv Post, Moscow, 21 April 2017) The German and Swedish export credit agencies have decided to take part in the Yamal LNG project, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said during the annual general meeting of shareholders. The cost of the project is $27 billion. Yamal LNG has signed credit agreements for the equivalent of $12 billion with China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export and Import Bank of China (CEXIM), and the equivalent of $4 billion with Gazprombank and Sberbank. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will provide €200 million, and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo will provide €750 million under coverage from Italian export credit agency Sace and France’s Coface (amounting to €350 million. In addition, Yamal LNG received the equivalent of $2.4 billion from Russia’s National Welfare Fund (NWF). WWF Russia in 2015 noted that the situations on Sakhalin Island, the Yamal Peninsula fields (and, apparently, in the Gydansky Peninsula in future) failed to comply with Item 8.4 of the Environmental Standards for Operations of Oil and Gas Companies Acting in Russia developed in 2004 by non-governmental nature conservation organizations.

https://www.kyivpost.com/russia/mikhelson-german-swedish-export-credit-agencies-...


Brazil will offer export credit-line for defence products

(QUWA, San Francisco, 6 April 2017) Brazil will offer a credit-line to overseas customers of its defence products. The announcement was made by the President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), Maria Sílvia Bastos Marques, at LAAD 2017, which is taking place at Rio de Janeiro. As per the Brazilian Ministry of Defence’s press release, current schemes are done on an ad hoc basis, but this formal mechanism will coordinate with each of Brazil’s ministries and will boost the competitiveness of the Brazilian defence industry. For example, there is a Defence Group in the Foreign Trade Chamber.
http://quwa.org/2017/04/06/brazil-will-offer-credit-line-defence-exports


Ex-Im Bank of India confirms $1.6bn loan for Rampal coal plant to bankroll Sundarbans destruction

(BankTrack, Nijmegen, 11 April 2017) Ex-Im Bank of India’s confirmation today that it is providing a $1.6 billion loan to Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (BIFPCL) for development of the Rampal coal plant in Bangladesh has been strongly criticised by BankTrack. Johan Frijns, director of BankTrack, said: “Ex-Im India’s decision to bankroll the massive Rampal coal plant in Bangladesh, situated right next to the Sundarbans mangrove forest, comes packaged with the claims that ‘state of the art technologies have been selected for this project’, and that ‘all environment concerns related to the project have been addressed’. Yet such statements are completely at odds with the deep concerns held by the Bangladeshi population and the international public, and fly in the face of overwhelming expert opinion to the contrary. Resistance is now set to grow further against the project promoters and the bank.

https://www.banktrack.org/news/exim_bank_of_india_confirms_1_6bn_loan_for_rampal...


EDC Signals Millions in New Loans for India with the Opening of Singapore Branch

(Business Wire, Mumbai, 2 April 2017) Export Development Canada today announced its new and first global branch outside of Canada, in Singapore. “EDC’s new branch can process transactions in real time for Indian companies, eliminating the previous 12 hour delay to connect back to our financing team in Canada,” says Bill Brown, Regional Vice-President, Asia, EDC. “EDC’s financial services are now offered more quickly and effectively, which will significantly benefit Indian companies.” The new Singapore branch is expected to play an important role in doubling EDC’s loan bookings by 2021, when it hopes to be providing over USD 4 billion in new commercial financing annually.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/export-development-canada-signals-millions-013000...


Canada's EDC and UK UKEF eye Philippine growth and infrastructure

(Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila, 24 April 2017) As offers of development funding from China and Japan pour in, Canada also wants a bigger piece of the Philippine growth story as its export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) seeks more opportunities to fund infrastructure projects and other key industries. In an e-mail interview with the Inquirer, EDC regional vice president for Asia international business development William Brown said EDC was anticipating more Canadian businesses wanting to invest and sell more products to the Philippines as Canadian exporters and investors seek opportunities in emerging markets. EDC recently opened a branch in Singapore to function as its financing hub in Asia. The United Kingdom has offered the Philippines a chance to tap its £4.5-billion export-import facility as a financing option for the Duterte Administration’s massive infrastructure program, the Department of Finance (DoF) said over the weekend.

https://business.inquirer.net/228257/canada-export-bank-eyes-ph


Alba secures $700m in export credit financing

(Trade Arabia, Manama, 16 April 017) Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), a leading aluminium smelter, has secured commitments of about $700 million from Export Credit Agency (ECA) supported facilities to finance Line 6 Expansion project. The facilities are made-up of a dual tranche of c. $310 million and c. EUR315 million ($334 million) SERV Guaranteed Export Credit and c. EUR50 million Euler Herms Guaranteed Export Credit. The SERV-backed facility will fund the company’s Power Station 5 (PS5) wherein General Electric (GE), EPC contractor, will provide three 9HA gas turbines, three steam turbines and three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs).

https://www.tradearabia.com/index.php?%2Fnews%2FIND_323517_html=


Iran, Portugal ECAs Sign Cooperation Deal

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 20 April 2017) Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) and Portugal’s private insurance firm COSEC signed a memorandum of understanding in Tehran on Tuesday to expand cooperation. The two entities agreed to expand cooperation in co-insurance, reinsurance, credit assessment, claims prevention and recovery of debts that help the exporters of both countries, EGFI reported in a press release. The private insurance COSEC has the mandate to manage the official export credit guarantee scheme on behalf of the Portuguese government. Since the lifting of sanctions, EGFI has been expanding ties with various ECAs and has held talks with institutions across the world, including the United Kingdom Export Finance, Japanese Nippon Export, Investment Insurance Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India, South Korea’s K-Sure and Italy’s SACE. Iran-Portugal trade stood at $1.76 million during the 10 months to January 20, 2017, Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines’ website reported.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/62804/iran-po...


What's New March 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.

  • 280 CSOs from 47 Countries Call on Japanese Government to Reject Support for Indonesian Coal Plants
  • France Joins UK in Airbus Fraud Investigation
  • EC publishes Annual Activity Report on Export Credits
  • Ex-Im Bank Critics Are Undermining Trump's Trade Strategy
  • S. Korean & Chinese ECAs to support hydroelectric dams in Iran
  • Norway export credit institute sees Iran trade opportunity
  • Export credit funds to finance Adani's Australian coal mine project
  • Law firm helps secure Norwegian ECA US$100m facility for massive offshore oil project
  • Uganda: UK Doubles Export Funding to Uganda
  • UK commits US$1.2 billion for funding development projects in Peru
  • Islamic Development Bank sets out roadmap to promote Arab-African trade
  • Export credit to boost Middle East lending
  • Botswana hosts global credit insurance conference
  • South Sudan officially joins Afrexibank
  • Saab & BAE Systems table export credit for Malaysia fighter bid
  • World Bank Project Aims to Help Mongolia Access Export Credits

280 CSOs from 47 Countries Call on Japanese Government to Reject Support for Indonesian Coal Plants

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

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/170323.html


France Joins UK in Airbus Fraud Investigation

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

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-03-16/france-joins-uk-...


EC publishes Annual Activity Report on Export Credits

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

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX%3A52017DC0067


Ex-Im Bank Critics Are Undermining Trump's Trade Strategy

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

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2017/03/03/ex-im-bank-critics-are-und...


S. Korean & Chinese ECAs to support hydroelectric dams in Iran

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

https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/61409/s-koreans-chinese-companies-t...


Norway export credit institute sees Iran trade opportunity

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

http://www.iranoilgas.com/news/details?id=17271&title=Norway%20export%20credit%2...


Export credit funds to finance Adani's Australian coal mine project

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

https://www.pressreader.com/india/business-standard/20170320/281608125251170


Law firm helps secure Norwegian ECA US$100m facility for massive Australian offshore oil project

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

http://www.australasianlawyer.com.au/news/nrf-helps-secure-us100m-facility-for-m...


Uganda: UK Doubles Export Funding to Uganda

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

http://allafrica.com/stories/201703270339.html


UK commits US$1.2 billion for funding development projects in Peru

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

http://www.andina.com.pe/Ingles/noticia-uk-commits-12-billion-for-funding-develo...


Islamic Development Bank sets out roadmap to promote Arab-African trade

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

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1063406/saudi-arabia


Export credit to boost Middle East lending

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

https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/2017/03/08/societe-generale-sees-export-...


Botswana hosts global credit insurance conference

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

http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?aid=67628&dir=2017/march/23


South Sudan officially joins Afrexibank

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

https://www.biznisafrica.co.za/south-sudan-officially-joins-afreximbank/


Saab & BAE Systems table export credit for Malaysia fighter bid

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

http://quwa.org/2017/03/22/saab-bae-systems-table-export-credit-malaysia-fighter...


World Bank Project Aims to Help Mongolia Access Export Credits

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

http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/03/24/world-bank-project-aims-to-help-...


What's New February 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.

We apologize for the delay in publication of the February issue which was caused by a crash of the editor's computer.

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.

  • Japanese ECA finances Indonesian coal plant despite widespread opposition
  • Canadian ECA supports Canadian software exports to stifle dissent in Bahrain
  • Swedish credit lines for Iran
  • Boeing *loves* the Export-Import Bank, but Boeing doesn't *need* the Export-Import Bank
  • Trump’s Mixed Signals on Export-Import Bank Leave Door Open for Conservatives
  • US Ex-Im has provided $315m to supplier of mines accused of slave labor
  • Afreximbank commits $90bn to boost African trade
  • Fitch affirms SACE rating at 'A-' with outlook negative

Japanese ECA finances Indonesian coal plant despite widespread opposition

(Banktrack, Nijmegen, 28 February 2017) As financial close was announced on the Tanjung Jati B 2 (TJB2) coal expansion power project in Indonesia yesterday, BankTrack, Friends of the Earth Japan and 350.org Japan criticised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and several Japanese and Singaporean banks for their support for the project. JBIC’s approval of a USD 1.7 billion loan agreement for the project, with further backing from the “big three” Japanese commercial banks - Mizuho Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation – as well as other Japanese banks and Singapore’s OCBC, comes after French banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole withdrew from the bank consortium in December. The building of two new coal power units will make the already hard-felt impacts of the existing Tanjung Jati B coal power station worse. The local fishing community cites reduced catches, damage to the coral reef and collisions between fishing boats and coal transport barges. It will also worsen the impacts of air pollution. A Greenpeace report has estimated that the first four units are already responsible for 1,020 premature deaths per year because of respiratory infections caused by air pollution from the plant.

http://www.banktrack.org/news/japanese_and_singaporean_banks_step_in_to_finance_...


Canadian ECA supports Canadian software exports to stifle dissent in Bahrain

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 15 February 2017) Last year an Ontario-based company, with support from Export Development Canada, sold Internet filtering technology to the government of Bahrain — a country criticized internationally for widespread suppression of human rights defenders through censorship, surveillance, arbitrary detention and torture. In this submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights, we draw attention to this troubling situation and call for the adoption of regulatory and policy measures to ensure Canada is not complicit in foreseeable human rights violations associated with the use of digital censorship and surveillance technologies supplied by Canadian companies. The kingdom of Bahrain last summer started using Web-filtering software from Netsweeper Inc. as a means of keeping a lid on dissent according to a University of Toronto report.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/bahrain-using-canadian-software-to-...


Swedish credit lines for Iran

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 13 February 2017) After a meeting with the Swedish Minister for European Affairs and Trade Anne Linde, Iran's Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mahmoud Vaezi announced that two Swedish banks will allocate credit lines to Iranian companies in the field of communications and information technology.  The visiting delegates were in Tehran on Saturday as part of a high-ranking political and economic mission led by Swedish Premier Stefan Lofven on a three-day visit and included CEOs of companies like Scania, Ericsson, Elekta, Volvo, ABB, Sensys Gatso Group, Swedish Energy Agency, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, along with Danske Bank and EKN (Swedish export credit agency. Recent missions from France, Italy and Germay have shown that Europe will double down on Iran deal even as Trump steps away

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/59467/swedish...


Boeing *loves* the Export-Import Bank, but Boeing doesn't *need* the Export-Import Bank

(Washington Examiner, Washington, 17 February 2017) The Export-Import Bank of the United States is also known as "Boeing's Bank," because about 40 percent of its financing, in the average year, goes to subsidize Boeing sales. Boeing spends a lot of time and money lobbying in favor of Ex-Im. One interesting detail: Kevin Varney, recently a vice president at Ex-Im is now chief of staff for government operations at Boeing. Boeing says they desperately need Ex-Im financing — that is, U.S. taxpayer guarantees for private bank loans to foreign airlines — but the evidence suggests Boeing finds financing sells jets just fine without the subsidy.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/boeing-loves-the-export-import-bank-but-boeing...


Trump’s Mixed Signals on Export-Import Bank Leave Door Open for Conservatives

(Heritate Foundation, Washington, 6 March 2017) For the last five years, conservative lawmakers have rallied behind efforts to close the Export-Import Bank, and were successful in 2015, albeit briefly, when the bank’s charter lapsed for the first time in its history. But now, with President Donald Trump in the White House, conservative lawmakers may have a chance to shutter the bank for good, or at least keep it operating with limited authority. There is just one problem: Trump has sent mixed signals on where he stands on the Export-Import Bank, and though his budget director and advisers oppose the agency, Trump signaled early in his administration he could be swayed.

http://dailysignal.com/2017/03/06/trumps-mixed-signals-on-export-import-bank-lea...


US Ex-Im has provided $315m to supplier of mines accused of slave labor

(Guardian, Washington, 22 February 2017) Between 2007 and 2015, the U.S. Export-Import Bank provided $315m in 48 taxpayer-supported insurance policies to the New Jersey-headquartered Connell Company to pursue deals with at least 17 mining companies accused of slave labor, human rights violations and environmental destruction in seven sub-Saharan countries. These included a $20,000 policy to supply equipment to the Bisha copper mine in Eritrea, which is being investigated by a Canadian court amid accusations of slavery, according to an investigation of the bank by the Guardian and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/22/us-export-import-bank-africa-min...


Afreximbank commits $90bn to boost African trade

(African Business Magazine, cc, 15 February 2017) The Pan-African trade finance provider aims to support at least $90bn in trade over the period 2017-21, including $25bn in intra-African trade. By comparison, it has approved $41bn in credit facilities in the 24 years since it was created, including $6.2bn in 2015. The Bank hopes to encourage intra-African trade by supporting the development of continental supply chains and export manufacturing capacity.

http://africanbusinessmagazine.com/sectors/infrastructure/afreximbank-commits-90...


Fitch affirms SACE rating at 'A-' with outlook negative

(Italy 24, Rome, 16 February 2017) Fitch said it has affirmed export credit agency SACE rating at 'A-' with outlook negative. “The ratings reflect SACE's strong capitalisation and business profile as Italy's export credit agency as well as its financial exposure to Italy,” Fitch said in a report.

http://www.italy24.ilsole24ore.com/art/panorama/2017-02-15/fitch-affirms-sace-ra...


What's New January 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.

  • OECD debates allowing some private sector ECA support to be called development assistance
  • Australia's export credit agency could fund offshoring of jobs
  • No Amendment to Efic Act without Meaningful Reform
  • France launches new ECA: Bpifrance replaces Coface
  • China's Sinosure Opens $1.3b Credit Line for Iranian Refinery
  • Sace and Intesa back Russian Yamal LNG
  • SACE & SIMEST (CDP Group) with BNP Paribas for $519 M North Sea Link Project
  • Without Ex-Im support, GE still plans to cut 350 jobs in Waukesha
  • UKEF signs first loan deal in Africa for Ghana GE energy project
  • Chad concludes membership procedure of Afreximbank

OECD debates allowing some private sector ECA support to be called development assistance

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 31 January 2017) On January 18, 2017, the first day of a 2 day special meeting of a joint OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and OECD Export Credit Working Group (ECG) task force took place with a number of outside CSO and business representatives, to discuss changes ("modernizations") in the definition of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), with a view to "liberalize" ODA rules to allow subsidies to private firms to be counted as ODA. This change raises a number of risks, for example it could permit a rise in ODA without any change in expenditures as a portion of the work of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), and possibly also of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), which could be counted as ODA.

The basis of these changes would be in the definition of the "grant element" or "subsidy" in private sector instruments (PSIs) such as loans, guarantees or equity. This involves complex comparisons of PSI rates to market rates, with the difference counting as "grant element". As ECAs increasingly undertake loans as well as guarantees, and DFIs increasingly provide guarantees as well as loans, they find themselves at times financing (and possibly competing for) components of the same projects. Those ECAs which are members of the OECD "Arrangement" are prohibited by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) from providing export subsidies, i.e. "grant elements".

It is against that background that reportedly a number of OECD ECAs are opposed to the current proposals advocated by the OECD-DAC. While ECA's mandate is clearly to support domestic companies doing business abroad, it is quite troubling that officials that are supposed to fight poverty and inequity are widening their mandate to many kinds of private sector support as well, without taking care to examine the consequences. To ensure the ownership of developing countries on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be financed, the OECD should be exploring in quite different directions. The current discussions of ECAs and ODA raises CSO concerns that ODA could be (mis)used as a source of subsidy for donor firms and that it could be directed away from current countries and sectors toward private sector support, middle-income countries and a reduction of actual public money available to developing countries.




Australia's export credit agency could fund offshoring of jobs

(Guardian Australia, 16 January 2017) Australia’s export credit agency could end up financing companies that have axed their domestic workforces to manufacture more cheaply overseas, a Senate inquiry has been told. The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation could become instrumental in the “further offshoring of Australian manufacturing” under draft laws proposed by the Coalition that would scrap the requirement to fund only exporters that manufacture “substantially or wholly in Australia”. Jubilee Australia, warned in its published submission that the government’s proposed reforms fell short of what was needed to make a secretive agency accountable in light of its chequered record financing overseas mining projects linked to civil strife and environmental degradation.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jan/17/australia-export-credit-a...


No Amendment to Efic Act without Meaningful Reform

(Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 17 January 2017) Jubilee Australia has demanded that no expansion of Efic's mandate be allowed unless the institution improves its transparency and due diligence. Jubilee's concerns, summed up in an article in the Guardian today, said that any changes to the Efic Act should include better transparency and accountability with regard to its social and environmental assessment processes and a removal of its exemption from the freedom of information act. The demands were made in a joint submission with the Australia Institute to a Senate Inquiry into proposed reforms to Efic.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/questions-raised-about-proposed-efic...


France launches new ECA: Bpifrance replaces Coface

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 January 2017) France has concluded the transfer of its export credit agency (ECA) from Coface to the Banque Publique d’Investissement (Bpifrance) and rebranded it Bpifrance Assurance Export. Coface’s 240 ECA-focused staff members have been transferred to Bpifrance to ensure continuity. Bpifrance Assurance Export teams will be led by Chritophe Viprey as general manager. The new agency is owned and controlled by the state, with Bpifrance managing all operations and export guarantees. This transition completes Bpifrance’s offering, and will simplify access to ECA products to make them available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It makes Bpifrance the only portal for all internationalisation-related public aid, including cross-border investment funds, loans for international expansion, export credit, credit, foreign exchange, investment and pre-financing guarantees. Additionally, all Bpifrance financing will now be automatically guaranteed by the state.

(jDSUPRA Business advisor, Sausalito, 17 January 2017) Coface export guarantees and insurance policies were previously granted on behalf of the French State but in Coface's name with the French State acting as Coface's reinsurer under a service agreement between Coface and the French Ministry of Finance and regulated under the French Insurance Code (Code des assurances). Under the new legislation export credit guarantees and insurance will now be issued directly by the French State through Bpifrance

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/france-launches-new-eca/


China's Sinosure Opens $1.3b Credit Line for Iranian Refinery

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 11 January 2017) China has opened a line of credit, worth $1.3 billion, to finance the development of Abadan Oil Refinery, Iran's oldest refinery in the southern Khuzestan Province, the chief executive of National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company said. The funding is part of a $3-billion deal with China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, known as Sinopec, which has reportedly started operations on renovating the Abadan refinery, Iran's century-old refinery that was heavily damaged during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/57200/chinas-sinosure-opens-13b-cre...


Sace and Intesa back Russian Yamal LNG

(Global Trade Review, London, 11 January 2017) Italian export credit agency (ECA) Sace and Intesa Sanpaolo have paired up to offer a €400mn credit line to finance Italian companies working on the Russian Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, despite continued US and European sanctions against Russia. Intesa will issue the money, as part of two credit lines for the project, while Sace will guarantee the finance, which has been earmarked for Italian subcontractors. The second Intesa credit line is for €350mn and is backed by French ECA, Coface.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/sace-and-intesa-back-russian-yamal-lng/


SACE & SIMEST (CDP Group) with BNP Paribas for $519 M North Sea Link Project

(Military Technologies, London/Rome/Milan, 16 December 2016) SACE and SIMEST (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group) and BNP Paribas Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) announce the finalisation of export financing of $519 million for National Grid North America, a company of the National Grid Plc Group, the UK’s main electricity and gas utility company, in support of the works and supply orders awarded to Prysmian as part of the international project North Sea Link (“NSN Link”). The project, which has a total value of €2 billion, involves the construction of a subsea interconnector with a capacity of 1,400 MW between the United Kingdom and Norway. Once completed, it will extend over 730 kilometres becoming the longest infrastructure of its kind in the world.

http://www.military-technologies.net/2017/01/10/sace-and-simest-cdp-group-with-b...


Without Ex-Im support, GE still plans to cut 350 jobs in Waukesha

(GM Today, Waukesha, 24 January 2017) With a possible tariff imposed upon companies that manufacture products out of the country and bring them back in looming, GE will not alter its plan to send 350 manufacturing jobs from its Waukesha plant to Canada. Instead, the company remains open to the possibility of working with the city in the future to repurpose its GE Power & Water facility. GE announced in September 2015 that it was going to stop manufacturing gas engines in Waukesha in favor of a new $265 million facility to be built in Welland, Ontario, Canada. GE’s manufacturing of those engines in Waukesha Wisconsin will cease around 2018. The reason for the move, the company said, was because at the time, Congress had allowed the Export-Import Bank’s authorization to lapse. A GE spokesman said the company will continue investing in the United States and possibly Waukesha, but without a fully-operational Ex-Im Bank, large projects become increasingly more difficult to initiate. The move to Canada is going ahead despite President Trump's vow to impose a 35% tax tariff on products they want to sell back in the U.S. on companies if they leave the country. [Efforts to allow the Ex-Im Board to fund deals over $10 million still face opposition in Congress despite support from business and some conservatives.]
 

http://www.gmtoday.com/news/local_stories/2017/01242017-GE-still-plans-to-cut-35...


UKEF signs first loan deal in Africa for Ghana GE energy project

(Reuters, London, 16 January 2017) Britain's credit export agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), signed its first direct loan deal in Africa on Monday, providing $310 million to GE Oil & Gas to supply equipment for an oil and gas project in Ghana. UKEF's loan and credit facility is part of a wider $1.35 billion financing for the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project, developed by Eni, Vitol Ghana Upstream and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. The $7.9 billion project will tap offshore oil and gas resources and provide fuel for gas-fired power plants in Ghana. Oil and gas production from the project is expected to peak at 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019. It builds on an agreement signed in 2015 between UKEF and UK-headquartered GE Oil & Gas to provide up to $12 billion in financing. The GE subsidiary, which won an $850 million contract to supply equipment to the OCTP project in 2015, manufactures oil and gas equipment at factories in Bristol and Aberdeen.

http://www.reuters.com/article/britain-export-ge-ghana-idUSL5N1F62V5


Chad concludes membership procedure of Afreximbank

(Premium Times, Abuja, 9 January 2017) President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, on December 30, 2016, ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), concluding the formalisation of the country’s membership of the continental trade finance bank. The ratification of the Agreement marks the full activation of Chad’s membership of Afreximbank and allows the Bank to fully deploy its programmes and facilities in the country in order to stimulate trade activities and develop value-added exports across its economic sectors. It also opens up opportunities for the Bank to provide much-needed financing for the construction of trade-enabling infrastructure in the country.

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/business/business-news/219984-chad-concludes-membe...


What's New December 2016

"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.

  • Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil Ex-Im supported gas project
  • ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution
  • China's Belt and Road Initiative and Ex-Im Chin
  • Indonesian Batang Villagers file objection against JBIC coal-fired power project
  • Hungarian & Canadian ECAs to co-finance Indonesia's GE gas power project
  • Potential Export-Import Bank deals pose grave environmental threat, experts say
  • Ex-Im Bank Critics, Supporters Look to Donald Trump for Help
  • Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg urges Trump to keep Ex-Im Bank or risk losing foreign sales
  • Trends in OECD Arrangement official export credits (2005-2014)
  • Dubai Working with HSBC on $7-B Bank & ECA Financing for Expo 2020
  • Ukraine's Rada approves creation of export-credit agency
  • Ex-Im’s satellite-lending lapse didn’t stop Israel’s Spacecom from buying American
  • JIBC/NEXI to support new loan scheme for Russia
  • Opportunity knocks for Scottish exporters as sterling tumbles
  • Germany’s Hermes in Iran

Papua New Guinea troops to protect huge Exxon-Mobil Ex-Im supported gas project

(wsws.org, Jacksonville, 19 December 2016) The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government announced on Friday that it will deploy military personnel to stop “violence” near the country’s biggest resources installation, the Exxon-Mobil Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project...The security and viability of the ExxonMobil operation is a key concern in Washington. In November 2010, then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited PNG and noted that the US Export-Import Bank was helping finance the ExxonMobil project, noting "China is in there every day in every way trying to figure out how it’s going to come in behind us, come in under us.”... Traditional landowners are now threatening to physically attack the LNG plant over the government’s failure to pay promised royalties and equity in the project. The landowners are owed $1 billion kina ($US315 million) in royalties.
Jubilee Australia has had concerns about the potential militarisation of the project since its inception,' said Director Luke Fletcher . 'We first raised these concerns in 2009 in our Risky Business report, and more fully developed them in 2012 with Pipe Dreams.' He questioned the characterisation of the violence as simply tribal. "If that is so, why has it suddenly broken out now, just as landowner unhappiness with the project escalates? And why engage Exxon and Oil Search (project operators) to assist with policing the area?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/12/19/pngt-d19.html


ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution

(TFX News, London, 12 December 2016) ECAs are to offer guarantees for two LNG projects in Mozambique, as commercial lenders watch closely to see how talks progress between the government and the IMF before committing to the project. Export credit agencies (ECAs),including the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim), France's Coface, Italy's Sace, and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), are set to play a key role in the financing of two Rovuma Basin liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects planned in the north of Mozambique.

http://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/5901/ECAs-fuel-Mozambique-LNG-project-amid-I...


China's Belt and Road Initiative and Ex-Im Chin

(Friends of the Earth USA, Washington, December 2016) The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a major Chinese strategy which marks a national push for China to increase economic links to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Russia, and the Baltic region (Central and Eastern Europe) through various infrastructure and development projects. BRI sends a clear signal for Chinese industries to invest along proposed BRI land and maritime routes, and embodies the political, economic, and foreign diplomacy interests of China abroad. The Export-Import Bank of China holds an outstanding loan balance of over 1000 projects involving roads, railways, ports, power resources, pipelines, communication, and industrial parks in the 49 countries along the 'Belt and Road'. [p.6] A researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation has suggested that China must take active measures to reduce upheaval and turmoil from Islamic risk in the BRI, in part through upgraded policy-oriented export credit insurance and foreign investment insurance.

http://www.foe.org/china-belt-and-road-report


Indonesian Batang Villagers file objection against JBIC coal-fired power project

(FOE Japan, Tokyo, 5 December 2016) On December 5, eleven local Indonesian community leaders, who have continued to oppose the “Batang Coal-fired Power Plant Project” over five years now, visited the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Jakarta office and submitted their objections against JBIC. (18 villagers signed on as community representatives and the signatures of more than 900 villagers who supported this objection were also attached.) In their objection, the villagers pointed out that the project has failed to comply with “JBIC Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations”, has made their lives worse and has caused the violations of human rights.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161205.html


Hungarian & Canadian ECAs to co-finance Indonesia's GE gas power project

(Business Journal, Budapest, 12 December 2016) The Hungarian Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) will jointly finance a project to build eight mobile power plants using General Electric (GE) technology for Indonesiaʼs state-owned electricity company, Hungaryʼs Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said today, according to Hungarian news agency MTI.

http://bbj.hu/economy/eximbank-export-development-canada-to-co-finance-indonesia...


Potential Export-Import Bank deals pose grave environmental threat, experts say

(Guardian, London, 7 December 016) Congress quashed the hopes late Tuesday of reviving the United States’ export credit agency, which had been aiming for a stopgap lifeline allowing them to approve more than $20bn in new deals, many of which pose imminent harms to the environment. Now, the fate of a pristine coral reef, an east African mangrove forest, and the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen in a south-east Asian river delta lie in the hands of a new Congress and president. Since 2009, when Barack Obama became president, the Export-Import Bank has signed almost $34bn worth of low-interest loans and guarantees to companies and foreign governments to build, expand and promote some 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, according to an investigation by the Guardian and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/07/export-import-bank-fossil-fuel-p...


Ex-Im Bank Critics, Supporters Look to Donald Trump for Help

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 8 December 2016) President-elect Donald Trump’s jawboning of executives to keep jobs in the U.S. is putting free-market conservatives in an awkward spot after they fought the Obama administration on other government intervention in business. Now, the fate of an agency that conservatives have fought to close over the past year because they say it is an example of the government picking winners and losers—the U.S. Export-Import Bank—will rest in Mr. Trump’s hands. Ex-Im Bank supporters are already using Mr. Trump’s early moves to build their case. The president-elect’s emerging industrial policy—seen last week when he touted Carrier Corp.’s agreement to keep 800 manufacturing jobs in Indiana in exchange for some tax credits—would appear at odds with conservative opposition that has weakened the bank over the past year, amid charges of “crony capitalism.” Congress recently rejected an amendment that would allow US Ex-Im to function without a full board. However, the news that senator Richard Shelby – who has blocked new nominations to the board – has termed out as senate banking committee chairman bodes well for the ECA, as a new pro-Exim replacement is set to start on 3 January.

http://tinyurl.com/wsj-exim-trump


Boeing CEO urges Trump to keep Ex-Im Bank or risk losing foreign sales

(Pueget Sound Business Journal, Seattle, 2 December 2016) Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg urged the new Republican administration of President-elect Donald Trump to preserve and reopen, not abolish the U.S. government's Export-Import Bank. Muilenburg said if Trump gets rid of the Ex-Im Bank, as he vowed to during the 2016 election campaign, Chicago-based Boeing (NYSE: BA), a maker of commercial and military jet aircraft, will lose foreign customers — and big contracts — to rivals in other countries, including Airbus.

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/12/02/boeing-ceo-dennis-muilenburg-...


Trends in OECD Arrangement official export credits (2005-2014)

(OECD, Paris, 10 October 2016) The OECD ECG has produced a broad stroke two year old sectoral overview of OECD member ECAs activities which is not linked on its "latest documents" page, but can be found well down its home page under "statistics". The most recent highly redacted minutes of the Export Credit Working Group available on their web site are dated April 15, 2011 and no link to them is available via their home page. The lists of Category A & B projects for the period 2005 to 2014 are missing data for 2011 & 2012.

http://www.oecd.org/trade/xcred/business-activities.htm


Dubai Working with HSBC on $7-B Bank & ECA Financing for Expo 2020

(Live Trading News, Singapore, 16 Decembber 2016) Dubai is working with HSBC on the financing of Expo 2020 Dubai, a $7-B exhibition centre project expected to attract 25-M visitors, sources familiar with the matter said. The financing will come from bank loans and from various export credit agencies, the sources said. HSBC has been appointed to coordinate the export credit agencies and financing supported by them, the sources said, adding that the split between the commercial loans and the export credit financing was yet to be defined.

http://www.livetradingnews.com/dubai-working-hsbc-7-b-financing-expo-2020-23655....


Ukraine's Rada approves creation of export-credit agency

(Kyiv Post, Kyiv, 21 December 016) The bill No. 2142a providing for the aggressive exports expansion of Ukrainian manufacturers via insuring, guaranteeing and cheapening of exports crediting was passed at second reading late on Tuesday, Dec. 21, by 237 lawmakers. According to the document, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers creates the export-credit agency to stimulate exports of Ukrainian goods, labor and services. The agency will insure, reinsure exports on a voluntary basis and will secure contracts aimed at developing exports. The agency will participate in the implementation of the program to partially compensate the rates for exports credits.

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/rada-approves-creation-export-credit-a...


Ex-Im’s satellite-lending lapse didn’t stop Israel’s Spacecom from buying American

(Space News, Congers NY, 22 December 2016) Spacecom is buying its newest spacecraft from an American supplier without relying on financial support from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, according to a company official. Amos-17 is the first satellite Spacecom has bought from a U.S. supplier. The order comes during a vexing time for U.S. satellite builders trying to sell abroad. The U.S. Ex-Im Bank, a frequently-used source of below-market financing for satellite deals, was closed to new business for nearly half of 2015.

http://spacenews.com/ex-ims-satellite-lending-lapse-didnt-stop-israels-spacecom-...


JIBC/NEXI to support new loan scheme for Russia

(Nikkei Asian Review, Tokyo, 12 December 2016) Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation will jointly launch a new scheme to provide loans for small to midsize Russian businesses via Alfa-Bank. Japanese export credit agency Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) will back up the creditworthiness of the Russian lender. Despite being a major private lender in Russia, Alfa bank's credit profile, including total asset size, is much lower than state-backed lenders. NEXI will provide guarantees in order for Japanese banks to avoid the risk of possible bad loans. The total loan amount is expected to reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Japan-to-launch-new-loan-scheme-...


Opportunity knocks for Scottish exporters as sterling tumbles

(Daily Record, Edinburgh, 21 December 2016)  With the falling value of the pound making UK goods more competitive on the world stage, the environment for Scottish businesses looking to trade internationally is arguably more positive than for many years. According to a recent business survey by Grant Thornton, confidence among firms that their exports will rise has more than doubled in the wake of sterling’s steep fall. UK Export Finance (UKEF) - the UK’s export credit agency which operates through a network of advisers including two based in Scotland - aims to bridge the gap by offering insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance.
 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-features/insider-special-report-e...


Germany’s Hermes in Iran

(Mehr News Tehran, 24 December 2016) Iran always has been considered as an eye-catching and money-spinning market for several European countries like Germany offering not only 80 million people it has but also a 400-million-people marketplace it can provide access to. Following the termination of the nuclear deal between Iran and great powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the European Union countries, Germany in particular, are trying to foster their economic cooperation with the Islamic Republic. For decades before sanctions were imposed, Germany, which enjoys the largest economy in Europe with a nominal gross domestic product in 2016 of $3.5 trillion, was Iran’s major trading partner.

http://en.mehrnews.com/news/122237/Report-Germany-s-Hermes-in-Iran


What's New November 2016

"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.

  1. Dutch NCP rules that Dutch ECA is subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  2. An open letter to the Equator Principles Association on the Dakota Access pipeline
  3. How Obama's climate change legacy is weakened by US ECA investment in dirty fuel
  4. G20 countries still financing overseas coal
  5. Indonesian Villagers File Objection against JBIC
  6. Stopping coal financing for Indonesian coal plants is crucial in the fight against climate change
  7. Jubilee Protests Against Efic Plans to Finance South African Coal Mine
  8. COP blog: Big dams must not be allowed to sink the Green Climate Fund
  9. Here’s What We Really Should Be Debating When It Comes To Trade
  10. Iran accuses European ECAs of not fully supporting nuclear deal
  11. UKEF £79m post-Brexit export boost
  12. Mexican ECA Bancomext looks to dollar, euro bond markets
  13. Trump's Election Casts Doubt on Ex-Im: "Boeing's Bank"
  14. A closer look at the trends and issues shaping the market
  15. Ukranian Economy Ministry estimates cost for setting up ECA at 200 mln Euros
  16. Indian President inaugurates diamond jubilee celebrations of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation
  17. Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded
  18. AMAN UNION hosts its 7th Annual Meeting in Beirut
  19. Segezha Group signs Euro 383.6 M loan facility with Russian & international banks & European ECAs
  20. US federal jury finds Darien man guilty in $25 million export finance fraud case

Dutch NCP rules that Dutch ECA is subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

(ECA Watch, 30 November 2016, Ottawa) In a report dated November 30th 2016 the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP), official monitoring body of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the Netherlands, found that the Dutch official ECA, Atradius State Business (ADSB), may not have exercised sufficient due diligence or fulfilled its duty to use its leverage over its client, the Dutch dredging company Van Oord Marine, to prevent or mitigate possible adverse impacts of its dredging activities in Brazil's Suape Industrial Port Complex, two projects insured with ADSB by Van Oord.

Following lengthy discussions mediated by the Dutch NCP between ADSB, Van Oord and Dutch ECA Watch member Both ENDS, together with Brazilian NGOs representing the affected communities and the Brazilian NCP, the report notes that "adverse impacts have occurred", but avoids taking an "opinion on the parties' respective degree of responsibility for this", believing that "the Brazilian NCP has the primary responsibility to ascertain the causality of the adverse impacts referred to in the complaint."

The Dutch NCP found that ADSB is an MNE under the OECD Guidelines and that ADSB "is 'directly linked' to the possible adverse impacts 'contributed to or caused by a business relationship' (Van Oord) under paragraph II.A.11, and therefore, has an
independent duty to use its leverage on such business relationships to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts resulting from the dredging activities." This is an important precedent, as national ECAs have traditionally claimed to exercise due diligence on the social and environmental impacts of the projects they support solely via the OECD Export Credit Working Group's Common Approaches, a set of non-binding recommendations which apply only to a limited set of OECD ECA supported projects and are monitored by a secretive ECA peer review body akin to foxes choosing which hen houses they might protect.

Both ENDS submission on the “Gaps between the Common Approaches and the OECD Guidelines” has been shared with the Dutch NCP, the OECD and other interested stakeholders. It should be noted that the OECD Guidelines are grounded in an OECD Council Decision that has a similar status to a treaty or a convention. A Council Decision is therefore firmly anchored in international law. Unlike the OECD Guidelines, the Common Approaches are incorporated in an OECD council recommendation, which is a political commitment only, and not anchored in international law. In addition, the Common Approaches only call for a one-time due diligence moment, while the OECD Guidelines clearly call for an ongoing process.

The OECD Guidelines oblige government established NCPs to contribute to the resolution of issues that arise from alleged non-observance of the Guidelines in specific instances and have built-in grievance mechanisms. In this case, the Dutch NCP has recommended that an evaluation of outcomes of the discussions and agreements of the parties be conducted in October 2017, ensuring that there is ongoing follow-up on the adverse impacts that have been alleged: lack of consultation with affected communities, the destruction of fisheries, endangerment of fishing crews, unannounced deep sea explosions, soil and water contamination, lack of mitigating and compensatory measures and remuneration for lost livelihoods and lands, etc.

http://www.bothends.org/en/News/newsitem/490/Dutch-Export-Credit-Agency-did-not-...


An open letter to the Equator Principles Association on the Dakota Access pipeline

(Bank Track, Nijmegen, 30 November 2016) Members of Banktrack wrote to the Chair of the Equator Principles Association earlier this month, to urge the Association at its upcoming Annual Meeting to address two distinct and important issues: Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) must take long overdue, concrete steps to strengthen their climate commitments; and Banktrack's deep concern about the involvement of a substantial number of EPFIs in the financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). ECA Watch considers this an important issue, as many ECAs work closely together in underwriting investments of private banks in the fossil fuel sector. The portfolios of some ECAs consist of more than 50% underwriting for fossil fuel related transactions. To effectively contribute to stopping climate change from going from bad to worse, ECAs urgently need to change track. DNB, Norway's largest bank, has sold off about $3 million in assets, but its banking division is still responsible for offering the Bakken pipeline companies up to $460 million dollars in credit, over 10 percent of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline construction costs. The New York Times reported on November 8 that in their battles with the banks, environmentalists have scored some early victories. Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced that it would no longer finance new coal-fired power plants in the United States or other wealthy nations, a retreat that followed similar announcements by Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. The banks’ move away from coal, however, appeared motivated as much by the plunging profitability of coal as by concerns over climate change. Another Banktrack letter signed by over 400 organizations from more than 50 countries, including many members of ECA Watch, has just gone out to a broader set of banks expressing deep concern about their participation in a $2.5 billion credit agreement led by Citibank with Dakota Access LLC and Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company LLC.

http://www.banktrack.org/show/article/an_open_letter_to_the_equator_principles_a...


How Obama's climate change legacy is weakened by US ECA investment in dirty fuel

(Guardian, 30 November 2106, Washington) resident Barack Obama has staked his legacy on the environment, positioning his administration as the most progressive on climate change in US history. However, an obscure agency within his own administration has quietly spoiled his record by helping fund a steady outpouring of new overseas fossil fuel emissions – effectively erasing gains expected from his headline clean power plan or fuel efficiency standards. Since January 2009, the US Export-Import Bank has signed almost $34bn worth of low-interest loans and guarantees to companies and foreign governments to build, expand and promote fossil fuel projects abroad.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/30/us-fossil-fuel-investment-ob...


G20 countries still financing overseas coal

(China Dialogue, London, 15 November 2016) G20 countries have financed US$76 billion in coal projects in the past nine years. With more projects in the pipeline, they should stop coal financing or risk creating stranded assets, writes Natural Resources Defense Council's Chen Han... As the threat of climate change looms, the world must transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible and avoid burning most fossil fuel reserves. Coal is of particular concern. It accounts for 40% of global carbon emissions from fossil fuel use, which is more than any other individual source. Despite last year’s Paris Agreement, G20 countries – the world’s largest economies – continue to invest in projects that increase the world’s dependence on coal. Last month we noted that OECD ECAs are scheduled to limit support to so called less environmentally friendly coal-fired power projects after January 2017.

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/9391-G2-countries-still-fin...


Indonesian Villagers File Objection against JBIC

(Friends of the Earth Japan, 10 November 2016, Jakarta) On November 10, 2016, three villagers affected by "Cirebon coal-fired power plant project in West Java, Indonesia" (*1) handed their objection to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) at its Representative Office in Jakarta. They also took their protest action in front of Japanese Embassy, calling on JBIC not to decide its loan for the expansion project in Cirebon which is slated to commence the construction within this year or early next year. In the Project, the Unit 1 power plant (660 MW, invested by Marubeni), for which JBIC provided its loan, has already caused serious damages to the community’s livelihood, such as small-scale fishing and salt making. In addition, the expansion or Unit 2 power plant (1000 MW, invested by Marubeni and Chubu Electric Power) has been criticized for the issue of land acquisition and the illegality of its environmental permission.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161110.html


Stopping coal financing for Indonesian coal plants is crucial in the fight against climate change

(Friends of the Earth Japan, 17 November 2016, Tokyo) Within the next couple of months, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will decide whether to fund two giant dirty coal-fired power plants in Indonesia. These power plants will have a total capacity of 3000 Megawatts. They are the Cirebon 2 coal-fired power plant is in West Java and the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant is in Jepara, Central Java. Six months ago, JBIC approved funding for one of Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plants in Batang in Central Java, which is already having terrible negative social and environmental impacts, and will make a massive contribution to climate change. French Bank Crédit Agricole also wants to join JBIC in funding the coal power plant in Cirebon and the Tanjung Jati B power plant. This is in spite of a very recent public commitment made by Crédit Agricole to stop providing finance to new coal plants. Civil society groups from across the world, including Friends of the Earth France, Banktrack and Oxfam France, have criticized the double standards of Crédit Agricole in making new climate commitments a few weeks before COP22 in Marrakech, whilst continuing with its coal finance business as usual. They argue Crédit Agricole must not finance these two damaging power plants.

http://www.foejapan.org/en/aid/161117.html


Jubilee Protests Against Efic Plans to Finance South African Coal Mine

(Jubilee Australia, 21 November 2016, Sydney) Jubilee Australia has urged Efic to reject an application to take part in financing a new coal project in the Waterberg region of South Africa. Efic announced in September that it was considering financing the Boikarabelo mine, a project of the Joint Australian-South African company ResGen. 'We were encouraged to see that Efic had not to our knowledge financed a major fossil fuel project since 2009,' said Jubilee Director Luke Fletcher, 'which we felt was a step in the right direction.' 'But this new project would be a disaster for the planet. It would open up the entire Waterberg region, the fourth largest coal deposit in the world, to exploitation. If this project continues, we will have no chance of keeping global warming below the 1.5 degree threshold agreed to in Paris last year.'

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/jubilee-protests-again-efic-plans-to...


COP blog: Big dams must not be allowed to sink the Green Climate Fund

(Environmental Finance, 15 November 2016, Washington) On a promising note, the US recently led successful opposition to official partnerships between the GCF and export credit agencies. In arguing against the GCF partnering with the Export-Import Bank of Korea, US board member Leonardo Martinez-Diaz said: "We do not think it is proper to channel [GCF resources] through entities whose job is export promotion." Touché! But the US should consistently apply that principle; it currently counts some US export credit agency financing toward its contribution to the $100 billion.

https://www.environmental-finance.com/content/analysis/cop-blog-big-dams-must-no...


Here’s What We Really Should Be Debating When It Comes To Trade

(Manufacturing Net, 4 November 2016, New Jersey) Small ecommerce business need better export credit support for online export working capital loans. 97% of American micro and small businesses that sell on eBay export, as opposed to the 1% of brick-and-mortar U.S. businesses that export... The rise of online sellers and online lenders is an opportunity for export credit agencies... Export credit agencies (ECAs) have traditionally helped finance exporters with such means as by guaranteeing bank-issued export working capital loans an exporter uses to pay for raw materials, labor and inputs that go to fulfilling the export order. However, onerous Know-Your-Customer/Anti-Money Laundering rules and Basel III capital standards are today squeezing banks’ profit margins, reducing their appetite for small business loans – right when there are more and more small businesses in need of export credit. E-commerce undoes geographic distance that has kept buyers blind to far-flung sellers for centuries. By 2020, 6.1 billion people will have smartphones with which to get online and shop, up by 3 billion netizens from today’s levels. Is the world ready to facilitate small business trade on that scale?
[Editorial comment: Or of that nature? Similar state subsidy arrangements could facilitate a transition to trade amongst cooperative producers and consumers based on the commons and local production and needs, vs consumer glitz and multinational corporate megaprojects which feed global warming.]

http://www.manufacturing.net/blog/2016/11/heres-what-we-really-should-be-debatin...


Iran accuses European ECAs of not fully supporting nuclear deal

(Financial Times, 27 October 2016, Tehran) A senior Iranian official has accused European governments of not being fully committed to implementation of a nuclear deal with Iran, blaming them for stymieing investment into the Islamic republic. Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, deputy transport minister, told the Financial Times that European financing agencies were failing to support businesses keen to invest in the oil-rich country. Export credit agencies were demanding premiums on insurance that made banks insist on putting “unacceptable” terms in contracts related to political risk, he said.

https://www.ft.com/content/0abe52f2-9b69-11e6-8f9b-70e3cabccfae


UKEF £79m post-Brexit export boost

(CCH Daily, 24 November 2016) Financial support for UK exporters will double through UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK's export credit agency. The Treasury's Autumn Statement included details of an additional £79.4m in funding over the lifetime of this Parliament for the Department for International Trade (DIT) to build capacity to support the UK’s exit from the EU and negotiations for the best possible global trading arrangements for the UK. The DIT will use the money to develop and deliver an independent international trade policy. The Treasury said the new measures will see UKEF’s total risk appetite double to £5bn and the maximum cover limit for individual markets increase by up to 100%, potentially resulting in as much as £2.5bn of additional capacity to support exports to some destinations.

https://www.cchdaily.co.uk/2016-ps79m-post-brexit-export-boost


Mexican ECA Bancomext looks to dollar, euro bond markets

(Latin Finance, 28 November 2016, Mexico City) The Mexican export credit agency could raise up to $1bn in the cross-border bond markets next year, Bancomext CEO Alejandro Diaz tells LatinFinance. The Mexican ECA will likely target a cross-border issue between $500m and $800m, although going up to $1bn is not out of the question, he said. The ECA in August priced a $700m Basel III-compliant bond, which proved a "useful instrument" for Bancomext to mitigate its exposure to foreign currencies. The peso has slumped since Donald Trump won the US presidential election earlier this month, but Díaz de León said Bancomext had hedged its assets with its liability positions to correspond with any volatility, adding that the ECA's balance sheet was "fully hedged."

http://www.latinfinance.com/Article/3605244/Mexicos-Bancomext-looks-to-dollar-eu...


Trump's Election Casts Doubt on Ex-Im: "Boeing's Bank"

(Forbes, 9 November 2017, Seattle) The reaction from diverse quarters in the aviation industry to Trump’s election was swift. FlightGlobal worried that ExIm and the aerospace supply chain faces uncertainty. “As some Republicans in Congress have blocked nominations to the board of directors, Ex-Im Bank has been unable to approve any loan greater than $10 million for more than a year. That leadership vacuum is unlikely to change under a Trump administration, if the bank is allowed to survive at all,” FlightGlobal wrote.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scotthamilton5/2016/11/09/trumps-election-casts-doub...


A closer look at the trends and issues shaping the market

(Spend Matters Network, 2 November 2016, Chicago) As global trade expands, so does the importance of trade finance. Kapronasia’s new report takes an in-depth look into these issues and analyzes how trade finance is changing in the world’s largest exporting economy. Total trade volume in China was 24.59 trillion RMB ($3.95 trillion) last year, even despite a fall in import and export volumes. This is especially crucial in the world’s largest exporting nation. Trade financing is typically viewed as letters of credit, lending, export credit and insurance, usually offered by traditional banks and export credit and insurance agencies. However, fintech and the internet have been changing the face of trade finance. For instance, Barclay has announced the first trade finance deal using Blockchain-based technology in September this year, which increased efficiency in the process. In addition, more and more international trade in retail is conducted through online marketplaces such as Alibaba and eBay. These new technologies are reducing paperwork and increasing the speed of communication between companies, banks, and other counter parties.

http://spendmatters.com/tfmatters/china-trade-finance-2016-closer-look-trends-is...


Indian President inaugurates diamond jubilee celebrations of Export Credit Guarantee Corporation

(Indian Express, 8 November 2016, New Delhi) President Mukherjee said that in the present day context the role of an Export Credit Agency (ECA) is of central importance in international trade and investment flows.. “These institutions are, in a manner of speaking, akin to policy instruments at the disposal of the sovereign to ensure adequate and timely support to national exports by way of extending credit, insurance and guarantees. They develop the platform upon which exporters and bankers sustain existing markets in addition to exploring new markets. Absence of an ECA adds to the underlying political, economic and financial uncertainty. ECAs offer more than just trade credit insurance. Their role in an economy is multifaceted with protection against risks, enabling access to bank finance, information and expertise in trade finance,” he added

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/president-mukherjee-inau...


Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded

(Reuters, 24 November 2016, Dubai)Gulf governments are increasingly turning to export credit agencies to finance billions of dollars of infrastructure projects as low oil prices squeeze liquidity in the region. Bankers say that since oil prices fell more than two years ago, eroding state revenues and drying up funding from local and international banks, borrowers are considering ECA finance for everything from airports to oil refinery expansion.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-financing-idUSKBN13J1BR?il=0


AMAN UNION hosts its 7th Annual Meeting in Beirut

(Thomson/Reuters/Zaya, 16 November 2016, Beirut) The Aman Union is a professional forum assembling Commercial & Non-commercial Risks Insurers & Reinsurers in Member Countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and of the Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation. Day two hosted a presentation titled ‘The Areas of Cooperation Between Banks and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and the Role of the Banking Sector in Supporting Trade.’, presented by Mr. Hai Liang, SEO – Group GM, Saudi Hollandi Bank, Saudi Arabia.

http://www.zawya.com/mena/en/story/AMAN_UNION_hosts_its_7th_Annual_Meeting_in_Be...


Segezha Group signs Euro 383.6 M loan facility with Russian & international banks & European ECAs

(Lesprom, Moscow, 24 November 2016) Segezha Group signs a five-year Euro 383.6 million syndicated facility agreement potentially extendable up to 7-10 years through export credit financing to be provided with insurance coverage from European export credit agencies. ING BANK (EURASIA) JSC, ING Bank N.V. Dublin Branch, AO Raiffeisenbank, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Sberbank acted as mandated lead arrangers and lenders. The funds will be used to finance Segezha Group investment programme, which includes long-term projects such as an overhaul of Segezha pulp & paper mills and construction of a new plywood factory in Kirov, Russia, as well as general corporate needs. Segezha Group is one of Russia's largest vertically integrated forest holding companies that performs a full cycle of logging and advanced wood processing operations.

http://www.lesprom.com/en/news/Segezha_Group_signs_a_Euro_383_6_million_syndicat...


US federal jury finds Darien man guilty in $25 million export finance fraud case

(Drien Times, 10 November 2016, Darien CT) A federal jury in New Haven has found Pablo Calderon, 61, of Darien and Brett C. Lillemor, 46, of Minneapolis, Minn. guilty of conspiracy and fraud offenses related to a multimillion dollar scheme to defraud banks participating in a USDA-backed export financing program.

http://www.darientimes.com/77394/federal-jury-finds-darien-man-guilty-in-25-mill...


What's New October 2016

"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.

  • UK fraud agency boss expects to move quickly in Airbus inquiry
  • Villagers suffer at the hands of Mozambique LNG gas development under consideration by US Ex-Im
  • Export credit financing for coal-fired power projects - A thing of the past?
  • NGOs oppose OECD moves to count export credits as ODA
  • Insurance firms expect Iran opening in 2017
  • Saudi Arabia blasts Korean Ex-Im bank for “playing” with UN climate fund
  • Animal welfare deserves better from ECAs
  • Boeing Reports Q3 Deliveries: Commercial Down, Defense Up
  • CAGW Names Rep. Charlie Dent October Porker of the Month
  • Zimbabwe Government to repay Sinosure arrears
  • Kuwait’s KNPC aims to finalise $5 billion-plus ECA backed loan by first quarter
  • Irish budget to target measures to help exporters

UK fraud agency boss expects to move quickly in Airbus inquiry

(Reuters, London, 12 October 2016) Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is working with French authorities in its investigation into alleged fraud, bribery and corruption at European aerospace group Airbus (AIR.PA) and expects to proceed "fairly quickly", its head said on Wednesday. The SFO launched a criminal inquiry in August into Airbus' use of third-party agents to win commercial jet sales after the company's compliance teams informed Britain's export credit agency, which arranges credit guarantees for overseas sales, of inaccuracies.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-sfo-idUKKCN12C24T


Villagers suffer at the hands of Mozambique LNG gas development under consideration by US Ex-Im

(Medium, Washington, 15 October 2016) Friends of the Earth USA conducted a field study of the impacts of the development of liquefied natural gas on rural communities and their lands in northern Mozambique, a project considered for financing by the U.S. government Export Import Bank. Friends of the Earth U.S. is working with Justiçia Ambiental/Friends of the Earth Mozambique and the Center for Biological Diversity to discourage Ex-Im Bank from supporting this project. Not far from the city of Pemba, Mozambique, villagers clamored to tell their stories of threats and lost land and livelihoods. Read the report here.

https://medium.com/economic-policy/villagers-suffer-at-the-hands-of-mozambiques-...


Export credit financing for coal-fired power projects - A thing of the past?

(Lexology Newsfeed, 5 October 2016) On 17 November 2015, members of the OECD which are party to the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (the Arrangement), agreed to a new sector understanding that limits the availability of export credit finance for less environmentally friendly coal-fired power projects (the New Sector Understanding). The New Sector Understanding is due to come into force in January 2017. The members of the OECD that have signed up to the New Sector Understanding are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The New Sector Understanding is likely to have a notable effect on the availability and terms of OECD export credit financings. However, it remains to be seen whether local commercial banks and development finance institutions in countries that are party to the Arrangement will align their approach to financing coal-fired power projects with that of the participating OECD export credit agencies.

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=cddabde5-3523-4dd7-992c-e2bac6b07a...


NGOs oppose OECD moves to count export credits as ODA

(Eurodad, Brussels, 7 October 2016) Eurodad has learned that at an October 10 meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) it was to be decided that the DAC would approve a blurring of lines between export credits and Official Development Assistance (ODA). The issue is now to be discussed with the OECD's Export Credit Group at the ECG's mid-November meetings. In times of shrinking ODA budgets and shrinking political support for ODA in donor countries, efforts have been proposed to design administrative tricks to stop this diminished support, developing measures that would allow export credits to be counted as ODA. NGOs oppose this move as export credits are only meant to support the corporate sector in industrialized countries.

http://www.eurodad.org/psi_2016


Insurance firms expect Iran opening in 2017

(PressTV, Tehran, 21 October 2016) International insurance companies say they expect to see a major opening in the Iranian market in 2017 with several key players saying they have already won deals to cover businesses in the country. Industry experts told Reuters that industry executives say aviation and energy are two main sectors in focus in Iran’s multi-billion insurance market. They emphasized that top tier European export credit agencies had specifically become active in guaranteeing trade finance for Western companies doing business with Iran. Reuters further added that Germany's Hermes, Italy’s SACE, and France's Coface have all recently signed agreements to guarantee a certain trade activity with the Islamic Republic.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/10/21/490064/Insurance-firms-expect-Iran-openi...


Saudi Arabia blasts Korean Ex-Im bank for “playing” with UN climate fund

(Climate Change News, London, 14 October 2016) The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Exim) has drawn sharp criticism from Saudi Arabia for withdrawing its application to be a conduit for climate funding, days after protests attacked its history of financing coal. The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set to decide on Friday whether to accredit the bank. This would have allowed it to oversee projects that will help poor countries cope with the transition demanded by a changing climate. The Saudi Arabian representative noted: "We have spent time and effort at the last board meeting discussing this case and now for no obvious reason I can see the applicant has withdrawn” The accreditation of export credit agencies, such as Korea Exim, has proven to be a controversial issue both inside and outside the GCF. Several board members, particularly Sweden’s Anders Wallberg, have expressed concern that the parochial motivations of these agencies, which primarily exist to help domestic businesses win overseas contracts, were incompatible with the fund’s supranational vision. Lidy Nacpil, the regional coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), said: “[The bank’s] withdrawal of its GCF application is an important victory for many networks and movements worldwide. But our work is far from over. We want to stop all financing of fossil fuels.”

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/10/14/korean-export-bank-withdraws-climate...


Animal welfare deserves better from ECAs

(EuroActiv, Brussels, 7 October 2016) International finance institutions and member state export credit agencies continue to invest in projects outside the EU involving cruel farm animal confinement systems banned in the EU. Better joined-up thinking is needed with regard to investment policy and animal welfare, writes Joanna Swabe, executive director for Humane Society International/Europe. In 2013, Humane Society International released a report that revealed that EU countries were funding many animal agricultural projects in non-EU members, either through international finance institutions (IFIs) or export credit agencies, which employ housing systems that have long been prohibited and phased-out in the EU.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/euro-finance/opinion/animal-welfare-deserves-be...


Boeing Reports Q3 Deliveries: Commercial Down, Defense Up

(NASDAQ, New York, 10 October 2016) Boeing's third-quarter 2016 commercial deliveries of 188 airplanes were down due to lower demand for the 737, 777 and 787 Dreamliners. During the release of first-quarter delivery numbers, CEO Muilenburg had revealed that the company is losing out on important contracts related to aircraft and satellites to overseas rivals due to a stand-off in Congress over the future of U.S Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. This has restricted the export credit agency's financing capabilities.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/boeing-reports-q3-deliveries-commercial-down-defen...


CAGW Names Rep. Charlie Dent October Porker of the Month

(Business Wire, Washington, 25 October 2016) [A vignette from the polarized US debate over Ex-Im] Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) its October Porker of the Month for his efforts to allow the wasteful Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank to function with limited accountability... Rep. Dent is failing to tell his constituents the inconvenient fact that 64 percent of Ex-Im Bank financing is directed to just 10 giant, highly profitable corporations, including a whopping 40 percent to Boeing... Rep. Dent is fighting to allow the bank to operate with just two board members instead of three, which means one-third less accountability for the taxpayer-backed corporate welfare it provides.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161025006253/en/CAGW-Names-Rep.-Charlie-...


Zimbabwe Government to repay Sinosure arrears

(The Herald, Harare, 5 October 2016) The Zimbabwe Government has mobilised $7,2 million which will go towards part repayment of debt arrears owed to China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) following reports the insurance company has been reluctant to guarantee loans from Chinese banks to Zimbabwean companies.It is reported that Sinosure has been reluctant to guarantee loans from Chinese banks to Zimbabwean companies because of Government’s failure to repay arrears owed to the Asian country.

http://www.herald.co.zw/govt-to-repay-sinosure-arrears/


Kuwait’s KNPC aims to finalise $5 billion-plus ECA backed loan by first quarter

(Indian Express, Dubai, 16 October 2016) Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) expects to finalise a loan of well over $5 billion to finance its Clean Fuels project by the end of the first quarter of next year, one of the world's largest-ever loans backed by export credit agencies. NBK Capital is acting as exclusive financial adviser for the facility, which would have backing from the South Korean, Dutch, British and Italian export credit agencies. HSBC is coordinating the transaction.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/kuwaits-knpc-aims-to-finalise-...


Irish budget to target measures to help exporters

(The Irish Times, Dublin, 6 October 2016) The Government is planning a series of budget initiatives to help Irish companies raise finance, particularly in targeting new export markets in light of Brexit. The schemes will focus on circumstances where normal finance would not be available from banks. The Government is likely to ramp up SME lending from the State-owned Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and to develop specific programmes to support export sales to new markets.

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/budget-to-target-measures-to-help-exp...


Heads of BRICS ECAs meet in New Delhi

(India Infoline, Mumbai, 13 October 2016) Members of the BRICS ECAs Forum are also the members of the International Union of Export Credit and Investment Insurers, London (U.K.) also known as Berne Union. BRICS countries had a share of around 22 percentage of World Trade with total Exports of about USD 3.5 trillion in 2015. BRICS ECAs supported more than USD 473 billion of exports from the Member countries. Members exchanged notes about various credit insurance products, business sectors and major destinations covered by the group. Members also discussed business trends and the rising defaults and claims in the light of heightened political and economic risk. The Terms of Reference for co-operation finalized in the last BRICS heads of ECAs meeting held at Russia were signed by the CEOs of BRICS ECAs. The next BRICS Heads of ECAs meeting will be hosted by SINOSURE, China under the chairmanship of China.

http://www.indiainfoline.com/article/news-top-story/heads-of-brics-ecas-meet-in-...


September 2016 What's New

"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.

  • WTO: Airbus ruling 'brings threat of EU-US trade war'
  • Canada to step up UK trade with new export hub after Brexit vote
  • Business Groups Ramp Up Push for Export-Import Bank to Make Larger Loans
  • Angola takes out EDC loan in Canada to pay for locomotives from General Electric
  • CSO Comments on Efic Policies and Procedures for environmental and social review of transactions
  • Summary report on Dutch Export Credit Facility Masterclass
  • Euler Hermes launches China trade insurance joint venture
  • Austria's OeKB and Australia's EFIC increase Iran export financing
  • U.S., French export-credit agencies’ role in OneWeb remains questionable
  • Russian ECA offers to finance $4bn in Cuban development schemes

WTO: Airbus ruling 'brings threat of EU-US trade war'

(The Week, London, 23 September 2016) French aircraft-maker Airbus has benefitted from as much as $22bn (£17bn) in illegal state aid from EU member states, including £3bn from the UK, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled. The judgement marks the latest chapter in what the BBC brands the world's "largest and longest-running trade dispute". It will not by any means be the last. On its own, the ruling has the potential to trigger a "trade war between the United States and the European Union", says The Times. The WTO says the EU has failed to comply with as many as 34 diktats designed to prevent governments subsidising Airbus at the cost of competition - and to the ultimate detriment of its big US rival, Boeing. A UK SFO (Serious Fraud Office investigation centres on "irregularities" in the use of third-party intermediaries on export deals underwritten by the UK, France and Germany through so-called "export credits".

http://www.theweek.co.uk/75318/airbus-ruling-brings-threat-of-eu-us-trade-war


Canada to step up UK trade with new export hub after Brexit vote

(The Telegraph, London, 17 September 2016) Canada is setting up an export agency office in the UK in an attempt to boost trade links with one of its biggest trading partners after the EU referendum. In the latest indication of the desire of non-EU countries to do more business with the UK, Export Development Canada (EDC) will open a London site this week. Britain is already Canada’s third-largest trading partner, with more than C$20bn (£11.5bn) of exports last year. The EDC said its decision to open a site in London showed that it takes “a long-term view on the strength of the UK economy following the Brexit vote, providing a stable source of capital”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/17/canada-to-step-up-uk-trade-with-n...


Business Groups Ramp Up Push for Export-Import Bank to Make Larger Loans

(SDC Executive, Arizona, 15 September 2016) A growing number of business groups are urging House and Senate leaders to approve a spending bill allowing the Export-Import Bank to approve larger loans again. Fifteen groups sent a letter calling on congressional leadership to include a temporary change to the agency's quorum requirement for its board of directors in a continuing resolution (CR) so that it may again review transactions over $10 million. Under current law, the five-member board must have three people to evaluate transactions above that level. There are only two board members now.

http://www.sdcexec.com/news/12257363/business-groups-ramp-up-push-for-export-imp...


Angola takes out EDC loan in Canada to pay for locomotives from General Electric

(Macauhub, Macau, 29 September 2016) Canada’s export credit agency will finance the purchase by Angola of 100 locomotives from US group General Electric, according to an authorization granted by presidential order. The order authorizes the state to borrow US$429.5 million from the Canadian state agency and justifies the decision with the need to diversify sources of funding, while ensuring the purchase of the locomotives.

http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/2016/09/29/angola-takes-out-loan-in-canada-to-pay-...


CSO Comments on Efic Policies and Procedures for environmental and social review of transactions

(Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 9 September 2016) The Jubilee Australia Research Centre and Oxfam Australia have submitted comments on Efic Policies and Procedures for environmental and social review of transactions prior to a 2016 government review. They note that, although Efic’s approach to addressing issues around environmental and social concerns does generally match that of other OECD Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), this unfortunately does not mean that the approach may be considered ‘international best practice’. They outline areas for improvement in relation to the standards that are used, the transparency of reporting, and accountability to affected communities and Australian taxpayers who directly or indirectly support Efic’s work. They add that Australia has long opposed the attempt to curb export credit financing of coal and other fossil fuels. Pressure from Australia and South Korea resulted in the November 2015 OECD agreement being much watered down. That agreement is insufficient for two main reasons. First, it includes coal but excludes other fossil fuels such as natural gas which also contribute to global warming. Efic itself was a financier of the massive PNG LNG deal in 2009. Second, analysis reveals other loopholes in that it leaves out financing for mining, transport and related coal infrastructure. They propose that Efic’s Policy on environmental and social reviews contain a clear statement that Efic will no longer support fossil fuel projects of any type, including all fossil fuel extractive projects and pipelines, transport infrastructure, etc. They further propose that Efic advocate amongst the OECD Export Credit Group to do the same.

Efic has announced that it is considering financing the development and construction of a new Category A project, the greenfields Boikarabelo coal mine and railway in South Africa which faced market concerns in 2015.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/_literature_79562/(Oct_2010)_EFIC_Environment_Po...


Summary report on Dutch Export Credit Facility Masterclass

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 5 September 2016) At the end of 2016, the Dutch government will present a policy review of its export credit facility - as implemented by Atradius Dutch State Business (ADSB) - to the national Parliament. In conversations with multiple staff members of parliamentarians, it was concluded that it would be helpful to organise a kind of Masterclass to enable them to better understand the role of the Dutch ECA from different perspectives. Both ENDS invited a range of stakeholders to attend and contribute to this meeting with a goal to inform Dutch parliamentarians and their staff on the functioning of the Dutch export credit facility, and the possibilities to effectively counter and mitigate negative economic, social, environmental and human rights impacts in developing countries linked to ADSB supported exports and investments. At the meeting ADSB, Boskalis, Both ENDS, the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), MVO (CSR) platform, the Dutch Banking Association, Rabobank, Transparency International and the employers’ organisation VNO-NCW held short presentations and provided input to the discussions. The Dutch National Contact Point for the OECD-Guidelines on MNE’s (NCP) participated as an observer. All participants in the Masterclass concluded that this meeting was very helpful as a preparation for a better informed parliamentary discussion on the policy review that is on the agenda later this year.

http://www.eca-watch.org/sites/eca-watch.org/files/Summary%20report%20Masterclas...


Euler Hermes launches China trade insurance joint venture

Global Trade Review, London, 12 Sepptember 2016) Euler Hermes has announced a credit insurance joint venture (JV) with China Pacific Property Insurance Company (CPPIC). Headquartered in Shanghai, the venture will operate under the name CPPIC Euler Hermes and be managed by existing members of staff from both companies. CPPIC is the third-largest property and casualty insurer in China, but also one of only a few export credit insurers in the country. The two firms have worked in partnership, growing their joint trade credit portfolio, since 2011.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/on-the-move/euler-hermes-launches-china-trade-insur...


Austria's OeKB and Australia's EFIC increase Iran export financing

Austria's OeKB raises Iran export financing
Press TV, Tehran, 28 September 2016) The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) says Austrian export credit agency OeKB has raised its cover for Iran transactions to 1 billion euros, the Mehr news agency reports. The announcement by Austrian Minister for Finance Hans Jörg Schelling came during a meeting with CBI Governor Valiollah Seif in Vienna, the report said.
Australia hails 'dawn of new age' in Iran ties
(Payvand, San Francisco, 28 September 2016) Iran and Australia have signed fresh agreements to forge closer ties, with Austrian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo announcing the dawn of a new age of relationship. Ciobo is leading a trade delegation of more than 20 companies to Tehran, seeking out opportunities, buoyed by the prospects in Iran's mining, oil and gas, and other industries as well as the near 80 million population. Australia's export credit agency EFIC and Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) signed a fourth MoU to facilitate trade and help businesses navigate challenges arising from sanctions which still continue to dog dealings with Iran.




U.S., French export-credit agencies’ role in OneWeb remains questionable

(Space News, Vermont, 14 September 2016) The OneWeb constellation, with a total of 900 low orbiting satellites whose capital cost has been estimated at around $3.5 billion including ground spares, is seeking export-credit agency support. But the U.S. Export-Import Bank remains on the sidelines for large projects, at least for now, and how far France's Coface can go in backing what's essentially a U.S.-based satellite manufacturing operation is unclear. All but 10 of the approximately 900 satellites, including spares, to be built for the project will be manufactured in Florida by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture of Airbus Defence and Space and OneWeb. Ten prototype satellites will be built at Airbus’s Toulouse, France, facility. It remains unclear how much Airbus- or French-sourced hardware for the balance of the constellation will be shipped to Florida.

http://spacenews.com/u-s-french-export-credit-agencies-role-in-oneweb-remains-qu...


Russian ECA offers to finance $4bn in Cuban development schemes

(Global Construction Review, London, 29 September 2016) Russia has offered to embark on a spectacular renewal of its economic relations with Cuba, based on 55 projects with a total value of some $4bn over the next four years, and has also agreed a cooperation agreement in the nuclear power sector. The bulk of the funding would be provided by Russian banks and safeguarded by guarantees from the Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance products.

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/russia-offers-fina7nce-4bn-cub7an-d...


August 2016 What's New

"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

  • Does the US ExIm Bank really promote US exports?
  • Norway opens $1-billion export credit line for Iran
  • Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Shed Poor OECD Export Credit Risk Ranking
  • Koreas’ export credit agency to back Sonangol financing to help Daewoo Shipbuilding
  • Paris Club Creditors Confident on Cuba Despite Liquidity Crisis
  • Nigerian ECA NEXIM, Fidelity Bank deepen non-oil exports
  • India's ECGC mulls credit insurance for Indian companies' foreign subsidiaries
  • GE Breaks Ground On Canadian Facility
  • China to intensify efforts to stabilize foreign trade including expanded export credit support
  • Ex-Im Bank Scouts Out Future Export-Financing Deals
  • Airbus credit freeze costs tally up
  • Banks develop a blockchain prototype solution for trade finance

Does the US ExIm Bank really promote US exports?

(Nottingam University, Nottingham, 27 July 2016) This 35 page paper investigates the impact of the US Export-Import Bank on US exports particularly in the wake of international competition from foreign national export credit agencies (ECAs). We employ a gravity framework on a country-industry-year-level panel dataset that matches EXIM authorizations with US bilateral exports. Our results depict the general ineffectiveness of the Bank in promoting exports within and across industries. Some heterogeneities behind the general finding are also uncovered: industries other than aerospace parts and products are more likely to benefit from EXIM authorizations, and that EXIM authorizations to larger businesses seem to be more effective in encouraging exports. Furthermore, we find no evidence that explains the role of EXIM in encouraging US exports by offsetting foreign ECA competition. These results are neither affected by competing countries' membership to the OECD Arrangement nor by the size of American firms that received EXIM support. Our results cast doubt on the ubiquitously positive claims made by the Bank and its supporters, yet also provide policy lessons for countries that are either in the inception stages of establishing their own ECAs or are now placing greater importance on ECA financing in encouraging domestic exports. See also the Global Trade Review review article

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2016/2016-12.pdf


Norway opens $1-billion export credit line for Iran

(Daily Mail, London, 17 August 2016) Iran said Wednesday that Norway had offered the Islamic republic a $1-billion credit line following a meeting between their foreign ministers in Tehran. Borge Brende and Mohammad Javad Zarif signed three "export credit" deals aimed at funding "development and infrastructure projects", Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement. Iran has struggled to tap international finance as many banks fear US penalties if they do business with the Islamic republic. A landmak deal between Tehran and world powers, which was signed in July last year and came into force in January, saw many international sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme. European countries have been keen to do business with one of the last frontier markets, but Washington has maintained sanctions related to Iran's human rights record and missile programme.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3745268/Norway-opens-1-billion-cred...


Argentina Seeks IMF Help to Shed Poor OECD Export Credit Risk Ranking

Argentina’s sovereign debt may be outperforming most of its emerging-market peers this year, but the OECD says the country is as risky as North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. The ranking is a remnant from the days when Argentina was still a pariah in international markets -- and it could soon change. About half a dozen International Monetary Fund economists are set to touch down in Argentina in September to assess the reliability of the country’s economic statistics and the sustainability of its fiscal and monetary policies, as well as the banking industry. The so-called Article IV consultation -- normally an annual review but, in Argentina’s case, the first in a decade -- is a key step to reclaiming legitimacy among organizations like the OECD and unlocking cheaper financing from member nations.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-11/argentina-seeks-imf-help-to-sh...


Koreas’ export credit agency to back Sonangol financing to help Daewoo Shipbuilding

(Pulse News, Seoul, 2 August 2016) State-run Korea Trade Insurance Corp. (K-sure) will likely provide additional security for two drill ships Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) made but whose delivery is being stalled because of financial troubles of Angola’s state-run oil company Sonangol, according to the financial authorities and creditors on Monday.

http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800021&year=2016&no=550925


Paris Club Creditors Confident on Cuba Despite Liquidity Crisis

(Frontera News, London, 25 August 2016) In December, Paris Club creditor nations hammered out a debt restructuring deal with the Cuban government, which forgives a large portion of monies owed from a default in 1987, while the Cuban government committed to paying off the rest over time. Observers cite these kinds of deals as evidence that the Cuban government is serious about integrating itself fully into the global economy, but some are wondering if the island’s current liquidity crisis will compel it to fall back on its debt service promise. “The Paris Club countries that struck the deal with Cuba have all been encouraging their ECAs (export credit agencies) to open up to doing more business with Cuba,” said Pavel Vidal, a former official at Cuba's Central Bank now teaching at the Javeriana University in Cali, Colombia. “In fact, the Paris Club deal allowed for individual countries to convert part of the restructured debt into projects and equity. I think the French, Dutch and the Brits have also opened some lines. Europeans are trying to get to the party before the Americans can come in."

https://fronteranews.com/news/latam/paris-club-creditors-confident-despite-liqui...


Nigerian ECA NEXIM, Fidelity Bank deepen non-oil exports

(The Nation, Lagos, 19 August 2016) The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank) and Fidelity Bank Plc are taking measures meant to enhance non-oil exports and create wealth for Nigerians. Both lenders urged exporters to explore opportunities presented by the N500 billion (US$1.58 billion) non-oil Export Stimulation Facility (ESF) as well as the expansion of the export credit Rediscounting and Refinancing Facilities (RRF) to develop the economy, stimulate their operations, and create jobs for the people.

http://thenationonlineng.net/nexim-fidelity-bank-deepen-non-oil-export/


India's ECGC mulls credit insurance for Indian companies' foreign subsidiaries

(Business Standard, Mumbai, 1 August 2016) Indian ECA ECGC is likely to introduce credit insurance cover for the overseas-based subsidiaries of Indian companies, a top company official said here today. Under the proposed scheme, which is likely to be launched within a month's time, ECGC will provide cover to 85 per cent of the project cost to the overseas-based subsidiaries of the Indian companies.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ecgc-mulls-credit-insurance...


GE Breaks Ground On Canadian Facility

(Compressor Tech News, Waukesha, WI, 26 August 2016) GE has started constructing its multimodal manufacturing facility in Welland, Ontario, Canada. The facility, a US$165 million investment in its first phase, will manufacture GE Power’s reciprocating gas engines, as well as components for compression, mechanical drive and power generation applications. It will also craft components for GE transportation diesel engines. The facility, expected to open in early 2018, will employ 220 people and has the ability to expand for other GE global businesses, such as Power, Oil & Gas and Transportation. Since 2010, GE’s Waukesha brand formerly held its manufacturing operations in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In September 2015, however, GE Power decided to move its manufacturing jobs to Canada, citing a lapse of charter for the US export credit agency – the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) as a reason. With the facility in Canada, GE will be able to access support from the country’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC). GE has a long-standing relationship with EDC, the company said.

http://www.compressortech2.com/August-2016/GE-Breaks-Ground-On-Welland-Facility/...


China to intensify efforts to stabilize foreign trade including expanded export credit support

(Xinhua, Beijing, 16 August 2016) China's State Council (the Cabinet) urged local authorities to intensify efforts to stabilize exports and imports, which both declined in the first seven months of the year. Trade facilitation measures adopted by the country's free trade zones should be duplicated, standards at different customs areas must be unified, and examination procedures should be simplified, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang Tuesday. Financial institutions should enhance credit support to companies that have received export orders, help them control exchange rate risks, and expand the coverage of export credit insurance, the statement said.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-08/16/c_135604465.htm


Ex-Im Bank Scouts Out Future Export-Financing Deals

(Wall Street Journal, Beijing, 9 August 2016) The U.S. Export-Import Bank is vetting major export-financing deals in advance so it can resume lending as soon as a U.S. Senate logjam is resolved, its chairman said Tuesday in Beijing. Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im Banks’ chairman and president, said he hopes the Senate can clear an impasse during the next few months affecting a backlog of loan applications totaling some $20 billion at the Washington-based institution, which finances U.S. exports. The bank has run into stiff opposition from critics who characterize as “corporate welfare” its support for U.S. exporters such as Boeing Co. Last year, the bank’s operations were suspended after House Republicans stopped Congress from voting on a reauthorization measure before its charter expired last July. In December, large majorities in both chambers voted to renew its lapsed charter. But Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has blocked the confirmation of a board member, depriving the bank of the quorum needed to approve deals exceeding $10 million.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/ex-im-bank-scouts-out-future-export-financing-deals-...


Airbus credit freeze costs tally up

(Global Trade Review, London, 3 August 2016) France’s Airbus group supplied a near tenfold increase in customer financing following a freeze in export credits from the UK, France and Germany earlier this year, in light of potential corruption and transparency issues. In its half-yearly statement the company said it supplied €587mn of financing to customers compared to €63mn for the first half of 2015. “This is temporary finance we are doing as we’re under suspension of export credit financing,” company CEO Tom Enders told analysts. However, this is only 1% of total ECA financing received in 2015, reflecting that the market is liquid and competitive, he added. Meanwhile, the UK Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal probe related to use of third-party consultants.

http://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/airbus-credit-freeze-costs-tally-up/


Banks develop a blockchain prototype solution for trade finance

(Brave New Coin, Southbank AU, 15 August 2016) Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), HSBC, and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) recently announced that they have jointly developed “a prototype solution built on Blockchain technology that could change the way businesses around the world trade with each other.” Trade finance involves a range of activities; lending, issuing letters of credit (LCs), factoring, export credit issuance, and insurance. The processes are typically time and labor intensive, involving many parties while multiple documents must be checked to reduce risk and provide assurance to sellers, buyers, and their banks. An LC or Documentary Credit represents a guarantee by a bank that a seller will receive payment from a buyer once certain conditions are met. Using blockchains, all parties involved in an LC transaction can view all actions in real-time, such as when the seller has shipped the buyer's goods. “Each action in the workflow is captured in a permissioned distributed ledger, giving transparency to authorised participants whilst encrypting confidential data,” states the project press release.

http://bravenewcoin.com/news/bank-of-america-merrill-lynch-hsbc-and-ida-develop-...


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