Welcome to ECA Watch

Export credit agences provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations working internationally in some of the most volatile, controversial and damaging industries on the planet.

Shrouded in mystery, ECAs provide financial backing for risky projects that might never otherwise get off the ground. They are a major source of national debt in developing countries.

ECA Watch is a network of NGOs from around the world. We come together to campaign for ECA reform - better transparency, accountability, and respect for environmental standards and human rights.

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What's New March 2020

"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.

  • EU G20 and OECD Member Countries Announce Trillion$ in subsidies, including ECA $$
  • EU approves emergency state-aid ECA measures
  • UK proposes UKEF loan fund to spur defence & post-Brexit exports
  • Global Banks Funneled $2.7 Trillion into Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Agreement
  • ECAs Backing Coal as Some of the World's Biggest Banks Get Out
  • UK Export Finance accused of failing to consider climate risks
  • EU unveils industrial strategy to help meet climate goals
  • India Seeks to Win Investment Amid Ongoing China-US Trade War, Coronavirus Outbreak
  • Canada challenged to ensure EDC COVID-19 aid won't bail out 'high-polluting industries'
  • Canada: Stop EDC investing in environmental and human rights harm
  • Airbus, Boeing Make Production Decisions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Uganda rallies regional states to rethink expensive ECA debt
  • Why a Brazilian builder wants UKEF money for work in Africa

EU G20 and OECD Member Countries Announce Trillion$ in subsidies, including ECA $$

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 March 2020) Our "export credit" online alerts this month are flooded with news of coronavirus pandemic generated government subsidies for business (and some for workers), including special export credit increases. Here are but a few links by country: Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad, Turkey, UKEF, USA. The measures notified by EU Member States and the UK that have been approved by the EC are outlined at this link.




EU approves emergency state-aid ECA measures

(National Law Review, Western Springs IL, 26 March 2020) On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a temporary framework for State aid to support the economy amidst the consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The temporary framework provides for five types of aid, including aid in the form of short-term export credit insurance, as a temporary EU Treaty measure allowing for state aid “to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.” [This move highlights a possible tension within the European community wherein the European Commission is promoting a European Green Deal while the European Council Export Credits Group works with the OECD Export Credit Working Group to promote and protect European corporations, including support for substantial fossil fuel projects. Will short-term export credits for the energy sector be allocated on the basis of a green Europe or the existing fossil fuel dependency? Or will they be used just to shore-up national businesses distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic?]

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/european-commission-adopts-temporary-framew...


UK proposes UKEF loan fund to spur defence & post-Brexit exports

(Jane's, London, 11 March 2020) The UK government is proposing to create a GBP1 billion (USD1.3 billion) fund to support British defence and security exports. The “facility” would be overseen by UK Export Finance, the country’s export credit agency, which gives loans to help foreign countries, especially those with developing economies, buy British goods and services. The proposed fund is included in the 2020 budget that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented to Parliament on 11 March. The budget also proposes a GBP100 million (USD128 million) increase for defence research and development to “develop capabilities in response to threats facing the UK, including funding for cutting-edge technology in aviation and space propulsion.” In addition, The Chancellor is preparing to boost post-Brexit exports for UK businesses by making £5 billion of loans available to UKEF in his forthcoming Budget. The Treasury said the money would help UK exporters to increase their global sales as Britain prepares for life outside the European Union, with the Chancellor helping to top up the purchasing power of those abroad by providing a competitive loan rate through UKEF.

https://www.janes.com/article/94837/uk-proposes-loan-fund-to-spur-defence-export...


Global Banks Funneled $2.7 Trillion into Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Agreement

(Bank Track, Nijemgen, 20 March 2020) The latest version of the most comprehensive report on global banks' fossil fuel financing, Banking on Climate Change 2020, was released today, revealing that 35 global banks have not only been sustaining but expanding the fossil fuel sector with more than $2.7 trillion in the four years since the Paris Climate Agreement. The report finds that financial support for the fossil fuel industry has increased every year since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015.

https://mailchi.mp/banktrack/new-report-reveals-global-banks-funneled-27-trillio...


ECAs Backing Coal as Some of the World's Biggest Banks Get Out

(Bloomberg, 8 March 2020) Moves by some of the world’s biggest banks to end coal financing for the sake of the planet was supposed to create major headaches for companies like Whitehaven Coal Ltd. Yet there was the Australian miner on a conference call last month announcing the refinancing and extension of a A$1 billion ($650 million) credit line, backed mostly by Chinese and Japanese lenders. The Export-Import Bank of China and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation lead firms that have committed $29 billion for new coal power projects in Vietnam and Indonesia alone.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/death-coal-financing-exaggerated-china-163000714....


UK Export Finance accused of failing to consider climate risks

(Business Green, London, 17 March 2020) The UK's export credit agency was today accused of breaching OECD guidelines governing multinational organisations, with campaigners accusing the government of "rank hypocrisy". NGO Global Witness has lodged a complaint with the Paris-based OECD, which provides guidelines for how industrialised economies should respond to the climate crisis. The complaint alleges that UKEF has breached guidelines for multinational enterprises by failing to adequately consider climate-related risks and report on its greenhouse gas emissions. It also alleges that the agency has no targets to reduce emissions. The OECD cannot compel enterprises to develop a climate risk strategy, but it can publicly state that its guidelines have been broken. The complaint, which is the first of its kind to be levelled against an export credit agency, will see UKEF enter into an arbitration process mediated by the OECD.

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4012565/climate-hypocrites-uk-export-finance-...


EU unveils industrial strategy to help meet climate goals

(ReNews, Winchester, 10 March 2020) The European Commission has presented a new Industrial Strategy to help Europe achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050, while maintaining European industry's global competitiveness. These include comprehensive measures to modernise and decarbonise energy-intensive industries, support sustainable and smart mobility, promote energy efficiency, strengthen current carbon leakage tools and secure a “sufficient and constant” supply of low-carbon energy at competitive prices. “This includes developing a European export strategy for renewables that looks not only at third country market access but also at how national export credit agencies can support the European industry in the face of State-financed Chinese competition.

https://renews.biz/59045/eu-unveils-industrial-strategy-to-meet-climate-goals/


India Seeks to Win Investment Amid Ongoing China-US Trade War, Coronavirus Outbreak

(Sputnik, Moscow/New Delhi 3 March 2020) The US and China are still engaged in a trade dispute, and the spread of the coronavirus makes a deal less likely, at least in the short-term. The Indian Finance Ministry has revealed that amid the US-China trade war, its exports to the two countries have not only increased but it is also looking forward to enlarging its China Plus-One Strategy. Claiming that trade tensions between China and the US contributed to the decline of world output and trade, the ministry said that India recorded $44.8 million in exports to the USA and $14.6 million to China in 2019. The US-China trade war began in 2018 after US President Donald Trump accused China of unfair trade practices and imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of imports. China accused the US of trying to stop it from emerging as a global power and retaliated with tariffs of $110 billion on US products. Amid the tensions, the Indian government has granted relief measures to exporters including lower duties and taxes on exported products, a special scheme for higher export credit disbursement and a fast clearance window to boost trade. India has recorded an increase in exports with the US despite higher tariffs and the end to the Generalised System of Preferences, an import subsidy facility, which assisted Indian exports to the tune of $5.6 billion.

https://sputniknews.com/india/202003031078462229-india-seeks-to-win-investment-a...


Canada challenged to ensure EDC COVID-19 aid won't bail out 'high-polluting industries'

(National Observer, Ottawa, 25 March 2020) Environmental groups praised political parties for coming together to help Canadians battle the effects of the coronavirus. They also argued that the new law’s broadening of Export Development Canada (EDC)’s mandate will make it easier to direct more public money to oil and gas companies without sufficient oversight.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/03/25/news/morneau-challenged-ensure-covid...


Canada: Stop EDC investing in environmental and human rights harm

(Amnesty International, Ottawa, 14 March 2020) In 2016, Export Development Canada - a crown corporation that claims its transactions are “environmentally and socially responsible” - approved millions of dollars in loans to Empresas Públicas de Medellin, the company building the HidroItuango dam. The Hidroituango dam cuts across the Cauca River in a region of Colombia hard hit by decades of armed conflict and grave human rights violations. The financing was approved despite warnings by experts, human rights organizations and local communities. Ríos Vivos, a grassroots movement of families dependent on the Cauca River for their food and livelihoods, has courageously denounced social and environmental impacts of the dam. They’ve also reported forced evictions, increased militarization and worsening violence, including the killing of six of their leaders.

https://takeaction.amnesty.ca/page/57662/action/1?utm_medium=email&utm_source=en...


Airbus, Boeing Make Production Decisions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Aviation Today, Rockville MD, 24 March 2020) Airbus partially resumed assembly and production work in France and Spain on March 23, while Boeing will temporarily suspend the majority of its U.S.-based airplane production activity beginning March 25 as the two commercial aerospace giants continue working to keep their businesses running amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. “We’re advocating support of governments for the complete ecosystem across the industry, for our suppliers and customers, for example, through the use of export credit." Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury noted. [One wonders how the global spread of COVID-19 via many of their aircraft may affect their plans!]

https://www.aviationtoday.com/2020/03/24/airbus-boeing-make-production-decisions...


Uganda rallies regional states to rethink expensive ECA debt

(Daily Monitor, Kampala, 24 February 2020) Maris Wanyera, the Ministry of Finance acting director for debt and cash policy management, said on Friday the conference, to be attended by delegates from 16 countries, under the theme “sustainable public debt management and a strengthened economic growth” is long overdue in light of the ongoing borrowing frenzy by African countries to finance their development agenda. Some of the conditions, she says, are high insurance premiums tied to especially loans by export credit agencies, tying of loans to particular suppliers usually from the source countries which constrain local capacity, and in others waiving sovereign immunity over all assets of the borrowing states.

https://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/Finance/Uganda-rallies-regional-states-to-ret...


Why a Brazilian builder wants UKEF money for work in Africa

(Construction News, London, 3 March 2020) UK financing of foreign projects designed to boost British supply chain involvement is booming. Ghana’s Kejetia open-air market is the largest in West Africa and is also a health and safety nightmare. Ghana decided to create a more modern facility and approached a Brazilian builder established in the region to design and build a multi-storey covered market to replace Kejetia. The second phase of the programme – a 160,000 m2 building – is guaranteed to feature work from British subcontractors. It could, for example, include Scottish steel and be illuminated by lights created in London. Why? Because UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency, has provided a £70m loan to help the Ghanaian government finance the project, costing up to $700m (£543m). UKEF funding decisions are not without criticism. Their financing of projects led by companies with minimal presence in the UK has raised questions about whether British businesses are benefiting as much as they are supposed to and last year a select committee of MPs began scrutinising some of the deals by UKEF as part of an inquiry into the organisation’s financing of fossil-fuel projects.

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/international/why-a-brazilian-builder-wants-u...


What's New February 2020

"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.

  • EDC considering support for controversial pipeline project
  • German gov't provides US$23 billion in export credit guarantees in 2019
  • ICIEC Insured $10.86bn Worth of Businesses In OIC Countries In 2019
  • EKN: On exporting Sweden’s fossil free energy future
  • G20 ECAs fund $30 bn a year in fossil fuels $30 bn under the radar
  • World Bank: Some development banks and ECAs contributing to debt problems
  • Quarantined Cruise Liners Pose Hidden Risk to Finnish ECA and Economy
  • Italy earmarks 350 mn euros for SACE fund to help coronavirus-hit firms
  • EDC review of Bombardier bribery compliance policies nears completion
  • Airbus bribery scandal triggers new probes worldwide
  • Bpifrance launchs multi-billion euro fund to support French firms
  • Tanzania Railway gets US$1.46b ECA backed financing
  • Euler Hermes supports attractive investment opportunities in Egypt

EDC considering support for controversial pipeline project

(350.org, New York, 24 February 2020) As thousands across Canada take to the streets in solidarity with indigenous Wet’suwet’en land defenders and hereditary chiefs, Export Development Canada (EDC) is considering handing over millions of dollars in public money to the very pipeline project that sparked this resistance. EDC has a track record of financing projects that violate Indigenous rights and disregard climate science. In 2018, they were essential to the federal government’s controversial buy-out of the TMX pipeline. Now, they could be committing an undisclosed amount of money to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline as early as February 26th.

https://350.org/no-public-money-for-the-coastal-gaslink-pipeline/?akid=114458.97...


German gov't provides US$23 billion in export credit guarantees in 2019

(Xinhua, Berlin, 17 February 2020) The German government provided some 21 billion euros (US$23 billion) in export credit guarantees for German exporters and banks in 2019, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced on Monday. The figure marked an increase of 6 percent over the previous year, according to the ministry. Because of "continuing political and economic uncertainties in important international markets, demand for federal export credit guarantees remains high," the BMWi noted. In addition to numerous transactions by small and medium-sized enterprises last year, the German government continued to "cover large-volume transactions, especially in the shipping sector." The government also offered 3.3 billion euros of investment guarantees for German companies' projects overseas last year, according to the BMWi. Compared to the previous year, the investment guarantees had almost tripled, according to the BMWi.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/18/c_138792862.htm


ICIEC Insured $10.86bn Worth of Businesses In OIC Countries In 2019

(ProShare, Lagos, 17 February 2020) The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) insured businesses globally to the tune of $10.86bn in 2019. The coverage was part of the report of the ICIEC reviewing its performance and activities for 2019. It translated to a 20.31% increase from 2018, which gulped total business insurance of $9.03bn. The majority of businesses insured in 2019 concentrated on two core regions: The Middle East and North Africa and also Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. In terms of the impact made in 2019, the distribution by region showed that the Middleast and North Africa, MENA emerged the highest with 54.39%, while Sub-Saharan Africa came second with 42.34% and Asia with 3.28%. ICIEC Businesses Insured by Region in 2019 include Asia 3.28%, Middle East and North Africa: 54.39% and Sub-Saharan Africa 42.34%. Across all 3 regions, energy and manufacturing led the areas supported by ICIEC. Business insured in the energy sector totalled $5.5bn million, while in the manufacturing sector, the figure stood at $2.7bn. Organization of Islamic Cooperation country distributions were: Turkey-14.94%, Algeria -10.53%, UAE-10.18%, Jordan-8.9%, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-6.18%, Egypt-3.38% and Lebanon-2.88%. ICIEC took part in the 2019 London Sukuk Summit, engaging with leading industry experts and institutions from across the world.

https://www.proshareng.com/news/Islamic%20Finance/ICIEC-Insured-$10.86bn-Worth-o...


EKN: On exporting Sweden’s fossil free energy future

(TFX, London, 12 February 2020) EKN's director general Anna-Karin Jatko set the tone for the Swedish export credit agency’s seminar in Stockholm on 9 February noting Swedish industry’s impressive ability to transform itself. Two companies, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery and state-owned mining and mineral group LKAB, are among those doing transformative things in Sweden such as fossil-free steel products. Their exports have been covered by EKN for more than 80 years. The goal set by the Swedish government to be the “first fossil-free welfare society in the world” is an ambitious one, but Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation is bullish. “It’s a huge challenge, but there are opportunities if it’s done in the right way,” he told the domestic and international banks and exporters, pointing out that the transition won’t be financed and delivered by the government of the country, whose population is only around 10 million, on its own.

https://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/6923/EKN-On-exporting-Swedens-fossil-free-e...


G20 ECAs fund $30 bn a year in fossil fuels $30 bn under the radar

(Space Daily / AFP, Paris, 30 January 2020) Rich nations are funnelling cash through government-backed financial institutions to provide $30 billion to fossil fuel projects each year that "run counter to the Paris Agreement", a new analysis showed Thursday. The export credit agencies (ECAs) of G20 countries currently provide more than 10 times more state-backed finance to oil, gas and coal projects abroad than they do to renewable energy schemes, the analysis said. That translates to $7.1 billion annually in the years since the signing of the landmark accord that enjoins nations to slash carbon emissions. The analysis singled out China, Japan, South Korea and Canada as among the worst offenders, accounting for 78 percent of G20 fossil fuel support from 2016-2018. UK ECA Export Finance, has not funded a coal-fired power plant since 2002, but a separate analysis showed it is financing millions of tonnes worth of overseas emissions through continued oil and gas funding.

https://www.spacedaily.com/afp/200130040116.014rcutz.html


World Bank: Some development banks and ECAs contributing to debt problems

(Reuters, Washington, 11 February 2020) World Bank President David Malpass on Monday chided other development banks for lending too quickly to heavily indebted countries, saying that some of them were helping worsen already-challenging debt situations. Malpass said at a World Bank-IMF debt forum in Washington that the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were contributing to debt problems. “We have a situation where other international financial institutions and to some extent development finance institutions as a whole, certainly the official export credit agencies, have a tendency to lend too quickly and to add to the debt problem of the countries,” Malpass said. In an interview, Malpass cited liens against Angola's oil revenues associated with Chinese debt that were hidden by non-disclosure agreements, convenient for politicians and contractors.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/world/world-bank-chief-some-developmen...


Quarantined Cruise Liners Pose Hidden Risk to Finnish ECA and Economy

(Bloomberg, Helsinki, 12 February 2020) The damage wrought by the coronavirus on the luxury cruise-liner business may hurt the economy of Finland more than most other countries’. The Finnish government has granted an “exceptionally high” number of export guarantees to cruise lines that have ordered luxury vessels from the Nordic country’s shipyards. So it’s more vulnerable than most to a slump in demand. The bulk of the guarantees involves just one industry and, because they exist outside the government budget, they’re largely excluded when calculating the state’s liabilities. But Finnish taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for as much as 11 billion euros ($12 billion) of credit risk stemming from these guarantees. Finnvera Oyj, the country’s export credit company, has guaranteed loans for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corp.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/quarantined-cruise-liners-pose-hidden-risk-...


Italy earmarks 350 mn euros for SACE fund to help coronavirus-hit firms

(IANS/AKI, Rome, 26 February 2020) The Italian government is making a total 650 million euros available to help Italian companies weather the coronavirus emergency, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday. "Italy''s foreign trade institute (Ice) is making available 300 million euros for our companies and we will hold joint discussions on the best way to tackle this moment," Di Maio wrote on Facebook. A further 350 million euros will be set aside for Sace-Simest, Di Maio added, referring to a company that belongs to state lender Cassa depositi e prestiti and which is 76 per cent controlled by Italy''s export credit agency Sace. Economists have warned the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak whose epicentre is in the wealthy, industrial north of the country may tip Italy back into another recession - its fourth since 2008.

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/italy-earmarks-650-mn-euros-to-help-coro...


EDC review of Bombardier bribery compliance policies nears completion

(Compliance Week, Boston, 18 February 2020) Export Development Canada (EDC) announced it has completed its independent review of Bombardier’s compliance policies and procedures, concluding there is progress in its ethics and compliance program. EDC initiated the review of Bombardier in 2019 following leaked findings from the World Bank’s investigations into Bombardier’s 2013 contract with Azerbaijan Railways. As Compliance Week previously reported, a March 2017 report by investigative centers and media outlets around the globe alleged Bombardier paid “millions of dollars in bribes to unidentified Azerbaijani officials through a shadowy company registered in the United Kingdom.

https://www.complianceweek.com/ethics-and-codes/bombardiers-compliance-program-p...


Airbus bribery scandal triggers new probes worldwide

(Reuters, Paris, 3 February 2020) Fallout from the Airbus bribery scandal reverberated around the world on Monday as the head of one of its top buyers temporarily stood down and investigations were launched in countries aggrieved at being dragged into the increasingly political row. Prosecution documents agreed by Airbus detailed a global network of agents or middlemen in transactions across the group's business and run from a cell in Paris where the group had part of its headquarters, split between France and Germany. Outlines of the operation and its annual budget of 250 million to 300 million euros had been reported by Reuters. fter Britain's Special Fraud Office reported that Airbus had hired the wife of a Sri Lankan Airlines executive as its intermediary in connection with aircraft negotiations, Airbus misled UK export credit agency UKEF over her name and gender, while paying her company $2 million the SFO said. Payments to "agents" in Nigeria, Korea, Taiwan, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Malasia are being investigated.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/airbus-bribery-scandal-triggers-probes-205521977....


Bpifrance launchs multi-billion euro fund to support French firms

(Reuters, Paris, 30 January 2020) French public investment bank Bpifrance has raised several billion euros from private and sovereign investors for a new fund that can be used to fend off activist investors targeting French companies. The new fund would give extra financial firepower to Bpifrance, which already manages a 15 billion euro portfolio of state shareholdings. In addition to managing French state shareholdings, Bpifrance's main business lines also include offering guarantees for banks' business loans and export credit insurance. In addition, Bpifrance has signed up to the Poseidon Principles to become the 17th signatory with a collective aim to limit carbon emissions from ships.

https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2020/jan/30/french-state-lender-to-launch-multi-b...


Tanzania Railway gets US$1.46b ECA backed financing

(East Africa Business Week, Kampala, 14 February 2020) Tanzania's Ministry of Finance has signed a facility agreement with Standard Chartered (SC.com) Tanzania for a US$ 1.46 billion loan to fund the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora. According to the Tanzania Railways Corporation, it is expected that the railway will address current congestion challenges and decrease freight service charges by 40%, as the railway will be able to haul up to 10,000 tons of freight, equivalent to 500 lorries, per trip. It will also connect Tanzania to Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, thereby playing a key role in enhancing regional trade. Standard Chartered Tanzania acted as Global Coordinator, Bookrunner and Mandated Lead Arranger on the facility agreement that is the largest foreign currency financing raised by the Ministry of Finance to date. The biggest component of financing comes from the Export Credit Agency Covered Facility(‘s) from the Export Credit Agencies of Denmark and Sweden.

https://www.busiweek.com/tanzania-gauge-railway-project-kicks-off-with-stanchart...


Euler Hermes supports attractive investment opportunities in Egypt

(MENAFN, Cairo, 8 February 2020) According to the Head of Deutsche Bank's representative office in Cairo, a higher economic growth rate, improved credit conditions, privatisation of public companies and listings in the local exchange will help Egypt to move towards a more private-sector-lead economic model. Deutsche Bank helped the government of Egypt arrange its first euro dominated bond ever, raising €2bn in the international debt capital markets. Another transaction is Deutsche Bank's participation in the financing of three power plants for €3.5bn for the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC). Supported by German export credit agency Euler Hermes, these deals represent part of the single largest order ever for our partner, Siemens, the largest-ever STEF export finance transaction and the largest-ever export financing in the Egyptian market.

https://menafn.com/1099673685/Egypt-provides-attractive-investment-opportunity-t...


What's New January 2020

"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.

  • Luanda leaks show Dutch Export credit insurer Atradius involved in serious Angola human rights violations
  • UKEF to cease coal project support but current oil and gas projects will emit equivalent of 17 coal plants or 69m tonnes
  • Airbus faces record $4 billion fine after UKEF bribery probe
  • Davos: Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash
  • EDC writes off $200 million - won't say what for or why!
  • 2019 Review of Developments In Islamic Finance
  • Nigerian LNG expansion to include ECA financing
  • Saudi ECA offers support for TAPI pipeline
  • India asks DGFT to check fake export credit refund claims

Luanda leaks show Dutch Export credit insurer Atradius involved in serious Angola human rights violations

(Guardian, Luanda, 20 January 2020) Until the summer of 2013, Areia Branca, a fishing village just outside Luanda, the capital of Angola, was home to a thriving fishing community of 3,000 families. Now there is no trace of their houses, only sand, a pile of gravel, egrets, a bulldozer and a police post, bulldozed to make way for the Marginal da Corimba project, a multibillion-dollar real estate and highway development along Luanda’s coastline led by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos. The Luanda Leaks investigation based on a huge cache of financial records belonging to dos Santos, Africa's richest woman, suggest her company stood to benefit from redevelopment of the vacated land. Many of Areia Branca’s former residents have moved to the other side of the lagoon, packed on to a tiny patch of land, known as Povoado. Previously a waste dump through which two sewage channels flowed, it has become home to 500 families sharing tiny shacks made of corrugated tin. Children play among piles of rotting rubbish. Infectious diseases – malaria, tuberculosis, meningitis – are rife. Documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists suggest dos Santos’ Urbinveste received at least $12 million from the Angolan government for work on the project. British architects Broadway Malyan and Dutch dredging company Van Oord claim not to have been aware of the forced evictions on behalf of the dos Santos real estate and construction company Urbinveste. Following revelations in the Dutch business press, a Both ENDS opinion piece in the Dutch business newspaper FD notes that the official export credit insurer Atradius DSB has not complied with OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It appears that the Dutch ECA failed to do sufficient due diligence on environmental and human rights impacts and bribery risks before issuing an insurance to facilitate Van Oord and the Dutch ING bank's involvement in this project.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/20/fishing-community-bulldozed-isabel...


UKEF to cease coal project support but current oil and gas projects will emit equivalent of 17 coal plants or 69m tonnes

(Energy Live News, London, 24 January 2020) UKEF is financing fossil fuel projects overseas that are estimated to emit around 69 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, according to a new investigation by BBC Newsnight and Greenpeace. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the government will put an immediate end to using taxpayers’ money to support coal mining and coal-fired power stations in developing countries. The investigation found that no coal plants have been financed since 2012 but all the fossil fuel projects supported by UKEF which are oil and gas-related will emit the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from 17 coal plants. A report from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) last year found 96% of UKEF’s energy investment between 2013 and 2017 went to fossil fuel projects – a fifth of all its investments. The Catholic charity CAFOD pointed to the fact that Johnson said the UK was still going to help countries with oil and gas production, not phase out all forms of public support for fossil fuels overseas

https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/01/24/uk-financing-fossil-fuel-projects-over...


Airbus faces record $4 billion fine after UKEF bribery probe

(Reuters, London, 28 January 2020) Airbus faces a record $4 billion fine and lower 2019 profits after unveiling a preliminary deal with French, British and U.S. authorities following a crippling three-year probe into allegations of bribery and corruption over jetliner sales. The European planemaker has been investigated by French and British authorities for suspected corruption over jet sales dating back over a decade. It has also faced U.S. investigations over suspected violations of export controls. British and French investigations began after Airbus alerted regulators to misleading and incomplete declarations it had made to Britain’s export credit agency over payments to sales agents. “To my knowledge, an approximate $4 billion global settlement amount would be the largest global bribery settlement amount in history,” said bribery law expert Mike Koehler, a professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law. Airbus has fired more than 100 people over ethics and compliance issues as a result of its own probe into the allegations, which widened to other divisions. But the internal probe led to anger within the Franco-German firm and its jet sales teams who denied any influence over the tightly controlled agent system, which political sources have described as part of a wider French influence network abroad. It also threatened to reopen Franco-German tensions over Airbus as French sources complained the row diverted attention from a separate probe into fighter jet dealings with Austria, partially overseen by German-born Tom Enders who later served as chief executive. Enders has denied any wrongdoing. A further German probe into potential misuse of client documents is ongoing.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-probe/airbus-agrees-to-settle-corrupti...


Davos: Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash

(World Economic Forum, Geneva, 3 January 2020) To continue financing fossil fuel expansion is today’s equivalent of betting the bank - and the global economy - on subprime mortgage-backed securities over a decade ago; it is fuelling a crisis that, even if it generates short-term profit, will inevitably cause economic catastrophe alongside the climate emergency. Since the Paris Agreement was signed, 33 major global banks have collectively poured $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels. To avoid any misinterpretation, governments should provide central banks with an explicit mandate to extend their horizon on financial stability to fully encompass climate risk and to be a force for decarbonization. Reporting under the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosure should be mandatory. Governments should end supply-side subsidies and export credit financing for fossil fuels and incentivise investment in renewable energy.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/financing-fossil-fuels-repeat-2008-crash-...


EDC writes off $200 million - won't say what for or why!

(iPolitics, Ottawa, 22 January 2020) A report from Public Accounts of Canada for the 2018-19 fiscal year contains a line item for $196,010,248 that was written off from Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Canada Account, which offers financing for higher-risk projects and sales that the international trade minister deems is in best interest of the country. Guillaume Bérubé, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada refused to disclose to iPolitics what the item was, but said the decision to write-off the amount was made on recommendation that it was in the “best interests of Canada and Canadians.” In an April 2018 report he federal auditor general said Export Development Canada has significant problems when it comes to risk management because it hasn’t kept up with evolving industry practices.

https://ipolitics.ca/2020/01/22/federal-ministers-write-off-200m-loan-but-depart...


2019 Review of Developments In Islamic Finance

(ProShare, Lagos, 5 January 2020) According to the Islamic Financial Industry Stability Report, the current global size of the market is $2.19trn,  which attests to a remarkable growth post-2008 financial crisis. Malaysia is currently the leading hub for Islamic Finance globally. At the end of 2017, it continued to be the main driver for both Sukuk outstanding and issuance for the year, with a global market share of 51% and 36.2% respectively, according to the Malaysian Reserve Bank report. Africa's market size for Islamic Finance as of 2011 was $18bn, while the potential for Nigeria since then is over $17bn. Nigeria and Africa are the new frontiers for the growth of Islamic Finance globally. The apex regulator of Nigeria's capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restated its commitment in 2019 to provide the regulatory framework that will support the growth and development of the non-interest finance market.

https://www.proshareng.com/news/Islamic-Finance/2019-Review-of-Developments-In-I...


Nigerian LNG expansion to include ECA financing

(The Nation, Lagos, 20 January 2020) The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has appointed one of Japan’s leading banks and the core unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and one of Nigeria’s leading banks – Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, as financial advisers for the Train 7 LNG processing project estimated to cost between $10 billion and $12 billion. The Train 7 project will be financed partly from NLNG balance sheet and partly through third party corporate loans from Export Credit Agencies and a number of key International and local banks. Discussions on these financial deals are ongoing. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Train 7 is expected to be completed within five years from start of construction. On completion, it will increase the company’s production capacity at its plant on Bonny Island, Finima, Rivers State from 22 million metric tonnes to 30 million metric tonnes per annum. Nigeria LNG is owned by four shareholders – the Federal Government represented by NNPC (49 per cent); Shell (25.6 per cent); Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15 per cent) and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4 per cent).

https://thenationonlineng.net/nlng-appoints-japans-smbc-gtbank-train-7-financial...


Saudi ECA offers support for TAPI pipeline

(EurasiaNet, New York, 14 January 2020) Turkmenistan's state media reported that the president had signed a decree authorizing the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs to conclude a loan with the Saudi Development Fund for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or TAPI, pipeline. This is only the latest offer of assistance from Riyadh. Documents seen by Eurasianet reveal that the Saudi-backed Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, or ICIEC, has committed to $500 million in financing for the project. The ICIEC is a member of the Saudi-led investment fund, the Islamic Development Bank, or IDB, which has offered as much as $1 billion in financing for TAPI. Even all this Saudi money may not be sufficient to cover the ultimate cost of TAPI, which has been estimated at anywhere between $7.5 billion and $10 billion. The security situation along TAPI’s route is not the only thing spooking lenders. Turkmenistan’s endemic nepotism and corruption is also a disincentive.

https://eurasianet.org/turkmenistan-more-cotton-less-water-little-sense


India asks DGFT to check fake export credit refund claims

(New Kerala, New Delhi, 5 January 2020) After unearthing firms that made fake export credit claims, India's Department of Revenue has asked the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to seek regular compliance and verification reports from regulators. India refunds Integrated Goods and Services Tax paid by "star exporters" (exports of more than $3 million per year) as a form of export subsidy. Ongoing investigations have thrown up at least 9 star export houses as 'non-traceable' at their premises declared on record. All these star export houses have availed IGST refunds, which are now being questioned by tax officers. There are instances where an exporter with over Rs 50 crore of exports of readymade garments has taken refund of Rs 3.90 crore while the entity's total GST payment in cash was a mere Rs 1,650. The Revenue Department has identified several star-rated export houses that are bogus or shell export houses claiming fake refunds. Alarmed at the misuse of IGST refunds, the CBIC has requested to DGFT to install a more robust accreditation process. Meanwhile,  India's Commerce and Industry Minister recently announced that the scheme for providing export credit at low interest rates announced in September last year are being firmed up and would be implemented soon.

https://www.newkerala.com/news/2020/2210.htm


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