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 February 2019

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.

  • SNC-Lavalin case brings public scrutiny to hundreds of millions in EDC loans
  • Ban Ki-moon says UKEF must stop investing in fossil fuels in developing countries
  • Are ECAs liable for funding of slavery tainted enterprises?
  • With new limits on coal but none on oil and gas, EDC’s climate policy misses the mark
  • German banks & ECAs manoeuvre in Washington to temper US Russia sanction risk
  • EDC insured Suncor’s Middle East misadventures
  • Australia’s ECA eyes overseas investment with potential new mandate
  • Jaguar Land Rover seeking ECA funding after huge write-down
  • Japanese and French ECAs to finance Turkey's second nuclear plant
  • Kuwait Conference pledges billions for Iraqi reconstruction
  • Bahrain talking to U.S. oil companies about tight oil deal
  • Finnvera Group’s Board Report and Financial Statements for 2018

SNC-Lavalin case brings public scrutiny to hundreds of millions in EDC loans

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 22 February 2019) Following reports that engineering giant SNC-Lavalin lobbied federal officials intensively in the lead-up to its criminal prosecution on corruption charges, public attention has been brought to the hundreds of millions in government loans the company has received in recent years. The Globe and Mail reported last week that Export Development Canada (EDC) has provided at least $800-million and as much as $1.7-billion in loans to SNC-Lavalin since 2011, when news broke that the firm was under investigation by the RCMP. Some of those loans were approved after the World Bank announced in 2013 that SNC-Lavalin was barred from bidding on its projects until 2023 due to corruption, and after criminal charges were laid in Canada. As we noted in our recent submission to the government urging stricter oversight of Export Development Canada, SNC-Lavalin is just one of several EDC clients to face corruption investigations, charges or sanctions in recent years. (Others include Bombardier, Kinross Gold and Brookfield.)

https://aboveground.ngo/news-media/media-coverage/


Ban Ki-moon says UKEF must stop investing in fossil fuels in developing countries

(Guardian, London, 24 February 2019) Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Britain to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas, in what he said would mark a test of Theresa May’s commitment to act on climate change. The former UN secretary general said he was deeply concerned that the UK’s export credit agency had provided billions of pounds in recent years to support businesses involved in oil and gas schemes around the world. “These figures and policies are hard to reconcile with the UK’s commitments under the Paris agreement,” said Ban, referring to the international climate deal he forged in 2015 as UN Chief. “The time has come for the UK to change course, in the interests of the whole world,” he wrote in a comment for the Guardian. The UK Environmental Audit Committee is currently investigating the scale and impact of UK Export Finance’s financing of fossil fuels in developing countries.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/24/ban-ki-moon-britain-stop-inv...


Are ECAs liable for funding of slavery tainted enterprises?

(20 Essex Street, London, 2 February 2019) A recent UN report with recommendations to advance efforts to eradicate modern slavery has mentioned, amongst other examples, the direct or indirect involvement of a state in the commission of offences via ECA funding of slavery-tainted enterprises. For example, the Guardian has reported that the US Export Import Bank provided $315m in taxpayer-supported financing over the past decade to a company that has supplied equipment to African mines accused of slave labor, human rights violations and environmental destruction. The Eritrean mine is being investigated by a Canadian court.

https://www.20essexst.com/news/dr-philippa-webb-releases-report-modern-slavery-u...


With new limits on coal but none on oil and gas, EDC’s climate policy misses the mark

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 12 February 2019) In January Export Development Canada (EDC) released a new climate change policy. The policy commits EDC to further limit its coal-related investments and increase its support for clean technologies. It does not, however, put in place a clear path to reducing – let alone phasing out – the billions of dollars of support that EDC provides to the oil and gas sector each year. EDC’s support for fossil fuel companies is fundamentally at odds with Canada’s international obligations on climate change. To address this contradiction, last year more than a dozen civil society groups including Above Ground recommended that EDC phase out its support for coal, oil and gas projects; companies significantly reliant on coal; and companies whose primary business is in coal, oil or gas. We also recommended that EDC commit to achieving a sharp reduction in GHG emissions across its business portfolio. Instead, EDC has renewed its commitment to support carbon-intense sectors, including the oil and gas industry.

https://aboveground.ngo/edc-new-climate-change-policy-falls-short/


German banks & ECAs manoeuvre in Washington to temper US Russia sanction risk

(Reuters, Frankfurt, 8 February 2019) German banks are seeking to blunt any fresh U.S. sanctions against Russia so they can continue existing business with Russian clients, according to an internal briefing paper prepared by a financial industry lobby group. The risk of new restrictions on doing business with Russia has risen since the Democratic Party won control of the U.S. House of Representatives. New anti-Moscow measures could jeopardise funding for a 9.5 billion euro gas pipeline which seeks to channel gas from Russia directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea. "Nord Stream is the elephant in the room," said one person with direct knowledge of the matter. Russian news agency TASS quoted Nord Stream 2’s finance chief Paul Corcoran saying it was in discussions with export credit agencies and wanted to raise around 6 billion euros. Last month, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany sent a letter to companies involved in Nord Stream warning that they could face sanctions if they stick with it.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/08/german-banks-manoeuvre-in-washington-to-temp...


EDC insured Suncor’s Middle East misadventures

(Globe & Mail, Toronto, 7 February 2019) The federal government paid Calgary-based Suncor Energy as much as $600-million to compensate for Middle East oil and gas assets and income lost since the Arab Spring in 2011. On Wednesday Suncor disclosed in its quarterly financial results that it had received $300-million in “risk mitigation” payments relating to its Libyan operations. This followed a separate $300-million payment linked to its Syrian enterprise in 2012. Although a handful of commercial insurers have offered the product, the Crown corporation is known for taking risks the private sector would never entertain. In the years leading up to 2011, EDC charged a premium of around 1 per cent or slightly less for this insurance. EDC has typically earned around $10-million to $20-million in premiums annually from selling political risk insurance; at that rate, it would take decades to cover Suncor’s claims. Canadians had little way of knowing about Suncor’s insurance policy. Although EDC disclosed most of its financing transactions since 2001, it reveals political risk insurance policies only when the beneficiaries were lenders such as banks. EDC declined to answer most of The Globe’s questions about the Suncor policy.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-federal-government-insured-suncor...


Australia’s ECA eyes overseas investment with potential new mandate

(Global Trade Review, London, 20 February 2019) Australia’s export credit agency, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), could receive an A$1bn cash injection of callable capital, a mandate to finance larger overseas projects and a new name as part of a bill expected to pass in the house of representatives this week. The bill’s initial text highlights opportunities to invest in overseas infrastructure, such as telecommunications, energy, transport and water, throughout the Pacific region and further afield. The bill also includes a new name for the agency — Export Finance Australia. More specifically, the bill notes that the additional capital would allow the agency to continue to finance infrastructure projects in Papua New Guinea, which it described as “one of our most important neighbours”. Efic is currently involved in the PNG LNG project, a US$19bn investment scheme for the commercial development of the gas resources of Papua New Guinea. However, on its current budget, Efic is re-approaching its country lending limit for the southwestern Pacific island nation and it is only able to finance one additional project.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/asia/australias-eca-eyes-overseas-investment-with-...


Jaguar Land Rover seeking ECA funding after huge write-down

(Car Advice, Sydney, 11 February 2019) Jaguar Land Rover is seeking US$1 billion in funding after a disastrous fourth quarter of 2018, huge-write downs on the value of its investments, and continued sales struggles in China. According to a report from Automotive News Europe, the Indian-owned carmaker needs to raise US$1 billion ($1.4 billion) within the next 14 months to replace "maturing bonds" and fund the brand's expensive electric vehicle development program. Rather than borrowing from the bond market, the company is looking at bank financing, leasing its assets or tapping into export credit. Tata Motors announcing sales in China were down 35% in the final 3 quarters of 2018.

https://www.caradvice.com.au/725363/jaguar-land-rover-seeking-funding-after-huge...


Japanese and French ECAs to finance Turkey's second nuclear plant

(Daily Sabah, Istanbul, 25 February 2019) Turkey's second nuclear power plant to be built in Sinop under a Japanese-French partnership, will make a breakthrough by obtaining a ground license this year. The plant, which will have an installed capacity of 4,480 megawatts (MW) and consist of four reactors with a 1,120-MW capacity each, will cost $20 billion. The Japanese and Turkish governments agreed in 2013 on the project to be built with a Japanese-French consortium in the Black Sea province of Sinop. The bulk of the project would be financed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan's export credit agency, and French credit insurer Coface.

https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/02/25/ground-license-to-be-granted-to-sin...


Kuwait Conference pledges billions for Iraqi reconstruction

(Daily Sabah, Istanbul, 4 February 2019) Turkey, the top contributor for Iraq's reconstruction with a $5 billion loan, has launched a coordination process to allocate the funds pledged for rebuilding Iraq. During the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, the host country pledged $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments. Saudi Arabia said it would allocate $1 billion for investment projects in Iraq and $500 million to support Iraqi exports. Qatar said it would allocate $1 billion in loans and investments, while the United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million in investment. The European Union and Australia each promised $450 million and $100 million, respectively. While the U.S. - who invaded Iraq in 2003 - said it could provide more than $3 billion to help American firms invest in the war-torn country. Britain had said it would grant Iraq export credit of up to $1 billion per year for a decade. Iraqi government published a list of 157 projects, for which it sought private investments during the conference last year.

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/02/04/turkey-initiates-coordination-act...


Bahrain talking to U.S. oil companies about tight oil deal

(Reuters, Manama, 26 February 2019) Bahrain is talking to U.S. oil companies with shale oil expertise about developing a huge oil and gas field discovered last year, and hopes to have an interested company by the end of the year. Oil Minister Al Khalifa also said state-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) is “a few weeks away” from financial close on funding for the capacity expansion of its existing Sitra oil refinery. Five export credit agencies from Korea, Spain, Italy and Britain, alongside international and Bahraini banks will provide more than $4 billion in financing.

https://in.reuters.com/article/bahrain-oil/bahrain-talking-to-u-s-oil-companies-...


Finnvera Group’s Board Report and Financial Statements for 2018

(Global News Wire, Helsinki, 26 February 2019) Demand for export credits has increased in recent years. At the same time, our need for funding has increased and, in 2018, a total of EUR 2.4 billion was acquired from the capital market. To balance funding and asset management, Finnvera prepaid loans associated with the temporary export credit system of 2009–2012 to the State, amounting to EUR 1.5 billion. Finnvera’s total exposure at the end of 2018 was EUR 25.6 billion, of which drawn guarantees and credits accounted for EUR 12.2 billion. Approximately half of the exposure relates to binding financing offers or agreements that are related to future deliveries by export companies, and thus they do not create credit risks for Finnvera yet. These arrangements typically consist of buyer financing for cruise ships, the delivery times of which are long. In the long term, the drawn exposure will remain clearly below our total exposure. For potential future losses, we have so far accumulated EUR 1.8 billion reserves as the result of our operations.

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/02/26/1742169/0/en/Finnvera-Group-s-...


What's New January 2019

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.

  • Parliamentary inquiry into UKEF Procedures and Submissions Available online    
  • Japan edges in on Belt and Road with $643m for Angolan port
  • Trans-Adriatic Pipeline completes successful €3.9 billion project financing
  • Afreximbank Lends $170 Million to Orascom for Pan-African Expansion
  • PNG leads wave of jumbo ECA project loans
  • Saudi Aramco Hiring Funding Advisers for a $5 Billion Project
  • Mozambique looks for LNG ECA financing despite market scepticism
  • Remember the Export-Import Bank
  • Extension of interest subsidy scheme to boost Indian export credits
  • NEXI insures UKEF credit for Boeing export to Colombia's Avianca
  • US Export-Import Bank reopens programs for Ukraine
  • Indonesia looks to ECA funding for aerial refuelling tanker-transports
  • Nord Stream 2 negotiating ECA loans worth 6 bln euros

Parliamentary inquiry into UKEF Procedures and Submissions Available online

(UK Parliament, London, January 2019) The Terms of Reference, membership, witness submissions, witness guidelines and the calendar of the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into UK Export Finance are now available online.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/envi...


Japan edges in on Belt and Road with $643m for Angolan port

(Nikkei Asia Review, Tokyo, 9 January 2019) Trading company Toyota Tsusho and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation are joining forces on a port project in Angola that will be the largest of its kind for Japanese businesses. The plan is to raise 70 billion yen ($643 million) from both public and private lenders in Japan to help the African country fund the endeavor. The move comes as China steps up infrastructure development in Africa amid concerns that it is saddling developing countries with excessive debt.  Toyota plans to use Japanese equipment and materials to construct the port facility through a contract with the Angolan government, which will receive loans from export credit agency JBIC and other entities. To encourage private lenders to participate, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance is to insure the amounts they offer. The Japanese move is being seen as an attempt to challenge China’s dominant position in Angola.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Japan-edges-in-on-Belt-and-Road-with-643m-for-An...


Trans-Adriatic Pipeline completes successful €3.9 billion project financing

(AzerNews, Baku, 11 January 2019) A consortium for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) construction has successfully completed the financial closure of the project in 2018, receiving 3.9 billion euros. “The European Investment Bank (EIB), recognizing the important contribution of TAP to improving the security of energy supply in Europe, allocated 700 million euros for the implementation of this project. Reportedly, 17 commercial banks provide financing along with the EBRD and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Part of the financing is covered by export credit agencies - Bpifrance (450M Euros), Euler Hermes (280M Euros) and Sace (700M Euros), merchant banks (635M Euros) and EBRD (1 billion Euros). Costs have previously been funded by TAP’s shareholders: BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%). There have been incidents of protests by both local citizens and government officials against the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

https://www.azernews.az/oil_and_gas/143883.html


Afreximbank Lends $170 Million to Orascom for Pan-African Expansion

(Afreximbank, Cairo, 17 January 2019) The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a facility agreement lending $170 million to Egypt-based conglomerate Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) to assist the company expand its pan-African activities in pursuit of its short and medium-term expansion strategy. the transaction was a significant opportunity for OIH’s targeted investments in companies across Africa to support their transformation, increase their production capacity and produce higher quality exports through better value addition, especially in the agro-processing sector. Afreximbank has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses since 1994. Orascom Investment will explore business and investment opportunities referred to it by Afreximbank in such countries as Rwanda, Togo, Eretria, Nigeria and Sao Tome.

https://afreximbank.com/afreximbank-lends-170-million-to-orascom-for-pan-african...


PNG leads wave of jumbo ECA project loans

(Reuters, Sydney, 18 January 2019) The expansion of Papua New Guinea’s giant gas project is turning up the heat in the Asia Pacific project finance arena, with a slew of jumbo financings set to emerge from Oceania in the next 18 months. Stakeholders in the Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas project are in discussions with export credit agencies and commercial banks for up to US$9.8bn of debt to fund the next phase of the project, in what will be the region’s biggest project financing since 2010. Another major deal is also in the works as Australia Pacific LNG prepares to refinance US$3bn of project debt. JP Morgan has been named financial adviser. The long-awaited expansion of the PNG LNG project is estimated to cost around US$12bn-$14bn and involves construction of three new gas processing units, called trains, at the Papua New Guinea LNG plant. It is the largest resources-related borrowing in Oceania since March 2010, when the PNG LNG project raised US$14bn in initial funding from ECAs, commercial banks and lead sponsor and operator ExxonMobil. The US$1.95bn commercial portion attracted 17 banks. PNG LNG is already operational.

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N1ZI2UD


Saudi Aramco Hiring Funding Advisers for a $5 Billion Project

(Bloomberg, London, 17 January 2019) Satorp, the joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total SA, hired Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Riyad Bank to help raise funds to develop a petrochemical facility in the kingdom. Financing for the $5 billion Amiral project is expected to be arranged from banks and export credit agencies. The facility will be in Jubail in the eastern province where the JV already operates a refinery and will convert fossil fuels into building blocks for plastics. Saudi Arabia is seeking to transform its oil-dependent economy by developing new industries, and is pushing into petrochemicals as a way to earn more from its energy deposits. The Amiral complex will be able to produce 2.7 million tons of chemicals annually and will be completed by late 2023 or early 2024. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, owns 62.5 percent of Satorp, while Total holds the rest.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-17/saudi-aramco-refinery-jv-said...


Mozambique looks for LNG ECA financing despite market scepticism

(Macauhub, Macau, 11 January 2019) The government of Mozambique has been involved in the last few weeks in intense negotiations with seven countries to secure funding for one of its largest natural gas projects and overcome scepticism about whether it will honour its debt commitments. The Rovuma Area 1, in the Rovuma Basin, involves an estimated investment of US$25 billion. The talks involve seven Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including Japan (JBIC), China (China ExIm), South Korea, USA (US-Exim), Germany [sic] (Atradius) and Italy (Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero – SACE). The ECAs are evaluating the possibility of funding the Rovuma Area 1 project, which is operated by Anadarko which has been the subject of multiple environmental cases. In discussing the risks of the LNG project, the government has ignored the threat posed by armed insurgent attacks in Cabo Delgado. Most international analysts believe that they will not threaten the projects; but the state’s inability to control the attacks affects the country’s image as a safe investment destination and a place for expatriates.

https://macauhub.com.mo/feature/mozambique-looks-for-lng-financing-despite-marke...


Remember the Export-Import Bank

(Eakinomics, Washington, 17 January 2019) The Export-Import Bank is due to be re-authorized in September 2019. The re-authorization of Ex-Im in 2015 became a pitched battle over whether it was an appropriate role for the government. While the arguments against market intervention make sense, until other countries scale back their use of ECAs, the Ex-Im Bank is a necessary evil to level the playing field. The decline in Ex-Im activity is clear in the graph (below)... there are about $30 billion in ECA activity in the G-7 and $50 billion among the BRIC countries. The bank is unable to approve any transactions greater than $10 million in value because it has not had a quorum of 3 voting board members since 2015. Given the lack of a quorum, as of Summer 2018, there are $43 billion in transactions awaiting approval. The administration resubmitted the nomination of Kimberly Reed to be president of the Ex-Im Bank and for Spencer Bachus III, Judith DelZoppo Pryor and Claudia Slacik to serve on its board of directors. All had been previously nominated by the administration, and the Senate Banking Committee had favorably reported them, but the full Senate did not take up their nominations.

https://www.americanactionforum.org/daily-dish/remember-the-export-import-bank


Extension of interest subsidy scheme to boost Indian export credits

(News Today, Chennai, 4 January 2019) The Indian government has to provide three per cent [export credit] interest subsidy to merchant exporters, entailing an expenditure of Rs600 crore (US$84 million), to enhance liquidity with a view to boosting outbound shipments. Sectors that will be benefited from the decision include agriculture, textiles, leather, handicraft and machinery. The interest equalisation or subsidy scheme for pre- and post-shipment rupee export credit started on 1 April, 2015 and will end in March 2020. Other news sources indicated that interest subsidies had dropped from Rs434 crore in 2017 to Rs197 crore in 2018 (US$60m to US$28M). The Union Cabinet in mid-Janurary committed to infusing US$840 million into the Exim Bank over 2 years and doubling its authorized capital from US$1.4 billion to US$2.8 billion (Rs10,000 crore to Rs20,000 crore)

https://newstodaynet.com/index.php/2019/01/04/extension-of-interest-subsidy-sche...


NEXI insures UKEF credit for Boeing export to Colombia's Avianca

(NEXI, Tokyo, 18 January 2019) Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) has decided to provide reinsurance on export credit provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the export credit agency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), for export of one Rolls Royce-powered Boeing 787-8 aircraft to Avianca S.A.. The provision of this reinsurance is based on the reinsurance agreement concluded between NEXI and UKEF on August 30, 2017.

https://www.nexi.go.jp/en/topics/newsrelease/2018121902.html


US Export-Import Bank reopens programs for Ukraine

(Kyiv Post, Kyiv, 8 January 2019) The Export-Import Bank of the United States has reopened its programs for Ukraine after a five year pause, the Washington-based U.S.-Ukraine Business Council stated. Through ten months of 2018 bilateral trade between Ukraine and the U.S grew slightly to $3.1 billion, in comparison to 2017’s $2.84 billion yearly total, according to official statistics. Leading U.S. exports to Ukraine in 2018 were coal ($655 million), motor vehicles ($260 million) and civilian aircraft ($217 million). In the same 10-month period, Ukraine’s top exports to the United States were iron products ($707 million) and sunflower products ($27.3 million).

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/us-export-import-bank-reopens-programs...


Indonesia looks to ECA funding for aerial refuelling tanker-transports

(Jane's Defence Weekly, Singapore, 25 January 2019) The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has completed a study on the country's aerial refuelling requirements and has proposed the acquisition of two new airframes for the service, outlining a budget requirement of about USD500 million, proposing that the funds be drawn down from foreign defence export credit loans. Jane's first reported in January 2018 that the TNI-AU had begun a preliminary study to compare the A330 multirole tanker-transport (MRTT) from Airbus and the KC-46A Pegasus from Boeing. Russia's four-engine Ilyushin Il-78 was also later included in the study.

https://www.janes.com/article/85954/indonesia-completes-technical-evaluation-for...


Nord Stream 2 negotiating ECA loans worth 6 bln euros

(TASS, Vienna, 29 January 2019) Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, is conducting negotiations to attract project financing worth 6 bln euros. Chief Financial Officer Paul Corcoran told reporters "We are still in discussions with export credit agencies." The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to come into service at the end of 2019. The pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore. It will go through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The total cost of the project has been estimated at 9.5 bln euro. Nord Stream 2 AG, with Gazprom being the only shareholder, is the operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction project. Gazprom's European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Royal Dutch Shell.

http://tass.com/economy/1042221


What's New December 2018

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

Questions? Email info-at-eca-watch.org

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

  • Industry group lobbies Ottawa for EDC insurance against First Nation rights consultations
  • Ottawa offers $1.6B EDC backstop for energy sector as political tensions with Alberta fester
  • MPs to examine environmental impact of UKEF
  • China and US DFIs/ECAs to battle for influence in African infrastructure lending
  • Right problem – wrong solution: The Chinese ECA threat to the multilateral official finance system
  • China's unbridled export of coal power imperils climate goals
  • TDB rolls out SME programme for women-led businesses in six African countries
  • Australia's secret arms deals with nations fighting Yemen's bloody war
  • Philippines edges towards procurement of Turkish combat helicoper
  • Mexico’s Pemex Targets Bank, ECA-Backed Financing in 2019
  • Boeing Sees More Growth in Aircraft Financing Demand
  • Brazil Freezes ECA Credit After Defaults From Cuba & Venezuela
  • BBVA signs first green-certified credit with cover from Spanish ECA
  • Saudi ECA supports Pakistan economy
  • Peru closes largest-ever ECA financing for state energy company
  • Developing countries biggest installers of renewables

Industry group lobbies Ottawa for EDC insurance against First Nation rights consultations

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 25 December 2018) Canada’s largest industry and trade association has asked the federal government to insure foreign investors against the risk their projects might be derailed by [mandatory] consultations with First Nations. The suggestion from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, which represents 1,200 companies, was among the farthest-reaching in hundreds made to a once-a-decade federal review of the Export Development Act, which governs the activities of Canada’s export credit agency. Successive court decisions have affirmed the federal government’s duty to consult Indigenous peoples when its actions may adversely affect their rights, and accommodate them if necessary. This still-evolving body of law has imposed significant responsibilities on governments across Canada relating to Crown-sponsored mining, energy, infrastructure and other projects, as well as private-sector projects that require government regulatory approvals. Disputes over the adequacy of consultations can lead to litigation and projects can grind to a halt. “To a foreign investor who does not understand these complex consultative processes, and has no real way of participating in them, it presents a high risk that dissuades their investment in projects,” Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters wrote in its submission. “EDC, who could be better positioned to understand such situations, could provide assurances to the foreign investor through some sort of guarantee.”  Canada's Assembly of First Nations said in a statement. “If Export Development Canada considers providing guarantees and other assurances to foreign investors to secure investment in projects, Canadian taxpayers may be left on the hook for paying compensation for projects that do not proceed due to faulty consultation processes.” [ECA-Watch commentary: It would appear that Canadian business wants EDC, an official public corporation, to guarantee private foreign investors' profits from potential violations of First Nations' rights.]

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-business-group-lobbies-ottawa-for...


Ottawa offers $1.6B EDC backstop for energy sector as political tensions with Alberta fester

(CBC News, Ottawa, 18 December 2018) The federal government is promising more than $1.6 billion — most of it in loans —  to support the ailing energy sector, but it's unlikely to ease the heightened political tension between Ottawa and Alberta. Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr made the announcement in Edmonton this morning. The bulk of the money — $1 billion in commercial support — comes from Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency. It's meant for oil and gas exporters who want to invest in new technologies and diversify their markets.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/energy-sector-package-sohi-1.4950619


MPs to examine environmental impact of UKEF

(EDIE, West Sussex, 3 December 2018) The [Parliamentary] Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the sustainability efforts being made by UK Export Finance (UKEF), following claims that the body's financing of fossil fuels overseas is at odds with the aims set out in the UK's Clean Growth Strategy. The Department has come under fire in recent years, with WWF arguing that the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the projects it supports in developing nations are inconsistent with wider UK policies on decarbonisation. Indeed, UKEF is estimated to have provided an average of £551m in support of fossil fuel production overseas each year between 2014 and 2016 – accounting for 99.4% of all financial support offered for energy projects over the three-year period.

https://www.edie.net/news/6/MPs-to-examine-environmental-impact-of-UK-s-export-c...


China and US DFIs/ECAs to battle for influence in African infrastructure lending

(Infrastructure News, Johannesburg, 3 December 2018) The battle for influence on the continent between Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) from China and the United States is set to heat up over the next decade in a fierce competition that could help Africa bridge its vast infrastructure gap faster than expected. This is according to new research from global law firm Baker McKenzie. Together with data provider IJGlobal the report, titled A Changing World: New trends in emerging market infrastructure, shows that development finance lending from state-backed institutions is the most important component of infrastructure funding in sub-Saharan Africa. The report further  notes that China put US$8.7 billion in sub-Saharan Africa infrastructure projects in 2017 alone, while the US recently set up a new US$60 billion agency [USIDFC] to invest in developing countries. African Law and Business notes that competition between the US and China has been heating up within Africa. The US recently announced the establishment of a new development finance institution which will combine with the existing Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and bring a USD 60 billion budget with the explicit intention of competing with China. The new institution will be able to invest in equity, whereas OPIC has been limited to debt only. TFX News has even speculated that the US IDFC "could eventually incorporate US Exim".

http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2018/12/03/china-and-us-to-battle-for-influence-i...


Right problem – wrong solution: The Chinese ECA threat to the multilateral official finance system

(TFX News, London, 10 December 2018) Often priced at well below accepted market rates, Chinese official finance is a major hurdle to fair competition in the global export market. A growing number of governments are attempting to compete by circumventing OECD rules and blurring trade with aid. But adding more unfair trade practices risks the global official finance system self-combusting and ending any real chance of a lasting and fair resolution to the problem. While delegates dressed in matching stilettos and pinstripe suits would probably spice up your average OECD meeting, real ECA and DFI cross-dressing – the increasingly blurred lines between tied ECA support and untied multilateral/DFI support – is a serious and growing problem, and one that governments need to address. ECA/DFI cross-dressing is a reaction to a common issue for non-Chinese ECAs – how to compete with opaque official finance offerings from China, which has long been providing cheap debt, arguably at unrealistic market rates. During the past 10 years China has transformed itself from an aid recipient into the largest official financier of developing countries. But many OECD companies are rightly concerned about the completely unregulated official finance practices of China.

https://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/6618/Right-problem-wrong-solution-The-threa...


China's unbridled export of coal power imperils climate goals

(Science X, Isle of Man, 5 December 2018) Even as China struggles to curb domestic coal-fired power and the deadly pollution it produces, the world's top carbon emitter is aggressively exporting the same troubled technology to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, an investigation by AFP has shown. The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from these Chinese-backed plants could cripple global efforts to rein in global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels—especially coal, analysts warn. "China is a world leader in terms of embracing the policy and investment needs to progressively decarbonise its economy," said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). "But internationally, China continues to invest in a range of coal project in direct contradiction to its domestic energy strategy." China is not alone in peddling the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels beyond its borders. As of last month, South Korea and its export credit agencies were positioned to back 12 GW of coal-fired power abroad, and Japan was behind another 10, according to a research note from Han Chen, international energy policy manager at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-china-unbridled-export-coal-power.html


TDB rolls out SME programme for women-led businesses in six African countries

(ZDK-Solutions, Luxembourg, 11 December 2018) The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is rolling out a credit programme in six African countries to support women-led export-oriented SMEs. Among the first to benefit are Ethiopian businesses, following an agreement between TDB and Ethiopia’s Enat Bank. Under a memorandum of understanding, the two have agreed to set up a credit enhancement facility and work together to build a pipeline of SMEs which qualify for export credit support. Focusing on women-owned and managed businesses, the parties will run the programme in partnership with the Ethiopian Women Exporters Association.

http://zdk-solutions.com/zdk/tdb-rolls-out-sme-programme-for-women-led-businesse...


Australia's secret arms deals with nations fighting Yemen's bloody war

(ABC News, Sydney, 13 December 2018) The Australian Government has approved the export of dozens of shipments of military items to Middle Eastern countries embroiled in the bloody Yemen war, a conflict dogged by accusations of war crimes and indiscriminate civilian killings. Australia is exporting to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. FOI documents reveal Canberra is attempting to ramp up Australia's arms exports as part of a new defence strategy. Internal Defence Department documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) and from parliamentary hearings reveal since the beginning of 2016, Canberra has granted at least 37 export permits for military-related items to the United Arab Emirates, and 20 to Saudi Arabia. They are the two countries leading a coalition fighting a war against Houthi rebels in the Middle East's poorest nation, Yemen. Janes defence news service notes "The Australian government announced on 17 December that it will provide state credit to support two local companies' efforts to export radars systems and patrol boats... this being the first time that the export credit system - officially termed the 'Defence Export Facility' - has been utilised after being established earlier this year. A major milestone has been reached on Australia's journey to become a top 10 global defence exporter, said a government statement." Australian Defense News notes that "There has been a 48% increase in defence export applications received in the first quarter of FY 2018/19 over the whole of the last financial year."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-13/australias-secret-backing-for-nations-fig...


Philippines edges towards procurement of Turkish combat helicoper

(Janes Defence News, London, 29 November 2018) The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has edged closer to a decision to procure the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK multirole combat helicopter to meet a long-standing requirement in the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The acquisition is expected to be facilitated through a government-to-government deal between the Philippines and Turkey, possibly involving credit provided by Turk Eximbank, Turkey's official export credit agency.

https://www.janes.com/article/84896/philippines-edges-towards-t129-procurement


Mexico’s Pemex Targets Bank, ECA-Backed Financing in 2019

(US News, New York, 18 December 2018) Mexican energy producer Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will look to banks and export credit agencies (ECAs) to finance part of its deficit next year, as the company enters 2019 under a new government and uncertain conditions in the international capital markets. State-owned Pemex, which is expected to raise approximately $8 billion in external debt next year, is also facing a bearish investor base concerned that Mexico’s new administration will hinder the company’s fiscal situation. Pemex has a $1.5 billion bank-led revolving credit facility maturing in the second half of 2019 and is on course to raise between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in ECA-backed finance next year, according to three sources familiar with the company’s plans. The company has conducted talks with trade agencies such as Export Development Canada and the Netherlands’ Atradius over ECA-backed loans and in November Pemex received a $250 million 10-year facility from BNP Paribas and HSBC that was 80 percent guaranteed by Italy's SACE.

https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2018-12-18/mexicos-pemex-target...


Boeing Sees More Growth in Aircraft Financing Demand

(American Machinist, Cleveland, 9 December 2018) Boeing is forecasting strong demand for new commercial airplanes will continue in 2019, with deliveries by major OEMs totaling about $143 billion, and growing to $180 billion by 2023. The commercial-aircraft market’s strong fundamentals also are drawing new participants and investment in used aircraft. The figures and projections are presented in Boeing’s yearly Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook report, a five-year forecast of the commercial aircraft sector’s financing trends. Boeing predicts that new-aircraft deliveries will be funded by commercial bank debt, capital markets, and cash. Aircraft leasing agents, which represent over 40% of commercial aircraft ownership now, will be supported by historically low financing costs. Export credit also will remain a critical funding source, particularly in the U.S., Boeing added. The JD SUPRA news service has pointed to three new developments in aircraft financing and leasing, AFIC, Balthazar and GATS, which have grown out of the recent drying up of export credit support for Boeing and Airbus financings.

https://www.americanmachinist.com/news/boeing-sees-more-growth-aircraft-financin...


Brazil Freezes ECA Credit After Defaults From Cuba & Venezuela

(Folha de Sao Paulo, Brasilia, 26 December 2018) After Mozambique, Venezuela, and Cuba defaulting, the Brazilian government froze credit lines for new exports, a measure that will affect mostly small and medium-sized businesses. The Brazilian Treasury Department will spend US$ 6 million (R$ 23,4 million) to reimburse BNDES (National Bank For Economic and Social Development) for Cuba's default. Following Venezuela and Mozambique, the Cuban government defaulted on its payments to BNDES, in a credit line insured by the Treasury in the case of nonpayment. The amount is from an installment due in July, which Cuba paid partially. The Cubans paid US$ 4 million (RS 15.6 million) from the US$ 10 million (R$ 39 million) that were due. During the Lula and Rousseff administrations, the countries mentioned above hired large Brazilian contractors for infrastructure works such as the modernization of the Mariel Port in Cuba, performed by Odebrecht. The foreign governments also bought buses, industrial goods and foodstuffs using the credit line.

https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/business/2018/12/government-freez...


BBVA signs first green-certified credit with cover from Spanish ECA

(Global Trade Review, London, 30 November 2018) BBVA has granted a five-year €16.5mn loan to a hydroelectric project in Colombia with backing from Cesce, Spain’s export credit agency (ECA). The operation has been certified as “green” by consulting firm Aecom in line with the Green Loan Principles and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. According to the bank, this is the first credit with Cesce to receive this certification.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/sustainability/bbva-signs-first-green-certified-cr...


Saudi ECA supports Pakistan economy

(Dunya News, Islamabad, 29 November 2018) Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday said the government is committed to improving the fundamentals of economy and achieving sustainable and balanced economic growth. The secretary also briefed the meeting about the economic reforms which the Economic Advisory Council has approved. The meeting also discussed the export credit facility offered by Saudi Arabia envisaging the purchase of crude oil and or other petroleum product (s) of up to USD 3.24 billion per annum on a 12 month deferred payment basis.

https://dunyanews.tv/en/Business/468372-Govt-committed-to-achieving-sustainable-...


Peru closes largest-ever ECA financing for state energy company

(Southern Heald, 12 December 2018) State-owned petroleum company Petroperú has closed a US$1.3bn export credit agency-backed financing as part of its US$5bn Talara refinery modernisation project. Deutsche Bank acted as facility agent for the syndicate, which also involves BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan and Santander as initial mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners. It is the largest-ever financing covered by the Spanish export credit agency, Cesce, and is the largest ECA financing arranged in Peru.

http://thesouthernherald.com/peru-closes-largest-ever-eca-financing-for-state-en...


Developing countries biggest installers of renewables

(PV Magazine, Berlin, 27 November 2018) In a new report, BloombergNEF notes a significant uptake in renewable energy in developing countries, which are clearly outperforming OECD countries. The trend is due to reductions in equipment costs and new business models that enable access to capital. Still, many emerging markets are also the biggest installers of new coal capacity. India and China alone, are said to account for 81% of newly added coal-fired power stations.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/11/27/developing-countries-biggest-installers-o...


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