Index for September 2012

Volume 11, Issue 9

  •   (EFIC, Sydney, 11 September 2012) Australia's EFIC has announced it is considering support for the Oyu Tolgoi Copper-Gold mine in Mongolia and requests comments in the period 10 September - 12 October 2012. <!--break--> A report released in December 2011 by CEE Bankwatch Network, urgewald, Bank Information Centre and Oyu Tolgoi Watch in Mongolia, with the financial assistance of the European Union says: "The future of herding in the South Gobi is under threat as the development of extensive mine infrastructure pushes herders out of traditional camps, fragments pasture land and puts pressure on water resources." The World Bank has also announced plans to consider the project. 
  •   (Reuters, Washington, 7 September 2012) The U.S. Export-Import Bank said on Friday it authorized a $2 billion direct loan to Barakah One Co of the United Arab Emirates to purchase U.S. equipment and construction services to build one of the world's largest nuclear power plants. 
  • (E&E Publishing, Washington, 28 September 2012) Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical Co. are $5 billion closer to building a world-scale petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia, thanks to the U.S. government. Yesterday, the Export-Import Bank authorized a $4.975 billion loan to Sadara Chemical Co., a joint venture between Dow and Saudi Aramco... making it the largest job-creating deal in the bank's history... Doug Norlen, a policy director at Pacific Environment, said the environment is also a loser in the deal. He pointed to Ex-Im's estimates that Sadara will release 4.4 million metric tons of CO2 a year. "Ex-Im Bank's support for the Sadara project is another example of the agency's ongoing fossil fuel binge," he said.
  • (Ministry of Finance, Madrid, 14 September 2012)  The Government of Spain has authorized the sale of 50.25% of CESCE, the Spanish official export credit agency, with a potential value of €200 million.
  •   (Bloomberg, New York, 11 September 2012) Airlines from Europe to Asia to South America, boosted by help from the U.S. government, are turning to the bond market and away from loans to finance Boeing jets as borrowing costs plunge. Emirates, based in Dubai, and Ireland’s Ryanair Holdings are leading carriers that have issued $2.3 billion of bonds in 2012 backed by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a jump of more than sixfold from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Interest rates at record lows and a new debt-guarantee program from the Ex-Im Bank are making it easier for non-U.S. airlines to access capital markets even as private-sector lending becomes more expensive and difficult to obtain. Boeing, the biggest U.S. exporter, stands to benefit while working through a jet backlog valued at $302 billion. 
  •   (4-Traders, Annecy, 20 September 2012) Crédit Agricole has launched an inaugural issue of bonds by a new subsidiary dedicated to public-sector refinancing. The issue of bonds is backed by a portfolio of export credits guaranteed by COFACE, Euler Hermes or ECGD export credit agencies on behalf of their respective governments. 
  •   (Hong Kong Standard, Hong Kong, 13 September 2012) Beijing said yesterday it will pay back export tax rebates faster and grant more loans to exporters, as well as increase export credit insurance to small companies, in the latest move to prop up the country's economy. 
  •   (The Independent, Dublin, 18 September 2012) The long-awaited Irish Credit Guarantee Scheme -- which seeks to provide €450m worth of credit to 1,800 Irish exporters -- is bound to fail, the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) claimed yesterday. 
  •   (Nature Iraq, Sulaymaniyah,30 September 2012) A new construction phase was "celebrated" at the Ilisu dam site with a big ceremony last week: The Tigris river has been diverted at the construction site now flowing through three big tunnels. This diversion will be maintained for several years and construction of the actual dam in the dry river bed begins. The Turkish Minister of the Environment Veysel Eroglu called the Ilisu dam, to be completed in 2014, an "important strategic and economic project".  It remains unclear, whether by "strategic" he is addressing the national Turkish-Kurdish conflict or the international consequences (mainly for Iraq). Once the Ilisu dam operates, Iraq will be even more dependent Turkish water policies. The livelihoods of about 6 Million people in Iraq depend on the Tigris river by using the water for irrigation or fishing. By cutting down the water flow, Ilisu will also put an end to the Mesopotamian Marshes, culturally and ecologically one of the most important areas worldwide. It also remains unclear, where the inhabitants of the almost 200 villages and hamlets in the reservoir area will be resettled and how they will be able to earn their living, as Turkish laws do not provide for the restoration of livelihoods. A number of EU export credit agencies withdrew support for the Ilisu dam in 2008 and the European Parliament demanded that Turkey stop all work on the Ilisu dam project on 2 February 2010. 
  •   (Space News, Paris, 21 September 2012) The U.S. Export-Import Bank is likely to finish 2012 having invested a record $1.4 billion in satellite projects on behalf of U.S. satellite and launch services providers, according to John Schuster, Ex-Im’s director of structured finance. “This is a huge, huge growth” for the bank, which in the past couple of years has been as active as France’s Coface export-credit agency in financing satellite investments. Answering critics who say Ex-Im, Coface and the other export-credit agencies are propping up satellite projects that have no solid business case, Schuster said Ex-Im has a requirement that the default rate on its loans not exceed 2 percent. It is now about one-half of 1 percent, he said.