Index for October 2012

Volume 11, Issue 10

  • (Financial Times, Washington, 28 October 2012) Amid subsidy battles between big economies, one front is usually relatively quiet: the export credits that states extend to foreign buyers to finance purchases from their own country... But the rise of trading powers such as China has disturbed the peace... “There is no epidemic of loosening export credit standards among OECD members,” says Steven Tvardek of the OECD, “but there is a debate about how to deal with de facto export credit subsidies from some of the big emerging markets.”
  • (EEPN, Lochinver, 24 October 2012) Three Indonesian forest activists are coming to Europe to explain the impacts of paper production in Indonesia - touring 9 European cities in November, meeting customers of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and other Indonesian paper companies, potential investors, paper industry companies, government officials, journalists, environmental campaigners and the general public. APP has had to restructure its repayments to the export credit agencies of Germany, Japan, France, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain and Denmark and has been criticized by CSOs for its alleged repeated involvement in legally questionable activities in Indonesian/South-East Asian rainforests.
  • Finvera & OeKB review support for Brazil's Category A Eldorado pulp project

    (Finvera and OeKB, Oslo and Vienna, October 2012) Finvera and OeKB are reviewing support for expansion of Brazil's Eldorado pulp and paper project, said to be South America's largest. Environmental organizations have raised concerns about the environmental, social, financial and employment precarity impacts of large eucalyptus projects such as Eldorado.
  • (European Parliament, Brussels, September 2011) This 26 page policy brief from the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Union analyses the functioning of Chinese export finance activities and their potential implications for OECD members and China’s partner developing countries. China’s policy banks (China Eximbank, Sinosure, China Development Bank, and China Agricultural Development Bank) have provided an increasing amount of export credit financing which may take several different forms including preferential export buyers’ credits, export sellers’ credits, mixed credits, natural resource-backed loans or lines of credit, concessional loans, and export special economic zones.
  • (Business Credit Management, Cheltenham, 15 October 2012) In 2011, Berne Union ECAs insured US$ 1.8 trillion of international trade and investments, or more than 10% of world exports, and are confident they will support at least the same volumes of export trade and investment as last year. The Berne Union 2012 AGM was hosted 9-11 October in Stockholm by EKN, the Swedish export credit agency.
  • (allAfrica, Cape Town, 19 October 2012) AGRIBANK Zimbabwe has secured a US$30 million line of credit from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa to support local industry. South African ECA ECIC is underwriting the loan. In an interview with The Herald Business yesterday, CEO Sam Malaba said mostly agro-focused companies would access the six-year facility. 
  • (Fresh Business Thinking, London, 3 October 2012) UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that its Chief Executive, Patrick Crawford, will be stepping down on 15 November 2012. He will be taking up the role of Chief Executive at Charity Bank.
  • (Financial Times, London, 19 October 2012) Insurance brokers have warned that a decision by Standard & Poor’s to cut its rating for one of the world’s biggest trade credit insurers, Atradius, to near “junk” status threatens far-reaching consequences for a market that oils the wheels of the global economy. The rating agency lowered its rating on Atradius from A- to BBB, just two notches above junk.. Atradius has moved to reassure clients by securing a stronger rating from a rival agency.  
  • (Ex-Im Bank, Washington, 24 October 2012) In addition to JBIC and NEXI co-financing agreements, Ex-Im Bank currently has signed bilateral one-stop-shop agreements with ASHR’A (Israel), Atradius (The Netherlands), Coface (France), ECGD (U.K.), EDC (Canada), EFIC (Australia), EKF (Denmark), Euler Hermes (Germany), and SACE (Italy), and is in discussions with other ECAs to sign additional bilateral agreements. Ex-Im Bank will consider co-financing transactions without a formal bilateral agreement on a case-by-case basis. In fact, Ex-Im Bank has concluded a number of one off co-financing arrangements with GIEK (Norway), H-EXIM (Hungary) and ONDD (Belgium). Trade credit insurance from other ECAs and reinsurance from Ex-Im Bank is intended to enable American companies to increase the amount of credit they offer their overseas customers, who therefore can increase their purchases of American goods and services.