Index for January 2015

Volume 14, Issue 1

  • (European Parliament, Brussels, 30 January 2015) Twelve members of the European Parliament from 5 of the 7 political groupings in the Parliament have written EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström to express their "deep concerns about a non-paper for an EU position for the OECD negotiations drafted by your DG. According to this paper, public subsidies for the export of coal fired plants would be maintained. We believe that this proposal would be inconsistent with EU policies, especially with the claim of international climate leadership in the year of the COP21 where the world will assess the credibility of developed countries’ commitments to fight climate change." A European group of Finance Ministry officials will meet Monday 2nd February to finalise the EU position on public support for coal power plants abroad.

  • (Reuters, Brussels, 15 January 2015) European makers of equipment for coal-fired power plants should receive financial help to export it, an EU discussion paper seen by Reuters says, in a clash with the bloc's declared aim to lead the global fight against climate change. Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, emitting around twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas when used to generate power. As a result, the European Union is phasing out subsidies for domestic coal plants by 2018 and the European Investment Bank has set an emissions limit for the energy for which it provides preferential loans, meaning coal is excluded. The United States, together with Britain and the Netherlands, has also pushed for a phase-out of coal export credits.

  • (CleanTechnica, 12 January 2015) The UK government has, over the years 2010–2014, provided support totaling £1.76 billion (via Export Credit Guarantees) to fossil fuel industries abroad, according to a recent analysis from the EnergyDesk... Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly (in recent times anyways) spoken against fossil fuel subsidies; and their use appears to go against “promises” made in the current coalition government’s manifesto.

  • (Washington Examiner, 20 January 2015) President Obama did not discuss the Export-Import Bank in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, although the bank faces a June expiration of its charter... Obama has called the bank "critical" to U.S. businesses... It has come under fire in recent years from conservative Republicans who say it is corporate welfare, benefiting a handful of companies such as Boeing while placing taxpayers at risk.

  • (Channel Partners, Arizona, 9 January 2015) After more than a half-century of animosity between the U.S. government and the Communist regime under Fidel Castro, and now his brother Raúl, the Obama administration moved last month to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and create a framework that would facilitate economic dealings between the two nations... Richard Feinberg, Brookings Institute Fellow and former assistant to President Clinton, said it’s possible that the Export-Import Bank of the United States – the U.S.’s official export credit agency – could offer Cuba a line of credit.

  • (ECNS, Beijing, 15 January 2015) Zhou Shijian of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies says China needs another round of decisive measures to put its export growth on a firmer footing in 2015, amid declining demand in major foreign markets... In addition to the enforcement of previous measures such as paying export tax rebates faster, granting more loans to exporters, and increasing export credit insurance to small and medium-sized enterprises, Zhou said China must encourage more use of its currency in international trade, swap arrangements between central banks, bank deposits and bond trades.

  • (Business Recorder, Karachi, 17 January 2015) Pakistan has reportedly decided to establish the much-delayed EXIM Bank through an Executive Order after formal approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This decision was taken at a meeting on January 8, 2015 held by the Ministry of Finance with representatives from the Ministry of Commerce, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities & Exchange Commission... The proposal to set up an EXIM Bank was part of the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2012-15 approved by the PPP government. However, the decision has yet to be implemented. Additional Finance Secretary briefed the meeting on the work done so far and shared a draft law prepared by the Ministry of Finance. The Finance Secretary emphasised that the Exim Bank is a budgetary initiative and should have been established by now with at least a basic structure in place.

  • (Reuters, 13 January 2015) Pakistan Mobile Communications (Mobilink), the country's largest telecommunications operator, plans to raise 6.9 billion rupees ($68.6 million) via Islamic bonds this quarter, Pakistan Credit Rating Agency said in a statement. The sukuk, which will be listed, have been rated AA by the rating agency and will include a partial credit guarantee of 966 million rupees. The sukuk would help fund the network expansion of Mobilink, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding, which is in turn majority-owned by Russia's VimpelCom. The credit guarantee will be extended by Mauritius-based GuarantCo, a specialised financial guarantor indirectly owned by the development agencies of Britain, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

  • (Allafrica News, Harare, 20 January 2015) The Government has stepped up efforts to capacitate the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation whose major role is to boost exports. According to the Insurance and Pension Commission, plans to recapitalise the organisation were now advanced... Sources close to the development said that the recapitalisation of the corporation, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, was going to be tied to the recapitalisation of the central bank... The corporation was prohibited around 2012 from handling any new business due to its failure to raise the minimum capital required... Since then it has been working on the business that it had secured prior to its suspension from handling new business.

  • (Mondaq, Washington, 9 January 2015) Satellite industry becomes fastest growing of U.S. Ex-Im Bank’s credit sectors, with growth from $50m to $1b in loans per year since 2010; Export Credit Agency of Russia announces plans to actively support ILS ; and Export Development Canada provides €123m in financing to Hispasat for procurement of Hispasat 1F.