U.K. Firms Get Pandemic Support From Agency With Great War Roots

(Bloomberg, London, 26 February 2021) U.K. companies pummeled for nearly a year by pandemic shutdowns are turning to a century-old government agency with roots in the country’s drive to rebuild trade after the Great War to help them raise funds. Subsea 7 Ltd. on Thursday sealed a $500 million loan guaranteed by UKEF. The oilfield services company, and airlines British Airways Plc and EasyJet Plc, are among 5 firms that have secured a combined 6.3 billion pounds ($8.93 billion) of funding with UKEF support since the pandemic began. Alongside massive fiscal stimulus, export financing aid is another device in the government’s toolbox to help companies ride out a slump that caused the British economy to shrink about 10% in 2020.