Why US Export-Import Bank Backs Australian Billionaire Heiress Gina Rinehart

(International Business Times, 20 December 2013, Washington) Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc., General Electric and Atlas Copco AB, a Swedish industrial holding company, are the latest beneficiaries of credit financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The federal government’s export-promoting agency said Thursday it would extend $694.4 million in loans (backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. taxpayer should the lending go sour) to Australia’s Roy Hill Holdings. The mining giant controlled by Australian heiress Gina Rinehart is trying to shore up $6.2 billion in capital before the end of the year to fund a massive $8.9 billion iron ore project in Pilbara, a mineral-rich region in the arid western part of the country. The announcement came two days after the Korea Export-Import Bank committed $1 billion to one of the world’s largest financing deals to fund a private project.