ECA Watch Newsletter

What's New April 2020

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Temporary EU State Aid Framework includes short term export credits
  • European ECAS expand protection to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus
  • Temporary relaxation of EU state aid rules could counter foreign takeovers
  • Korean NCP accepts complaint against Korean ECA and others
  • ECAs play lip service to coal withdrawal but ignore oil & gas
  • Fossil fuel giants with ECA billions put Mozambique workers & communities at risk of COVID-19
  • EXIM Bank Relief Measures in Response to COVID-19
  • Export Finance Australia helping exporters unable to get finance because of COVID-19
  • Canada's EDC will backstop bank energy loans
  • Snubbed by EXIM, Cruise Lines Get ECA Relief From Europe
  • EXIM withdraws support for medical equipment exports against World Bank advice
  • Could ECAs help Africa mitigate Covid-19 pushed recession?
  • Insurers bulked up on airline risk as export credit agencies pulled out
  • Time for a European public export credit insurance programme?

Temporary EU State Aid Framework includes short term export credits

(Mondaq, London, 6 April 2020) On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a Temporary Framework to enable EU Member States to use European State aid rules to support the European economy in the COVID-19 crisis. The first programs have already been approved in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Portugal. The Temporary Framework, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), recognizes that the entire EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance. To remedy that, the Temporary Framework provides five types of aid that can be granted by EU Member States ranging from direct grants, subsidized and/or state guaranteed loans and short term export credits. Given the limited size of the EU budget, the main response will come from Member States' national budgets. The Temporary Framework will help target support to the economy, while limiting negative consequences to level the playing field in the Single Market.

https://www.mondaq.com/Coronavirus-Covid-19/911922/EU-Commission-Adopts-Emergenc...


European ECAS expand protection to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus

(Reuters, London, 3 April 2020) Britain's UKEF  is expanding the scope of its export insurance policy to cover exporters against the risk of non-payment if customers become insolvent, Other European states [although the UK is no longer a member of the EU] are also giving guarantees to credit insurers in an effort to keep coronavirus-hit companies afloat, as some cut cover for trade involving bloc members such as Italy and Spain, UK Export Finance, a government department, on Friday said it has expanded the policy to cover transactions with the European Union, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. In Spain, as part of a package of measures approved on March 18 to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, the government increased the insurance cover provided by its export credit agency CESCE adding two 1 billion euro credit lines, for unlisted corporates and small businesses with large levels of exports.  In France, the finance ministry said credit insurers had vowed not to cut or curtail cover in return for a reinsurance backstop worth up to 10 billion euros ($10.8 billion), to be set up by the end of the week. It also announced 2 billion euros in short-term aid as part of a package to help French exporters with credit insurance. In Germany, Reuters reported this week that the government and the country’s credit insurance industry have agreed to help to maintain insurance cover for trade, with the government guaranteeing up to 30 billion euros for the commercial credit insurance industry.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-exports/uk-export-...


Temporary relaxation of EU state aid rules could counter foreign takeovers

(The Asset, 22 April 2020) European Union rules on state aid to private sector companies, including short term export credits, have been suspended until December as national governments step up financial packages to rescue their corporations. A recent report notes that the Covid-19 crisis has come at a time when the EU was already putting in place rules that bring foreign takeovers under tighter control. These takeover rules provide a framework for EU member states to screen foreign direct investments into the EU, on the grounds of security or public order. With many companies across the EU going into administration, foreign buyers are looking to acquire assets at bargain prices. Politicians in both the UK and Germany have already identified Chinese investors as being at the forefront.  A deal agreed by Turkey and China last month was largely overshadowed by news that the coronavirus could lead to Chinese firms taking much bigger stakes in Turkish companies struggling to cope with the fallout from the pandemic.

https://www.theasset.com/europe/40218/temporary-relaxation-of-state-aid-rules-co...


Korean NCP accepts complaint against Korean ECA and others

(OECD Watch, Amsterdam, 8 April 2020) On 17 March 2020, the Korean National Contact Ppoint accepted a complaint against KEXIM, the export credit agency (ECA) of South Korea, for financial support of harmful palm oil production practices in Indonesia. This is a significant step, as it is the second time an NCP has deemed an ECA a multinational enterprise (MNE) covered under the broad definition of MNEs in the OECD Guidelines. The complaint alleges that KEXIM and the NPS had failed to implement adequate human rights and environmental due diligence to address the adverse risks and impacts of their financial services.

https://www.oecdwatch.org/2020/04/08/korean-ncp-accepts-complaint-against-korean...


ECAs play lip service to coal withdrawal but ignore oil & gas

(CIS University of Zurich, 2 April 2020) ECAs  are  a  hitherto  under-researched  contributor  to  lock-in  of  fossil  fuel  infrastructure.  This  study  reviews  external policies  and  standards  as  well  as  internal  policies  and  commitments  that  may  affect  ECAs’  portfolios –  specifically  their  support  to  fossil  fuel  and  low-carbon  technology  projects.  Most international standards are applied on a purely voluntary basis. Moreover, they are mainly focused on increasing transparency and promoting social and environmental safeguards while not directly affecting the ECAs’ portfolios. Most importantly, none of them has explicit requirements to phase out support to fossil fuels and align operations with the Paris Agreement. The standards thus do not support fossil fuel project support phaseout.

https://ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/cis-dam/CIS_2020/Work...


Fossil fuel giants with ECA billions put Mozambique workers & communities at risk of COVID-19

(FOE USA, Washington, 20 April 2020) The COVID-19 pandemic has forced large portions of the population to stay home and left millions out of work. Farmworkers, grocery workers, medical professionals, and other frontline workers are forced to put themselves at risk in order to provide everyone with the food and healthcare needed to make it through this pandemic. Ensuring that these frontline workers are safe and have the resources they need is of the highest priority. Yet, in northern Mozambique, companies like Total – the French energy giant – are attempting to put their profits above the protection of their workers. Reportedly, Total, which recently acquired oil and gas reserves that were formerly owned by the U.S. company Anadarko – a company that received $5 billion from the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM) last September, at first refused to halt or even slow its work in northern Mozambique. They lost precious time and failed to take early action that would have stopped an increase in the number of cases.

https://foreignpolicynews.org/2020/04/20/fossil-fuel-giants-put-workers-and-comm...


EXIM Bank Relief Measures in Response to COVID-19

(JD Supra LLC, Sausalito, 13 April 2020) In response to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Export–Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM Bank”), the official export credit agency of the United States, has adopted four measures to help U.S. exporters and their suppliers and overseas buyers of U.S. goods and services get access to cash to support their transactions:

  1. Established a temporary Bridge Finance Program to help foreign customers of U.S. exporters get short-term financing for purchases of U.S. goods and services;
  2. Temporarily expanded the Pre-Export Payment Policy into a new Pre-Delivery/Pre-Export Financing Program to help foreign buyers finance progress payments owed to U.S. manufacturers during the manufacturing process;
  3. Broadened the Working Capital Guarantee Program by expanding the categories of assets that exporters can include in their baseline for purposes of determining borrowing level eligibility;
  4.  Increased access to Supply Chain Financing Guarantee Program by relaxing two conditions on eligibility.
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/exim-bank-relief-measures-in-response-79414/


Export Finance Australia helping exporters unable to get finance because of COVID-19

(American Reporter, Boston, 26 April 2020) COVID-19 has drastically affected the economy. Exporters and Importers are unable to conduct business because of the transport restrictions. Australia’s export credit agency (ECA), Export Finance Australia has come ahead to help the exporters. It revealed that it has a new A$500mn capital facility available to exporters. This capital will ease the dire financial conditions of the export companies. ECA mentioned that export companies would be able to get finance of the amount of A$250,000 to A$50mn under the scheme. But the scheme will only apply to companies that were established and previously successful.

https://www.theamericanreporter.com/australian-eca-is-helping-exporters-who-are-...


Canada's EDC will backstop bank energy loans

(Reuters, Toronto, 22 April 2020) Canada’s export credit agency will backstop loans to hard hit oil and gas producers, a document seen by Reuters showed, in the latest move by Ottawa to free up credit for the struggling energy industry. The relief comes as banks review borrowing limits in the sector and could head off bankruptcies of small and mid-sized energy firms pummeled by the collapse in oil prices. Canadian banks have eased some lending standards but are expected to chop credit lines as they recalculate energy companies’ borrowing bases to account for a 75% drop in U.S. oil prices since the start of the year. The program is targeted at Canadian firms with production no greater than 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to the presentation. In addition, Canada has approved $1.72 billion for cleaning up orphaned or inactive wells in three provinces in western Canada as the federal government tries to help the struggling O&G industry. Last spring, the grass-roots Alberta Liability Disclosure Project estimated that there are 300,000 abandoned wells in the province that could cost $70 billion to remediate.

https://www.reuters.com/article/canada-oil-credit/canadas-export-agency-will-bac...


Snubbed by EXIM, Cruise Lines Get ECA Relief From Europe

(Bloomberg, Miami, 24 April 2020) After missing out on U.S. emergency aid, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are benefiting from a debt-holiday initiative by Germany’s export credit agency, Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft. The coronavirus pandemic has hammered the cruise industry, which shuttered operations in mid-March after a series of outbreaks at sea. The companies have been raising money and cutting expenses to weather a period without customers. The biggest companies were left out of the U.S. rescue package because they aren’t incorporated stateside. Most of the cruise industry is incorporated in places where companies can avoid U.S. income taxes and minimum wage requirements. Norwegian said the 12-month debt holiday -- which applies to debt used to finance ships -- will provide about $386 million in additional liquidity through April 2021. Royal Caribbean said it will add $250 million through debt holiday agreements with Euler. In addition, the national governments of France, Finland, Italy, Norway and Germany have agreed that cruise shipping companies could apply to suspend the repayment of their debts financed by state export credit guarantees for one year.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-24/snubbed-in-u-s-rescue-cruise-...


EXIM withdraws support for medical equipment exports against World Bank advice

(Global Trade Review, London, 24 April 2020) Countries across the world are imposing bans or restricting the export of medical goods. The Global Trade Alert team at Switzerland’s University of St Gallen reports that 75 countries have now introduced export curbs on medical supplies. The US Export-Import Bank (US Exim) has revealed that it is temporarily withdrawing all financing support for exports of critical medical equipment and supplies, including respirators, face shields, gloves and other protective equipment. The exclusion order, which will remain in place until September 30, was unanimously approved by the US export credit agency’s board of directors. While countries impose bans on medical exports amid the Covid-19 pandemic, World Bank president David Malpass has urged leaders against hoarding medical and food supplies, and not to use shortages as a reason to step up protectionist measures.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/world-bank-urges-against-export-bans-amid-c...


Could ECAs help Africa mitigate Covid-19 pushed recession?

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 April 2020) The outbreak of Covid-19 has left Africa facing the prospect of its first recession in 25 years, with countries dependent on oil exports or struggling with political instability on the frontline. Significant efforts to keep African trade moving have already been undertaken by export credit agencies (ECAs) active on the continent, as well as by global organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. But for Angelica Adamski, director of the board at the Sweden-Africa Chamber of Commerce, there are other steps that ECAs in particular could consider taking to bring some relief to African exporters. For instance, she suggested more ECAs should consider extending coverage to short-term credit and trade receivables. "Some ECAs are already covering working capital programmes, but we need to put more emphasis on this” she noted.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/covid-19-pandemic-pushes-africa-towards-rec...


Insurers bulked up on airline risk as export credit agencies pulled out

(Global Capital, London, 2 April 2020) Private sector insurance companies have written extensive guarantees for the purchase of new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus in the past two years, filling a gap in the market left by the retreat of US Eximbank and European export credit agencies. But with aircraft around the world grounded and airlines slashing capital expenditure, these insurance firms could be stuck with the risk. The Airbus CEO told employees last week that the company’s survival was in question without immediate action and told RTL Radio that there was a need for export financing support. Export credit agencies played a key role in keeping deliveries moving during the 2009 financial crisis, but their role has since diminished. European nations withdrew their support during most of a four-year corruption investigation culminating in a record 3.6-billion-euro fine against Airbus in January.

https://www.globalcapital.com/article/b1l0ws846l2cfj/insurers-bulked-up-on-airli...


Time for a European public export credit insurance programme?

(Euroactive Foundation, Brussels, 16 April 2020) [An argument for European coordination of export credit. To bolster competition from China?] Over the last decade, public export credit insurance has become one of the major instruments of trade policy, used to support and encourage exports. According to the figures of Berne Union members, public credit insurance covered more than one trillion US dollars in new transactions in 2018, writes Matija Vodoplav, a French PhD student. Despite the strong public support that exporters from some countries have, in particular in East Asia, European exporters do not benefit from support at the EU level and are facing a mosaic of national public export credit insurance programmes. [He believes] that policymakers should examine the possibility of establishing a European public export credit insurance programmes that could provide risk cover, in addition to national programmes, for extra-EU exports from all member states. The OECD estimates that in one decade its support surged from USD 3 billion in 2002 to USD 397 billion in 2013. The US ECA estimates that in 2018, the largest providers of public export credit insurance for the short-term export transactions to OECD and non-OECD countries, after China, were Korea, Japan, Canada, India and Russia, while Germany, the largest EU economy, came in sixth. Export credit has also been one of the pillars of China’s Belt and Road initiative where, according to official figures found on the Sinosure’s website, by the end of 2017, the total insured amount granted by Sinosure for projects related to the initiative was almost $510 billion.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/opinion/time-for-a-european-public...


What's New March 2020

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • EU G20 and OECD Member Countries Announce Trillion$ in subsidies, including ECA $$
  • EU approves emergency state-aid ECA measures
  • UK proposes UKEF loan fund to spur defence & post-Brexit exports
  • Global Banks Funneled $2.7 Trillion into Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Agreement
  • ECAs Backing Coal as Some of the World's Biggest Banks Get Out
  • UK Export Finance accused of failing to consider climate risks
  • EU unveils industrial strategy to help meet climate goals
  • India Seeks to Win Investment Amid Ongoing China-US Trade War, Coronavirus Outbreak
  • Canada challenged to ensure EDC COVID-19 aid won't bail out 'high-polluting industries'
  • Canada: Stop EDC investing in environmental and human rights harm
  • Airbus, Boeing Make Production Decisions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Uganda rallies regional states to rethink expensive ECA debt
  • Why a Brazilian builder wants UKEF money for work in Africa

EU G20 and OECD Member Countries Announce Trillion$ in subsidies, including ECA $$

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 March 2020) Our "export credit" online alerts this month are flooded with news of coronavirus pandemic generated government subsidies for business (and some for workers), including special export credit increases. Here are but a few links by country: Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad, Turkey, UKEF, USA. The measures notified by EU Member States and the UK that have been approved by the EC are outlined at this link.




EU approves emergency state-aid ECA measures

(National Law Review, Western Springs IL, 26 March 2020) On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a temporary framework for State aid to support the economy amidst the consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The temporary framework provides for five types of aid, including aid in the form of short-term export credit insurance, as a temporary EU Treaty measure allowing for state aid “to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State.” [This move highlights a possible tension within the European community wherein the European Commission is promoting a European Green Deal while the European Council Export Credits Group works with the OECD Export Credit Working Group to promote and protect European corporations, including support for substantial fossil fuel projects. Will short-term export credits for the energy sector be allocated on the basis of a green Europe or the existing fossil fuel dependency? Or will they be used just to shore-up national businesses distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic?]

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/european-commission-adopts-temporary-framew...


UK proposes UKEF loan fund to spur defence & post-Brexit exports

(Jane's, London, 11 March 2020) The UK government is proposing to create a GBP1 billion (USD1.3 billion) fund to support British defence and security exports. The “facility” would be overseen by UK Export Finance, the country’s export credit agency, which gives loans to help foreign countries, especially those with developing economies, buy British goods and services. The proposed fund is included in the 2020 budget that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak presented to Parliament on 11 March. The budget also proposes a GBP100 million (USD128 million) increase for defence research and development to “develop capabilities in response to threats facing the UK, including funding for cutting-edge technology in aviation and space propulsion.” In addition, The Chancellor is preparing to boost post-Brexit exports for UK businesses by making £5 billion of loans available to UKEF in his forthcoming Budget. The Treasury said the money would help UK exporters to increase their global sales as Britain prepares for life outside the European Union, with the Chancellor helping to top up the purchasing power of those abroad by providing a competitive loan rate through UKEF.

https://www.janes.com/article/94837/uk-proposes-loan-fund-to-spur-defence-export...


Global Banks Funneled $2.7 Trillion into Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Agreement

(Bank Track, Nijemgen, 20 March 2020) The latest version of the most comprehensive report on global banks' fossil fuel financing, Banking on Climate Change 2020, was released today, revealing that 35 global banks have not only been sustaining but expanding the fossil fuel sector with more than $2.7 trillion in the four years since the Paris Climate Agreement. The report finds that financial support for the fossil fuel industry has increased every year since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015.

https://mailchi.mp/banktrack/new-report-reveals-global-banks-funneled-27-trillio...


ECAs Backing Coal as Some of the World's Biggest Banks Get Out

(Bloomberg, 8 March 2020) Moves by some of the world’s biggest banks to end coal financing for the sake of the planet was supposed to create major headaches for companies like Whitehaven Coal Ltd. Yet there was the Australian miner on a conference call last month announcing the refinancing and extension of a A$1 billion ($650 million) credit line, backed mostly by Chinese and Japanese lenders. The Export-Import Bank of China and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation lead firms that have committed $29 billion for new coal power projects in Vietnam and Indonesia alone.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/death-coal-financing-exaggerated-china-163000714....


UK Export Finance accused of failing to consider climate risks

(Business Green, London, 17 March 2020) The UK's export credit agency was today accused of breaching OECD guidelines governing multinational organisations, with campaigners accusing the government of "rank hypocrisy". NGO Global Witness has lodged a complaint with the Paris-based OECD, which provides guidelines for how industrialised economies should respond to the climate crisis. The complaint alleges that UKEF has breached guidelines for multinational enterprises by failing to adequately consider climate-related risks and report on its greenhouse gas emissions. It also alleges that the agency has no targets to reduce emissions. The OECD cannot compel enterprises to develop a climate risk strategy, but it can publicly state that its guidelines have been broken. The complaint, which is the first of its kind to be levelled against an export credit agency, will see UKEF enter into an arbitration process mediated by the OECD.

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4012565/climate-hypocrites-uk-export-finance-...


EU unveils industrial strategy to help meet climate goals

(ReNews, Winchester, 10 March 2020) The European Commission has presented a new Industrial Strategy to help Europe achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050, while maintaining European industry's global competitiveness. These include comprehensive measures to modernise and decarbonise energy-intensive industries, support sustainable and smart mobility, promote energy efficiency, strengthen current carbon leakage tools and secure a “sufficient and constant” supply of low-carbon energy at competitive prices. “This includes developing a European export strategy for renewables that looks not only at third country market access but also at how national export credit agencies can support the European industry in the face of State-financed Chinese competition.

https://renews.biz/59045/eu-unveils-industrial-strategy-to-meet-climate-goals/


India Seeks to Win Investment Amid Ongoing China-US Trade War, Coronavirus Outbreak

(Sputnik, Moscow/New Delhi 3 March 2020) The US and China are still engaged in a trade dispute, and the spread of the coronavirus makes a deal less likely, at least in the short-term. The Indian Finance Ministry has revealed that amid the US-China trade war, its exports to the two countries have not only increased but it is also looking forward to enlarging its China Plus-One Strategy. Claiming that trade tensions between China and the US contributed to the decline of world output and trade, the ministry said that India recorded $44.8 million in exports to the USA and $14.6 million to China in 2019. The US-China trade war began in 2018 after US President Donald Trump accused China of unfair trade practices and imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of imports. China accused the US of trying to stop it from emerging as a global power and retaliated with tariffs of $110 billion on US products. Amid the tensions, the Indian government has granted relief measures to exporters including lower duties and taxes on exported products, a special scheme for higher export credit disbursement and a fast clearance window to boost trade. India has recorded an increase in exports with the US despite higher tariffs and the end to the Generalised System of Preferences, an import subsidy facility, which assisted Indian exports to the tune of $5.6 billion.

https://sputniknews.com/india/202003031078462229-india-seeks-to-win-investment-a...


Canada challenged to ensure EDC COVID-19 aid won't bail out 'high-polluting industries'

(National Observer, Ottawa, 25 March 2020) Environmental groups praised political parties for coming together to help Canadians battle the effects of the coronavirus. They also argued that the new law’s broadening of Export Development Canada (EDC)’s mandate will make it easier to direct more public money to oil and gas companies without sufficient oversight.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/03/25/news/morneau-challenged-ensure-covid...


Canada: Stop EDC investing in environmental and human rights harm

(Amnesty International, Ottawa, 14 March 2020) In 2016, Export Development Canada - a crown corporation that claims its transactions are “environmentally and socially responsible” - approved millions of dollars in loans to Empresas Públicas de Medellin, the company building the HidroItuango dam. The Hidroituango dam cuts across the Cauca River in a region of Colombia hard hit by decades of armed conflict and grave human rights violations. The financing was approved despite warnings by experts, human rights organizations and local communities. Ríos Vivos, a grassroots movement of families dependent on the Cauca River for their food and livelihoods, has courageously denounced social and environmental impacts of the dam. They’ve also reported forced evictions, increased militarization and worsening violence, including the killing of six of their leaders.

https://takeaction.amnesty.ca/page/57662/action/1?utm_medium=email&utm_source=en...


Airbus, Boeing Make Production Decisions Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Aviation Today, Rockville MD, 24 March 2020) Airbus partially resumed assembly and production work in France and Spain on March 23, while Boeing will temporarily suspend the majority of its U.S.-based airplane production activity beginning March 25 as the two commercial aerospace giants continue working to keep their businesses running amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. “We’re advocating support of governments for the complete ecosystem across the industry, for our suppliers and customers, for example, through the use of export credit." Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury noted. [One wonders how the global spread of COVID-19 via many of their aircraft may affect their plans!]

https://www.aviationtoday.com/2020/03/24/airbus-boeing-make-production-decisions...


Uganda rallies regional states to rethink expensive ECA debt

(Daily Monitor, Kampala, 24 February 2020) Maris Wanyera, the Ministry of Finance acting director for debt and cash policy management, said on Friday the conference, to be attended by delegates from 16 countries, under the theme “sustainable public debt management and a strengthened economic growth” is long overdue in light of the ongoing borrowing frenzy by African countries to finance their development agenda. Some of the conditions, she says, are high insurance premiums tied to especially loans by export credit agencies, tying of loans to particular suppliers usually from the source countries which constrain local capacity, and in others waiving sovereign immunity over all assets of the borrowing states.

https://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/Finance/Uganda-rallies-regional-states-to-ret...


Why a Brazilian builder wants UKEF money for work in Africa

(Construction News, London, 3 March 2020) UK financing of foreign projects designed to boost British supply chain involvement is booming. Ghana’s Kejetia open-air market is the largest in West Africa and is also a health and safety nightmare. Ghana decided to create a more modern facility and approached a Brazilian builder established in the region to design and build a multi-storey covered market to replace Kejetia. The second phase of the programme – a 160,000 m2 building – is guaranteed to feature work from British subcontractors. It could, for example, include Scottish steel and be illuminated by lights created in London. Why? Because UK Export Finance, the government’s export credit agency, has provided a £70m loan to help the Ghanaian government finance the project, costing up to $700m (£543m). UKEF funding decisions are not without criticism. Their financing of projects led by companies with minimal presence in the UK has raised questions about whether British businesses are benefiting as much as they are supposed to and last year a select committee of MPs began scrutinising some of the deals by UKEF as part of an inquiry into the organisation’s financing of fossil-fuel projects.

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/international/why-a-brazilian-builder-wants-u...


What's New February 2020

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • EDC considering support for controversial pipeline project
  • German gov't provides US$23 billion in export credit guarantees in 2019
  • ICIEC Insured $10.86bn Worth of Businesses In OIC Countries In 2019
  • EKN: On exporting Sweden’s fossil free energy future
  • G20 ECAs fund $30 bn a year in fossil fuels $30 bn under the radar
  • World Bank: Some development banks and ECAs contributing to debt problems
  • Quarantined Cruise Liners Pose Hidden Risk to Finnish ECA and Economy
  • Italy earmarks 350 mn euros for SACE fund to help coronavirus-hit firms
  • EDC review of Bombardier bribery compliance policies nears completion
  • Airbus bribery scandal triggers new probes worldwide
  • Bpifrance launchs multi-billion euro fund to support French firms
  • Tanzania Railway gets US$1.46b ECA backed financing
  • Euler Hermes supports attractive investment opportunities in Egypt

EDC considering support for controversial pipeline project

(350.org, New York, 24 February 2020) As thousands across Canada take to the streets in solidarity with indigenous Wet’suwet’en land defenders and hereditary chiefs, Export Development Canada (EDC) is considering handing over millions of dollars in public money to the very pipeline project that sparked this resistance. EDC has a track record of financing projects that violate Indigenous rights and disregard climate science. In 2018, they were essential to the federal government’s controversial buy-out of the TMX pipeline. Now, they could be committing an undisclosed amount of money to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline as early as February 26th.

https://350.org/no-public-money-for-the-coastal-gaslink-pipeline/?akid=114458.97...


German gov't provides US$23 billion in export credit guarantees in 2019

(Xinhua, Berlin, 17 February 2020) The German government provided some 21 billion euros (US$23 billion) in export credit guarantees for German exporters and banks in 2019, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced on Monday. The figure marked an increase of 6 percent over the previous year, according to the ministry. Because of "continuing political and economic uncertainties in important international markets, demand for federal export credit guarantees remains high," the BMWi noted. In addition to numerous transactions by small and medium-sized enterprises last year, the German government continued to "cover large-volume transactions, especially in the shipping sector." The government also offered 3.3 billion euros of investment guarantees for German companies' projects overseas last year, according to the BMWi. Compared to the previous year, the investment guarantees had almost tripled, according to the BMWi.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/18/c_138792862.htm


ICIEC Insured $10.86bn Worth of Businesses In OIC Countries In 2019

(ProShare, Lagos, 17 February 2020) The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) insured businesses globally to the tune of $10.86bn in 2019. The coverage was part of the report of the ICIEC reviewing its performance and activities for 2019. It translated to a 20.31% increase from 2018, which gulped total business insurance of $9.03bn. The majority of businesses insured in 2019 concentrated on two core regions: The Middle East and North Africa and also Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. In terms of the impact made in 2019, the distribution by region showed that the Middleast and North Africa, MENA emerged the highest with 54.39%, while Sub-Saharan Africa came second with 42.34% and Asia with 3.28%. ICIEC Businesses Insured by Region in 2019 include Asia 3.28%, Middle East and North Africa: 54.39% and Sub-Saharan Africa 42.34%. Across all 3 regions, energy and manufacturing led the areas supported by ICIEC. Business insured in the energy sector totalled $5.5bn million, while in the manufacturing sector, the figure stood at $2.7bn. Organization of Islamic Cooperation country distributions were: Turkey-14.94%, Algeria -10.53%, UAE-10.18%, Jordan-8.9%, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-6.18%, Egypt-3.38% and Lebanon-2.88%. ICIEC took part in the 2019 London Sukuk Summit, engaging with leading industry experts and institutions from across the world.

https://www.proshareng.com/news/Islamic%20Finance/ICIEC-Insured-$10.86bn-Worth-o...


EKN: On exporting Sweden’s fossil free energy future

(TFX, London, 12 February 2020) EKN's director general Anna-Karin Jatko set the tone for the Swedish export credit agency’s seminar in Stockholm on 9 February noting Swedish industry’s impressive ability to transform itself. Two companies, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery and state-owned mining and mineral group LKAB, are among those doing transformative things in Sweden such as fossil-free steel products. Their exports have been covered by EKN for more than 80 years. The goal set by the Swedish government to be the “first fossil-free welfare society in the world” is an ambitious one, but Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation is bullish. “It’s a huge challenge, but there are opportunities if it’s done in the right way,” he told the domestic and international banks and exporters, pointing out that the transition won’t be financed and delivered by the government of the country, whose population is only around 10 million, on its own.

https://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/6923/EKN-On-exporting-Swedens-fossil-free-e...


G20 ECAs fund $30 bn a year in fossil fuels $30 bn under the radar

(Space Daily / AFP, Paris, 30 January 2020) Rich nations are funnelling cash through government-backed financial institutions to provide $30 billion to fossil fuel projects each year that "run counter to the Paris Agreement", a new analysis showed Thursday. The export credit agencies (ECAs) of G20 countries currently provide more than 10 times more state-backed finance to oil, gas and coal projects abroad than they do to renewable energy schemes, the analysis said. That translates to $7.1 billion annually in the years since the signing of the landmark accord that enjoins nations to slash carbon emissions. The analysis singled out China, Japan, South Korea and Canada as among the worst offenders, accounting for 78 percent of G20 fossil fuel support from 2016-2018. UK ECA Export Finance, has not funded a coal-fired power plant since 2002, but a separate analysis showed it is financing millions of tonnes worth of overseas emissions through continued oil and gas funding.

https://www.spacedaily.com/afp/200130040116.014rcutz.html


World Bank: Some development banks and ECAs contributing to debt problems

(Reuters, Washington, 11 February 2020) World Bank President David Malpass on Monday chided other development banks for lending too quickly to heavily indebted countries, saying that some of them were helping worsen already-challenging debt situations. Malpass said at a World Bank-IMF debt forum in Washington that the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were contributing to debt problems. “We have a situation where other international financial institutions and to some extent development finance institutions as a whole, certainly the official export credit agencies, have a tendency to lend too quickly and to add to the debt problem of the countries,” Malpass said. In an interview, Malpass cited liens against Angola's oil revenues associated with Chinese debt that were hidden by non-disclosure agreements, convenient for politicians and contractors.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/world/world-bank-chief-some-developmen...


Quarantined Cruise Liners Pose Hidden Risk to Finnish ECA and Economy

(Bloomberg, Helsinki, 12 February 2020) The damage wrought by the coronavirus on the luxury cruise-liner business may hurt the economy of Finland more than most other countries’. The Finnish government has granted an “exceptionally high” number of export guarantees to cruise lines that have ordered luxury vessels from the Nordic country’s shipyards. So it’s more vulnerable than most to a slump in demand. The bulk of the guarantees involves just one industry and, because they exist outside the government budget, they’re largely excluded when calculating the state’s liabilities. But Finnish taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for as much as 11 billion euros ($12 billion) of credit risk stemming from these guarantees. Finnvera Oyj, the country’s export credit company, has guaranteed loans for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corp.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/quarantined-cruise-liners-pose-hidden-risk-...


Italy earmarks 350 mn euros for SACE fund to help coronavirus-hit firms

(IANS/AKI, Rome, 26 February 2020) The Italian government is making a total 650 million euros available to help Italian companies weather the coronavirus emergency, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday. "Italy''s foreign trade institute (Ice) is making available 300 million euros for our companies and we will hold joint discussions on the best way to tackle this moment," Di Maio wrote on Facebook. A further 350 million euros will be set aside for Sace-Simest, Di Maio added, referring to a company that belongs to state lender Cassa depositi e prestiti and which is 76 per cent controlled by Italy''s export credit agency Sace. Economists have warned the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak whose epicentre is in the wealthy, industrial north of the country may tip Italy back into another recession - its fourth since 2008.

https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/italy-earmarks-650-mn-euros-to-help-coro...


EDC review of Bombardier bribery compliance policies nears completion

(Compliance Week, Boston, 18 February 2020) Export Development Canada (EDC) announced it has completed its independent review of Bombardier’s compliance policies and procedures, concluding there is progress in its ethics and compliance program. EDC initiated the review of Bombardier in 2019 following leaked findings from the World Bank’s investigations into Bombardier’s 2013 contract with Azerbaijan Railways. As Compliance Week previously reported, a March 2017 report by investigative centers and media outlets around the globe alleged Bombardier paid “millions of dollars in bribes to unidentified Azerbaijani officials through a shadowy company registered in the United Kingdom.

https://www.complianceweek.com/ethics-and-codes/bombardiers-compliance-program-p...


Airbus bribery scandal triggers new probes worldwide

(Reuters, Paris, 3 February 2020) Fallout from the Airbus bribery scandal reverberated around the world on Monday as the head of one of its top buyers temporarily stood down and investigations were launched in countries aggrieved at being dragged into the increasingly political row. Prosecution documents agreed by Airbus detailed a global network of agents or middlemen in transactions across the group's business and run from a cell in Paris where the group had part of its headquarters, split between France and Germany. Outlines of the operation and its annual budget of 250 million to 300 million euros had been reported by Reuters. fter Britain's Special Fraud Office reported that Airbus had hired the wife of a Sri Lankan Airlines executive as its intermediary in connection with aircraft negotiations, Airbus misled UK export credit agency UKEF over her name and gender, while paying her company $2 million the SFO said. Payments to "agents" in Nigeria, Korea, Taiwan, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Malasia are being investigated.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/airbus-bribery-scandal-triggers-probes-205521977....


Bpifrance launchs multi-billion euro fund to support French firms

(Reuters, Paris, 30 January 2020) French public investment bank Bpifrance has raised several billion euros from private and sovereign investors for a new fund that can be used to fend off activist investors targeting French companies. The new fund would give extra financial firepower to Bpifrance, which already manages a 15 billion euro portfolio of state shareholdings. In addition to managing French state shareholdings, Bpifrance's main business lines also include offering guarantees for banks' business loans and export credit insurance. In addition, Bpifrance has signed up to the Poseidon Principles to become the 17th signatory with a collective aim to limit carbon emissions from ships.

https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2020/jan/30/french-state-lender-to-launch-multi-b...


Tanzania Railway gets US$1.46b ECA backed financing

(East Africa Business Week, Kampala, 14 February 2020) Tanzania's Ministry of Finance has signed a facility agreement with Standard Chartered (SC.com) Tanzania for a US$ 1.46 billion loan to fund the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora. According to the Tanzania Railways Corporation, it is expected that the railway will address current congestion challenges and decrease freight service charges by 40%, as the railway will be able to haul up to 10,000 tons of freight, equivalent to 500 lorries, per trip. It will also connect Tanzania to Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, thereby playing a key role in enhancing regional trade. Standard Chartered Tanzania acted as Global Coordinator, Bookrunner and Mandated Lead Arranger on the facility agreement that is the largest foreign currency financing raised by the Ministry of Finance to date. The biggest component of financing comes from the Export Credit Agency Covered Facility(‘s) from the Export Credit Agencies of Denmark and Sweden.

https://www.busiweek.com/tanzania-gauge-railway-project-kicks-off-with-stanchart...


Euler Hermes supports attractive investment opportunities in Egypt

(MENAFN, Cairo, 8 February 2020) According to the Head of Deutsche Bank's representative office in Cairo, a higher economic growth rate, improved credit conditions, privatisation of public companies and listings in the local exchange will help Egypt to move towards a more private-sector-lead economic model. Deutsche Bank helped the government of Egypt arrange its first euro dominated bond ever, raising €2bn in the international debt capital markets. Another transaction is Deutsche Bank's participation in the financing of three power plants for €3.5bn for the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC). Supported by German export credit agency Euler Hermes, these deals represent part of the single largest order ever for our partner, Siemens, the largest-ever STEF export finance transaction and the largest-ever export financing in the Egyptian market.

https://menafn.com/1099673685/Egypt-provides-attractive-investment-opportunity-t...


What's New January 2020

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Luanda leaks show Dutch Export credit insurer Atradius involved in serious Angola human rights violations
  • UKEF to cease coal project support but current oil and gas projects will emit equivalent of 17 coal plants or 69m tonnes
  • Airbus faces record $4 billion fine after UKEF bribery probe
  • Davos: Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash
  • EDC writes off $200 million - won't say what for or why!
  • 2019 Review of Developments In Islamic Finance
  • Nigerian LNG expansion to include ECA financing
  • Saudi ECA offers support for TAPI pipeline
  • India asks DGFT to check fake export credit refund claims

Luanda leaks show Dutch Export credit insurer Atradius involved in serious Angola human rights violations

(Guardian, Luanda, 20 January 2020) Until the summer of 2013, Areia Branca, a fishing village just outside Luanda, the capital of Angola, was home to a thriving fishing community of 3,000 families. Now there is no trace of their houses, only sand, a pile of gravel, egrets, a bulldozer and a police post, bulldozed to make way for the Marginal da Corimba project, a multibillion-dollar real estate and highway development along Luanda’s coastline led by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos. The Luanda Leaks investigation based on a huge cache of financial records belonging to dos Santos, Africa's richest woman, suggest her company stood to benefit from redevelopment of the vacated land. Many of Areia Branca’s former residents have moved to the other side of the lagoon, packed on to a tiny patch of land, known as Povoado. Previously a waste dump through which two sewage channels flowed, it has become home to 500 families sharing tiny shacks made of corrugated tin. Children play among piles of rotting rubbish. Infectious diseases – malaria, tuberculosis, meningitis – are rife. Documents released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists suggest dos Santos’ Urbinveste received at least $12 million from the Angolan government for work on the project. British architects Broadway Malyan and Dutch dredging company Van Oord claim not to have been aware of the forced evictions on behalf of the dos Santos real estate and construction company Urbinveste. Following revelations in the Dutch business press, a Both ENDS opinion piece in the Dutch business newspaper FD notes that the official export credit insurer Atradius DSB has not complied with OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It appears that the Dutch ECA failed to do sufficient due diligence on environmental and human rights impacts and bribery risks before issuing an insurance to facilitate Van Oord and the Dutch ING bank's involvement in this project.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/20/fishing-community-bulldozed-isabel...


UKEF to cease coal project support but current oil and gas projects will emit equivalent of 17 coal plants or 69m tonnes

(Energy Live News, London, 24 January 2020) UKEF is financing fossil fuel projects overseas that are estimated to emit around 69 million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year, according to a new investigation by BBC Newsnight and Greenpeace. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the government will put an immediate end to using taxpayers’ money to support coal mining and coal-fired power stations in developing countries. The investigation found that no coal plants have been financed since 2012 but all the fossil fuel projects supported by UKEF which are oil and gas-related will emit the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from 17 coal plants. A report from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) last year found 96% of UKEF’s energy investment between 2013 and 2017 went to fossil fuel projects – a fifth of all its investments. The Catholic charity CAFOD pointed to the fact that Johnson said the UK was still going to help countries with oil and gas production, not phase out all forms of public support for fossil fuels overseas

https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/01/24/uk-financing-fossil-fuel-projects-over...


Airbus faces record $4 billion fine after UKEF bribery probe

(Reuters, London, 28 January 2020) Airbus faces a record $4 billion fine and lower 2019 profits after unveiling a preliminary deal with French, British and U.S. authorities following a crippling three-year probe into allegations of bribery and corruption over jetliner sales. The European planemaker has been investigated by French and British authorities for suspected corruption over jet sales dating back over a decade. It has also faced U.S. investigations over suspected violations of export controls. British and French investigations began after Airbus alerted regulators to misleading and incomplete declarations it had made to Britain’s export credit agency over payments to sales agents. “To my knowledge, an approximate $4 billion global settlement amount would be the largest global bribery settlement amount in history,” said bribery law expert Mike Koehler, a professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law. Airbus has fired more than 100 people over ethics and compliance issues as a result of its own probe into the allegations, which widened to other divisions. But the internal probe led to anger within the Franco-German firm and its jet sales teams who denied any influence over the tightly controlled agent system, which political sources have described as part of a wider French influence network abroad. It also threatened to reopen Franco-German tensions over Airbus as French sources complained the row diverted attention from a separate probe into fighter jet dealings with Austria, partially overseen by German-born Tom Enders who later served as chief executive. Enders has denied any wrongdoing. A further German probe into potential misuse of client documents is ongoing.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-probe/airbus-agrees-to-settle-corrupti...


Davos: Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash

(World Economic Forum, Geneva, 3 January 2020) To continue financing fossil fuel expansion is today’s equivalent of betting the bank - and the global economy - on subprime mortgage-backed securities over a decade ago; it is fuelling a crisis that, even if it generates short-term profit, will inevitably cause economic catastrophe alongside the climate emergency. Since the Paris Agreement was signed, 33 major global banks have collectively poured $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels. To avoid any misinterpretation, governments should provide central banks with an explicit mandate to extend their horizon on financial stability to fully encompass climate risk and to be a force for decarbonization. Reporting under the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosure should be mandatory. Governments should end supply-side subsidies and export credit financing for fossil fuels and incentivise investment in renewable energy.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/financing-fossil-fuels-repeat-2008-crash-...


EDC writes off $200 million - won't say what for or why!

(iPolitics, Ottawa, 22 January 2020) A report from Public Accounts of Canada for the 2018-19 fiscal year contains a line item for $196,010,248 that was written off from Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Canada Account, which offers financing for higher-risk projects and sales that the international trade minister deems is in best interest of the country. Guillaume Bérubé, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada refused to disclose to iPolitics what the item was, but said the decision to write-off the amount was made on recommendation that it was in the “best interests of Canada and Canadians.” In an April 2018 report he federal auditor general said Export Development Canada has significant problems when it comes to risk management because it hasn’t kept up with evolving industry practices.

https://ipolitics.ca/2020/01/22/federal-ministers-write-off-200m-loan-but-depart...


2019 Review of Developments In Islamic Finance

(ProShare, Lagos, 5 January 2020) According to the Islamic Financial Industry Stability Report, the current global size of the market is $2.19trn,  which attests to a remarkable growth post-2008 financial crisis. Malaysia is currently the leading hub for Islamic Finance globally. At the end of 2017, it continued to be the main driver for both Sukuk outstanding and issuance for the year, with a global market share of 51% and 36.2% respectively, according to the Malaysian Reserve Bank report. Africa's market size for Islamic Finance as of 2011 was $18bn, while the potential for Nigeria since then is over $17bn. Nigeria and Africa are the new frontiers for the growth of Islamic Finance globally. The apex regulator of Nigeria's capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restated its commitment in 2019 to provide the regulatory framework that will support the growth and development of the non-interest finance market.

https://www.proshareng.com/news/Islamic-Finance/2019-Review-of-Developments-In-I...


Nigerian LNG expansion to include ECA financing

(The Nation, Lagos, 20 January 2020) The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has appointed one of Japan’s leading banks and the core unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and one of Nigeria’s leading banks – Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, as financial advisers for the Train 7 LNG processing project estimated to cost between $10 billion and $12 billion. The Train 7 project will be financed partly from NLNG balance sheet and partly through third party corporate loans from Export Credit Agencies and a number of key International and local banks. Discussions on these financial deals are ongoing. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Train 7 is expected to be completed within five years from start of construction. On completion, it will increase the company’s production capacity at its plant on Bonny Island, Finima, Rivers State from 22 million metric tonnes to 30 million metric tonnes per annum. Nigeria LNG is owned by four shareholders – the Federal Government represented by NNPC (49 per cent); Shell (25.6 per cent); Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15 per cent) and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4 per cent).

https://thenationonlineng.net/nlng-appoints-japans-smbc-gtbank-train-7-financial...


Saudi ECA offers support for TAPI pipeline

(EurasiaNet, New York, 14 January 2020) Turkmenistan's state media reported that the president had signed a decree authorizing the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs to conclude a loan with the Saudi Development Fund for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, or TAPI, pipeline. This is only the latest offer of assistance from Riyadh. Documents seen by Eurasianet reveal that the Saudi-backed Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, or ICIEC, has committed to $500 million in financing for the project. The ICIEC is a member of the Saudi-led investment fund, the Islamic Development Bank, or IDB, which has offered as much as $1 billion in financing for TAPI. Even all this Saudi money may not be sufficient to cover the ultimate cost of TAPI, which has been estimated at anywhere between $7.5 billion and $10 billion. The security situation along TAPI’s route is not the only thing spooking lenders. Turkmenistan’s endemic nepotism and corruption is also a disincentive.

https://eurasianet.org/turkmenistan-more-cotton-less-water-little-sense


India asks DGFT to check fake export credit refund claims

(New Kerala, New Delhi, 5 January 2020) After unearthing firms that made fake export credit claims, India's Department of Revenue has asked the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to seek regular compliance and verification reports from regulators. India refunds Integrated Goods and Services Tax paid by "star exporters" (exports of more than $3 million per year) as a form of export subsidy. Ongoing investigations have thrown up at least 9 star export houses as 'non-traceable' at their premises declared on record. All these star export houses have availed IGST refunds, which are now being questioned by tax officers. There are instances where an exporter with over Rs 50 crore of exports of readymade garments has taken refund of Rs 3.90 crore while the entity's total GST payment in cash was a mere Rs 1,650. The Revenue Department has identified several star-rated export houses that are bogus or shell export houses claiming fake refunds. Alarmed at the misuse of IGST refunds, the CBIC has requested to DGFT to install a more robust accreditation process. Meanwhile,  India's Commerce and Industry Minister recently announced that the scheme for providing export credit at low interest rates announced in September last year are being firmed up and would be implemented soon.

https://www.newkerala.com/news/2020/2210.htm


What's New December 2019

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Controversy over Chinese subsidies for Huawei
  •  US Ex-Im Bank gets seven-year extension
  •  European Parliament asks Member states to end ECA support for fossil fuel projects
  •  Sweden proposes climate and export strategy which includes ban on ECA support for fossil fuel exploration and extraction
  •  Insurers drop coal in droves to “avoid climate breakdown”
  •  Korean ECA to Extend $375 Mil. to Daewoo E&C’s LNG Plant Project in Nigeria
  •  Gaslog LNG carrier announces $1.05 billion ECA backed debt
  •  Saudi Arabia looks for ECA finance to reduce deficits
  • UAE, Egypt to strengthen trade relations via ECA MoU
  •  Central Bank of Egypt launches ECA
  •  JBIC joins $1.3 billion financing for Bangladesh urea industries
  •  Chubb takes stake in ATI to boost African trade

Controversy over Chinese subsidies for Huawei

(Zdnet, York PA, 26 December 2019) Huawei Technologies has lashed out at a Wall Street Journal report that suggests the tech giant's success is fuelled by billions of dollars in financial support from the Chinese government, arguing that its ties are no different from any other "private company" that operates in China. The WSJ article noted that besides subsidies, Huawei since 1998 has received an estimated $16 billion in loans, export credits, and other forms of financing from Chinese banks for itself or its customers. But the WSJ also notes that Huawei’s largest American competitor, Cisco Systems, received $44.5 billion in state and federal subsidies, loans, guarantees, grants and other U.S. assistance since 2000. Further, it notes that Swedish export authorities provided some $10 billion in credit assistance for Sweden’s tech-and-telecom sector as of 2018 and that Finland authorized $30 billion in annual export credit guarantees economywide from 2017. A 2005 study by the UK Secretary of State for Trade and Industry showed that the "opportunity cost" of UK export credits, i.e. government "subsidies", was around US$271 million per annum. This dispute highlights the well known fact that Chinese and official OECD member export credit agency budgets are subsidies which violate the WTO's Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. The OECD ECA Arrangement creates a WTO loop-hole for OECD ECA subsidies if they meet the OECD's poorly monitored and largely secretive OECD ECA self-monitoring. The Arrangement is a self-professed "Gentlemen's Agreement" designed to restrict a race to the bottom in export subsidies, but is flawed by a lack of transparency. So yes, the Chinese subsidize Huawei just as OECD ECAs subsidize their own exporters. The difference is the US claim of internet security concerns wrt Huawei in their efforts to retain economic superiority in global markets. Google and Facebook's violations of internet privacy and security don't seem to rate the same US concerns.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/huawei-refutes-suggestions-state-support-drove-its...


US Ex-Im Bank gets seven-year extension

(Space News, Washington, 21 December 2019) The year-end spending package President Trump signed into law late December 20 includes a 7 year re-authorization for EXIM, a lending agency that has been largely sidelined as a source of cheap financing for U.S. satellite deals since Congress let Ex-Im’s charter lapse in 2015. The $1.37 trillion omnibus bill, which funds the U.S. government through Sept. 30, 2020, provides Ex-Im its longest authorization period ever, though still shorter than what some lawmakers had sought. The enacted legislation also enables the bank to keep lending in the absence of a full board of directors by allowing other government officials to temporarily fill vacancies in order to maintain a quorum. New rules for Ex-Im Bank state that if the bank lacks a quorum for 120 consecutive days during a president’s term, a temporary board will form consisting of the treasury and commerce secretaries, the U.S. trade representative and the bank’s confirmed board members. That temporary board would remain until at least three board members are confirmed or until the U.S. president’s term expires... Proponents of Ex-Im Bank have in recent years sought to use the export-credit agency as a soft power tool to counter Chinese export credit and, by extension, Chinese influence globally. The legislation directs the bank “to focus on the important economic and national security challenges posed by China,” Kimberly Reed, Ex-Im’s president and chairman, said in a statement on Dec. 20. The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), included Nicaragua in its Country Limitation Schedule (CLS) Program, which, as of December 23, will stop working with Nicaragua. With this decision, Nicaragua joins the “undesirables club of the EXIM,” which also includes Afghanistan, Bolivia, North Korea, Cuba, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Libya, Nauru, Central African Republic, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Venezuela and Yemen.

https://spacenews.com/ex-im-bank-gets-seven-year-extension/


European Parliament asks Member states to end ECA support for fossil fuel projects

(European Parliament, Brussels, 28 November 2019) The European Parliament resolution of 28 November 2019 on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid stresses that the EU’s budget should be consistent with its international commitments on sustainable development and its mid- and long-term climate and energy targets. Article 54 welcomes the decision taken by the EIB to end financing for most fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021 and specifically asks "the Member States to apply the same principle when it comes to export credit guarantees."

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2019-0079_EN.html


Sweden proposes climate and export strategy which includes ban on ECA support for fossil fuel exploration and extraction

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 December 2019) The Swedish government has presented a climate policy action plan with 132 measures to the Riksdag "taking a holistic approach to how emissions will be reduced throughout Swedish society." We have been unable to find an outline of these measures but have been informed that the also recently updated trade and investment strategy includes a ban on export credits for fossil fuel exploration and extraction by 2022 (at latest) including for example, mining and construction machinery, trucks, dump trucks and wheel loaders, drilling equipment, excavators, where the purpose is to use these for the extraction of coal and oil or gas. It also includes fire protection equipment for oil drilling platforms. We hope to be able to provide further information in our next issue.

https://www.government.se/press-releases/2019/12/presentation-of-the-new-updated...


Insurers drop coal in droves to “avoid climate breakdown”

(Unfriend Coal, London, 2 December 2019) The number of insurers withdrawing cover for coal has more than doubled in 2019 as the industry’s retreat from the sector accelerates and spreads beyond Europe, the Unfriend Coal campaign reveals today in its third annual scorecard on insurance, coal and climate change. Coal exit policies have been announced by 17 of the world’s biggest insurers controlling 46% of the reinsurance market and 9.5% of the primary insurance market. Most refuse to insure new mines and power plants, while industry leaders have ended cover for existing coal projects and the companies that operate them, and adopted similar policies for tar sands. Action has escalated since international NGOs launched the Unfriend Coal campaign in 2017. Insurers have also divested coal from roughly $8.9 trillion of investments – over one-third (37%) of the industry’s global assets. Insuring Coal No More: The 2019 Scorecard on Insurance, Coal and Climate Change is published by 13 civil society organisations from 10 countries. It was launched to an industry audience at the Insurance and Climate Risk conference in London, as the UN Climate Summit commences in Madrid. As of November 2019, at least 111 globally significant financial institutions – including commercial banks, development financiers, insurers, export credit agencies and central banks – had divested from coal or reduced their exposure to the sector in other ways. Yet in July 2019, 2,459 coal plants with a combined capacity of 2,027 gigawatts were in operation, and another 980 with a combined capacity of 925 gigawatts were planned or under construction.

https://unfriendcoal.com/2019scorecardnews/


Korean ECA to Extend $375 Mil. to Daewoo E&C’s LNG Plant Project in Nigeria

(Business Korea, Seoul, 23 December 2019) The Korea Export-Import Bank announced on Dec. 22 that it will provide US$375 million in loans to Daewoo Engineering & Construction’s LNG plant project in Nigeria. For the first time as a Korean company, Daewoo E&C won the LNG plant as a prime contractor in September. It will carry out the project on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. The LNG plant market had been dominated by five or six builders from developed countries including the United States, Japan, and Italy. The project involves building an LNG plant with an annual production capacity of 7.6 million tons and additional facilities for the plant on Bonny Island of southern Nigeria. When the plant is completed, the nation’s LNG production will soar from 22 million tons to 30 million tons annually. Apart from the Korea Export-Import Bank, the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. is considering extending a loan of a similar size. Korean export credit agencies (ECAs) are expected to provide around US$750 million to the project. This project is also the first to be supported through a special account set up by the Korean government to help Korean companies land more overseas orders.

http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=39469


Gaslog LNG carrier announces $1.05 billion ECA backed debt

(Hellenic Shipping News, Cyprus, 17 December 2019) LNG carrier GasLog Ltd. announced that it has signed an Export Credit Agency-backed debt financing of $1.05 billion with twelve international banks for its current newbuilding programme (the “Newbuild Facility”). The Newbuild Facility covers the balance due to the shipyard on delivery and consequently the final instalments of the seven newbuildings are fully funded. Five of these seven newbuildings are scheduled to deliver from the yards into firm multi-year charters in 2020 and the remaining two into firm multi-year charters in 2021. GasLog’s owned fleet consists of 32 vessels, with 25 liquefied natural gas carriers on the water and seven LNG carriers on order. This includes 13 LNG carriers in operation that are owned by its New York-listed unit GasLog Partners.The deal is backed by the Export Import Bank of Korea (“KEXIM”) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (“K-Sure”), who are either directly lending or providing cover for over 60% of the facility. Gaslog's latest tanker acquisition was recently launched at the South Korean Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/gaslog-ltd-announces-newbuild-financing-fac...


Saudi Arabia looks for ECA finance to reduce deficits

(Bloomberg, Riyadh, 11 December 2019) Saudi Arabia may tap international debt markets as early as next month as it seeks funding to help bridge its widening budget deficit. In addition to selling bonds the debt office is also looking at alternative options including export credit agency financing. Fahad Al-Saif, head of the Finance Ministry’s debt management office, said “We are now engaged in ECA financing that actually makes sense to be plugged into the portfolio. Also infrastructure finance, project finance -- it depends. There are certain governmental projects that we could finance away from the debt capital markets.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/saudi-arabia-may-tap-debt-133531786.html


UAE, Egypt to strengthen trade relations via ECA MoU

(Gulf Today, Dubai, 16 December 2019) UAE and Egypt have agreed to strengthen trade relations and boost bilateral exports between the two countries through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal Export Credit company and the Export Credit Guarantee Company of Egypt (ECGE). UAE-Egypt non-oil trade in 2018 amounted to Dhs20.1 billion (US$5.44 B), a 14.6 per cent growth compared to Dhs17.6 billion (US$4.8 B) in 2017 indicating a strong overall strategic partnership between the two countries, according to data released by the UAE Ministry of Economy. Furthermore, the UAE ranks first globally in terms of investments in Egypt with total FDI amounting to Dhs24.3 billion (US$6.6 B) reflecting the activity of 990 Emirati companies that invested in Egypt at the end of 2018. Egypt, on the other hand, ranks 28th globally in terms of investing in the UAE with total FDI valued at Dhs3.3 billion (US$899 M) during the same period.

https://www.gulftoday.ae/business/2019/12/16/uae-egypt-to-strengthen-trade-relat...


Central Bank of Egypt launches ECA

(Global Trade Review, London, 11 December 2019) The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has signed off on a new US$600mn export credit risk company in a bid to bolster Egypt’s intra-Africa trade links. The new company, which will be based out of Cairo, will seek to help Egyptian companies win contracts for major projects with African governments, which the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) claims are [could be?] worth US$60bn annually. Trade between Egypt and other African countries is only around 2% of total Egyptian exports.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/central-bank-of-egypt-launches-export-credi...


JBIC joins $1.3 billion financing for Bangladesh urea industries

(The Daily Star, Dhaka, 2 December 2019) The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has arranged USD1.3 billion financing for Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) to set up its Ghorasal Potash Urea Fertilizer Project (GPUFP). This is the largest financing backed by an Export Credit Agency ever completed in Bangladesh. BCIC has signed loan agreement for $1.3 billion with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd (MUFG) and HSBC. Of the total credit HSBC will provide $300 million and rest $1 billion will be arranged by JBIC and MUFG.

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/bangladesh-chemical-industries-hsbc-financ...


Chubb takes stake in ATI to boost African trade

(Global Trade Review, London, 11 December 2019) Global insurer Chubb has made a US$10mn equity investment in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), becoming the first global property and casualty insurer to invest in the multilateral political risk and credit insurance agency. ATI supports trade and investment in African member state nations by offering complete risk solutions, including credit insurance and political risk products. It currently has 16 African nations and 10 institutional members as shareholders, and claims to support trade and investment in the countries it represents equivalent to between 1 and 2% of their GDP.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/africa/chubb-takes-stake-in-ati-to-boost-african-t...


What's New November 2019

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • France targets fracking & flaring with ECA guarantee overhaul
  • UAE running secret prison in French ECA supported LNG facility in Yemen
  • The ECA fossil elephant in the Dutch room
  • 20% of Dominican Republic territory at risk from fossil fuel auction
  • AfDB approves $400m loan for Mozambique LNG facility
  • EU Council to host business and human rights conference
  • Dutch Ship Firm Kept Fees Secret
  • Nigeria's Ajaokuta Steel completion to receive Russian ECA support
  • World Bank warns of Kenyan [ECA] debt distress
  • EU takes Greece off short-term export credit ‘blacklist’
  • UK export credit agency to provide US$303m in support of Formosa II
  • EX-IM signs new co-financing pact with Japanese rival NEXI
  • UK judge rules EDC can proceed with sale of Gupta jet

France targets fracking & flaring with ECA guarantee overhaul

(Reuters, Paris, 5 November 2019)  France is considering halting funding guarantees for energy projects abroad that involve fracking or flaring, according to a finance ministry report. The government aims to make its program of state guarantees for export financing more environmentally friendly and is dropping support for coal projects as a first step. Next year it will also look into stopping export guarantees for oil and gas activities that are banned in France, including fracking and gas flaring, the report submitted to lawmakers states. In the medium term, a ban on state guarantees for developing new foreign oil fields might also be considered.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-exports/france-targets-fracking-and-fl...


UAE running secret prison in French ECA supported LNG facility in Yemen

(Sum Of Us, Paris, 7 November 2019) - A report published today by L'Observatoire des armements and SumOfUs in collaboration with Les Amis de la Terre France, documents the militarisation of Total's activities in Yemen since the 1980s. Open sources and witness testimony reveal that Total’s gas liquefaction site at Balhaf has been set up as a military base (since 2009) and a secret prison (2017-2018). The report also questions the role of the French government, which was involved in the militarisation of the site, and is the guarantor of Total’s Yemen LNG gas liquefaction project. French export subsidies are currently being discussed in the Assemblée nationale as part of the 2020 Finance Bill. Le Monde reports that Total has received official French export credit guarantees totaling 216 million Euros. Le Monde has drawn information from testimonies collected by Amnesty International, as well as a group of UN experts on Yemen, as well as non-governmental organizations and Yemeni activists who confirmed the existence of the prison inside a military base set up by the UAE in the same place. These reports draw on several accounts of arbitrary detention and inhuman and degrading treatment – such as torture and denial of medical care – by Emirati soldiers.

https://www.sumofus.org/media/military-base-checkpoints-secret-prison-report-rev...


The ECA fossil elephant in the Dutch room

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 17 November 2019) This report shows that the Dutch Export Credit Agency ADSB insured fossil fuel-related projects with a total insured value of € 10.8 billion in the period 2012-2018. This is more than 60% of its total insured value for that period and € 1.5 billion a year on average. The policy incoherence  thus created by the Dutch government nullifies the Dutch contributions to international climate ambitions. The Dutch government indicates that it will end all financial support to coal projects and exploration and development of new oil and gas fields abroad from its foreign trade and development cooperation instruments as of 2020. Unfortunately, this commitment is not applied to the export credit facility, which supports the by far largest volume of fossil fuel related business transactions abroad. By not applying the same principles to its public export credit support, the Dutch government undermines its own foreign climate ambitions. This report calls upon the Dutch government to align the policies of its Export Credit Agency  with the Paris climate goals. Furhtermore, it provides suggestions for possible ways to go about it.

https://www.bothends.org/en/Whats-new/Publicaties/The-fossil-elephant-in-the-roo...


20% of Dominican Republic territory at risk from fossil fuel auction

(Bank Track, Nijmegen, 26 November 26, 2019) Ahead of the November 27 auctioning of exploration licenses for 14 onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks in the Dominican Republic, environmental groups warned financiers not to back companies which may end up being awarded licenses. Dominican NGO CNLCC, Italy's Re:Common and BankTrack have raised concerns over the major climate risks and adverse environmental and social impacts which would result from the opening up of fossil fuel blocks in the country’s Cibao, Enriquillo, Azua, and San Pedro basins which together cover more than 20 percent of Dominican territory. A major corruption scandal has plagued the Dominican Republic involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, which received the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant contract due to an opaque, allegedly criminal tendering process. European banks were compelled in 2018 to freeze their project finance disbursements.

https://mailchi.mp/banktrack/20-of-dominican-republic-territory-at-risk-from-fos...


AfDB approves $400m loan for Mozambique LNG facility

(Hydrocarbons Technology, London, 27 November 2019) The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $400m loan to support construction of the integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and liquefaction facility in Mozambique. The Mozambique LNG Area 1 Project is led by the French corporation Total. Other partners in the project are Mitsui, Oil India, ONGC Videsh, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Exploration, and Mozambique’s national oil and gas company ENH. NGOs have provided overwhelming evidence that Mozambique's LNG projects will emit at least 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, causing climate chaos,

https://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/news/afdb-400m-loan-mozambique-lng/


EU Council to host business and human rights conference

(European Council, Brussels, 28 November 2019) The Finnish Presidency of the European Council is hosting a conference on 2 December on business and human rights. The agenda includes a panel on "Promoting Human Rights Due Diligence through State Financing", noting that "A critical way for states to incentivise businesses to respect human rights is through the provision of public financing for private sector investments abroad through development finance, export credit and other forms of support. This discussion will explore the importance of leadership by individual state-based financial institutions and by government in this area.

https://eu2019.fi/documents/11707387/13552730/Final+Agenda.pdf/e3b018f0-a65b-d4b...


Dutch Ship Firm Kept Fees Secret

(Bahamas Tribune, Nassau, 12 November 2019) The Dutch company that supplied nine Royal Bahamas Defence Force vessels, Damen Shipyard Group, misrepresented to the Dutch government how much it paid a foreign intermediary that worked on the project. The World Bank disbarred Damen for 18 months in 2016 for failing to disclose an agent and the amount of commissions due to the agent. The Dutch government then temporarily suspended Damen from accessing its export credit insurance. Dutch Secretary of Finance Wopke Hoekstra said ADSB subsequently conducted an investigation and found 14 cases where Damen gave “insufficient or incorrect information in respect of paid agency commissions.” Damen’s project with The Bahamas was one of these cases. Dutch investigators believe Damen paid 12 percent of its contract with the Bahamian government to NSG Management & Technical Services Ltd as commissions. It is not clear what NSG’s work on the project involved. Dutch investigators are said to be examining whether Damen allegedly bribed foreign officials in multiple jurisdictions through their foreign agents. NSG is said to be at the centre of its inquiry.

http://www.tribune242.com/news/2019/nov/13/dutch-ship-firm-kept-fees-secret/


Nigeria's Ajaokuta Steel completion to receive Russian ECA support

(Nairametrisc, Lagos, 2 November 2019) Recent reports are that the completion of Nigeria's long-abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Complex would be funded by the Russia's MetProm Group with funding from the Russian Export Centre.  Nairametrics understands that although massive plants and other gigantic equipment in the complex were idle and most had been overgrown with weeds, most of the facilities were still functional, and as such over the years, the problems facing the company had not prevented the workers from receiving salaries. The Ajaokuta Steel Complex was originally built by another Russian firm, TyazhPromExport (TPE), but in 2016 the Federal Government decided to jettison TPE because the company did not want to complete the steel mill. A rail line and functional seaport are still needed to ease the operation of the steel mill.

https://nairametrics.com/2019/11/02/ajaokutas-completion-to-kick-off-as-russia-p...


World Bank warns of Kenyan [ECA] debt distress

(Daily Nation, Nairobi, 31 October 2019) In its Kenya Economic Update for October 2019, to be released today, the World Bank notes that, “with 43% of domestic debt expected to mature within a year, the government could face challenges in rolling over such bonds in an environment of no interest rate caps, low subscription rates and over-exposure of commercial banks to these assets”. Signs of distress in paying debt came to the surface last month after it emerged that Kenya had defaulted on a Sh500 million (US$4.9m) debt owed to a Belgian export credit company for the construction of a water supply system in Mavoko. Credendo Export Credit Agency, an export credit agency of the Kingdom of Belgium, had written to the Treasury demanding the payment by November 1, accusing the government of failing to pay despite repeated reminders. As at 30th September 2019, the Star reported that most of Kenya’s bilateral debt is on concessional terms with no interest chargeable on Sh4.2 billion and an interest rate of just 2.08 per cent on Sh660.5 billion from Exim Bank of China (which constituted 74 per cent of total bilateral debt and got the relic like railway trains chugging along).

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Economy-in-crisis-World-Bank-warns-of-debt-distres...


EU takes Greece off short-term export credit ‘blacklist’

(Greek City Times, Sydney, 27 November 2019) The European Commission on Tuesday announced its decision to return Greece to the list of “marketable risk” countries for short-term export credit insurance, following the successful completion of its fiscal adjustment program in August 2018 and the continuing implementation of reforms. The European Commission said its decision will be activated on January 1, 2020, and will mean that “short-term export credit risks towards Greece will be considered as marketable to be covered by private insurers.”

https://greekcitytimes.com/2019/11/27/eu-takes-greece-off-the-credit-blacklist/


UK export credit agency to provide US$303m in support of Formosa II

(Renewables Now, Fresno, 5 November 2019) The UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), will provide a TWD-9.2-billion (US$303m/EUR 272m) project finance guarantee to support the construction of the 376-MW Formosa II offshore wind project in Taiwanese waters. UK companies will be involved in constucting the Formosa 2 offshore windfarm, helping to unlock the export potential of this growing sector of the UK economy.

https://renewablesnow.com/news/uk-export-credit-agency-to-provide-usd-303m-in-su...


EX-IM signs new co-financing pact with Japanese rival NEXI

Politico, Washington, 5 November 2019) EXIM has signed an agreement with Japan’s export credit agency, NEXI, that allows either agency to act as the lead on co-financing projects. Under the previous co-financing agreement, only Ex-Im could act as the lead. The expanded scope is expected to facilitate greater business opportunities for exporters of both nations, Ex-Im said. The new arrangement makes it “possible for Japanese companies to collaborate with American companies in infrastructure projects” in the Indo-Pacific region, NEXI Chairman and CEO Atsuo Kuroda said in a statement.

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-trade/2019/11/05/trumps-china-deal-...


UK judge rules EDC can proceed with sale of Gupta jet

(Corporate Jet Investor, London, 21 November 2019) A judge in the UK courts has ruled that the sale of Global 6000 ZS-OAK can now go ahead, after Export Development Canada (EDC) settled its litigation with Westdawn Investments. Westdawn Investments is a South African company that is owned by the Gupta family, the wealthy Indian-born South African family with interests in computing, media, and mining and whose members who are under investigation for misappropriation of large amounts of state assets have fled the country. They have refused to return to face court hearings and to participate in criminal investigations. According to EDC, it ended its business relationship with Westdawn Investments in December 2017, after Westdawn Investments defaulted on its loan in October 2017. EDC’s statement notes that in the months and years following its decision to provide Westdawn Investments with the loan, allegations that the Gupta family had been involved in corruption and political interference in South Africa arose.

https://corporatejetinvestor.com/articles/judge-rules-that-edc-can-proceed-with-...


What's New October 2019

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Climate activists spray UKEF with fake blood
  • Newt Gingrich: EXIM as a political tool against China
  • Putin is resetting Russia’s Africa agenda to counter the US and China
  • SINOSURE reports steady business growth
  • Irish businesses 'will need €1.5bn' to prevent job losses if there is a no-deal Brexit
  • Australia drops in defence export rankings
  • Korea should stop funding coal power in Indonesia
  • What is the remit of the ICC Global Export Finance Committee
  • EXIM provides loan for natural gas project in Mozambique
  • EXIM signs MoU with Iraq
  • Why finance and insurance is a key barrier to SMEs that want to export

Climate activists spray UKEF with fake blood

(Fox43 / CNN, Harrisburg, 4 October 2019) Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion used a fire engine to spray 1,800 liters of fake blood at Britain’s finance ministry in London on Thursday, in protest over what it says is the UK’s contradictory stance on tackling climate change. “The protest is being held to highlight the inconsistency between the UK Government’s insistence that the UK is a world leader in tackling climate breakdown, while pouring vast sums of money into fossil exploration and carbon-intensive projects.”  Among the activists was 83-year-old grandfather Phil Kingston who said he came to the Treasury “to demand radical change,” in particular to the proposal that the UK Export Finance (UKEF), a government body that helps British businesses trade globally, works towards zero emissions by 2050, which he says is “far too late.” A report published by the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee  in June found UK Export Finance (UKEF) – a government body that underwrites loans and insurance to help British firms secure business abroad – had spent £2.6bn in the last five years supporting global energy exports. Of this, £2.5bn went on fossil fuel projects, with the vast majority in low- and middle-income countries.

https://fox43.com/2019/10/04/climate-activists-spray-uk-finance-ministry-with-fa...


Newt Gingrich: EXIM as a political tool against China

(Newsweek, Washington, 21 October 2019) Newt Gingrich - Opinion (How the Republican right sees EXIM): In the age of Huawei, the Belt and Road Initiative, and China's state-sponsored companies, we need the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank more than ever. The EXIM Bank, an independent agency, provides government-backed financing for those looking to export goods and services from the United States. Since the 1930s, it has helped grow the U.S. economy and foil unfairly aggressive foreign competitors. However, due mostly to recent politics, it hasn't been fully functioning since 2014. This needs to change - for many reasons. First, according to Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, the country's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is absolutely a part of its military plans... This is a big deal. According to EXIM Bank reports, the BRI system includes about 30 percent of the world's gross domestic product and impacts more than 66 percent of the world's population.

https://www.newsweek.com/newt-gingrich-export-import-bank-crucial-americas-abili...


Putin is resetting Russia’s Africa agenda to counter the US and China

(Quartz Africa, New York, 22 October 2019) The first-ever Russia-Africa summit will be held from Oct. 23-24 in Sochi, Russia, marking the culminating point of the return of Russia to Africa, with more than 50 African leaders and 3,000 delegates invited. This convening is only another illustration of the recent increase in  economic, security, and political-diplomatic engagements to foster Russia-Africa relations. Over the last decade there has been a proliferation of Russia-Africa bilateral committees, economic forums, and conferences for economic coordination. In 2011, the Russian Agency on Insurance of Export Credit Investments (EXIAR) was created in order to facilitate Russian companies’ activities and the protection of investments. Russia has boosted its initiative to strengthen ties with the African continent, signing a number of agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) to collaborate on various rail projects during the Russia-Africa economic forum in Sochi on October 23-24. In other news, the CEO of the Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR), Nikita Gusakov, said that Russia was seeking to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, noting that the main challenge was to attract Russian companies to Africa. The AfCFTA hopes to encourage a movement from commodity exports to exportation of finished goods.

https://qz.com/africa/1732316/putin-resets-russias-africa-agenda-to-counter-chin...


SINOSURE reports steady business growth

(Xinhua, Beijing, 27 October 2019) China's only policy-oriented insurer specializing in export credit insurance reported steady business growth in the first three quarters of this year. China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, also known as SINOSURE, had served over 110,000 clients, increasing 13.8% year on year, and underwritten over US$450 billion worth of business from Jan. to Sept. In that period, over US$99.2 billion was insured for business in countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Meanwhile, the company's insurance for business in emerging markets and exports from small and micro enterprises respectively stood at US$179.6 billion and US$49.9 billion U.S. dollars. An assessment report released by the Development Research Center of the State Council and SINOSURE showed that over US$150 billion of China's exports and investment in Belt and Road countries were insured by the company in 2018, surging 15.8% from the previous year. It was estimated that over US$640 billion of China's exports last year were underwritten by SINOSURE, accounting for 25.9% of the total exports.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/27/c_138506413.htm


Irish businesses 'will need €1.5bn' to prevent job losses if there is a no-deal Brexit

(The Journal,Dublin, 7 October 2019) State aid worth €1.5 billion over the next three years will be needed to stabilise the economy and protect jobs if the UK crashes out of the European Union without a deal at the end of the month, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) has warned. The organisation said that, to help companies diversify, a new scheme for export credit insurance aimed at companies impacted by Brexit who want to diversify away from the UK, should also be introduced.

https://www.thejournal.ie/irish-business-no-deal-brexit-4839961-Oct2019/


Australia drops in defence export rankings

(Australian Defense Magazine, Canberra, 3 October 2019) New figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the world’s leading authority on global military spending, show that Australia has become the world’s second largest weapons importer but has dropped to 25th in the export rankings. Australia previously ranked as the fourth-largest importer and 18th largest exporter. It now imports more military equipment than any other country bar Saudi Arabia and exports less than Belarus, the Czech Republic and Norway. The export drop comes in spite of the government’s push to make Australia one of the world’s top ten largest military exporters. The news of the export drop comes in spite of the government’s push to make Australia one of the world’s top ten largest military exporters. The Defence Export Strategy, announced in early 2018, includes a $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility administered by Australia’s export credit agency and a $20 million per annum re-allocation of funds within Defence.

http://www.australiandefence.com.au/defence/budget-policy/australia-drops-in-def...


Korea should stop funding coal power in Indonesia

(Korea Herald, Seoul, 7 October 2019) While South Korea has vowed to phase out fossil fuels and turn to clean energy to combat climate change and air pollution, it is supporting coal-fired power plants elsewhere - like in Indonesia. The government is virtually contributing to environmental damage as well as corruption in Indonesia by financially supporting Korean companies that are building coal-fired power plants there, according to an environmental activist. “The land has been contaminated so much that we cannot plant fruits anymore. The seawater is also severely contaminated, so the number of fish in the sea has plummeted. We have to go a long distance to catch fish,” said Meiki Wemly Paendong, executive director of West Java at WALHI, an environmental organization in Indonesia. “The pollution levels have worsened, with many locals contracting respiratory diseases,” he said. “Local residents (living near the coal-fired power plant) feel that the plant is ruining everything.” Building of the 1,000-MW Cirebon 2 coal-fired power plant in West Java, Indonesia, began in 2016, with Export-Import Bank of Korea providing a 600 billion won (US$515 million) loan for the project. The construction is set to be completed in 2022. Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission has already questioned some 140 people linked to the corruption allegations as part of a sweeping investigation of the Cirebon project. Over the last decade, Korea has invested a combined 11.6 trillion won (US$10 billion) in 24 coal plant-building projects in seven countries through state-run banks, including the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Korea Development Bank and Korea Trade Insurance Corp. While the Indonesian government is considering suspending at least half of the plants in the wake of worsening environmental pollution, Korea plans to fund the construction of two more 2,000-MW coal power plants -- Jawa-9 and Jawa-10 -- in Suralaya, Indonesia.

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20191007000792


What is the remit of the ICC Global Export Finance Committee

(Global Trade Review, London, 29 October 2019) The International Chamber of Commerce Global Export Finance Committee is part of the ICC Banking Commission and was set up in 2015 with the remit of serving as a globally representative body for banks active in export finance. We believe it’s the only industry body representing banks active in export finance on a global basis. Currently there are 16 member banks and we are keen to grow membership further. In terms of market representation, members currently include eight of the top 10 global banks in export finance and over 60% of market volume (based on the Dealogic 2018 league tables). The committee was formed as a reaction to the perceived need for a common approach for banks active in the export finance on regulatory matters and broad market changes. It had its origins in the efforts to add export finance to the ICC Trade Register (the global industry database of default and recovery rates for trade and export finance). As the Trade Register discussions for export finance evolved, it became clear that there was space in the market for a broad, global platform for banks active in export credit agency (ECA) finance to engage in discussion, advocacy and stakeholder engagement.

https://www.gtreview.com/magazine/volume-17-issue-4/spotlight-icc-global-export-...


EXIM provides loan for natural gas project in Mozambique

(MACAUHUB, Macau, 30 September 2019) Despite overwhelming evidence that the proect will emit at least 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, causing climate chaos, the US Export and Import Bank has approved a US$5 billion loan to support the export of domestic goods and services for the various phases of construction and development of the integrated liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique. Outlining the economic benefits to the USA, the EXIM statement issued in Washington said that this loan will support an estimated 16,400 jobs over the five-year period of the construction of the two natural gas processing plants and additional supplier facilities in the states of Texas, New York. York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and the District of Columbia. The bank added that granting this loan would represent US$600 million in revenue to the US Treasury, including fees and interest charged to the borrower, the Mozambique LNG1 Financing Company Ltd. This company, which is owned by a group of sponsors, previously included the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation group, acquired in August by US group Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

https://macauhub.com.mo/2019/09/30/pt-banco-federal-dos-eua-concede-emprestimo-p...


EXIM signs MoU with Iraq

(MENAFN, Amman, 19 October 2019) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Finance of the government of Iraq aimed at rebuilding Iraq and enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The MOU replaces the previous agreement signed in Kuwait in February 2018 and increases the total amount of EXIM financing potentially available under the MOU from $3 billion up to a total of $5 billion.

https://menafn.com/1099151231/EXIM-signs-MoU-with-Iraq


Why finance and insurance is a key barrier to SMEs that want to export

(Telegraph, London, 23 October 2019) New research shows that many SMEs in the UK want to explore opportunities overseas, but are put off by the potential payment issues. More UK small businesses would happily export across the globe if they had the correct finance in place, and felt protected against late payments. This is the key takeaway from research by Capital Economics for UK Export Finance (UKEF), the government’s export credit agency set up to support companies that want to sell their products and services overseas.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/business-club/business/sme-exports/


What's New September 2019

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • EXIM finances massive LNG project that will cause climate chaos
  • UK Tory donor gets UKEF backing despite major fraud investigation
  • Paltry Climate Finance Provided and Mobilised by ECAs in 2013-17
  • $1.5 trillion global trade finance gap affecting SDG targets
  • 2017 Report to the U.S. Congress on Global Export Credit Competition
  • Export-Import Bank eyes expanded role with LNG sector
  • Will ECAs and Asian banks join the movement to decarbonise shipping
  • OeKB readies debut SRI bond
  • Iridium lands seven-year, $738.5 million Defense Department contract
  • Austrade and Export Finance Australia help defence companies go global
  • Afreximbank okays $500m for Nigerian manufacturers
  • Abu Dhabi's ADFD launches ECA
  • Iran's ECA Covers $1b Exports in 5 Months
  • India, Russia identify new prospects for ECA led cooperation

EXIM finances massive LNG project that will cause climate chaos

(FOE USA, Washington, 27 September 2019) The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s (EXIM) Board of Directors voted late yesterday to provide $5 billion in financing for a liquid natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique, making it the largest federal subsidy for a fossil fuel project in the bank’s history. This final vote by the board follows a preliminary vote last month and a 35-day Congressional review period. The board’s vote comes as U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) led delegation letters opposing the project. Despite the opposition, EXIM charged forward with this massive fossil fuel project, which EXIM admits will directly emit at least 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. “EXIM’s irresponsible approval of $5 billion for LNG development in Mozambique, despite Congressional opposition, demonstrates how the bank  puts fossil fuel profits above the health of local communities and the planet,” said Kate DeAngelis, Senior International Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Congress now has the power to end EXIM’s support for fossil fuels if it chooses to reauthorize the agency.” Although natural gas is often touted as a cleaner fuel than coal, when you take into account the leaks involved in extraction, transportation, processing and burning of LNG it is not better for the climate than coal. Yet, the head of the EXIM board, Kimberly Reed, voiced her strong support for the industry. A 2016 Oxford study found that for the world to have a 50 percent chance of staying within internationally agreed limits for global warming, no new fossil fuel plants could be built after 2017.

https://foe.org/news/world-leaders-discuss-climate-action-u-s-government-finance...


UK Tory donor gets UKEF backing despite major fraud investigation

(The Independent, London, 27 September 2019) An oil company run by Ayman Asfari, the chief executive of Petrofac, a major Tory donor who met with Boris Johnson, has had a billion pound deal underwritten by UK Export Finance (UKEF) despite it being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Despite the company being embroiled in scandal, it has secured a £733.5m loan guarantee from  UKEF which is responsible for underwriting the loan which helped secure a £1.6bn contract to develop the Duqm refinery project in Oman. According to Electoral Commission figures, Mr Asfari and his wife have donated £860,450 in cash to the party since 2009. Petrofac’s former global head of sales, David Lufkin, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of bribery earlier this year after offering cash payments to middlemen to secure lucrative refinery contracts worth £4.2bn in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In 2017 the UK Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into Petrofac relating to suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering. UKEF is not the only ECA supporting this project. The Dutch company Boskalis Westminster Dredging BV received an export credit insurance from Atradius DSB on 15 January 2018 for the “Design, procurement and construction of marine infrastructure and dredging works. Duqm Liquid Bulk Berths project. Port of Duqm, Al Wusta region. The project entails a new liquid bulk terminal to handle the import and export of crude and other hydrocarbons.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ayman-asfari-boris-johnson-tory-d...


Paltry Climate Finance Provided and Mobilised by ECAs in 2013-17

(OECD, Paris, 13 September 2019) This OECD report estimates annual volumes of climate finance provided and mobilised by developed countries for developing countries in 2013-17. These estimates include bilateral and multilateral public finance, official-supported export credits and mobilised private finance. It is consistent with the outcome of the UNFCCC COP24 on modalities for the accounting of financial resources provided and mobilised through public interventions. Of US$244 billion over 4 years, only 2.8% was provided by ECAs. By contrast, ECAs are one of the largest sources of public financing for fossil fuel projects worldwide, providing billions more for dirty energy than for renewable energy. In so doing, ECAs undercut international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions including those mentioned above. In 2009 developed countries committed to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020 for climate action in developing countries. Insufficient progress in climate change mitigation is driving the climate system into unchartered territory with severe projected consequences.

https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/climate-finance-provided-and-mobilised...


$1.5 trillion global trade finance gap affecting SDG targets

(Down to Earth, New Delhi, 4 September 2019) A stubbornly high $1.5 trillion global trade finance gap is hampering efforts to achieve the United Nations-mandated sustainable development goals (SDG), especially those pertaining to women’s economic empowerment, job creation and inclusive growth, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The sixth-edition of the Trade Finance Gap, Growth, and Job Survey released on September 3, 2019, is based on responses from 112 banks from 47 countries, 53 export credit agencies from 17 countries and 336 firms from 68 countries. The large market gap for trade finance has affected women entrepreneurs more than men as they face the most rejection while applying for trade finance to expand their operations. The report showed that applications of 38 per cent male-owned firms were rejected, while for women entrepreneurs it was 44 per cent. Once rejected, 60 per cent women-owned firms were less likely to seek alternative finance.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/economy/-1-5-trillion-global-trade-finance-g...


2017 Report to the U.S. Congress on Global Export Credit Competition

(EXIM, Washington, June 2018) This recently "discovered" 77 page report represents the second consecutive year in which the Competitiveness Report focuses on the changes other export credit agencies (ECAs) are making to enhance their competitiveness and the impact that EXIM’s absence from the LT market is having on the U.S. export community. To these points, the 2017 Competitiveness Report contains the following findings:

  1.  Outside of the United States, ECAs are no longer viewed predominately as transaction-oriented, reactive lenders of last resort. Instead, foreign ECAs are increasingly being “weaponized”—specifically organized and equipped to be maximally flexible and proactive in order to incentivize a shift in sourcing or support trade policy, particularly in key industries.
  2. The continued competitive pressure applied by the scale and flexibility of the Asian ECAs, particularly those from China, feeds the “sea change” in Europe among governments seeking to reinvent export credit support as their economies become more dependent on exports for growth
  3. ECAs are using new programs and flexibilities to compete. Prevalent tools include (a) “pump-priming” programs under which an ECA identifies a foreign company that could import more from the ECA’s country and offers these companies what is essentially a line of credit
  4. The change in stance among ECAs is taking place in a marketplace populated by ever-wider participation from other suppliers of commercial financing
  5. As reported by stakeholders, EXIM’s absence has disproportionately hurt smaller U.S. sub-suppliers along the supply chains of large exporters.
https://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/reports/competitiveness_reports/2018/EX...


Export-Import Bank eyes expanded role with LNG sector

(S&P Global, Washington, 30 August 2019) The US Export-Import Bank could become a new source of support for US LNG export projects working to secure long-term contracts and financing, according to industry officials involved in recent discussions with the bank leadership. Ex-Im Bank Chairman Kimberly Reed met by teleconference with US LNG trade group officials August 21 to discuss ways the bank could help boost the volume of domestic LNG exports. Whether the bank can successfully expand its role hinges in part on getting attention from Congress to keep the bank fully operating past the end of September when its authorization runs out.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/08301...


Will ECAs and Asian banks join the movement to decarbonise shipping

(Eco-Business, Singapore, 25 September 2019) Three months ago, 11 international banks including Citi, Société Générale and ING signed a framework to promote responsible ship finance called the Poseidon Principles whose framework will tie shipping finance to climate targets that are in line with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) goal to halve shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Two state-owned Chinese banks, the Bank of China and Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim), are the biggest lenders to shipping, according to Petrofin Research, which monitors the industry. Other major Asian players include the Export-Import Bank of Korea, China Development Bank and even Singapore’s DBS Bank.

https://www.eco-business.com/news/will-asias-banks-join-the-movement-to-decarbon...


OeKB readies debut SRI bond

(Global Capital, London, 5 September 2019) OeKB, Austria’s export credit agency, will go on roadshow next week to present its recently established sustainability bond framework to European investors. BNP Paribas, Danske Bank, HSBC and UniCredit won the mandate and will arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings across Europe, commencing on Friday, September 13. An inaugural bond in the format is expected to follow. A debut euro benchmark sustainability bond in an intermediate maturity may follow subject to market conditions, which will be OeKB’s first ever socially responsible investment (SRI) bond. Under its sustainability bond framework, OeKB can issue green, social and sustainability bonds. OekB has a long-term annual funding requirement of €5bn, comprising two to three benchmark issues, private placements, medium term notes, and issuance in other strategic markets such as sterling and Australian dollars. It has a focus on maturities of up to 10 years. Sustainability Bonds are bonds where the proceeds will be exclusively applied to finance or re-finance a combination of both Green and Social Projects as defined by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) guidelines.

https://www.globalcapital.com/article/b1h0y596w17r6t/oekb-readies-debut-sri-bond


Iridium lands seven-year, $738.5 million Defense Department contract

(Space News, 16 September 2019) The U.S. government signed a seven-year $738.5 M agreement with Iridium Communications for unlimited use of the McLean, Virginia-based firm’s mobile communications constellation to ensures continuity for voice, data, broadcast and other services to Defense Department and associated users. Iridium borrowed $1.8 billion in 2010 from a syndicate of banks through a credit facility from BPIAE (formerly Coface), which it used to finance the purchase of 81 satellites from Franco-Italian manufacturer Thales Alenia Space. The company still owes $1.63 billion under the credit facility. Finalization of the EMSS contract would pave the way for Iridium to refinance the French export-credit loans it used to fund its $3 billion second-generation constellation, Iridium Next, that it finished deploying in January.

https://spacenews.com/iridium-lands-seven-year-738-5-million-defense-department-...


Austrade and Export Finance Australia help defence companies go global

(Mirage News, 6 September 2019) Government support for Australia’s defence industries is on the increase, as two government agencies extend collaboration. Under the Australian Government’s Defence Export Strategy , Austrade and Export Finance Australia – formerly Efic – are expanding support for Australian defence businesses. With additional co-ordination and resources from the Australian Defence Export Office, the two agencies are working more closely to help Australian defence companies grow overseas. From 1 July 2019, Efic’s trading name changed to Export Finance Australia.
https://www.miragenews.com/insight-austrade-and-export-finance-australia-help-de...


Afreximbank okays $500m for Nigerian manufacturers

(Business AM, Lagos, 4 September 2019) The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has approved a $500 million facility to enable Nigerian manufacturers take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Benedict Oramah, its president & chairman of board of directors of Afreximbank  said the $500 million facility was aimed at providing financing to Nigerian manufacturers and companies engaged in intra-African trade under the AfCFTA, which implementation begins in 2020. AfCFTA seeks to create a continental trade bloc of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3 trillion.

https://www.businessamlive.com/afcfta-afreximbank-okays-500m-for-nigerian-manufa...


Abu Dhabi's ADFD launches ECA

(The National, Abu Dhabi, 9 September 2019) Abu Dhabi has launched an export credit agency that will provide guarantees and finance to overseas buyers of UAE goods and services, as the emirate looks to diversify its economy and develop non-oil revenue lines. Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), an autonomous national entity affiliated with the emirate’s government, will own and operate Abu Dhabi Exports Office (Adex), which was established through consultation with the Export–Import Bank of Korea. The UAE, which accounts for about 4.5 per cent of the global oil production, is transforming its economy by strengthening its non-oil exports to generate new revenue.

https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/abu-dhabi-s-adfd-launches-export-cre...


Iran's ECA Covers $1b Exports in 5 Months

 (Financial Tribune, Tehran, 1 September 2019) The Export Guarantee Fund of Iran covered non-oil exports worth $1 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year (started in mid-March), head of EGFI said.The figure shows 60% growth in the export credit agency insurance cover compared to the similar period last year, according to EGFI website.EGFI expects to increase coverage to $2.5 billion by the end of this fiscal year [March 2020), Afrouz Bahrami told a seminar on promoting exports during sanctions. According to media reports, EGFI is able to cover export risk to the tune of $2.3 billion or 5% of the Iran’s $40 billion non-oil export market. She ascribed the significant growth in the performance of EGFI to increase in the number of applications for covering risk emanated from US sanctions, diversification of guarantee services, customizing services to make them compatible with expert requirements and rising promotional activity of the fund.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/business-and-markets/99686/irans-eca-cover...


India, Russia identify new prospects for ECA led cooperation

(Elets Technomedia, Noida Uttar Pradesh, 4 September 2019) With bilateral trade between India and Russia showing a robust growth, growing by 17% to $ 11 billion in 2018 alone, Russian Export Centre (REC) is focusing on providing a wide range of financial and non-financial support in order to realize the full potential of the bilateral trade between the two countries by improving export conditions and leveling existing trade barriers. Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR JSC) and ROSEXIMBANK JSC, are the shareholders in REC.

https://egov.eletsonline.com/2019/09/india-russia-identify-new-prospects-for-bil...


What's New August 2019

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

Questions? Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Export Development Canada: Out from the shadows
  • Civil society groups call for an accountability mechanism for the Equator Principles
  • US Exim: A decade-long renewal or axe it entirely?
  • US Export-Import Bank Hopes to Finance US$5 B Mozambique LNG project
  • South Africa: European governments ‘must pay back the arms deal money’
  • Tiny Timor-Leste Needs Gas and China's All Too Eager to Help
  • Russian Export Center to support Belarus' export to third countries
  • Bauxite exports from Guinea to UAE begin with ECA support
  • KfW IPEX-Bank arranges €2.6bn financing for Dream Cruises newbuilds
  • China Everbright invites TDB to co-manage $1bn energy fund
  • Etihad Credit Insurance inks MoU with South Africa’s export credit agency
  • Iran's Private Firms Want Stronger Export Credit Agency
  • African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) signs MoUs with Japanese banks and NEXI

Export Development Canada: Out from the shadows

(Above Ground, Ottawa 29 August 2019) For decades, Export Development Canada (EDC) has been subject to minimal public scrutiny, with media and Parliament rarely asking questions about the social and environmental costs of the business it supports. But recently, with some of the agency’s highest-profile clients facing charges of wrongdoing, that’s started to change, prompting reporters and lawmakers to question EDC’s screening practices. EDC is one of the largest export credit agencies in the world, providing roughly $100 billion in loans, insurance and other financial services to Canadian and foreign companies every year. It facilitates business in nearly every sector, including those widely recognized as high-risk for corruption, human rights abuse and environmental harm. Last year over 40 percent of EDC’s support went to companies involved in oil and gas, mining, construction and infrastructure. EDC’s track record of questionable business deals goes back decades. Without strong oversight of EDC’s operations, the government runs the risk of facilitating harmful and illegal activities that are too often present in these industries. It also risks putting Canada in breach of its international obligations, such as its duty to avoid contributing to human rights abuse.

https://aboveground.ngo/eye-on-edc/


Civil society groups call for an accountability mechanism for the Equator Principles

(Bank Track, Nijmegen, 27 August 2019) 79 civil society organisations and partners have submitted a joint statement to the Equator Principles Association (EPA) and signatory banks expressing disappointment that the current review process of the Equator Principles does not go far enough to strengthen accountability and ensure access to remedy. With the EPA currently revising the fourth iteration of the Equator Principles, the “EP4” review should be a moment of ambition for advancing accountability in project finance. Other notable submissions to the Equator Principles review process have also been made by the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and First Peoples WorldwideSince a number of ECAs subscribe to the Equator Principles too, and ECAs also use the underlying IFC Performance Standards as a benchmark, this joint statement is relevant to ECA practices as well.

https://www.banktrack.org/article/civil_society_groups_call_for_an_accountabilit...


US Exim: A decade-long renewal or axe it entirely?

(Global Trade Review, London, 16 August 2019) Two US senators have proposed a bill to reauthorise the US Export-Import Bank (US Exim) for 10 years over the traditional four, as the bank’s expiry date of September 30 inches closer. The plan, which is gaining widespread support and attention across the US and comes after legislation negotiated by House Financial Services chairwoman Maxine Waters flopped, also increases US Exim’s exposure cap over seven years to US$175bn from US$135bn. After regaining its full lending powers in May to the delight of exporters across the US and the dismay of republicans in Congress who see EXIM as “corporate welfare” which only benefits large businesses looking to score overseas sales, the expiry date for US Exim is now creeping up as its charter must be renewed, or indeed axed, next month. “With 95% of our customers located overseas, competitive export financing is critical to maintaining a level playing field with our competitors. Boeing supports reauthorising the Export-Import Bank, which helps US manufacturers create jobs and compete in a global market,” a spokesperson for Boeing tells GTR in response to the approaching expiry date. Boeing intends to offer financial services to some of its international clients if Congress doesn’t give approval for further operations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/us-exim-a-decade-long-renewal-or-axe-it-e...


US Export-Import Bank Hopes to Finance US$5 B Mozambique LNG project

(AllAfrica, Maputo, 25 August 2019) The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM US) has voted to notify the US Congress of its consideration of a five billion dollar loan to support the export of US goods and services for the development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the Afungi Peninsula, in Palma district, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. EXIM US estimates that the US$5 B loan "could support an estimated 16,400 American jobs over the five-year construction period. Through follow-on sales, thousands of additional jobs may be generated across the United States" and "through fees and interest earned, the transaction also could create more than 600 million dollars in revenue for U.S. taxpayers". The borrower would be the Mozambique LNG1 Financing Company, whose owners include the Anadarko Petroleum Company, which heads the consortium developing Area One of the Rovuma Basin, including the construction of the gas liquefaction factories on the Afungi Peninsula. Anadarko was recently purchased by another US company, the Occidental Petroleum Corporation. A 2016 Friends of the Earth report (pdf) noted that: "With their farmland and fishing grounds being taken by multinational corporations, entire communities will lose their homes, land, and livelihoods. Locals will receive very few jobs, and an influx of workers from other countries and other parts of Mozambique will likely bring an increase in diseases, including sexually transmitted infections, and place a strain on already limited health-care and education resources. Friends of the Earth further notes that “By approving $5 billion in fossil fuel financing, EXIM is accelerating the climate crisis while causing local environmental damage and propelling human rights violations in Mozambique,”

https://allafrica.com/stories/201908260219.html


South Africa: European governments ‘must pay back the arms deal money’

(The Citizen, Johannesburg, 22 August 2019) The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has set aside the findings of the Seriti commission on Wednesday, delivering a scathing judgment that it had failed in fulfilling its mandate. The High Court judgment on the findings of the commission lamented that the arms deal inquiry had never been set up to investigate the truth, but only to clear the names of those implicated. Long-time critic Terry Crawford-Browne said yesterday that South Africa should cancel all still-outstanding arms deal contracts, return all purchased goods – including the fighter aircraft – and recover the stolen money from the arms deal. This includes cancellation of still-outstanding arms deal commitments, such as the 20-year Barclays Bank loan agreements for the BAE Hawk and BAE/Saab Gripen fighter aircraft that are guaranteed by the British government’s Export Credit Guarantee Department (now known as UK Finance),” he said.

https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/crime/2169854/european-governments-must-...


Tiny Timor-Leste Needs Gas and China's All Too Eager to Help

(Bloomberg, Suai, 28 August 2019) Colonized by Portugal, invaded by Indonesia, suckered by Australia, Timor-Leste doesn’t need another abusive relationship. But the clock is now ticking for Timor-Leste to find international funding for a $12 billion energy project so work can start before its existing oil cash cow — a separate nearby gas field — becomes defunct as soon as 2021. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips have given up on the project after more than two decades, selling their stakes back to the government last year. Twenty years on from a referendum that brought independence from Indonesia after a brutal quarter-century conflict killed an estimated 100,000 people, Timor-Leste’s birthing pains are evident everywhere. With almost half its 1.2 million people living in poverty, the aging war heroes still in charge are now betting big on a risky energy project that could draw one of the world’s youngest nations into a wider geopolitical tussle between the West and China. Fitch Solutions estimates the project, which has been under negotiation for more than a decade, has enough reserves to yield $50 billion in revenue at today’s prices—more than 15 times the country’s gross domestic product. But there’s one big problem: President Gusmao, 73, has insisted the project is built onshore to create much-needed jobs. For energy giants, that’s unfeasible because it requires laying pipeline across a trough to depths of 3,300 meters. That’s making the U.S. nervous China will use debt as a way in to bolster its regional footprint. Timor Gap, which is responsible for developing the on-shore part of Tasi Mane, says it’s arranging $9 billion of the $12 billion needed to fund the Greater Sunrise project, and it’s agnostic about where the money will come from. It’s denied media reports that the funds would come from Export-Import Bank of China. See also Timor-Leste Should Beware China's Belt and Road.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-08-28/timor-leste-gas-development-i...


Russian Export Center to support Belarus' export to third countries

(Belarus News, Minsk, 21 August 2019) The Russian Export Center intends to support Belarus-Russia integration projects on advancing to the markets of third countries. Plans are in place to sign a cooperation agreement with Eximgarant of Belarus, which will help lower costs of financing thanks to reducing the number of intermediaries, and will facilitate development of trade and export operations. One of the promising cooperation areas is promoting export to Egypt. The Russian Export Center has been authorized to implement the project to establish a Russian industrial zone in Egypt. It provides for setting up an industrial facility of 525 hectares in the East Port Said Industrial Zone located in the Suez Canal Special Economic Zone. The project will enable Russian exporters and suppliers to localize production in Egypt. The Russian Export Center is ready to support Belarusian enterprises which eye the African market. The Russian Export Center is a state institute established to support non-commodity export. Last year, the center provided around $19 billion to promote Russian export, and $1.33 billion to finance joint trade operations with Belarus.

https://eng.belta.by/economics/view/russian-export-center-to-support-belarus-exp...


Bauxite exports from Guinea to UAE begin with ECA support

(Emirates News Agency, Abu Dhabi, 5 August 2019) The UAE's Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) today announced the first exports of bauxite ore from Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), its mining project in Guinea in West Africa, marking the completion of EGA’s strategic expansion upstream in the aluminium value chain to create an integrated global aluminium giant. The GAC project, and UAE's Abu Dhabi Al Taweelah alumina refinery, where production began April, create new revenue streams and secure raw materials that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs. The GAC project cost some US$1.4 billion to develop with a $750 million loan taken from development finance institutions, export credit agencies, and international commercial banks. EGA invested some $3.3 billion to develop the Al Taweelah refinery, the first in the UAE and  only the second in the Middle East. GAC’s operations include a mine, railway infrastructure, and port facilities. It is expected to produce some 12 million tonnes of bauxite ore per year at full design capacity, equivalent to the weight of two Great Pyramids of Giza. Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite.

https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395302778838


KfW IPEX-Bank arranges €2.6bn financing for Dream Cruises newbuilds

(Seatrade Cruise News, Colchester, 16 August 2019) KfW IPEX-Bank is leading a consortium to structure the financing for Genting Hong Kong’s two newbuilds for Dream Cruises at the MV Werften shipyard. The multi-ECA financing package comprises around €2.6bn toward the total cost of €3.1bn for the first two Global-class ships. Their deliveries are now scheduled for early 2021 and early 2022, instead of late 2020. The financing will be backed by export credit guarantees from Germany, the Finnish export credit agency Finnvera and the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, home to MV Werften. It also benefits from the commercial interest reference rate for ships in accordance with the OECD consensus.

https://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/kfw-ipex-bank-arranges-e2-6b...


China Everbright invites TDB to co-manage $1bn energy fund

(The Mast, Livingstone, 28 August 2019) Zambia's Trade Development Bank has been invited by a Chinese investment group, China Everbright,  as co-managers of a US$1 billion Green Fund which will focus on green energy projects in Africa. The TDB, an Eastern and Southern African developmental bank founded in Zambia 35 years ago, has also signed a $350 million 10-to-20-year export credit line with Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC). Admassu Tadesse, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, said with this the TDA, would be glad to join in the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Power Dam Project in Mukuni’s chiefdom. Part of the credit line will be covered by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), one of Japan’s two official export credit agencies, with JBIC.

https://www.themastonline.com/2019/08/28/china-everbright-invites-tdb-to-co-mana...


Etihad Credit Insurance inks MoU with South Africa’s export credit agency

(Thomson Reuters Middle East, Dubai, 28 June 2019) UAE – Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with South Africa’s Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) to explore, strengthen, and enhance the bilateral trade and economic relations between the UAE and South Africa.

https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/economy/story/Etihad_Credit_Insurance_inks_MoU_wit...


Iran's Private Firms Want Stronger Export Credit Agency

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 17 August 2019) In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, private sector representatives have called on government to give more authority to the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran with regard to issuing export guarantees, according to the EGFI chief. The export credit agency says it can provide export guarantees to non-oil exporters to substitute banks’ letters of credit at a time when the economy is saddled with mounting economic and banking restrictions imposed by the United States.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/business-and-markets/99467/irans-private-f...


African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) signs MoUs with Japanese banks and NEXI

On the side lines of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7), ATI signed MoUs with Japan’s three largest banks and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency; ATI and NEXI announced at TICAD7 the launch of a Japan Desk to be based in ATI’s Nairobi headquarters in order to provide tailored risk-mitigation support to Japanese companies and investors; ATI has a current pipeline of over US$1 Bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks.

https://www.africanews.com/2019/08/30/african-trade-insurance-agency-ati-nippon-...


What's New July 2019

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

£7.8bn of UK foreign aid and export credit spent on fossil fuel projects

 (Guardian, London, 23 July 2019) The British government has spent £680m of its foreign aid budget on fossil fuel projects since 2010, according to analysis that highlights the UK’s failure to align diplomatic, trade and aid policies with the goals of the Paris climate agreement. Britain allocated more overseas development cash to oil and gas in the two years after signing the 2015 agreement than it had in the previous five, according to the study commissioned by the Catholic development agency Cafod and carried out by the Overseas Development Institute. From 2010-17 the UK provided £7.8bn in financial support to foreign energy projects through a mixture of overseas development assistance, export credit guarantees and other official funding flows. The report says 60% of this total went on fossil fuels. Most of this came in the form of export credit guarantees by UK Export Finance. An earlier analysis by DeSmog UK, an investigative environmental journalism outlet, found an elevenfold increase in UK Export Finance support for overseas fossil fuel projects last year, including oil and gas operations in Oman, Kuwait and Brazil.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/23/680m-of-uk-foreign-aid-spent...


Chinese ECA underwrites US$46 bln Chinese firms' businesses in Africa

(Xinhua, Beijing 2 JJuuly 2019) China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation has underwritten 46.08 billion U.S. dollars worth of insured businesses made by Chinese enterprises in Africa from 2018 to the end May of this year, China Securities Journal reported. Of the total, the insurer offered 26.27 billion U.S. dollars of short-term exports credit insurance and 10.11 billion U.S. dollars of medium-and long-term export credit insurance for exporters, said the paper quoting the latest data from the corporation. The company's insurance for overseas investment totaled 9.7 billion U.S. dollars in the period. During the period, the insurer paid compensation worth of 260 million U.S. dollars for companies in multiple sectors, including railways, roads, power, medicare and education.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-07/02/c_138192475.htm


UAE ECA and Italy partner with Chinese financial institutions to boost trade

(Islamic Business and Finance, Dubai, 25 July 2019) UAE ECA Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) has signed partnership agreements with China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of China to boost trade, investments and bilateral exports between the UAE and China. Under the agreement between ECI and SINOSURE, both countries agreed to collaborate in the areas of insurance and co-insurance, commercial information and credit opinion sharing as well as Shari’ah-compliant solutions, trade promotions and SME programmes. According to the Ministry of Economy, China is the UAE’s main non-oil commodities trade partner accounting for 9.7 per cent of the non-oil bilateral trade in 2018, estimated at over $43 billion. China and Italy have also agreed to enhance financial market cooperation and promote two-way financial market access with support for a cooperation mechanism between their export credit agencies, leading enterprises and financial institutions to provide tailored financing-insurance solutions for cooperation.

https://www.islamicbusinessandfinance.net/en/home/articles/eci-partners-with-thr...


'Hidden debts’ reveal risks of China’s lending spree

(Asia Times, Hong Kong, 23 July 2019) China's US$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative, along with other foreign funding, has become a magical mystery tour, baffling the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Or, according to critics, a diplomatic car crash waiting to happen. “Compared with China’s dominance in world trade, its expanding role in global finance is poorly documented and understood,” a report released last week by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, noting that "Over the past decades, China has exported record amounts of capital to the rest of the world". Many of these financial flows are not reported to the IMF, the BIS [the Bank for International Settlements] or the World Bank.” China is now the world’s largest creditor. A breakdown of the numbers showed that lending soared to around US$5 trillion by 2018 from roughly $500 billion in 2000, which dwarfs World Bank and IMF credit lines. China is not part of the OECD Export Credit Group, which provides data on long- and short-term trade credit flows. In the past 18 months, the venture has been mired in controversy after being branded a “debt trap” by the US and its key Western allies. The ruling Communist Party has announced plans to expand its anti-corruption campaign to BRI projects. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had limited involvement in the program but that is starting to change and its Director General for international cooperation has stated “[We aim to] create a network of law enforcement of all these Belt and Road countries”. Asia Times askes "Will this long and winding road finally have flashing warning signs of “debt” and “corruption?” Or will this continue to be a highway to economic hell? BRI nations might want to buckle up for a bumpy ride."

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/07/article/hidden-debts-reveal-risks-of-chinas-le...


Behind Russia’s growing influence in Africa

(The Independent, Kampala, 8 July 2019) Russia hosted the Annual General Meeting for the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) on June 20-22, the second AGM to be held out of Africa since 2012 in China. The Russian Export Center (REC), purchased shares in Afreximbank in 2017 at an undisclosed amount, becoming the bank’s third-largest non-African financial institution. As Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, hosts more than 50 African presidents for the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on Oct. 24, top on the agenda will be how to sustain the economic and political ties between the two trading blocs in the wake of declining oil prices and increasing isolation of the transcontinental nation. Whereas Russia’s presence in Africa had weakened in the 1990s, the country had since then done a great deal of groundwork on joint projects in geology and mining, energy, industry, agriculture, fishing and telecommunications, with total investments now standing at US$20bn. Russia’s economy has been on a standstill for a while, with statistics showing that from 2014 to 2018, its GDP grew at an average of 0.4% per annum, with real disposable incomes declining by 10.7% leaving 19 million of the 145 million Russian population in poverty during the same period. On the other hand, Africa’s GDP has been growing at an average of more than 3%, making it one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Moscow, which had a strong influence in Africa alongside US and China, had frozen its relations with the continent following the collapse of the USSR in 1991. It however remains to be seen how far Russia’s reconnection with the continent will go given that China, India, and especially the United States have intensified their involvement in Africa over the last three decades. Russia’s export values to Africa have nearly doubled over the last five years from US$9.3bn in 2014 to US$17.5bn in 2018 while Russian imports from Africa have stagnated, increasing from merely US$2.8bn to US$2.9bn during the same period. Most of Russia's exports to Africa are medicine, food, forestry products, automotive and mixed fertilizer. Since 2015, according to the Swedish Defence Research Agency, Russia has signed over 20 bilateral military cooperation agreements with African states including; Rwanda, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea. Between 2012 and 2016, Russia had become the largest supplier of arms to Africa, accounting for 35% of arms exports to the region, followed by China (17 %), the United States (9.6%), and France (6.9 %).  Some of Russia’s companies that have made inroads in Africa include; Gazprom, Lukoil, Rostec and Rosatom, with most of their operations in Uganda, Algeria, Angola, Egypt and Nigeria. Egypt has also finalised negotiations with Moscow to build the country’s first nuclear plant, while in Namibia, Moscow is developing one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum group metals.

https://www.independent.co.ug/behind-russias-growing-influence-in-africa/


Federal review of EDC finds inadequate disclosure practices

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 2 July 2019) A federal review of Export Development Canada has exposed serious shortcomings at the Crown corporation, noting its disclosure practices fall far short of other financial institutions, and that the agency is not legally obligated to consider the environmental or human-rights impact of the financial support it provides to exporters. The findings underscore concerns uncovered in a recent Globe and Mail investigation. The Globe reported that the EDC’s client roster includes companies that have faced allegations concerning corruption, human-rights violations and environmental abuses; the federal agency has demonstrated a tendency to continue supporting such companies after other financial institutions have sanctioned them or cut them loose. Critics have also raised concerns about transparency and federal oversight of the Crown corporation. “Ottawa must impose rules on this Crown corporation to make it transparent and accountable,” Lori Waller, spokesperson for Ottawa-based human rights group Above Ground, said in a statement. “Without strong oversight of its export credit agency, the government risks profiting from harmful and illegal business activities. The law should prohibit EDC from supporting companies involved in corruption, human rights abuse or environmental harm.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-federal-review-slams-export-devel...


EDC lifts "closed" status on Saudi Arabia-related business

(Reuters, Toronto, 3 July 2019) Canada's export credit agency has lifted a "closed" status on Saudi Arabia-related activity after almost a year of frosty relations between the two countries, citing improved business conditions in the Middle Eastern kingdom. The move by Export Development Canada (EDC) on Tuesday paves the way for the state-owned enterprise to resume support for exporters and investors in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia in August suspended new trade and investment with Canada after it urged Riyadh to release arrested civil rights activists, leading to a trade freeze and expulsion of diplomats. "After monitoring for several months we made the decision that business conditions have improved," Amy Minsky, a senior advisor at EDC, said on Wednesday. She noted that risk remains and there was not necessarily more business in the Saudi Arabian market. The EDC said its position on a country is determined among other things, by the Canadian government's assessment of "political, human rights and corruption risks."

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/canada-export-agency-lifts-closed-status-on-saudi...


EDC claims review clears them of SNC-Lavelin transaction wrongdoing

(iPolitics, Ottawa 25 July 2019) Canada’s export credit agency says a third-party investigation has cleared the organization of any wrongdoing in providing a political risk insurance policy to SNC-Lavalin in 2011 for a dam project in Angola. EDC said Thursday a review by international law firm Fasken failed to find evidence to support allegations that the corporation turned a blind eye to illegal payments allegedly made by SNC-Lavalin to someone it had retained to help secure a $250-million project repairing the hydroelectric Matala Dam. The allegations were first reported by the CBC earlier this year, citing an unnamed SNC-Lavalin insider. They came as the engineering and construction firm faced intense scrutiny for lobbying the upper-echelons of the Trudeau government to broker a deal that would allow it to avoid a criminal trial for bribery charges relating to its work in Libya.

https://ipolitics.ca/2019/07/25/third-party-review-clears-edc-of-wrongdoing-in-s...


As Brexit Looms, UK Doubles ECA Credit To Nigeria

(Sahara Reporters, New York, 24 July 2019) With Boris Johnson, who promised to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal if necessary now the country's prime minister, the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF), has increased the export credit finance agreement it signed with Nigeria in February 2018 by £500 million. In a statement made available to SaharaReporters, UKEF said it had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) that will "foster greater cooperation in trade through co-financing in the form of guarantees and insurance". In the last ten years, UKEF has enabled companies in Britain to export goods worth £76.5 billion to emerging markets like Nigeria. In 2018 alone, the agency provided guarantees worth £6.8 billion to 181 companies in 72 countries— its best result in 28 years.

http://saharareporters.com/2019/07/24/brexit-looms-uk-doubles-export-finance-cre...


The Poseidon Princples: Will They Affect ECAs?

(Hellenic Shipping News, Cyprus, 2 July 2019) The Poseidon Principles launched on the 18 June 2019, with founding signatories including Citi, DNB, Societe Generale, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea. Together they have a combined shipping loan portfolio of c. US$100bn – roughly 20% of the global total. Additional banks are expected to join them in the near future and it is hoped that ship lessors and financial guarantors including export credit agencies will also become signatories to the Poseidon Principles. The Poseidon Principles establish a global framework for assessing and disclosing whether ship finance portfolios align with the International Maritime Organisation‘s (“IMO”) goal of reducing shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050.

https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/the-poseidon-princples-will-they-affect-me/


U.S. Senate targets Ex-Im support for Saudi nuclear technology

(Foreign Policy, Washington, 30 July 2019) A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing new legislation aimed at restricting the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, the latest sign of growing congressional backlash to the Trump administration’s close relationship with the wealthy Gulf nation. The bill, put forward by Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, would bar the U.S. Export-Import Bank from financing the transfer of nuclear technology and equipment to Saudi Arabia, absent nuclear cooperation agreements, and adopting restrictive international standards to safeguard against nuclear proliferation. The Export-Import Bank plays a key role in funding the export of U.S. nuclear energy equipment and technology abroad.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/30/us-senate-targets-saudi-nuclear-technology-...


Foreign beer lovers get tanked with EXIM assistance

(Craft Brewing Business, Akron, 10 July 2019) Craft breweries are promoting Maine beers in international markets via the world’s largest mobile kegerator a 40-foot refrigerated shipping container which packs in 78 on tap beer tanks and carries local Maine beers to far-away destinations. Its maiden voyage was a trip to Iceland 3 years ago and traveled to Leeds, England last fall. All 4 participating breweries ended up with significant orders for their beer overseas. Traveling as one of many breweries on the Beer Box is one thing, but exporting tens of thousands dollars of beer overseas as an individual brewer can be challenging and exposes the company to risk and financing challenges. EXIM insurance policies allowed peace of mind to these small Maine companies regarding their greatest fear – not getting paid."

https://www.craftbrewingbusiness.com/featured/how-maine-craft-breweries-grew-the...


Pages