ECA Watch Newsletter

What's New January 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.

  • Parliamentary inquiry into UKEF Procedures and Submissions Available online    
  • Japan edges in on Belt and Road with $643m for Angolan port
  • Trans-Adriatic Pipeline completes successful €3.9 billion project financing
  • Afreximbank Lends $170 Million to Orascom for Pan-African Expansion
  • PNG leads wave of jumbo ECA project loans
  • Saudi Aramco Hiring Funding Advisers for a $5 Billion Project
  • Mozambique looks for LNG ECA financing despite market scepticism
  • Remember the Export-Import Bank
  • Extension of interest subsidy scheme to boost Indian export credits
  • NEXI insures UKEF credit for Boeing export to Colombia's Avianca
  • US Export-Import Bank reopens programs for Ukraine
  • Indonesia looks to ECA funding for aerial refuelling tanker-transports
  • Nord Stream 2 negotiating ECA loans worth 6 bln euros

Parliamentary inquiry into UKEF Procedures and Submissions Available online

(UK Parliament, London, January 2019) The Terms of Reference, membership, witness submissions, witness guidelines and the calendar of the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into UK Export Finance are now available online.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select


Japan edges in on Belt and Road with $643m for Angolan port

(Nikkei Asia Review, Tokyo, 9 January 2019) Trading company Toyota Tsusho and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation are joining forces on a port project in Angola that will be the largest of its kind for Japanese businesses. The plan is to raise 70 billion yen ($643 million) from both public and private lenders in Japan to help the African country fund the endeavor. The move comes as China steps up infrastructure development in Africa amid concerns that it is saddling developing countries with excessive debt.  Toyota plans to use Japanese equipment and materials to construct the port facility through a contract with the Angolan government, which will receive loans from export credit agency JBIC and other entities. To encourage private lenders to participate, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance is to insure the amounts they offer. The Japanese move is being seen as an attempt to challenge China’s dominant position in Angola.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Japan-edges-in-on-Belt-and-Road-with-643m-for-An...


Trans-Adriatic Pipeline completes successful €3.9 billion project financing

(AzerNews, Baku, 11 January 2019) A consortium for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) construction has successfully completed the financial closure of the project in 2018, receiving 3.9 billion euros. “The European Investment Bank (EIB), recognizing the important contribution of TAP to improving the security of energy supply in Europe, allocated 700 million euros for the implementation of this project. Reportedly, 17 commercial banks provide financing along with the EBRD and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Part of the financing is covered by export credit agencies - Bpifrance (450M Euros), Euler Hermes (280M Euros) and Sace (700M Euros), merchant banks (635M Euros) and EBRD (1 billion Euros). Costs have previously been funded by TAP’s shareholders: BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagás (16%) and Axpo (5%). There have been incidents of protests by both local citizens and government officials against the Trans Adriatic Pipeline.

https://www.azernews.az/oil_and_gas/143883.html


Afreximbank Lends $170 Million to Orascom for Pan-African Expansion

(Afreximbank, Cairo, 17 January 2019) The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a facility agreement lending $170 million to Egypt-based conglomerate Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) to assist the company expand its pan-African activities in pursuit of its short and medium-term expansion strategy. the transaction was a significant opportunity for OIH’s targeted investments in companies across Africa to support their transformation, increase their production capacity and produce higher quality exports through better value addition, especially in the agro-processing sector. Afreximbank has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses since 1994. Orascom Investment will explore business and investment opportunities referred to it by Afreximbank in such countries as Rwanda, Togo, Eretria, Nigeria and Sao Tome.

https://afreximbank.com/afreximbank-lends-170-million-to-orascom-for-pan-african...


PNG leads wave of jumbo ECA project loans

(Reuters, Sydney, 18 January 2019) The expansion of Papua New Guinea’s giant gas project is turning up the heat in the Asia Pacific project finance arena, with a slew of jumbo financings set to emerge from Oceania in the next 18 months. Stakeholders in the Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas project are in discussions with export credit agencies and commercial banks for up to US$9.8bn of debt to fund the next phase of the project, in what will be the region’s biggest project financing since 2010. Another major deal is also in the works as Australia Pacific LNG prepares to refinance US$3bn of project debt. JP Morgan has been named financial adviser. The long-awaited expansion of the PNG LNG project is estimated to cost around US$12bn-$14bn and involves construction of three new gas processing units, called trains, at the Papua New Guinea LNG plant. It is the largest resources-related borrowing in Oceania since March 2010, when the PNG LNG project raised US$14bn in initial funding from ECAs, commercial banks and lead sponsor and operator ExxonMobil. The US$1.95bn commercial portion attracted 17 banks. PNG LNG is already operational.

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL3N1ZI2UD


Saudi Aramco Hiring Funding Advisers for a $5 Billion Project

(Bloomberg, London, 17 January 2019) Satorp, the joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Total SA, hired Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Riyad Bank to help raise funds to develop a petrochemical facility in the kingdom. Financing for the $5 billion Amiral project is expected to be arranged from banks and export credit agencies. The facility will be in Jubail in the eastern province where the JV already operates a refinery and will convert fossil fuels into building blocks for plastics. Saudi Arabia is seeking to transform its oil-dependent economy by developing new industries, and is pushing into petrochemicals as a way to earn more from its energy deposits. The Amiral complex will be able to produce 2.7 million tons of chemicals annually and will be completed by late 2023 or early 2024. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, owns 62.5 percent of Satorp, while Total holds the rest.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-17/saudi-aramco-refinery-jv-said...


Mozambique looks for LNG ECA financing despite market scepticism

(Macauhub, Macau, 11 January 2019) The government of Mozambique has been involved in the last few weeks in intense negotiations with seven countries to secure funding for one of its largest natural gas projects and overcome scepticism about whether it will honour its debt commitments. The Rovuma Area 1, in the Rovuma Basin, involves an estimated investment of US$25 billion. The talks involve seven Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including Japan (JBIC), China (China ExIm), South Korea, USA (US-Exim), Germany [sic] (Atradius) and Italy (Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero – SACE). The ECAs are evaluating the possibility of funding the Rovuma Area 1 project, which is operated by Anadarko which has been the subject of multiple environmental cases. In discussing the risks of the LNG project, the government has ignored the threat posed by armed insurgent attacks in Cabo Delgado. Most international analysts believe that they will not threaten the projects; but the state’s inability to control the attacks affects the country’s image as a safe investment destination and a place for expatriates.

https://macauhub.com.mo/feature/mozambique-looks-for-lng-financing-despite-marke...


Remember the Export-Import Bank

(Eakinomics, Washington, 17 January 2019) The Export-Import Bank is due to be re-authorized in September 2019. The re-authorization of Ex-Im in 2015 became a pitched battle over whether it was an appropriate role for the government. While the arguments against market intervention make sense, until other countries scale back their use of ECAs, the Ex-Im Bank is a necessary evil to level the playing field. The decline in Ex-Im activity is clear in the graph (below)... there are about $30 billion in ECA activity in the G-7 and $50 billion among the BRIC countries. The bank is unable to approve any transactions greater than $10 million in value because it has not had a quorum of 3 voting board members since 2015. Given the lack of a quorum, as of Summer 2018, there are $43 billion in transactions awaiting approval. The administration resubmitted the nomination of Kimberly Reed to be president of the Ex-Im Bank and for Spencer Bachus III, Judith DelZoppo Pryor and Claudia Slacik to serve on its board of directors. All had been previously nominated by the administration, and the Senate Banking Committee had favorably reported them, but the full Senate did not take up their nominations.

https://www.americanactionforum.org/daily-dish/remember-the-export-import-bank


Extension of interest subsidy scheme to boost Indian export credits

(News Today, Chennai, 4 January 2019) The Indian government has to provide three per cent [export credit] interest subsidy to merchant exporters, entailing an expenditure of Rs600 crore (US$84 million), to enhance liquidity with a view to boosting outbound shipments. Sectors that will be benefited from the decision include agriculture, textiles, leather, handicraft and machinery. The interest equalisation or subsidy scheme for pre- and post-shipment rupee export credit started on 1 April, 2015 and will end in March 2020. Other news sources indicated that interest subsidies had dropped from Rs434 crore in 2017 to Rs197 crore in 2018 (US$60m to US$28M). The Union Cabinet in mid-Janurary committed to infusing US$840 million into the Exim Bank over 2 years and doubling its authorized capital from US$1.4 billion to US$2.8 billion (Rs10,000 crore to Rs20,000 crore)

https://newstodaynet.com/index.php/2019/01/04/extension-of-interest-subsidy-sche...


NEXI insures UKEF credit for Boeing export to Colombia's Avianca

(NEXI, Tokyo, 18 January 2019) Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) has decided to provide reinsurance on export credit provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the export credit agency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), for export of one Rolls Royce-powered Boeing 787-8 aircraft to Avianca S.A.. The provision of this reinsurance is based on the reinsurance agreement concluded between NEXI and UKEF on August 30, 2017.

https://www.nexi.go.jp/en/topics/newsrelease/2018121902.html


US Export-Import Bank reopens programs for Ukraine

(Kyiv Post, Kyiv, 8 January 2019) The Export-Import Bank of the United States has reopened its programs for Ukraine after a five year pause, the Washington-based U.S.-Ukraine Business Council stated. Through ten months of 2018 bilateral trade between Ukraine and the U.S grew slightly to $3.1 billion, in comparison to 2017’s $2.84 billion yearly total, according to official statistics. Leading U.S. exports to Ukraine in 2018 were coal ($655 million), motor vehicles ($260 million) and civilian aircraft ($217 million). In the same 10-month period, Ukraine’s top exports to the United States were iron products ($707 million) and sunflower products ($27.3 million).

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/us-export-import-bank-reopens-programs...


Indonesia looks to ECA funding for aerial refuelling tanker-transports

(Jane's Defence Weekly, Singapore, 25 January 2019) The Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) has completed a study on the country's aerial refuelling requirements and has proposed the acquisition of two new airframes for the service, outlining a budget requirement of about USD500 million, proposing that the funds be drawn down from foreign defence export credit loans. Jane's first reported in January 2018 that the TNI-AU had begun a preliminary study to compare the A330 multirole tanker-transport (MRTT) from Airbus and the KC-46A Pegasus from Boeing. Russia's four-engine Ilyushin Il-78 was also later included in the study.

https://www.janes.com/article/85954/indonesia-completes-technical-evaluation-for...


Nord Stream 2 negotiating ECA loans worth 6 bln euros

(TASS, Vienna, 29 January 2019) Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, is conducting negotiations to attract project financing worth 6 bln euros. Chief Financial Officer Paul Corcoran told reporters "We are still in discussions with export credit agencies." The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is expected to come into service at the end of 2019. The pipeline is set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore. It will go through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, thus bypassing transit countries of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic states. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The total cost of the project has been estimated at 9.5 bln euro. Nord Stream 2 AG, with Gazprom being the only shareholder, is the operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction project. Gazprom's European partners in the project are Germany’s Wintershall and Uniper, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie and Royal Dutch Shell.

http://tass.com/economy/1042221


What's New December 2018

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.

  • Industry group lobbies Ottawa for EDC insurance against First Nation rights consultations
  • Ottawa offers $1.6B EDC backstop for energy sector as political tensions with Alberta fester
  • MPs to examine environmental impact of UKEF
  • China and US DFIs/ECAs to battle for influence in African infrastructure lending
  • Right problem – wrong solution: The Chinese ECA threat to the multilateral official finance system
  • China's unbridled export of coal power imperils climate goals
  • TDB rolls out SME programme for women-led businesses in six African countries
  • Australia's secret arms deals with nations fighting Yemen's bloody war
  • Philippines edges towards procurement of Turkish combat helicoper
  • Mexico’s Pemex Targets Bank, ECA-Backed Financing in 2019
  • Boeing Sees More Growth in Aircraft Financing Demand
  • Brazil Freezes ECA Credit After Defaults From Cuba & Venezuela
  • BBVA signs first green-certified credit with cover from Spanish ECA
  • Saudi ECA supports Pakistan economy
  • Peru closes largest-ever ECA financing for state energy company
  • Developing countries biggest installers of renewables

Industry group lobbies Ottawa for EDC insurance against First Nation rights consultations

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 25 December 2018) Canada’s largest industry and trade association has asked the federal government to insure foreign investors against the risk their projects might be derailed by [mandatory] consultations with First Nations. The suggestion from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, which represents 1,200 companies, was among the farthest-reaching in hundreds made to a once-a-decade federal review of the Export Development Act, which governs the activities of Canada’s export credit agency. Successive court decisions have affirmed the federal government’s duty to consult Indigenous peoples when its actions may adversely affect their rights, and accommodate them if necessary. This still-evolving body of law has imposed significant responsibilities on governments across Canada relating to Crown-sponsored mining, energy, infrastructure and other projects, as well as private-sector projects that require government regulatory approvals. Disputes over the adequacy of consultations can lead to litigation and projects can grind to a halt. “To a foreign investor who does not understand these complex consultative processes, and has no real way of participating in them, it presents a high risk that dissuades their investment in projects,” Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters wrote in its submission. “EDC, who could be better positioned to understand such situations, could provide assurances to the foreign investor through some sort of guarantee.”  Canada's Assembly of First Nations said in a statement. “If Export Development Canada considers providing guarantees and other assurances to foreign investors to secure investment in projects, Canadian taxpayers may be left on the hook for paying compensation for projects that do not proceed due to faulty consultation processes.” [ECA-Watch commentary: It would appear that Canadian business wants EDC, an official public corporation, to guarantee private foreign investors' profits from potential violations of First Nations' rights.]

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-business-group-lobbies-ottawa-for...


Ottawa offers $1.6B EDC backstop for energy sector as political tensions with Alberta fester

(CBC News, Ottawa, 18 December 2018) The federal government is promising more than $1.6 billion — most of it in loans —  to support the ailing energy sector, but it's unlikely to ease the heightened political tension between Ottawa and Alberta. Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr made the announcement in Edmonton this morning. The bulk of the money — $1 billion in commercial support — comes from Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency. It's meant for oil and gas exporters who want to invest in new technologies and diversify their markets.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/energy-sector-package-sohi-1.4950619


MPs to examine environmental impact of UKEF

(EDIE, West Sussex, 3 December 2018) The [Parliamentary] Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the sustainability efforts being made by UK Export Finance (UKEF), following claims that the body's financing of fossil fuels overseas is at odds with the aims set out in the UK's Clean Growth Strategy. The Department has come under fire in recent years, with WWF arguing that the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by the projects it supports in developing nations are inconsistent with wider UK policies on decarbonisation. Indeed, UKEF is estimated to have provided an average of £551m in support of fossil fuel production overseas each year between 2014 and 2016 – accounting for 99.4% of all financial support offered for energy projects over the three-year period.

https://www.edie.net/news/6/MPs-to-examine-environmental-impact-of-UK-s-export-c...


China and US DFIs/ECAs to battle for influence in African infrastructure lending

(Infrastructure News, Johannesburg, 3 December 2018) The battle for influence on the continent between Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) from China and the United States is set to heat up over the next decade in a fierce competition that could help Africa bridge its vast infrastructure gap faster than expected. This is according to new research from global law firm Baker McKenzie. Together with data provider IJGlobal the report, titled A Changing World: New trends in emerging market infrastructure, shows that development finance lending from state-backed institutions is the most important component of infrastructure funding in sub-Saharan Africa. The report further  notes that China put US$8.7 billion in sub-Saharan Africa infrastructure projects in 2017 alone, while the US recently set up a new US$60 billion agency [USIDFC] to invest in developing countries. African Law and Business notes that competition between the US and China has been heating up within Africa. The US recently announced the establishment of a new development finance institution which will combine with the existing Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and bring a USD 60 billion budget with the explicit intention of competing with China. The new institution will be able to invest in equity, whereas OPIC has been limited to debt only. TFX News has even speculated that the US IDFC "could eventually incorporate US Exim".

http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2018/12/03/china-and-us-to-battle-for-influence-i...


Right problem – wrong solution: The Chinese ECA threat to the multilateral official finance system

(TFX News, London, 10 December 2018) Often priced at well below accepted market rates, Chinese official finance is a major hurdle to fair competition in the global export market. A growing number of governments are attempting to compete by circumventing OECD rules and blurring trade with aid. But adding more unfair trade practices risks the global official finance system self-combusting and ending any real chance of a lasting and fair resolution to the problem. While delegates dressed in matching stilettos and pinstripe suits would probably spice up your average OECD meeting, real ECA and DFI cross-dressing – the increasingly blurred lines between tied ECA support and untied multilateral/DFI support – is a serious and growing problem, and one that governments need to address. ECA/DFI cross-dressing is a reaction to a common issue for non-Chinese ECAs – how to compete with opaque official finance offerings from China, which has long been providing cheap debt, arguably at unrealistic market rates. During the past 10 years China has transformed itself from an aid recipient into the largest official financier of developing countries. But many OECD companies are rightly concerned about the completely unregulated official finance practices of China.

https://www.txfnews.com/News/Article/6618/Right-problem-wrong-solution-The-threa...


China's unbridled export of coal power imperils climate goals

(Science X, Isle of Man, 5 December 2018) Even as China struggles to curb domestic coal-fired power and the deadly pollution it produces, the world's top carbon emitter is aggressively exporting the same troubled technology to Asia, Africa and the Middle East, an investigation by AFP has shown. The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from these Chinese-backed plants could cripple global efforts to rein in global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels—especially coal, analysts warn. "China is a world leader in terms of embracing the policy and investment needs to progressively decarbonise its economy," said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). "But internationally, China continues to invest in a range of coal project in direct contradiction to its domestic energy strategy." China is not alone in peddling the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels beyond its borders. As of last month, South Korea and its export credit agencies were positioned to back 12 GW of coal-fired power abroad, and Japan was behind another 10, according to a research note from Han Chen, international energy policy manager at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-china-unbridled-export-coal-power.html


TDB rolls out SME programme for women-led businesses in six African countries

(ZDK-Solutions, Luxembourg, 11 December 2018) The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is rolling out a credit programme in six African countries to support women-led export-oriented SMEs. Among the first to benefit are Ethiopian businesses, following an agreement between TDB and Ethiopia’s Enat Bank. Under a memorandum of understanding, the two have agreed to set up a credit enhancement facility and work together to build a pipeline of SMEs which qualify for export credit support. Focusing on women-owned and managed businesses, the parties will run the programme in partnership with the Ethiopian Women Exporters Association.

http://zdk-solutions.com/zdk/tdb-rolls-out-sme-programme-for-women-led-businesse...


Australia's secret arms deals with nations fighting Yemen's bloody war

(ABC News, Sydney, 13 December 2018) The Australian Government has approved the export of dozens of shipments of military items to Middle Eastern countries embroiled in the bloody Yemen war, a conflict dogged by accusations of war crimes and indiscriminate civilian killings. Australia is exporting to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. FOI documents reveal Canberra is attempting to ramp up Australia's arms exports as part of a new defence strategy. Internal Defence Department documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) and from parliamentary hearings reveal since the beginning of 2016, Canberra has granted at least 37 export permits for military-related items to the United Arab Emirates, and 20 to Saudi Arabia. They are the two countries leading a coalition fighting a war against Houthi rebels in the Middle East's poorest nation, Yemen. Janes defence news service notes "The Australian government announced on 17 December that it will provide state credit to support two local companies' efforts to export radars systems and patrol boats... this being the first time that the export credit system - officially termed the 'Defence Export Facility' - has been utilised after being established earlier this year. A major milestone has been reached on Australia's journey to become a top 10 global defence exporter, said a government statement." Australian Defense News notes that "There has been a 48% increase in defence export applications received in the first quarter of FY 2018/19 over the whole of the last financial year."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-13/australias-secret-backing-for-nations-fig...


Philippines edges towards procurement of Turkish combat helicoper

(Janes Defence News, London, 29 November 2018) The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has edged closer to a decision to procure the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK multirole combat helicopter to meet a long-standing requirement in the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The acquisition is expected to be facilitated through a government-to-government deal between the Philippines and Turkey, possibly involving credit provided by Turk Eximbank, Turkey's official export credit agency.

https://www.janes.com/article/84896/philippines-edges-towards-t129-procurement


Mexico’s Pemex Targets Bank, ECA-Backed Financing in 2019

(US News, New York, 18 December 2018) Mexican energy producer Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will look to banks and export credit agencies (ECAs) to finance part of its deficit next year, as the company enters 2019 under a new government and uncertain conditions in the international capital markets. State-owned Pemex, which is expected to raise approximately $8 billion in external debt next year, is also facing a bearish investor base concerned that Mexico’s new administration will hinder the company’s fiscal situation. Pemex has a $1.5 billion bank-led revolving credit facility maturing in the second half of 2019 and is on course to raise between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in ECA-backed finance next year, according to three sources familiar with the company’s plans. The company has conducted talks with trade agencies such as Export Development Canada and the Netherlands’ Atradius over ECA-backed loans and in November Pemex received a $250 million 10-year facility from BNP Paribas and HSBC that was 80 percent guaranteed by Italy's SACE.

https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2018-12-18/mexicos-pemex-target...


Boeing Sees More Growth in Aircraft Financing Demand

(American Machinist, Cleveland, 9 December 2018) Boeing is forecasting strong demand for new commercial airplanes will continue in 2019, with deliveries by major OEMs totaling about $143 billion, and growing to $180 billion by 2023. The commercial-aircraft market’s strong fundamentals also are drawing new participants and investment in used aircraft. The figures and projections are presented in Boeing’s yearly Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook report, a five-year forecast of the commercial aircraft sector’s financing trends. Boeing predicts that new-aircraft deliveries will be funded by commercial bank debt, capital markets, and cash. Aircraft leasing agents, which represent over 40% of commercial aircraft ownership now, will be supported by historically low financing costs. Export credit also will remain a critical funding source, particularly in the U.S., Boeing added. The JD SUPRA news service has pointed to three new developments in aircraft financing and leasing, AFIC, Balthazar and GATS, which have grown out of the recent drying up of export credit support for Boeing and Airbus financings.

https://www.americanmachinist.com/news/boeing-sees-more-growth-aircraft-financin...


Brazil Freezes ECA Credit After Defaults From Cuba & Venezuela

(Folha de Sao Paulo, Brasilia, 26 December 2018) After Mozambique, Venezuela, and Cuba defaulting, the Brazilian government froze credit lines for new exports, a measure that will affect mostly small and medium-sized businesses. The Brazilian Treasury Department will spend US$ 6 million (R$ 23,4 million) to reimburse BNDES (National Bank For Economic and Social Development) for Cuba's default. Following Venezuela and Mozambique, the Cuban government defaulted on its payments to BNDES, in a credit line insured by the Treasury in the case of nonpayment. The amount is from an installment due in July, which Cuba paid partially. The Cubans paid US$ 4 million (RS 15.6 million) from the US$ 10 million (R$ 39 million) that were due. During the Lula and Rousseff administrations, the countries mentioned above hired large Brazilian contractors for infrastructure works such as the modernization of the Mariel Port in Cuba, performed by Odebrecht. The foreign governments also bought buses, industrial goods and foodstuffs using the credit line.

https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/internacional/en/business/2018/12/government-freez...


BBVA signs first green-certified credit with cover from Spanish ECA

(Global Trade Review, London, 30 November 2018) BBVA has granted a five-year €16.5mn loan to a hydroelectric project in Colombia with backing from Cesce, Spain’s export credit agency (ECA). The operation has been certified as “green” by consulting firm Aecom in line with the Green Loan Principles and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. According to the bank, this is the first credit with Cesce to receive this certification.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/sustainability/bbva-signs-first-green-certified-cr...


Saudi ECA supports Pakistan economy

(Dunya News, Islamabad, 29 November 2018) Finance Minister Asad Umar on Thursday said the government is committed to improving the fundamentals of economy and achieving sustainable and balanced economic growth. The secretary also briefed the meeting about the economic reforms which the Economic Advisory Council has approved. The meeting also discussed the export credit facility offered by Saudi Arabia envisaging the purchase of crude oil and or other petroleum product (s) of up to USD 3.24 billion per annum on a 12 month deferred payment basis.

https://dunyanews.tv/en/Business/468372-Govt-committed-to-achieving-sustainable-...


Peru closes largest-ever ECA financing for state energy company

(Southern Heald, 12 December 2018) State-owned petroleum company Petroperú has closed a US$1.3bn export credit agency-backed financing as part of its US$5bn Talara refinery modernisation project. Deutsche Bank acted as facility agent for the syndicate, which also involves BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, JP Morgan and Santander as initial mandated lead arrangers, underwriters and bookrunners. It is the largest-ever financing covered by the Spanish export credit agency, Cesce, and is the largest ECA financing arranged in Peru.

http://thesouthernherald.com/peru-closes-largest-ever-eca-financing-for-state-en...


Developing countries biggest installers of renewables

(PV Magazine, Berlin, 27 November 2018) In a new report, BloombergNEF notes a significant uptake in renewable energy in developing countries, which are clearly outperforming OECD countries. The trend is due to reductions in equipment costs and new business models that enable access to capital. Still, many emerging markets are also the biggest installers of new coal capacity. India and China alone, are said to account for 81% of newly added coal-fired power stations.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/11/27/developing-countries-biggest-installers-o...


What's New November 2018

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.

  • Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Export Development Canada’s Practice
  • Report highlights EDC’s multibillion dollar support for oil and gas industries
  • Trading away EU principles in the name of national export interests
  • ECA Support for Coal in the Face of OECD Financing Restrictions
  • The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?
  • UK Government considering UKEF deal with Saudi Aramco
  • EXIM Bank's fate tied to the outcome of Senate midterms
  • Uganda expects ECA pipeline financing deal by June 2019
  • Middle East Politics and Export Credits
  • Australia splashes ECA cash in the Pacific as China fears loom

Bringing Accountability and Transparency to Export Development Canada’s Practice

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 12 November 2018) Canada’s Export Development Act is under review. In our submission (pdf) to the government, Above Ground and other Canadian civil society groups call for legal reforms to bolster the accountability and transparency of Export Development Canada (EDC). EDC’s policies state that it screens and monitors the business it supports for associated social, environmental and business ethics risks. Yet over the years we have identified multiple companies that receive support from EDC despite credible or proven allegations involving environmental damage, corruption and human rights violations. In this submission we urge Parliament to adopt legislative reforms that include prohibiting EDC from supporting firms involved in wrongdoing, subjecting it to judicial oversight and expanding the Auditor General’s mandate regarding EDC. We have also made a second submission (pdf) calling for reforms to address the climate impacts of business supported by EDC. In addition, Both ENDS and other CSOs working from a number of countries made a joint submission as formal input to the EDC legislative review regarding EDC support for fossil fuels. The submission emphasized the Canadian governments' ambition to show leadership on climate change and to prioritise climate change action and clean economic growth.

https://aboveground.ngo/accountability-transparency-export-development-canada/


Report highlights EDC’s multibillion dollar support for oil and gas industries

(Windsor Star, Ottawa, 22 November 2018) A new report shows Canada’s export credit agency provides far greater backing to oil and gas companies than to makers of clean technology, a trend the authors contend undermines the country’s commitment to fight climate change under the Paris Agreement. Released Thursday and sponsored by a host of environmental groups, the report from the research and advocacy organization Oil Change International casts light on how Export Development Canada facilitated $62 billion in financial support for Canadian oil and gas companies from 2012 to 2017. That’s 12 times more support than the $5 billion the agency facilitated for clean technologies during that time, the report says, citing the agency’s own data.

https://www.ourwindsor.ca/news-story/9046135-report-highlights-crown-corporation...


Trading away EU principles in the name of national export interests

(Euractiv,  Brussels, 20 November 2018) MEPs need to follow the lead of the European Ombudsman and force the European Commission to shine light on the opaque role of national Export Credit Agencies. An important milestone in this direction was set by recent decisions of the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, which she spoke of at a public hearing of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. Following an appeal filed by the ECA-watch network – the Ombudsman detected severe shortcomings in the European Commission’s monitoring of national Export Credit Agencies (ECAs), including “maladministration”, failure to acquire adequate information to formulate its judgement, failure to include environmental and human rights standards when it comes to supporting coal projects and the necessity to keep a written record of its analysis and assessment. ECA’s activities have so far been exempt from human rights-related considerations to the point that arms export for cross-border conflicts could have well fit among their activities. There is a long way to go to ensure that European Export Credit Agencies respond to the much needed demand for accountability and transparency, and the European Parliament has a big role to play. It will have to take a firm stand and make sure the Commission does its homework and complies with the Ombudsman’s recommendations. It is a matter of democratic control and the credibility of the European institutions.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/opinion/trading-away-the-eu-princi...


ECA Support for Coal in the Face of OECD Financing Restrictions

(Friends of the Earth USA, Washington, 13 November 2018) In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, no new fossil fuel power plants should have been built after 2017. Despite this, little-known government agencies called export credit agencies (ECAs) are still providing many billions in financing to fossil fuel projects all over the globe. From 2013 to 2015, the world’s largest ECAs provided an annual average of USD 38 billion in support of fossil fuels. Eighty-eight percent of ECA support for energy projects went toward fossil fuels, compared to seven percent for clean energy projects. A new report available here (pdf) analyzes potential and current support for coal plants by ECAs in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes most of the world’s largest ECAs (though, notably, not China).

https://foe.org/resources/eca-support-coal-face-oecd-financing-restrictions/


The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?

(New York Times, Hanoi, 24 November 2018) Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change. Scientists have repeatedly warned of its looming dangers, most recently on Friday, when a major scientific report issued by 13 United States government agencies warned that the damage from climate change could knock as much as 10 % off the size of the American economy by century’s end if significant steps aren’t taken to rein in warming. An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years. Central to that transformation: Getting out of coal, and fast. According to the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency, it is not on track to happen anywhere fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. Last year, in fact, global production and consumption increased after two years of decline. Home to half the world’s population, Asia accounts for 3/4 of global coal consumption today. More important, it accounts for more than 3/4 of coal plants that are either under construction or in the planning stages — a whopping 1,200 of them, according to ECA Watch member Urgewald, a German advocacy group that tracks coal development. Heffa Schücking, who heads Urgewald, called those plants “an assault on the Paris goals.” [OECD coal support abroad is mainly provided by national export credit agencies.]

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/climate/coal-global-warming.html


UK Government considering UKEF deal with Saudi Aramco

(Ekklesia, London, 16 November 2018) In the wake of the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi and international warnings on climate change, the UK Government is discreetly considering supporting a Saudi Arabian oil company with a petrochemical project. UK Export Finance (UKEF), the controversial export credit agency which underwrites risky export deals to boost the UK’s international trade, recently announced that it could use public funds to help develop a large petrochemical refinery in Malaysia. The project, PRefChem, is a joint venture between Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company, and Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil giant.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/27190


EXIM Bank's fate tied to the outcome of Senate midterms

(The Hill, Washington, 30 October 2018) Pollsters are predicting that Kavanaugh’s US Senate confirmation has galvanized Republicans and enhanced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) chances of retaining Senate control. For the last three years, and with little notice, McConnell has deployed tactics to contravene the support of the president and bipartisan congressional majorities to cripple the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Because of McConnell’s block of board nominees, EXIM lacks the quorum needed to support deals over $10 million, which historically comprise 80 percent of bank lending. Ten years ago, EXIM responded to the Great Recession by tripling export support, financing $30 billion annually of U.S. exports over a five-year period, creating over a million jobs. Because big deals make money, EXIM made a $3.8 billion profit under Obama. But without a quorum, authorizations fell to $3.4 billion last year. Limited to small, less-profitable deals, EXIM now costs taxpayers money.

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/413910-exim-banks-fate-is-tied-to-outcome-of...


Uganda expects ECA pipeline financing deal by June 2019

(The East African, Nairobi, 26 November 2018) Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement in May 2017 to jointly develop the $3.5 billion pipeline that has been described as the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world. The balance of $1 billion is expected to come from shareholders in equity. Stanbic Uganda secured the role of joint arranger and adviser with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. The two banks had previously planned to raise $3 billion by June this year from export credit agencies.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Uganda-expects-pipeline-financing-deal...


Middle East Politics and Export Credits

(Washington Post, Berlin, 31 October 2018) At the end of last year, the Danish Export Credit Agency had approved eight Iranian banks for credit lines or guarantees and vowed to resist U.S. pressure to dismantle those ties. However, Denmark is now leading a push for new E.U. sanctions against Iran, after its intelligence agencies blamed Tehran for a foiled plot to assassinate an Iranian dissident on Danish soil. In a darkly ironic twist, Iran has condemned the Saudi killing of dissident Khashoggi even as it has a long track record of pursuing operations against opponents living abroad itself. The Jerusalem Post on 6 November noted that the German government defied US sanctions on Iran’s clerical regime on Monday 5 November, by continuing to insure its companies with export credit – 911 million euro for 58 companies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/10/31/foiled-assassination-plot-denmar...


Australia splashes ECA cash in the Pacific as China fears loom

(Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 8 November 2018) Australia has announced that at least A$2 billion has been earmarked for grants and long-term projects in the Pacific and Timor Leste, to be administered by a new Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility. An extra A$1 billion will be made available for Australia’s export credit agency EFIC which helps Australian companies invest and expand overseas by giving them loans and guarantees. The announcements in a speech to soldiers in Townsville will be widely read as aiming to edge out growing Chinese infrastructure-building in Pacific nations. Prime Minister Scott Morrison noted that "Australia has an abiding interest in a south-west Pacific that is secure strategically, stable economically and sovereign politically." Raising questions about sovereignty have in the past been a way for Western leaders to express concern that China is loading developing countries up with infrastructure-related debt they cannot handle, making them politically beholden to Beijing, though Mr Morrison stresses Australia will co-operate with other countries including China.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-splashes-cash-in-the-paci...


What's New October 2018

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.

  • UK Government climate targets branded ‘laughable’ as UK Export Finance supports new oil refineries abroad
  • NGOs release list of world’s top coal plant developers
  • Boeing says Exim Bank vital for the US amid competition from China
  • Denmark provides world’s largest export credit agency wind financing
  • Longest Gas Pipeline in Nigeria Gets Green Light With Sinosure cover
  • Vinfast, set to be Vietnam's first domestic carmaker, gains $950M ECA credit line
  • Global Export Credit Agencies Support Iran Trade Coverage
  • Tonga starts repaying US$4.7m a year to Chinese ECA for reconstruction
  • Botched Chinese ECA project in Africa is a warning to belt and road investors
  • Africa-India trade to double by 2021 with ECA help

UK Government climate targets branded ‘laughable’ as UK Export Finance supports new oil refineries abroad

(Global Witness, London, 10 October 208) On the week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its report on the scale of the challenge to limit the dangers of climate change, the near-simulanteous announcement of new UK Government support for oil and gas abroad has been labelled “staggering.” UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency which underwrites loans and insurance for risky export deals as part of efforts to boost international trade, announced on Tuesday that it is considering finance for an expansion of an oil refinery in Bahrain which would allow its total output to increase up to a maximum of 380,000 barrels per day. Adam McGibbon, Climate Change Campaigner at Global Witness, said: “As the world reels from the news that we have twelve years to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown, today’s announcement by the government is staggering. The UK claims to be a climate leader, but it continues to spend billions pumping fossil fuels out of the ground abroad." Articles in The Times, The Indpendent, BBC and Ekklesia highlight this contradictory approach.

https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/uk-government-climate-targets-br...


NGOs release list of world’s top coal plant developers

(Urgewald, Berlin, 4 October 2018) Four days before the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts forward its special report on 1.5°C, NGOs have released a new list of the world’s top 120 coal plant developers.  “Building new coal plants is an assault on the Paris climate goals,” said Heffa Schuecking, director of the German environment NGO Urgewald. “Our list names the top companies investors and banks need to shun if they are committed to limiting our planet’s temperature rise.” While 2017 was another record-busting year for renewables, coal power is still growing in many parts of the world. Currently, 1,380 new coal plants or units are planned or under development in 59 countries. The world’s largest coal plant developer is China’s National Energy Investment Group (NEI), which aims to build 37,837 MW of new coal plants.

https://mailchi.mp/banktrack/over-600000-mw-of-new-coal-threaten-15c-climate-tar...


Boeing says Exim Bank vital for the US amid competition from China

(The National, Abu Dhabi, 3 October 2018) Planemaker Boeing said the US Export-Import Bank (Exim), the country's export credit agency, [sic - return?] to its full lending powers is vital to the country's economy and the company's ability to compete with global rivals. The US is locked in an escalating trade war with economic rival China in a tit-for-tat round of tariffs. The long-hobbled US export credit agency, which facilitates export deals between American manufacturers and overseas buyers, has been in limbo for three years due to congressional inaction. In 2018, export credit is expected to remain a "marginal" share of aircraft financing but export credit agency volumes will increase to stable levels from historical lows this year, Boeing said. [Export credit agencies are major funders of aircraft - in 2010 about 50% of all Airbus deliveries were covered by export credit agencies. ECAs allocate about a third of their long-term financing to aircraft sales, the largest representation of any sector.]

https://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/boeing-says-exim-bank-vital-for-the...


Denmark provides world’s largest export credit agency wind financing

(Global Trade Review, London, 28 September 2018) Denmark’s EKF has signed an £800mn guarantee for Hornsea 1 in what it says is the largest wind financing that any public export credit agency has ever provided. Located off the coast of Yorkshire, UK, Hornsea 1 is currently being constructed by Danish wind farm developer Orsted, formerly Dong Energy. According to EKF, it will finance suppliers such as Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, but also a “vast number of sub-suppliers” from Denmark. EKF has also guaranteed about EUR 100 million of the EUR 210 million European Investment Bank (EIB) facility for the Euro 700 million Northwester 2 offshore wind farm in Belgian waters.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/denmark-provides-worlds-largest-export-cred...


Longest Gas Pipeline in Nigeria Gets Green Light With Sinosure cover

(Pipeline Technology Journal, Hannover, 27 September 2018) The 614-km, 40 inch Ajaokuta - Kano Gas Pipeline (AKK), the single biggest gas pipeline in the history of oil and gas operations in Nigeria, will now go forward with $ 2.38 bn financing secured by the China National Petroleum Corporation. While 85 per cent of the money is expected to be provided by the financiers, which include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency providing insurance cover, the remaining 15 per cent will be provided by the contractors, which include Oilserve/Oando consortium, as well as Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau consortium.

https://www.pipeline-journal.net/news/longest-gas-pipeline-nigeria-gets-green-li...


Vinfast, set to be Vietnam's first domestic carmaker, gains $950M ECA credit line

(Reuters, Hanoi, 10 October 2018) VinFast, which aims to become Vietnam's first domestic car manufacturer, said it has secured a 12-year credit facility for as much as $950 million to help buy machinery and equipment from German suppliers. Vingroup has earmarked about $3.5 billion for the project. Credit Suisse and HSBC were the lead arrangers and the financing agreement was guaranteed by German export credit agency Euler Hermes.

https://www.euronews.com/2018/10/10/vinfast-set-to-be-vietnams-first-domestic-ca...


Global Export Credit Agencies Support Iran Trade Coverage

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 20 October 2018) Global Export Credit Unions participating in a meeting of the Berne Union Credit and Investment Insurers this week backed sustained cooperation with Iran despite the US move earlier this year to pull out of the historic nuclear agreement. According to a press release by the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran, whose representative attended the event, the countries present declared that insuring trade with Iran is possible under the existing circumstances. Arash Shahraini, a member of board of directors and technical deputy of EGFI told the Financial Tribune on Sunday that while there was a positive mood of support for Iran coverage at the meeting, members were cognizant of the fact that lack of a proper banking channels for payments to Iran continues to be a main hurdle to promoting Iranian trade with the outside world.
 

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/94595/global-...


Tonga starts repaying US$4.7m a year to Chinese ECA for reconstruction

(Matangi, Tonga, 22 October 2018) The Tonga Government will start paying US$4.7m a year during the next ten years, (principal only) of its US$52m loan from the Exim Bank of China that was used to fund reconstruction projects after the 2006 riots in Nuku'alofa. The start of the principal repayments has already contributed to a $22.8m decline in Tonga’s foreign reserves in September. Now Tonga is confronting the real cost of the riots and still recovering from the impact of Tropical Cyclone Gita which struck the main island of Tongatapu in February 2018 and caused about US$148m worth of damage, equivalent to nearly a third of the country's gross domestic product.

https://matangitonga.to/2018/10/22/tonga-starts-repaying-108m-year-china-reconst...


Botched Chinese ECA project in Africa is a warning to belt and road investors

(South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 29 October 2018) The planning behind many of China’s major infrastructure projects abroad has been “downright inadequate”, leading to huge financial losses, according to the head of the country’s state export credit insurer. Wang Wen, of China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, known as Sinosure, said Chinese developers and financiers of projects in developing nations supported by Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” need to step up their risk management to avoid disaster. He cited the mistakes of a major railway project in Africa that has cost Sinosure close to US$1 billion in losses. “Ethiopia’s planning capabilities are lacking, but even with the help of Sinosure and the lending Chinese bank it was still insufficient.” He said other China-backed projects plagued by poor preparation have included sugar refineries that have lacked a supply of sugar beet, and underused railways in Latin America.

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/2170549/botched-chinese-ra...


Africa-India trade to double by 2021 with ECA help

(Southern Times, Windhoek, 29 October 2018) Trade between Africa and India has risen over the past 10 years and is highly likely to double its total of US$60 billion in 2017 to US$120 billion in 2021, according to a report released by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim India). The impressive growth in trade between Africa and India stems from a mix of factors... Against the backdrop of increasing uncertainty in the global economy, reliance on innovative and non-traditional financing solutions developed by export credit agencies, including the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim India) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), not only helps in mitigating risks in international trade but also contributes to promoting regional trade and investment.

https://southerntimesafrica.com/site/news/africa-india-trade-to-double-by-2021


What's New September 2018

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.

  • Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices
  • The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects
  • Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits
  • China says it is helping Africa develop - not pile up ECA debt
  • Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project
  • Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support
  • UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales
  • China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war
  • International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?
  • Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

Ottawa orders Export Development Canada to examine lending practices

(Globe and Mail, Toronto, 26 September 2018) Ottawa has ordered the nation’s export credit agency to consider more carefully the human-rights implications of loans and insurance it offers in support of Canadian businesses. A Sept. 24 letter from International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr to Martine Irman, chair of Export Development Canada’s board of directors, urged the Crown corporation to ensure its internal procedures accord with Canada’s obligations under international humanitarian law. Human-rights and environmental-advocacy groups have criticized EDC for decades over what they say is a pattern of giving financial assistance to companies involved in harmful projects overseas. “The agency is essentially self-governing in the areas like environment, human rights and anti-corruption,” Karyn Keenan, director at ECA-Watch member Above Ground. Above Ground's submission to EDC on strengthening environmental and human rights protection can be found here and their recommendations on bringing EDC’s climate change policy in line with Canada’s commitments can be found here.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-ottawa-orders-export-developmen...


The South African ECA that can invest billions in public money on shadowy projects

(Daily Maverick, Johannesburg, 3 September 2018) The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) uses public funds for international projects it chooses to invest in. Right now, the agency is considering lending a part of $14-billion needed by US energy company Anadarko for a giant liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. Four ECAs are showing interest in providing them with credit for $12-billion of that amount –Italy (SACE), Japan (JBIC), China (C-EXIM), the US (US EXIM) and South Africa. According to an EIA conducted for Anadarko by Environmental Resources Management/Impacto, there will be “major” negative environmental and social impacts during the construction and operational phases. According to ECIC CEO Mandisi Nkuhlu, they are not bound by the ECA transparency guidelines of the OECD. The ECAs involved have collectively contracted an Italian consulting firm, RINA, to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the project. For local communities and the environment the project will be disastrous. The project is leaving entire communities landless, with no livelihood, and insufficient resettlement and compensation, if any. Unique ecosystems such as mangroves, endangered species of sea life, ocean flora and pristine beaches will be put at great risk. ECAs have a history of funding projects that are sometimes corrupt, violate human and environmental rights, and are financially and ethically questionable. The Canadian ECA, Export Development Canada, financed $41-million of a $52-million jet sold by Canadian company Bombardier to the notorious Gupta family, who have been deeply embroiled in state capture and systemic corruption in South Africa. The Canadian agency lent the Guptas $41-million to purchase a Canadian product from a company that was struggling financially.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-09-03-sa-export-agency-invest-billi...


Environmental groups to campaign against 'strategic' corporate lawsuits

(Global Legal Post, London, 29 August 2018) 20 environmental and civil liberties groups have joined foceces to protest against companies using lawsuits they say are aimed at silencing critics. The ‘Protect the Protest’ task force is targeting what it says are known as strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs, which use legal action and the threat of financial risk to deter people and groups from speaking out against something they oppose. The twenty environmental and civil liberties groups say the lawsuits are aimed at limiting free speech and silencing critics. Katie Redford, co-founder and director of EarthRights International, says ‘we know from our own experience that this legal bullying tactic will work if it's not shut down.’

http://www.globallegalpost.com/corporate-counsel/environmental-groups-to-campaig...


China says it is helping africa develop - not pile up ECA debt

(Reuters, Beijing, 4 September 2018) A wave of African nations seeking to restructure their debt with China has served as a reality check for Beijing’s ties with the continent, though most of its countries still see Chinese lending as the best bet to develop their economies. China is helping Africa develop, not pile up debt, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday, as the government pushes back against criticism it is loading the continent with an unsustainable burden during a major summit in Beijing. Bloomberg noted that in recent months, Beijing has faced criticism about its debt practices from countries ranging from Australia to India, with even some Chinese academics airing doubts at home. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned against “a new version of colonialism” during a visit to Beijing last month after suspending a $20 billion Chinese-built rail project. Claims that China was an “economic predator” in Africa, pillaging natural resources and dragging it into a debt crisis, were “as false as they are sensational,” the Xinhua official news agency said in a commentary. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged debt relief to some poorer African nations, attempting to push back against a major criticism of his signature Belt and Road Initiative. A recent Time Magazine opinion piece noted "As African countries sink deeper and deeper into Beijing’s carefully laid debt trap, the United States could pay a steep cost in reduced cooperation on counterterrorism and job creation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-africa/china-says-it-is-helping-africa-...


Chinese oil firm agrees to secure funds for Nigeria's $2.8 B AKK pipeline project

(Daily Trust, Abuja, 3 September 2018) China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has assured the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation of its unflinching commitment towards securing funding for the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project. Financing for the 40-inch by 614km AKK gas pipeline, enabling connectivity between the East, West and North that is currently non-existent, is expected to cost about $2.8 billion, for the project described as the single biggest gas pipeline in the history of oil and gas operations in Nigeria. While 85 percent of the money is expected to be funded by the financiers which include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, and Infrastructure Bank of China with Sinosure, China’s Export Credit Agency (ECA) providing insurance cover, the remaining 15 percent will be provided by the contractors which include Oilserve/Oando consortium, as well as Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline (CPP) Bureau consortium.

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/chinese-oil-firm-agrees-to-secure-funds-for-nnpcs-...


Siemens closes in on massive Iraq deal with promise of German ECA support

(Handelsblatt, Berlin, 24 September 2018) German engineering conglomerate Siemens is nearing a massive contract to boost Iraq’s power generation infrastructure. The deal is thought to be worth between €8 and €13 billion ($11.75 – $15.25 billion) and consists of numerous smaller projects. They would involve partnerships with local contractors, which would receive part of the sum. Siemens' chief Joe Kaeser meeting with Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, in Baghdad, came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel had put in a special call to Mr. al-Abadi in support of the deal, government sources told Handelsblatt. A senior official in the economics ministry joined Mr. Kaeser to Iraq and Ms. Merkel’s government has also promised extensive export credit guarantees. If successful, the contract will be one of the largest in the company’s history.

https://global.handelsblatt.com/companies/siemens-massive-iraq-deal-germany-ge-g...


UKEF office in UAE, a country accused of war crimes, promotes arms sales

(The Canary, London, 15 September 2018) UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently hailed the UAE’s important role and pioneering initiatives to promote international peace and security and combat extremism and terrorism. Javid’s comments come after the UN released a report on 28 August indicating the UAE may be guilty of committing war crimes in Yemen. In April 2018, the UK Government’s Export Credit Agency declared that the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which the UAE is a member, is a priority market and it established a “dedicated UK Export Finance team” based in the UAE. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the UAE is Britain’s ninth largest purchaser of arms. From 2008 to 2018, UK weapons sales to the UAE totalled nearly £904m, a number which increases to more than £7.3bn if “dual-use” technology is included.

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/news/2018/09/15/sajid-javid-hails-a-country-accused-...


China’s Exim Bank to boost lending to support exporters hit hard by trade war

(South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 21 September 2018) The Export-Import Bank of China, the country’s leading provider of export financing, will team up with other government agencies to help companies who have been hit hard by the US trade tariffs. Following Tuesday’s meeting of the State Council, China’s cabinet, Premier Li Keqiang announced a series of measures to support exporters, including cutting customs clearance red tape, reducing the cost of customs procedures, expanding export credit insurance and increasing export tax rebates. The announcement came hours after the US imposed tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, on top of the $50 billion Chinese imports already sanctioned.

https://www.scmp.com/news/article/2165169/chinas-exim-bank-boost-lending-effort-...


International trade at a time of increased US and EU sanctions - What should ECAs do now?

(Out-Law, London, 4 September 2018)  A new UK authority called the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has been established to better inform businesses of the risks that arise from financial and trade sanctions that restrict trade and transactions with sanctioned persons, businesses and certain sectors. Arms embargoes and restrictions on exporting equipment and technology that can be used by the military are common and generally understood. What is also common, but less well understood, are the prohibitions or licence requirements on doing business with the thousands of people who are listed on sanctions lists or connected with such persons, and the sectoral trade restrictions can apply. For example, US government officials are warning UK banks (and OECD ECAs?) not to breach US sanctions against Iran and Russia. China's state-controlled Sinopec is pressing ahead with a $1.06bn upgrade project at Iran's 400,000 b/d Abadan refinery, despite the imminent return of US sanctions on Iran's energy sector. Companies have been rethinking plans to invest in Iran since the US withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. Some contracts have been cancelled with state-owned NIOC and its subsidiaries.

https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/september/international-trade-increased...


Asian environmental groups strongly crliticize Korea Export-Import Bank support for overseas coal

(Korea Times, Bangkok, 9 September 2018) [translation] At the UN office in Bangkok, Thailand, where negotiations were held to prepare detailed guidelines on the implementation of the 2015 Paris Convention on Climate Change, there were dozens of Asian environmental group activists including Japan's Friends of the Earth and WWF China Office. They criticized Korea, China, and Japan for their financial support for coal-fired power plants in Asia. "South Korea is one of the world's largest financial supporters of coal-fired power," said Bhadiy Dindinger, a member of the INSAF environmental group in India. "It has a huge impact on health damage and climate change."

http://www.eca-watch.org/dodgy-deals/asian-environmental-groups-strongly-crlitic...


What's New August 2018

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.

  • Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee
  • European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies
  • Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights
  • ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey
  • US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China
  • South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit
  • Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support
  • Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran
  • Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis
  • Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court
  • ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project
  • France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy
  • Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities
  • UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel
  • Trinidadian form minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

Friends of the Earth warns against Trump's Ex-Im Bank nominee

(Washington Examiner, Washington, 23 August 2018) The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday voted 25-0 in favor of Kimberly Reed to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. export credit agency, which the group Friends of the Earth fears could be a move to subsidize fossil fuel projects around the world. The environmental group warns that billions of dollars in federal subsidies could be released once Trump's nominee is seated, as 13 fossil fuel projects are still pending at the bank. “There are serious concerns that Ex-Im under Reed will return to its past practice of supporting projects that damage the global climate, harm community health, violate human rights and hasten corruption,” said Kate DeAngelis, senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, after the vote.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/friends-of-the-earth-warns-agai...


European Ombudsman calls for greater transparency of export credit agencies

(Bankwatch, Prague, 9 July 2018)  The European Ombudsman has sided with the civil society demanding the European Commission to improve its oversight of the EU Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). The decision upholds an earlier ruling that required the Commission to ensure better compliance of these financial institutions with the EU law.

https://bankwatch.org/blog/ombudsman-calls-for-greater-transparency-of-export-cr...


Ilisu Dam: Dutch NCP concludes first-ever OECD Guidelines case on cultural rights

(OECD Watch, Amsterdam, 20 August 2018) NCP finds company failed to do due diligence and breached the Guidelines at Turkey's Ilisu mega-dam. On 20 August 2018, the Dutch NCP released its final statement on the case of FIVAS et al v. Bresser, the first OECD Guidelines case filed on the subject of cultural rights as human rights. The statement determines Bresser “has not fully met the expectations and satisfied the due diligence criteria of the OECD Guidelines”. In July 2017, Fivas helped Turkish communities file a complaint with the Dutch NCP against Bresser, an SME that performs foundation relocation projects. The Ilisu Dam was the first ever project to have export credit guarantees from European governments withdrawn after the guarantees had already been agreed. ECA Watch members campaigned hard to make this happen.

https://mailchi.mp/7d9c602b92e3/case-alert-new-oecd-guidelines-complaint-against...


ECAs in international politics - US and Germany vs Turkey

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 28 August 2018) When President Trump agreed to press Israel to release a Turkish prisoner in exchange for Turkey's release of an American Christian pastor, Israel complied but Turkey didn't, resulting in a crippling increase in US tarifs on Turkey, including threats of possible export credit sanctions. In a similar case in July 2018, a German journalist arrested in Turkey was released when Germany, Turkey’s biggest trading partner, lifted export credit guarantee sanctions implemented a year earlier to protest the arrests and the ongoing Turkish state of emergency (OHAL). When faced with the prospect of losing export credits and a project to update Turkey's German-made Leopard tanks, Erdoğan changed course and freed Die Welt correspondent DenizYücel without a trial. Turkey had originally asked the US release a Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran avoid US sanctions as well as to waive U.S. government fines totaling billions of dollars against Turkey's state owned Halkbank over violations of US sanctions on Iran.




US, Australia and Japan to Invest in Asia to counter China

(NASDAQ, New York, 3 August 2018) The United States, Japan and Australia are collaborating to form an alliance that will aim to finance infrastructure projects across Asia. The partnership is a move to lower China's influence on the Indo-Pacific region through the Chinese government's Belt and Road initiative. A 30 July joint statement by U.S., Australian and Japanese official investment, finance and export-credit bodies noted that: "The United States, Japan, and Australia have formed a trilateral partnership to mobilise investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

https://www.nasdaq.com/help/contact-information.aspx


South Africa to co-chair Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit

(Devdiscourse, Haryana India, 27 August 2018) President Cyril Ramaphosa is next week set to travel to Beijing, where he will co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit. The gathering is set to put infrastructure and industrial development at center stage. “These areas are aimed at addressing the three bottlenecks in Africa, as identified by China and Africa, which are hampering Africa’s development, namely, inadequate infrastructure; lack of professional and skilled personnel and a funding shortage. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding. To build the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, China committed to implementing 10 cooperation plans with Africa, namely in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security. To facilitate the implementation of these measures, China announced the provision of US$60 billion for funding support, which includes US$5 billion for grants and zero-interest loans and US$35 billion for concessional loans and export credit and US$5 billion for Technical and Industrial Project Funding.

https://www.devdiscourse.com/Article/137366-south-africa-to-co-chair-forum-on-ch...


Indian Export Opportunities from US-China Trade Differences Need Export Credit Support

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 7 August 2018) India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other, said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). With the US imposing additional duty of 25% on imports worth $34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive, according to CII. It was noted that Indian companies require better access to export credit to intensify the export effort.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-cm/us-china-trade-differences-to-...


Trump’s sanctions halt trade credit insurers’ return to Iran

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 August 2018) Two weeks after renewed US sanctions against Iran, it appears trade credit insurers are winding down the little business they had reinstated in the country since 2016. Arash Shahraini, board member and deputy CEO of the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EGFI) stated that "After the announcement of the US sanctions, all private credit insurers who had some interests in dealing with the US stopped their cover on Iran. Now as far as I know, only export credit agencies (ECAs) continue to give cover to Iran.” Technically speaking, cover cannot be cancelled retrospectively, so companies should be able to use the insurance they have already subscribed to in case of default due to the re-implementation of sanctions. Iranian companies that have made use of private insurance will now have to turn to other options, such as ECAs. “Right now, I am in the process of negotiations for some transactions and projects for getting cover from ECAs for Iranian projects and transactions,” noted Katayoon Valizadeh, a senior consultant in credit insurance and risk management in Tehran.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/mena/trumps-sanctions-halt-trade-credit-insurers-r...


Danish ECA freezes new guarantees to Turkey over lira crisis

(Global Trade Review, London, 15 August 2018) The Danish export credit agency EKF has frozen all new guarantees to Turkey, as concerns about the country’s economic health continue to mount. The Turkish lira has lost more than 45% of its value this year and continued its plunge this week amid a growing geopolitical storm between Turkey and the US.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/danish-government-freezes-new-guarantees-to...


Adani's coal mining project in Australia may hinge on court

(Business Standard, New Delhi, 9 August 2018) For the Ahmedabad-headquartered Adani group, the fate of its ambitious coal mine-to-rail project in Australia could hinge on a court case filed by native owners of the land in question, near the Carmichael mine in the province of Queensland. Environment groups and others in opposition have alleged the current ruling party in Australia has helped Adani in getting regulations and clearances for the project, including possible EFIC support. Adani had signed a land agreement with the local authorities now being contested in court by native Wangan and Jagalingou land claimants. Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners in the area did not consent to the Carmichael mine. Since 2012, their claim is that group meetings rejected a Land Use Agreement with Adani four times, the latest in December 2017. Five members of the W&J Native Title filed case in the high court on behalf of the claim group in August 2017. Sources said Adani had not been able to tie up any financing for the coal project. Jeyakumar Janakraj, chief executive and country head, Adani Group Australia, told this publication last year that the company was in talks with leading global financers and export credit funds from China and Korea in this regard.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/adani-s-rail-project-in-aust...


ECAs flock to finance huge Peruvian mine project

(Global Trade Review, London, 22 August 2018) Peruvian miner Minsur has secured US$900mn in project financing for its Mina Justa copper mine. The lenders are: BBVA Continental, BBVA, Banco de Crédito del Perú, Crédit Agricole, Export Development Canada (EDC), Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC, the Australian ECA), ING, KfW Ipex-Bank, Natixis, SG Americas Securities, Société Générale and the Export Import Bank of Korea (Kexim). Mina Justa is set to produce 100,000 tonnes of copper a year when it comes online in 2020. Total project cost is expected to run to US$1.77bn, with Minsur providing the rest of the capital. The mine will be located in the district of Marcona, in Nazca province, in the Ica region of Peru.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/americas/lenders-flock-to-huge-peruvian-project-fi...


France's CIFAL ready to help Uzbekistan develop nuclear energy

(Trend News Agency, Baku, 24 August 2018) French CIFAL company is ready to help Uzbekistan in the development of nuclear energy noting they are ready to provide their technological solutions and share experience to train specialists of Uzbekistan in the field of nuclear energy. CIFAL plans to support the Uzbekistan's Agency for the Development of Nuclear Energy "Uzatom" in the implementation of technical, commercial and financial negotiations with the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom" and also take part in the solution of issues of financing of the project in coordination with the Uzbek and Russian sides. The Russian side proposes to build in Uzbekistan a station consisting of two modern blocks of pressurized-water reactors VVER-1200 of "3+" generation. The project for the construction of a similar station, which Rosatom is building in Bangladesh, is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion are provided by Russia as an officially supported export credit.

https://menafn.com/1097337844/French-CIFAL-ready-to-help-Uzbekistan-develop-nucl...


Russian ECA financed weapons in Armenia risk escalation of hostilities

(VESTNIK, Moscow, 13 August 2018) Arms supplies on credit are a usual practice. Almost all countries involved in the sphere of military-technical cooperation practice it. The reasons for this may be different, but usually they are of purely political nature: this is the way a country that provides a state export credit for the purchase of weapons produced in the same country indicates that the recipient country is considered as if not an ally, then a very close partner, friend, the Independent Military Review writes. That's who the Republic of Armenia (RA) was for Russia for a long time. Yerevan received both political and military support (including the Russian military base) and economic preferences from Moscow. The Kremlin's position on Nagorno-Karabakh was also quite clear. That is why no one was surprised when in 2015 the Russian Federation agreed to provide the RA with a $200 million loan to buy weapons. Last month, deliveries under this loan agreement, which entered into force in February 2016, were completed. In recent years, the balance of forces in the South Caucasus has been violated because of the growing military power of Azerbaijan, which threatened the resumption of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Arms supplies from Russia will help to slow down the escalation of the conflict, bringing the military advantage of one of the parties to an approximate equality. But not everyone is happy to see the military-technical cooperation of Moscow and Yerevan. According to a Worldwide Threats Assessment report of the director of US National Intelligence Daniel Coats, "both sides' reluctance to compromise, mounting domestic pressures, Azerbaijan's steady military modernization, and Armenia's acquisition of new Russian equipment sustain the risk of large-scale hostilities in 2018."

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Russian-weapons-in-Armenia.html


UKEF backs country’s largest export deal with Israel

(Global Trade Review, London, 24 August 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF), the country’s export credit agency, is providing a guarantee for a US$125mn loan from Citi to El Al Israel Airlines to finance their purchase of one Rolls-Royce-powered Boeing 787 aircraft. The deal is part of Rolls-Royce’s contract to supply engines for 16 such aircraft for the Israeli airline. According to UK international trade secretary Liam Fox, this contract is “the largest single export deal the UK has had with Israel, and a marker of the strength of the trade relationship between the two countries”. The announcement comes days after the UK government launched its new export strategy, which lays the foundation for how the government plans to support exporters in the years ahead.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/ukef-backs-countrys-largest-export-deal-wit...


Trinidadian former minister awaits Australian response re naval vessel purchase funded by EFIC

(Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, Port of Spain, 15 August 2018) Former minister Devant Maharaj today said he is still waiting for a reply from the Australian government about concerns he has about alleged corruption in the procurement of two naval vessels for the Coast Guard. Maharaj told Newsday he sent correspondence to Australian Attorney General Christian Porter outlining his concerns by e-mail and a hard copy of his letter was delivered to the Australian High Commission in St Clair as well. Maharaj insisted six fast patrol boats acquired from Austalia under the former administration were not suited for TT's waters. Trinidad's National Security Minister Stuart Young said the purchase of 12 Damen naval vessels by the former government prior to the September 2015 general elections is now under international criminal investigation, and attacked Maharaj's allegations of corruption. Funding for the procurement of the vessels was to come through the Export Credit Agency of Australia.

https://newsday.co.tt/2018/08/15/devant-waits-for-australia/


What's New July 2018

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.

  • Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines
  • European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs
  • Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs
  • Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack
  • Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office
  • Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing
  • Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline
  • World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threa
  • Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets
  • Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels
  • Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters
  • Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank tal
  • ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

Dutch ECA ADSB issues complaint guidelines

(Both Ends, Amsterdam, 28 June 2018) Following years of advocating with the Dutch export credit agency Atradius Dutch State Business (ADSB) to establish a complaints mechanism, and following active discussions between a number of Dutch NGOs and the Dutch ECA in recent months, ADSB has published new “Guidelines for submitting a complaint”. While this does not yet compare to an independent complaints mechanism, it at least offers an additional venue for communities affected by ADSB supported projects to make eventual complaints known to the Dutch ECA, and hopefully to start a process to resolve issues raised. This comes in addition to the venue of filing a complaint under the OECD Guidelines for MNEs to the Dutch NCP. We welcome these Guidelines as an important step forward. As always the usefulness of the new procedure will have to be proven following the submission of real complaints from the ground.




European Ombudsman concludes the European Commission failed to carry out a human rights impact re ECAs

(European Ombudsman, Brussels, 17 July 2018) Following a complaint launched by ECA Watch members, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Commission wrongly decided not to carry out a human rights impact assessment before agreeing to the 2015 Sector Understanding on Export Credits for coal-fired electricity generation projects, negotiated in the context of the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits. The Ombudsman found maladministration on the part of the Commission for having taken this decision in the absence of a thorough analysis of whether it was likely there would be any significant economic, social or environmental impacts, including on human rights. The Arrangement and its subsidiary Sector Understandings are a loosely monitored “Gentlemen’s Agreement” among participating OECD members, which provide “a framework for the orderly use of officially supported export credits”. This is a welcome decision and follows the Ombudsman's recent demand for greater transparency on the part of European ECAs.

https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/recommendation/en/99655


Report of the UNHCR Working Group on human rights, business enterprises and ECAs

(UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 2 May 2018) The report, prepared pursuant to Council resolutions 17/4 and 35/7 for discussion at its 18 June to 6 July 2018 meetings, examines the duty of States to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises, including export credit agencies, to whom they provide support for trade and investment promotion. It explores how States can incentivize business respect for human rights in this context, including through withdrawal of trade and investment support in situations where businesses fail to meet their corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Nine of the 20 pages cover examples and gaps in good ECA practices and moving beyond OECD efforts to avoid race to the bottom approaches. It notes that current National [human rights] Action Plans do not include discussions of the ways in which export credit agencies address and enable access to remedy by rights holders who are harmed in connection with a project or transaction funded or supported by an export credit agency.

http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?Open&DS=A/HRC/38/48&Lang=E


Federal US Judge says Dakota Access developer can't sue BankTrack

(Tampa Bay Times, Bismark, 26 July 2018) A federal judge has ruled that the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline has no claim under federal racketeering law for damages against a Dutch environmental group that urged banks not to finance the $3.8 billion project. U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson dismissed Netherlands-based BankTrack as a defendant in a lawsuit that Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners filed in August against that group, Greenpeace and Earth First. In separate rulings this week, he also cast doubt on whether the lawsuit will succeed against the other two groups. Wilson said the lawsuit "vaguely attempts" to connect BankTrack to acts of radical ecoterrorism, but he concluded that "None of BankTrack's actions promoted, assisted or condoned violent criminal conduct,". BankTrack Director Johan Frijns in a statement said the judge's ruling "confirms that this type of advocacy work is legitimate."

https://www.tampabay.com/judge-says-dakota-access-developer-cant-sue-banktrack-a...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside EFIC office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018) Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine. They say the Adani coalmine would fail EFIC's three investment rules requiring projects to be commercially viable, in the national interest and in the public interest. There were more than 20 similar protests held across Australia on Friday and Saturday.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


Ex-Im Bank nominee fairs well in Senate hearing

(Space News, Washington, 19 July 2018) Kimberly Reed, President Trump’s latest nominee to chair the Export-Import Bank of the United States, received a warm reception during a July 19 Senate hearing, indicating a much stronger chance for her confirmation than Trump’s initial pick, Scott Garrett. Members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee spent the majority of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing questioning another Trump nominee, Kathleen Laura Kraninger, for director of the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, allotting little time on Reed. Reed’s approval would bring Ex-Im Bank closer to the minimum three full board members needed to approve export credit transactions over $10 million,

https://spacenews.com/ex-im-bank-nominee-fairs-well-in-senate-hearing/


Turkmenistan woos ECAs for transadriatic pipeline

(Azernews, New York, 28 July 2018) A presentation titled “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline: A new energy Great Silk Road to provide access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” was organized at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York with the assistance of the diplomatic missions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. “Turkmenistan views this gas pipeline as a new energy Silk Road that will connect the regions of Central Asia and South Asia," said Aksoltan Atayeva, Turkmen ambassador to the UN. A road show on financing issues is planned in July to promote the TAPI gas pipeline project and hold negotiations. Several meetings have already been held with a number of export credit agencies (including SACE, Hermes and ECIO), which expressed support for the project. In other news, the TAP project has so far secured €1.5 ($1.74) billion in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and further contributions from the export credit agencies of France, Germany and Italy are currently under consideration. The pipeline is owned by BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%).

https://www.azernews.az/region/135140.html


World powers back Iran oil exports despite US sanctions threats

(AFP, Vienna, 6 July 2018) Iran’s remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed Friday to keep the energy exporter plugged into the global economy despite the US withdrawal and sanctions threat. Britain, France and Germany along with Russia and China met with Iran in Vienna to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions announced by Trump. Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover and maintain open air, sea and overland transport links.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/world-powers-back-iran-oil-exports-despite-us-sanc...


Qatar Is Said to Seek $4 Billion in ECA support for Typhoon Fighter Jets

(Bloomberg, Doha, 10 July 2018) Qatar is seeking to raise more than $4 billion from banks to finance the purchase of Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The government is working with financial advisers on the deal that it is said will be backed by export credit agencies. The gas-rich Gulf state is also holding talks with banks and export credit agencies from Italy, France and the U.K. to raise billions of dollars in loans for other defense deals, two other people said. Qatar is beefing up defense spending after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and economic ties with it in June 2017, accusing the country of close links to Iran and financing terrorism.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-11/qatar-is-said-to-seek-4-billi...


Public/ECA Finance for African Energy Focuses on Fossil Fuels

(Oil Change International, Washington, 23 July 2018) Each year, approximately $20 billion from government-backed financial institutions around the world flows to energy projects in Africa. According to a new analysis by Oil Change International, nearly 60 percent of this finance from 2014 through 2016 went to support fossil fuel development, compared to 18 percent for clean energy projects. Much of the bilateral public finance for energy in Africa appears to support the commercial interests of the countries providing the finance. In part, this is because a third of the finance assessed in this analysis comes from export credit agencies, which aim to support home-country companies to secure business overseas. Titled “Assessing International Public Finance for Energy in Africa: Where Do Development and Climate Priorities Stand?”, the report examines financial flows and support from development agencies, export credit agencies, and major development banks to energy in Africa.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2018/07/23/report-public-finance-energy-af...


Russian ECA Financed Bangladesh Reactor is Safe Against Natural Disasters

(Sputnik International, Moscow, 13 July 2018) The construction work on the second unit of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), which is the first ever nuclear power plant for Bangladesh, is scheduled to be launched next Saturday. On July 8, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), issued a license to Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for the design and construction of RNPP Unit 2. The project will cost around $13 billion, of which Russia provides a state export credit of up to $11.38 billion and the rest is financed by the government of Bangladesh. "In RNPP we will have the 'Generation 3+' technology, developed from the experience of Japan's Fukushima disaster, which will ensure more safety and security in case of tsunami, cyclone and other similar type of disasters," Dr. Shaheed Hossain, consultant of RNPP Project told Sputnik.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201807131066321010-rooppur-npp-safe-against-natural...


Exxon expands Mozambique LNG project to cut costs ahead of bank talks

(Reuters, London, 12 July 2018) Exxon Mobil will expand its Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique by half to cut production costs as the partners prepare to book the plant's supply and formally tap lenders in September, the company told Reuters. The U.S. oil giant took charge of the East African LNG project's onshore operations following a $2.8 billion deal with Italy's Eni last year, adding to its suite of projects in Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the United States. Mozambique's two rival LNG projects are ramping up to take final investment decisions (FID) in 2019 and both are teeing up buyers and loans to underpin hefty construction costs. But there the similarities end. Anadarko Petroleum's approach involves raising a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies (ECAs) to fund the build. At the same time, it is lining up long-term LNG sales deals with external companies in China, Asia and Europe to guarantee the loans. Exxon in contrast will finance a larger share of costs from its own pockets as well as drawing on project partners, including Eni, Korea Gas Corp and China National Petroleum Corporation, bank and industry sources say.

https://www.nasdaq.com/article/exxon-expands-mozambique-lng-project-to-cut-costs...


ECAs to revive defunct Uganda Airline

(Daily Monitor, Kampala, 24 July 2018) Uganda hurriedly firmed up plans to revamp the country’s defunct airline in March 2019, after signing a purchase agreement for four Canadian Regional Jets 900 series, while at the Farnborough airshow in the United Kingdom. Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for two A330 planes that are to be delivered in October 2020. Since Uganda doesn’t have the money to purchase the aircraft, it has committed to borrow from different lenders, on yet to be agreed terms. The biggest value of the loan will be provided by four Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). Export Development Canada will provide 80 per cent of the money to buy regional jets from Bombardier. United Kingdom Export Finance, Bpifrance, the French Public Investment Bank, and Euler Hermes a company that provides credit insurance, bonding and debt collection services will deliver the 80 per cent of the $215.4 million (Ush800.2 billion) needed for two the long haul planes from Airbus.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Reviving-Uganda-Airlines-How-government-...


What's New June 2018

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!

ECA Watch applaudes European Ombudsman demand for greater EU ECA transparency on human rights and environmental impacts

(ECA Watch, Amsterdam, 28 June, 2018) ECA-watch applauds the European Ombudsman’s ruling on maladministration of the European Commission in checking compliance of European Export Credit Agencies with EU law In a landmark ruling1, the European Ombudsman has found that the European Commission failed to fulfil its legal obligation to assess the compliance of EU-based official Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) with EU laws and human rights obligations. The Ombudsman has recommended that changes be introduced to the EC’s reporting procedures. If implemented, the ruling could mean that EU-based ECAs – national bodies that give financial support to companies doing business overseas, including in ‘risky’ markets – are to be named and shamed where their activities fail to meet EU human rights and environmental obligations.

http://www.eca-watch.org/publications/eca-watch-applaudes-european-ombudsman-dem...


Turkey Halts Filling Tigris Dam After Iraq Complains of Water Shortages

(Reuters, Ankara/Baghdad, 7 June 2018) Turkey has temporarily stopped filling a huge dam on the Tigris River after complaints from neighboring Iraq, which is suffering water shortages, officials said on Thursday. Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad and Iraq's water minister also said that the two countries had agreed that when Ankara resumes filling the Ilisu dam in July it will still allow sufficient water to flow into Iraq. The dam, more than 20 years in the making, will generate electricity for a large area of southeast Turkey. But it has been heavily criticized over its impact on the environment and on the tens of thousands of villagers who will be displaced. Its waters will also submerge a 12,000-year-old town.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-06-07/turkey-halts-filling-of-il...


U.S. embassy warns Americans to leave northeastern Mozambique due to imminent attacks

(AfricaNews/Reuters, Maputo, 12 June 2018) The U.S. embassy in Mozambique said Americans should consider leaving a northeastern district close to a major gas field as imminent attacks are likely after suspected Islamist militants beheaded 10 people and killed seven others since May. Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project there, sources close to the matter said in May. The company declined to comment on reports it had suspended work on its massive LNG project in the war-scarred southeastern African country. Environmental NGOs and Mozambicans have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan.

http://www.africanews.com/2018/06/12/us-embassy-warns-americans-to-leave-northea...


Trump taps nominee to lead Export-Import Bank

(The Hill, Washington, 20 June 201) President Trump on Wednesday nominated Kimberly Reed to lead the Export-Import Bank, taking a step toward getting the agency running back at full lending strength. The 84-year-old bank has been in financial limbo over the past three years, short of enough members on its board of directors to make loans above $10 million. During her November confirmation hearing, Reed said that she looked "forward to bringing two decades of bipartisan experience to my work at the Bank, which has more than 400 dedicated career professionals." A Wall Street Journal commentator noted that "By turning to Ms. Reed, a former Treasury Department staffer during the George W. Bush administration, the White House is backing a nominee for the bank who thinks the Ex-Im Bank’s role is essential for the U.S. to counter foreign governments that operate their own export-finance agencies. At her nomination hearing late last year for a less-senior post at the bank, she said not having a functional export-finance agency amounted to “unilateral disarmament.”

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/393383-trump-taps-nominee-to-lead-export-impor...


Europe says U.S. Threat of Sanctions Imperils Bid to Save Iran Deal

(Wall Street Journal, Washington, 6 JUne 2018) Senior European officials conceded in a letter to the Trump administration that their efforts to save the Iranian nuclear accord by maintaining major trade, investment and export credits with Tehran are buckling in the face of planned U.S. sanctions. European countries have vowed to keep commerce with Iran flowing in order to persuade Tehran to remain in the accord and restrict its nuclear activity. An effort to persuade central banks to make one-off payments to Iran to pay for future oil imports has so far borne little fruit, officials say. The EU is still working on giving Iran fuller access to European Investment Bank loans. Officials are also considering extending credit lines, like the €5 billion ($5.85 billion) program set up by the Italian government, or providing export credit guarantees to companies. However, even these programs could be vulnerable to U.S. sanctions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/european-officials-say-u-s-threat-of-sanctions-impe...


Germany Sets Up Iran Advice Office for Companies

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 17 June 2018) The German government has set up a special office to advise companies worried about their business dealings with Iran amid fears they will be targeted for US sanctions. The European signatories to a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran—Germany, France and Britain—have vowed to keep the deal alive after US President Donald Trump withdrew from it last month. Germany’s Economy Ministry said on Friday it has established an “Iran contact point” for companies to pose their questions by email.  The ministry stressed that European sanctions relief for Iran, one of the terms of the nuclear agreement, remain in place, and that government-backed export credit guarantees are still available, AP reported.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/economy-domestic-economy/88079/germany-set...


UK signs £1.5BILLION trade deal as Brexit Britain expands on world stage

(Express, London, 9 June 2018) Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced the UK has secured a £1.5 billion trade deal and signed off £75 million in other trade agreements in a major boost for the UK economy after Brexit. Dr Fox is expected to release a new Export Strategy which will set out the Government’s plan to get businesses of all sizes exporting their products to boost the economy after Brexit. The lucrative trade deals come as Britain’s exit from the EU looms. Dr Fox announced today a deal worth more than £1.5 billion had been secured by a UK company to deliver natural gas project in Cameroon. Additional deals have also be secured in Panama, Turkey, India and Qatar worth £75 million for British businesses. Capitalising on recent foreign visits by Cameroon’s Minister Secretary General, the Presidents of Panama and Turkey and the Prime Minister of India, UK businesses have been exploring exporting opportunities with some of the fastest-growing economies.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/971445/brexit-news-eu-uk-trade-deals-liam-fox-...


UKEF provides £2.5bn in support for UK exports

(Bridging & Commercial, London, 21 June 2018) UK Export Finance (UKEF) has revealed that it helped UK exporters – 77% of which were smaller businesses – secure sales to over 75 countries during the financial year 2017/18. In its annual report and accounts, the UK’s export credit agency reported that it provided £2.5bn in support for UK exports during the same period. It also stated that since 2011, it had supported £4.1bn in export contracts through its trade finance products, which were introduced to give smaller businesses an exporting edge. The annual report and accounts are availalable here.

https://bridgingandcommercial.co.uk/article-desc-13661_UKEF%20provides%202.5bn%2...


Intra-Africa trade boosted by launch of $1 bln promotion programme

(African Independent, Cape Town, 27 June 2018) The African Export-Import Bank and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa have launched a  $1 billion trade and investment programme expected to boost business between South Africa and the rest of the continent. The programme will help address the need for African countries to work closely together in addressing the challenges of fragmented markets, under-developed production structures and inadequate economic diversification, the deputy director general of trade at the department of trade and investment Lerato Mataboge said at the launch on Tuesday. "Our aim as a government is to increase the levels of South African investments in the rest of the continent through targeted support measures," Mataboge said. "We have targeted $100 billion of investments to be reached in the next five years and we want to ensure a sizable amount of investments into South Africa that are of African origin."

https://www.africanindy.com/news/intra-africa-trade-boosted-by-launch-of-1-bln-p...


Gazprom signs $1.2bn Bolivia deal

(Energy Reporters, Istanbul, 20 June 2018) Russian state-run gas monopoly Gazprom has committed to invest US$1.2 billion in exploration and production at the Vitiacua onshore field in southern Bolivia.  “This contract will mean an investment by Gazprom of US$1.2 billion, the drilling of two exploratory wells, six development wells, adding a total of eight wells, with a maximum production of 400 million cubic feet in coming years,” Bolivia’s state-owned oil and gas company YPFB chief executive Oscar Barriga said. The Viticua block in the Chaco oil and gas basin has potential reserves of 2.17 trillion cubic feet, Barriga told the media. The Russian agency for export credit and investment insurance, Exiar, and Bolivia’s energy ministry signed a deal to secure financing for supplies of gas-fuelled machinery and equipment produced in Russia. Around 20,000 Russian public transport vehicles will be shipped to Bolivia as part of the Bolivian government’s efforts to boost natural gas as a transport fuel instead of oil.

https://www.energy-reporters.com/consumption/gazprom-signs-1-2bn-bolivia-deal/


Uzbekistan and Rosatom to build joint nuclear power plant

(Vestnik Kavkaza, Tashkent?, 4 June 018) Uzbekistan will be the first country in Central Asia to have a nuclear power plant. Rosatom proposes to build a station consisting of two modern VVER-1200 units of 3+ generation. A similar project is being implemented by Rosatom in Bangladesh. It is estimated at about $13 billion, of which $11.3 billion provided by Russia as a state export credit. The cost of the Belarus NPP was $10 billion. The cost of the Uzbek nuclear power plant is unknown yet. Expert Kubat Rakhimov believes that the Uzbek nuclear power plant will be more expensive, since it will be difficult to solve the issue of a cooling system in Navoiy without sufficient quantity of running water and / or large water bodies. Russia is ready to offer Uzbekistan several options for financing the project, including on the terms of a state loan, a scheme of borrowed money from the market, investing its own funds, as well as the BOO scheme (build-own-operate). In addition, the possibility of allocating borrowed funds for the construction of the station from the Russian Export Center is being discussed.

http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/Uzbekistan-and-Rosatom-to-build-joint-nuclear...


Vietnam's Long Phu coal plant delayed due to US embargo on Russian Contractor

(Vietnam Investment Review, Hanoi, 17 June 2018) On January 26, Power Machines, the EPC contractor of Long Phu 1 thermal power plant, was put on the US Department of Treasury’s extended list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. The move may delay the construction of Long Phu 1 project by 36 months. After the sanctions were imposed on Power Machines, General Electric announced cancelling the contract of supplying turbines and generators, which are two important segments of the project.

http://www.vir.com.vn/three-billion-dollar-thermal-power-plants-running-behind-s...


Anti-Adani NSW protest outside Australian ECA office

(The Australian, Sydney, 29 June 2018)  Protesters worried about potential taxpayer funding of Adani's mega-mine in central Queensland have picketed the Sydney offices of Australia's export credit agency. About 40 Frontline Action on Coal activists on Friday demanded to meet with the boss of the Export Finance and Investment Corporation. They chanted "money for health and education, not for mining corporations" and unfurled a large banner reading "No Future In Coal #NoNewCoal" before being moved on by NSW Police after an hour. The group claim federal Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has directed EFIC to assess "putting public money" behind the Indian mining giant's proposed thermal coalmine.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/antiadani-nsw-protest-outside-...


What's New May 2018

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.

  • Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada
  • EDC requests public input during policy review
  • Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project
  • Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)
  • Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project
  • Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank
  • US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017
  • South Korea braces for trade with North
  • Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game
  • Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit
  • World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

Auditor general finds ‘deficiencies’ at Export Development Canada

(National Observer, Ottawa, 30 April 20188)Canada’s federal auditor general says there are “significant deficiencies” at Export Development Canada when it comes to risk management.The Office of the Auditor General of Canada announced the results of an audit into Export Development Canada (EDC), which facilitates international business deals as Canada's export credit agency, on April 30, that “found a number of weaknesses."The warning comes on the heels of a report by Ottawa-based watchdog Above Ground that found EDC did not have effective screening for corruption.

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/04/30/news/auditor-general-finds-deficienc...


EDC requests public input during policy review

(Canada News Wire, Ottawa, 16 May 2018) EDC is now inviting stakeholders from across the Canadian trade and business ecosystems to offer input and constructive feedback on the following key policies under its environmental and social risk management framework on: Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM); Climate Change policy; Environmental and Social Review Directive (ERD); Human Rights Statement; and Disclosure Policy. A discussion paper has been published, and a dedicated webpage has been created to further explain the review process. Submissions are welcome during a 90-day comment period from May 14 – Aug 17, 2018.

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/edc-requests-public-input-during-a-review-...


Papua New Guinea prime minister ridicules report on EFIC gas project

(Australian Associated Press, Sydney, 1 May 2018) Papua New Guinea’s prime minister has dismissed as “fake news” a report that claims a partially Australian-funded liquefied natural gas project is failing to deliver a promised economic boom to his people. Peter O’Neill was in Brisbane for the Australian-PNG business forum and used a keynote speech to attack a damning report by Jubilee Australia, which questioned whether projected economic benefits were flowing from the ExxonMobil-led project. Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, made its largest ever loan of $500m to ExxonMobil, OilSearch, Santos and the PNG government in 2009. “The people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all,” said report co-author Paul Flanagan, a former Australian Treasury official. OilSearch chief executive Peter Botten said the report would be subject to "rigorous analysis" to find out where Jubilee was right and where it could be challenged. The Guardian Australia reported that despite company celebrations of gas flowing since 2014 and  the 300th shipment of LNG from the project’s export terminal, the landowners in Hela hadn’t been paid any royalties. Santos chairman Keith Spence has stated that "We have met every obligation... the moneys that were promised to the landholders have been paid to the government" Predictably, this was raising tensions in the area and there were – and are – very real fears that the project could end up triggering an armed insurgency. One news agency noted that undelivered infrastructure projects which resource companies promised landowners, including roads, airports, hospitals, housing and sewerage projects, could even lead to civil war. Between 1987-1997, 20,000 people died in a civil war between PNG and its Bougainville province. Panguna, one of the world's largest copper and gold mines, sparked that conflict.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/01/fake-news-papua-new-guinea-prime-m...


Europeans push last bid to salvage Iran deal, but work on plan B(s)

(Reuters, Paris/Brussels, 3 May 2018) France, Britain and Germany all say they will stay in the deal even if the United States withdraws, and try to protect and foster European trade and ECA support with Iran, which has soared since the European Union lifted most of its economic sanctions. Iran’s exports of mainly fuel and other energy products to the EU in 2016 jumped 344% to 5.5 billion euros ($6.58 billion) compared to the previous year, while investment in Iran jumped to more than 20 billion euros. The Europeans aim to present a separate political agreement to the White House that commits to taking a tougher stance on Iran, if they can agree it in time with the U.S. France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are continuing to lobby Trump, but with the prospect of him changing his mind remote, the focus has shifted to managing the fallout and avoiding a dangerous vacuum. The German Economy Ministry said it was waiting for a formal U.S. decision on the Iran deal before deciding whether to stop offering German firms export guarantees for business deals with Tehran. Such guarantees provide state protection for companies doing business abroad when foreign debtors fail to pay. The EU may also be considering switching to euros instead of U.S. dollars in the oil trade with Iran The prospect of trade with Europe would provide the Europeans with a chance to assuage the Iranians, and dissuade them from rash decisions such as leaving the deal or reviving the nuclear activities they agreed to give up. The Financial Times notes that even as European leaders prepared their pleas for exemptions from US president Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran, advisers were warning of a deepening chill on multinationals’ willingness to do business with the Islamic republic.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-europe/europeans-push-last-bid-t...


Anadarko seeks to raise $14-$15 billion for Mozambique LNG project

(Reuters, London, 18 May 2018) - Anadarko Petroleum is seeking to raise a record $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies for its huge liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique, sources close to the matter said. Fast-growing gas demand from China and Southeast Asia is reassuring export project developers sitting on huge untapped gas discoveries in Mozambique and elsewhere that the market cycle is turning after three years of low prices. The full amount would be the largest loan ever in the LNG sector. French bank Societe Generale, the financial adviser on the $20 billion Mozambique LNG project, has already received interest for a combined $12 billion in cover and direct lending from export credit agencies (ECAs) in China, South Africa, Italy and Japan. Environmental NGOs and Mozambican have raised serious concerns about multiple negative impacts of this project.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-anadarko-petroleum-mozambique-lng-exc/exclusi...


Democrats Want A Permanent Fix For Hobbled Ex-Im Bank

(Law360, New York, 30 April 30 2018) On the heels of President Donald Trump’s decision to tap one of his top trade advisers as the interim head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a throng of Democratic senators on Friday pressed the White House to move ahead with a permanent leader for the beleaguered export credit agency. In a letter spearheaded by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D.-Wash., and Heidi Heitkamp, D.-N.D., the senators once again noted that the bank has been unable to finance high-value export projects since December 2015 due to the lack of a sufficient quota on its board of directors and that the appointment of a new bank president would go a long way to remedying that dynamic. “Since December 2015, Ex-Im has not had a fully operational board that is able to review and approve the types of deals that would expand U.S. exports,” they said. “As a result, foreign export credit agencies have been and will continue to rush to fill the void. In turn, more U.S. jobs will be sent overseas, and both American workers and companies will be at a serious disadvantage.” Trump’s first nominee for the job, former congressman Scott Garrett, was eventually withdrawn after stern backlash that focused on Garrett’s past as staunch advocate for shuttering the bank. Since then, movement on Ex-Im has remained mostly quiet as Trump’s board nominees have earned the blessing of the Senate Banking Committee but are still awaiting a full vote.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1038568/dems-want-a-permanent-fix-for-hobbled-ex...


US Military Export Sales Support Grows by 950% from 2007 to 2017

(GAO, Washington, 10 May 2018) The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) administrative account balance grew by over 950 percent from fiscal years 2007 to 2017—from $391 million to $4.1 billion—due in part to insufficient management controls, including the lack of timely rate reviews. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has some controls to manage the account balance. By not performing timely rate reviews or setting an upper bound, DSCA has limited its ability to prevent excessive balance growth.  U.S. foreign partners buy billions of dollars of defense equipment and services each year through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The program charges fees to purchasers to cover the U.S. government's cost of operating the program. As the value of these sales has increased, the balances in the 2 main fee accounts have grown in excess of 950% and now top $5 billion. GAO found that the substantial growth in these accounts was due to insufficient management controls.

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-401?mobile_opt_out=1#summary_recommend


South Korea braces for trade with North

(Korea JoongAng Daily, Seoul, 3 May 2018) As relations between the two Koreas warm, Seoul is gearing up to create new economic ties with Pyongyang, according to the South’s top economic official. According to Kim Dong-yeon, South Korea’s minister of strategy and finance, the so-called inter-Korean cooperation fund, a government fund established in 1991 that is devoted to projects that promote ties and exchanges between the two Koreas, has about 1 trillion won in its budget for 2018, with about 350 billion won (US$324 million) assigned specifically for economic projects. The fund is sourced from the government budget and public sector funds and is under the supervision of the Export-Import Bank of Korea, a state-run export credit agency.

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3047641


Lowy Asia Power Index: EFIC pulls Australia down in regional power game

(Australia Financial Review, Melbourne, 8 May 2018) In the overall rankings, Australia is defined as an over-performer, or a country that punches above its economic and military strength. Indeed, we are ranked third in the over-performer stakes behind Japan and Singapore, coming in one place ahead of South Korea. This is primarily due to the strength of Canberra's military connections into the region and the cultural power associated with the university sector. But when it comes to business, Australia has shown itself to be sub-scale and insular. Seoul's export credit agencies, a mark of economic integration and regional influence, have extended $US82 billion of credit (third in the region) compared to Australia's $US2.7 billion (11th in the region).

http://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/lowy-asia-power-index-australia-down-in-regio...


Saudis Trying to Influence Iraq’s Political Landscape With Export Credit

(Financial Tribune, Tehran, 12 May 2018) At a recent conference in Kuwait, the Saudi kingdom pledged $1 billion in loans and $500 million in export credit to support Iraq's reconstruction after the war with IS, also known as Daesh. Saudi Arabia's rapprochement with Iraq in the run-up to its parliamentary elections appears to take place in the context of a new policy designed to expand its sphere of influence in the oil-exporting country, says a former diplomat.  The May 12 ballot will decide Iraq's leader for the next four years, when the government will face the monumental task of rebuilding entire cities and towns after decades of wars, internal strife and the massive harm inflicted by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/86222/saudis-trying-to-influence-...


World Bank Group’s MIGA to share risk with Japan’s NEXI through reinsurance

(Reinsurance News, Brighton, 9 May 2018) MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, and NEXI, Japan’s state-owned export credit agency, have entered an official agreement to share risk, through reinsurance, on investments made by Japanese firms in developing countries.

https://www.reinsurancene.ws/world-bank-groups-miga-to-share-risk-with-japans-ne...


What's New April 2018

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.

  • Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC
  • Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy
  • Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0
  • UKEF support for arms sales under fire
  • Australian defence industry export plan release imminent
  • Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia
  • Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate
  • JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant
  • China-Africa summit preparations in high gear
  • Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list
  • EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal
  • Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure
  • German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative
  • Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started
  • Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

Above Ground's Recommendations on Anti-Corruption Policies in EDC

(Above Ground, Ottawa, 30 April 2018) In this report, ECA Watch member Above Ground examines reforms needed to raise Export Development Canada’s anti-corruption client screening to a more robust standard. The recommendations are informed by leading anti-corruption policies and guidance documents from other export credit agencies, international financial organizations and the private sector. A Bombardier jet, the subject of an EDC loan to South Africa's Gupta family amid multiple corruption claims, has reportedly returned to South Africa, although Gupta familiy members have still effectively disappeared. Since 2016 the British, French and German export credit agencies have blocked support for Airbus on the basis of bribery concerns. The Above Ground report notes that in the second half of 2017, EDC provided Airbus with between $750 million and $1.5 billion in financing, as well as citing examples of questionable support for SNC-Lavalin and Kinross Gold. Canada's Auditor General today released a hard hitting report noting that EDC is mishandling loan risks and keeping board members in the dark about key financing arrangements.

http://aboveground.ngo/anti-corruption-and-export-development-canada/


Jubilee Australia: EFIC-funded PNG LNG Has Hurt PNG's Economy

(Jubilee Australia, Sydney, 29 April 2018) A new report on the economy of Papua New Guinea will reopen the case for the Australian government to be held accountable for the negligent decision to lend AU$500 million (US$376.5 million) of taxpayers' money to the PNG-LNG project. Jubilee Australia’s new report,‘Double or Nothing: The Broken Economic Promises of PNG LNG’, notes that “In 2008 Australian economics consultants, ACIL-Tasman provided inflated projections of growth in employment, essential services, household income and the broader economy if the PNG LNG project went ahead. This new analysis proves just how misleading these promises were and how PNG has slipped back into the poor policies associated with the resource curse. Currently, on almost all economic indicators, the people of PNG would have been better off had the project not happened at all." An Australian Broadcasting Corporation business report notes that the immense benefits predicted to flow from Papua New Guinea's liquified natural gas project have not been realised, and the country's economy has even gone backwards on some indicators.

http://www.jubileeaustralia.org/latest-news/new-jubilee-report-shows-that-efic-f...


Brexit Britain's UKEF looks to Commonwealth 2.0

(EURACTV, Brussels, 6 April 201) It used to be a Eurosceptic fantasy for the Commonwealth to replace the EU as the UK’s main trading partner. That may still be a fantasy, but Theresa May’s government sees the organisation, which includes Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Singapore, as a launch pad for negotiating bilateral trade agreements and has earmarked six Commonwealth members as priorities for renewed incentives to promote trade and investment. Britain has already promised to double the current export credit finance for trade and investment with South Africa to £3.5 billion. South Africa is critical of the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African regional blocs and expects Britain, once outside the EU, to offer better terms. In economic terms the Commonwealth is a fraction of the size of the EU market. Forty-two percent of the UK’s exports went to the EU in 2017, compared to around 7% for the ten largest Commonwealth markets.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/brexit-britain-looks-to-commonwe...


UKEF support for arms sales under fire

(London Review of Books, London, 26 April 2018) Arms exports constitute around 1.6% of total UK exports in value but receive 50% of export credits in the form of loans or guarantees, underwritten by the taxpayer. Almost half of British arms exports go to Saudi Arabia, up fivefold since the kingdom intervened in Yemen’s civil war. In July 2014, in an effort to pre-empt embarrassing revelations that might emerge from the UN’s decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, the British foreign secretary made a tactical confession. Between 1983 and 1986, Britain had approved sales of chemical weapons precursors to Syria, which was known to be developing a massive weapons programme. William Hague told Parliament that the chemicals were probably ‘used by Syria in their programmes to produce nerve agents, including sarin’. In March 2015, the Committees on Arms Export Controls said that ‘the decision of the present government to give two export licence approvals for dual-use chemicals to Syria in January 2012 after the civil war had started in Syria in 2011 was irresponsible.’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2018/04/26/lloyd-russell-moyle/priority-markets/


Australian defence industry export plan release imminent

(Defence Connect, Sydney, 18 April 2018) The much-awaited Defence Industrial Capability Plan is set to be released soon, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed. The plan, which will aim to give Australian businesses a better idea of how to capitalise on the $200 billion of investment going into the industry, is set to be released before the federal budget on 8 May this year. The soon-to-be-released plan includes a new Australian Defence Export Office, Australia's first Defence Export Advocate, a $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility to be administered by Australia's export credit agency Efic and a $20 million a year commitment to implement the strategy.

https://wwaw.defenceconnect.com.au/key-enablers/2172-industry-plan-release-immin...


Russia to start shipping ECA funded arms to Armenia

(PanARMENIAN.Net, Yerevan, 29 March 2018) Russia will begin supplying arms to Armenia under a new defense loan agreement worth $100 million in 2018. In June 2015, an agreement was signed to provide Armenia with a Russian state export credit worth $200 million to purchase Russian-made military products. 18 contracts were signed within the framework of the loan, Armenia’s defense ministry reportedly said.

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/253625/


Export Credit Agencies and a changing climate

(Observer Research Foundation Online, New Delhi, 19 April 2018) The role of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in promoting climate compatible development has been controversial. Despite independent and collaborative efforts from countries ensuring that [environmental degradation] is not an option when their ECAs extend support, fossil fuel financing has overshadowed ECAs energy financing portfolio. Oil Change reports that 88 percent of G20 ECA energy financing went towards fossil fuels. One of the worst performer amongst ECAs of G20 countries is the US EXIM Bank. Anecdotal evidences suggest that [ExIm's] support has enabled American exporters to walk the globe leaving behind green footprints. Yet an inquiry in our paper on the EXIM Bank’s authorisation portfolio paints a relatively different picture. [ExIm] authorisations towards environmentally beneficial exports and renewable energy exports constituted only 1.83% and 0.98% respectively of the Bank’s total authorisation. Evidently, the Bank’s performance has been dismal at best.

https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/export-credit-agencies-changing-climate/


JBIC & Kexim among lenders of $2.45 billion for Vietnam coal power plant

(Straits Times, Singaport, 18 April 2018) DBS and OCBC are among a group of banks and lending agencies that have signed off on financing of about US$1.87 billion (S$2.45 billion) for a controversial coal-fired power station in Vietnam. The 1,200MW Nghi Son 2 power station in Tinh Gia district, Thanh Hoa province, is one of a number of large coal-fired power plants planned to meet Vietnam's energy needs. But green groups, the International Energy Agency and the World Bank fear such big coal projects will exacerbate climate change by locking in years of polluting emissions. Burning coal is a major source of local air pollution and carbon emissions blamed for heating up the planet. The loan was signed last Friday (April 13) with export credit agencies Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim); Japanese banks Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, MUFG, Mizuho and Shinsei Bank; DBS and OCBC; and Maybank of Malaysia. US Ex Im turned down funding in February 2018.

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/dbs-and-ocbc-among-lenders-of-245-bill...


China-Africa summit preparations in high gear

(New Times, Rwanda, 29 April 2018) Preparations for the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place in September in South Africa are in high gear officials have said. In the 2015 summit, China pledged a new round of funding support to Africa’s development, worth $60 billion. The $60 billion pot was divided into $5 billion of free aid and interest-free loans, $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit and $5 billion dollars of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and $10 billion of funding for a China-Africa production capacity cooperation. “Our investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion US Dollars and Chinese enterprises in Africa exceeded more than 3000; and over 70 percent of these are private Chinese companies,” said Dai Bing, the Director General of the Department of African affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

http://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/china-africa-summit-preparations-high-gear-offici...


Indian company defrauds banks despite Indian ECA caution list

(Financial Express, New Delhi, 5 April 2018) The CBI today said it had registered a criminal case against a Vadodara-based company dealing in electric cable and equipment and its directors for allegedly cheating various banks to the tune of Rs 2,654 crore (US$400 million). The company and its directors managed to get the term loans and credit facilities in spite of the fact that they were named in the Reserve Bank of India’s defaulters list and ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) caution list at the time of the initial sanction of credit limits by the consortium, the agency alleged.

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/banking-finance/no-end-to-bank-scams-c...


EU may offer credit for Iranian trade if Trump pulls out of nuclear deal

(Guardian, London, 23 March 2018) The EU is looking to provide European companies trading with Iran access to emergency credit lines and funding support if Donald Trump presses ahead with his plan to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. A US pullout, leading to the reimposition of a tough sanctions regime, would expose multinational firms trading with Iran to potentially devastating loss of financial support by commercial banks. The US is due to make a decision on 12 May, and it has the potential to pitch Europe and the US into dispute.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/eu-may-offer-credit-to-firms-tradi...


Financial Times: President Erdoğan responds to pressure

(Financial Times, London, 28 April 2018) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought forward by a year and a half elections he intends will crown his quest for one-man rule in Turkey. One reason for the snap early election is that Turkey’s overheating economy is vulnerable. The president needs to provide jobs and services to his base. Despite his xenophobic tub-thumping and absolute intolerance of dissent, Mr Erdogan does respond to pressure and has released some journalists. The German government, although courting Ankara’s help in holding back the flood of Syrian refugees, lost patience with what it saw as hostage-taking. It ordered a travel advisory steering German tourists away from Turkey, a review of export credit guarantees for German companies trading with Turkey, and a freeze on defence contracts.

https://www.ft.com/content/bdacd27e-4a3d-11e8-8ae9-4b5ddcca99b3


German Bank, Norwegan ECA Join Responsible Ship Recycling Initiative

(Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, 25 April 2018) The German bank KfW IPEX-Bank has become the first German bank to join the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards initiative. With a lending volume of EUR 13.9 billion ($17 billion) in 2017, KfW IPEX-Bank is one of the top five ship financiers in the world, and, by joining the initiative, highlights that it is setting high standards for the environmental and social compatibility of its financing. At the end of May 2017, ABN Amro, ING and NIBC established the Responsible Ship Recycling Standards. The initiative now has eight members worldwide, with Nordea, DNB, SEB and Export Credit Norway having joined the three founding banks.

https://maritime-executive.com/article/german-bank-joins-responsible-ship-recycl...


Airbus gets first European export credit since probes started

(Reuters, Paris, 27 April 2018) Airbus has received European export credits for the first time since public funding was suspended in 2016 at the outset of a corruption investigation, the company said on Friday. The credit was granted under enhanced compliance procedures agreed between Airbus and the UK, French and German export credit agencies after the company’s own discovery of misleading applications for the aid triggered the Anglo-French probe.

https://www.reuters.com/article/airbus-results-exports/airbus-gets-first-europea...


Russian ECA may finance construction of nuclear plant in Uzbekistan

(UzDaily, Tashkent, 20 April 201) Uzbekistan plans to sign an agreement with Russia on construction of a nuclear power plant in 2018. Currently, Rosatom is building a similar station in Bangladesh at a cost estimated at about US$13 billion, of which US$11.3 billion is provided by Russia as a state export credit.

https://www.uzdaily.com/articles-id-43588.htm


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