Thursday, September 21

US EXIM Bank formalizes Russia pullout; approves Sri Lanka, Albania, Iraq deals

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WASHINGTON — The US Export-Import Bank’s board of directors on Thursday voted to formalize the bank’s withdrawal from any further business in Russia and approved financing and guarantee deals worth up to $381 million for Iraq, Sri Lanka and Albania.

The US government export credit agency said its board also voted to notify Congress of a proposed renewal of a $450 million credit guarantee to Citibank that backs a $500 million facility to allow 365 suppliers of aircraft maker Boeing to receive accelerated receivables payments related to export sales of Boeing aircraft.

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The notification is required for any transaction over $100 million. After 35 days, the board can hold a final approval vote.

EXIM said the board, meeting for the first time under new president and chair Reta Jo Lewis, approved a $48 million loan guarantee to support the sale of 12 US-made Wabtec Corp locomotives to Sri Lanka Railways. Wabtec, which acquired General Electric’s locomotive business in 2019, won the $56 million contract over Chinese competitors, EXIM said.

The lender also approved a preliminary commitment for a nearly $33 million energy efficiency authorization for Albania’s national electric utility to rehabilitate its metering capabilities.

For Iraq, the board approved a resolution that authorizes EXIM bank officers to approve, deny and amend requests for insurance coverage on letters of credit used by the Trade Bank of Iraq for up to $300 million on purchases of US goods and services.

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The formal closing of Russian business follows an announcement last week by EXIM and export credit agencies in Britain and Canada to withdraw all support from Russia and Belarus in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. EXIM previously had an administrative hold prohibiting Russian business since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

EXIM still has $410 million in prior credit exposure to Russia, primarily for aviation sector loan guarantees that were granted before Crimea’s annexation.

“EXIM is working expeditiously to resolve those transaction repayments,” the bank said. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Grant McCool)