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EX-IM BANK $100 MILLION CREDIT FACILITY TO FINANCE VENEZUELA NATIONAL OIL COMPANY'S PURCHASE OF US CAPITAL EQUIPMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 12, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202)565-3200

An Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) $100 million medium-term credit guarantee facility will finance the export of US capital equipment and services to support oil exploration, production, refining and other activities by subsidiaries of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela's government-owned oil company.

PDVSA purchasing subsidiary Bariven S.A. will buy the products and services from a wide range of US suppliers under the facility approved by Ex-Im Bank's Board of Directors. PDVSA is guarantor on the transaction. Barclay's Bank PLC, Miami, FL, is the lender guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank. Repayment terms for transactions under the facility will range from 3-5 years.

This facility is the latest in a long and successful partnership between Ex-Im Bank and PDVSA over more than a decade that has contributed to economic and job growth in both countries, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon.

Ex-Im Bank has approved three credit guarantee facilities involving PDVSA since 1993 totaling $465 million, as well as financing individual transactions. PDVSA has developed a wide network of US suppliers through these activities, although the exporters and suppliers for the latest transaction have not yet been selected.

This important source of funding allows us to buy our main supply of capital equipment and services from the United States, especially Texas and Oklahoma where most of our suppliers are located, said Gilberto A. Morillo, PDVSA corporate financing manager. It is a very steady source of funds due to Ex-Im Bank's deep knowledge of our company and the close ties we've developed over time. Ex-Im Bank is not affected by the sometimes wide fluctuations of capital markets due to factors such as the Asian crisis. When the capital markets are not attractive, we have the advantage of always having Ex-Im Bank.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in exports worldwide in fiscal year 1999.