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EX-IM BANK $18 MILLION LOAN GUARANTEE SUPPORTS SALE OF U.S. MOBILE TELEPHONE SYSTEM TO NIGERIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 11, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

U.S. suppliers participating in the export sale include: Solectron Systems, Creedmore, N.C.; Microwave Networks, Stafford, Tex.; Andrew Corp., Orland Park, Ill.; UT Starcom, Alameda, CA; Glenayre, Duluth, Ga.; Eltek Energy, Crystal Lake, Ill.; and Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara, Cal.

This sale of high technology equipment and services to an important sub-Saharan African market will bring telephone service to tens of thousands of Nigerians while sustaining high-quality U.S. jobs, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. We hope to support Bourdex Telecommunications' continued expansion to meet the strong demand for communication services in Nigeria.

Bourdex has a current capacity of 45,000 customers and, in response to demand, is expanding and upgrading its wireless analog network to a digital CDMA (code division multiple access) system offering such services as push-to-talk, high-speed internet access, and multi-media messaging. The network will have a capacity of 80,000 subscribers when completed in 2005, and 200,000 subscribers in five years. Nortel's contract is for phase one of the network upgrade. Further expansion during phase two is scheduled to be completed a year later.

Nortel won the contract in the face of competition from Asian and Middle Eastern companies. The guaranteed lender on the transaction is HSBC Bank PLC, London, UK. A consortium of two African banks, Ecobank Nigeria Plc in Lagos, Nigeria, and Ecobank Transnational Inc. in Lome, Togo, are guarantors on the transaction.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 70th year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.