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EX-IM BANK ANNOUNCES ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA QUALIFIES FOR SUBSOVEREIGN POLICY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 5, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA: Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman James A. Harmon announced today that St. Petersburg, Russia, now qualifies for potential financing under Ex-Im Bank's recently approved subsovereign program. Ex-Im Bank announced back in August this year that it will accept the credit of qualified cities, states and other subsovereign governments in emerging markets for purchase of U.S. equipment and services to address vital infrastructure and public sector needs. The new initiative will immediately make doing business with U.S. companies easier for qualifying subsovereign entities.

In particular, the program will help foreign borrowers with municipal, state and provincial support gain access to Ex-Im Bank financing to buy, among other things, medical equipment, construction vehicles, information technology, and environmentally beneficial goods and services. Ex-Im Bank will consider accepting the credit of subsovereign governments whose foreign currency debts are not in default and are rated B-/B3 or stronger by an accepted global credit rating agency. Further, Ex-Im Bank will consider accepting the credit of subsovereign entities with equivalent ratings from local rating agencies that are branches or affiliates of the global agencies.

This initiative will help St. Petersburg strengthen its economy by addressing critical infrastructure needs, including expanding its access to cutting-edge information technology, Harmon announced in St. Petersburg during a four-day visit to Russia. At the same time it will expand U.S. trade with St. Petersburg and sustain U.S. jobs.

The list of municipalities and other subsovereign entities eligible for the program will change as credit ratings change. Ex-Im Bank is exploring ways to expand the program in the near future to reach more subsovereign governments in a greater number of countries.

All proposed export transactions under the program will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by appropriate Ex-Im Bank staff. The global credit rating agencies whose ratings may be used for qualification are: Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Duff & Phelps, Fitch/IBCA, and Japan Credit Rating.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. During fiscal year 2000, Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports.