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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 23, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States is providing $186 million in long-term loan guarantees to finance the $212 million acquisition by South African Airways (SAA) of two B747-400 commercial aircraft from The Boeing Co., Seattle, WA. The aircraft each have four installed engines manufactured by General Electric Co., Cincinnati, OH.

Ex-Im Bank`s guarantees cover two separate $93 million long-term loans, one provided by Citibank NA, New York, NY, and the other provided by NationsBank NA, Charlotte, NC, to finance the purchase of each aircraft. SAA is a partially privatized subsidiary of the government-owned Transnet Ltd., Johannesburg, South Africa. The transaction is guaranteed by Transnet and structured as a conditional sale with the aircraft serving as collateral.

SSA serves domestic and regional markets as well as 15 international destinations for which it provides 85 weekly flights. The airline is using the new B747-400s to expand the capacity of its B747 fleet which serves inter-continental routes, and initially will operate the two planes exclusively on its Johannesburg to London route.

South Africa is a critical market in our effort to increase US exports to sub-Saharan Africa, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. This transaction also caps a tremendous year of success in sub-Saharan Africa that saw a tenfold increase in Ex-Im Bank financing to sub-Saharan African companies for fiscal year 1999.

Ex-Im Bank has financed more than $1 billion of U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa over the past five years. Ex-Im Bank is open to consider business under its regular programs and its Africa Pilot Program in 32 sub-Saharan African countries, and will consider project finance transactions in 47 sub-Saharan African countries.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that assists in financing the export of US goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank expects to support $15 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.