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EX-IM BANK CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH 15 RUSSIAN BANKS DURING VISIT TO RUSSIA DEC. 5, 2000

Initiative Will Support Russian Economic Growth, U.S.-Russia Business

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 4, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marsha Berry (Moscow) 7-095-937-0000, 7-095-728-5106 Marianna Ohe (Washington) 202-565-3200

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: Based on a comprehensive review of the Russian banking sector, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has identified 15 Russian banks as creditworthy partners to work with in financing Russian purchases of U.S. goods and services, Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon announced Tuesday. Harmon's announcement came at a news conference during a four-day visit to Russia to discuss ways to strengthen U.S.-Russia trade relations. Harmon noted that Ex-Im Bank will consider financing applications from other Russian banks on a case-by-case basis.

Under the new initiative:

  1. Ex-Im Bank will consider applications for short- and medium-term financing from nine banks: Vneshtorgbank, Sberbank, Vnesheconombank, Moscow Narodny Bank, Gasprombank, International Industrial Bank, Alfa Bank, MDM Bank and International Moscow Bank.
  2. Ex-Im Bank will consider applications for short-term financing only from six banks: Industry and Construction Bank of St. Petersburg, Probusinessbank, Chelind Bank, Far Eastern Bank, KMB Bank and DRB Bank.

This partnership with Russian banks, including 11 private sector banks, is a positive step to support Russian economic and infrastructure development while helping U.S. companies win new business in this important market, Harmon said.

Ex-Im Bank was open to accept commercial bank risk in Russia from November 1996 until the Russian financial crisis in August 1998. Recent improved macroeconomic conditions enable a resumption of activity with Russian commercial banks. Ex-Im Bank staff reviewed a broad cross-section of banks from various regions of Russia including Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Urals and the Russian Far East before selecting the 15 banks, and already has long-standing relations with several of the recommended institutions.

Ex-Im Bank staff due diligence included not only credit analysis but also face-to-face meetings with all banks and meetings with Western bankers active in Russia, multilateral organizations, Western accounting firms, international rating agencies, and U.S. and Russian government agencies.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. During fiscal year 2000, Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports. Ex-Im Bank's overall portfolio in Russia currently totals $2.1 billion.