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EX-IM BANK COMMENTS ON THAI BANKRUPTCY COURT RULING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 17, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Philip Merrill today expressed concern that the June 13, 2003 ruling by the Central Bankruptcy Court of Thailand could have a negative impact on the investment climate and cost of capital in Thailand.

The ruling failed to ratify Thai Administrators Limited (TAL) as the Plan Administrator for the restructuring of the Thai Petrochemical Industry PCL (TPI), despite the fact that TPI creditors approved the choice of TAL by a 99.68% vote. The Court suggested instead that the Ministry of Finance of Thailand be appointed as the new Plan Administrator.

Under the Bankruptcy Act of Thailand, the creditors have the right to elect a plan administrator. Ex-Im Bank believes that the Court's ruling contradicts that law.

We are very disappointed in the decision, Merrill said. If it stands, I believe that it will cause concern in the investment community about the rule of law in Thailand. This makes it more difficult and risky for banks to do business there and could effectively make the cost of capital more expensive.

Merrill said he believes the appointment of TAL as Plan Administrator would benefit TPI and its employees, and that the successful restructuring of TPI will benefit the overall economy of Thailand.

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. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized $426 million in financing in support of U.S. exports to Thailand. Worldwide last year, the Bank authorized $10 billion in financing, supporting $13 billion of U.S. exports.