Number of Transactions for Women- and Minority-owned Businesses Increases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 19, 2000
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) authorized $12.6 billion in financing in fiscal year 2000 to support $15.5 billion in U.S. exports, sustaining an estimated 62,700 U.S. jobs. The financing compared with $13.1 billion authorized in fiscal year 1999 to support $16.7 billion of exports. FY2000 financing increased for high priority Ex-Im Bank programs such as working capital guarantees, project financing, and medium-term export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank paid special attention to facilitating small business exports and filling the need for financing of large infrastructure projects in emerging markets through streamlined, flexible services and aggressive marketing.
Ex-Im Bank concentrated on expanding financing in high-priority areas such as small and minority-owned business exports, where the dollar value of the transactions may not be large but the long-term potential for U.S. export growth is enormous, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. We also aggressively reached out through a wide range of initiatives to emerging markets with growth potential for U.S. companies.
Small Business: The overall dollar value of Ex-Im Bank small business financing rose 10% to $2.3 billion in FY2000, and the number of small business transactions increased 13% to 2,176 transactions. Small business insurance increased to $1.5 billion from $1.2 billion. Working capital guarantees, which provide small and mid-sized U.S. companies with pre-export financing, jumped 41% to $588.3 million, with $518 million of this going to small businesses. The increase was due in large part to Ex-Im Bank's efforts to attract asset-based lenders and small community banks by meeting the lending community's needs for more user friendly documentation. Ex-Im Bank also reached out to a broader spectrum of lenders through new marketing initiatives including a strengthened Delegated Authority Lender Program. This program allows local lenders to give their customers speedy approval on Ex-Im Bank working capital guarantees without prior Ex-Im Bank approval. Working capital guarantees provided to women-owned businesses increased to $14.5 million in FY2000 from $1.1 million the previous year. The number of insurance policies held by minority and women-owned businesses increased nearly 18%.
Limited Recourse Project Finance: Limited recourse project financing, a type of private financing where repayment comes from project revenues, rose to $1.558 billion in FY2000, nearly nine times the $182 million approved the previous year. The activity was spurred by the strong need for infrastructure financing in emerging markets where access to private financing remains limited in the wake of the recent global financial crises. In addition, to meet the changing needs of project sponsors and developers and to keep U.S. exporters competitive, Ex-Im Bank developed new ways to share risk, implement more flexible financing structures, and support smaller transactions.
Medium-Term Insurance: Medium-term insurance, which covers foreign buyers' purchases of capital equipment and spare parts, jumped to $880.4 million in FY2000 from $589.5 million. Preliminary figures indicate that Mexico accounted for more than 50% of the total; medium-term insurance for U.S. exports to Mexico increased two and a half times to $490 million. In Turkey Ex-Im Bank medium-term insurance doubled to $102 million and accounted for more than 10% of the total. Growth also was strong in Central America - almost a 40% increase over FY1999 levels - and Romania, where medium-term insurance climbed from $0 in FY1999 to $20 million.
By Global Region: In FY2000, Ex-Im Bank authorized $1.294 billion in financing for U.S. exports to Africa and the Middle East ($733.4 million for the continent of Africa alone), $3.05 billion for U.S. exports to Asia, $1.633 billion for Europe and Canada, $311.6 million for Russia and NIS countries, $3.144 billion for Latin America, and $976.3 million for the United States (working capital financing for U.S. exporters and Private Export Funding Corp. Financing). An additional $2.2 billion was unallocated by country.
Environmental Exports: Reflecting Ex-Im Bank's aggressive support of environmentally beneficial U.S. exports, insurance policies covering environmental exports increased to $24.7 million in FY2000 from $16.8 million the previous year, and Working Capital Guarantees in support of environmental exports jumped to $58.3 million in FY2000 from $21 million. Ex-Im Bank's environmental exports program has increased from 13 transactions in FY1994 to 62 transactions in FY2000, with a total portfolio well in excess of $2 billion.
The small overall decline in Ex-Im Bank activity in FY2000 stemmed mainly from a $2.6 billion drop in aircraft authorizations to $3.5 billion from the record high level of $6.1 billion in aircraft authorizations in FY1999. This was due to the exceptionally high number of aircraft delivered during FY1999 and the increased demand for Ex-Im Bank support for aircraft transactions that year in the wake of the global financial crises in 1997 and 1998. Increases in other Ex-Im Bank programs only partly offset the decline in aircraft financing.
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.