FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 26, 2007
Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today extended for an additional 39 months its offer to reduce its exposure fee by one-third on asset-backed financings of new U.S.-manufactured large commercial aircraft and spare engines for international buyers in countries that ratify and implement the Cape Town Treaty and the related aircraft-equipment protocol, including certain specified declarations. Ex-Im Bank's exposure fee is the risk premium that the Bank charges for its export financing.
The extension will cover aircraft and spare-engine financings approved from October 1, 2007, and contractually scheduled to deliver on or before December 31, 2010, provided that the underlying purchase contract was a firm contract as of April 30, 2007.
The Cape Town Treaty is an international treaty that facilitates the cross-border financing and leasing of aircraft, helicopters and aircraft engines. The treaty established the legal framework for an international registry of the security and leasing interests in aircraft, helicopters and aircraft engines owned or operated by borrowers in countries that have ratified or acceded to the treaty. Airlines have benefited from Ex-Im Bank's more favorable financing terms in seven of the 18 countries that have ratified or acceded to the treaty to date: Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Oman, Pakistan, Panama and Senegal.
By extending our offer to reduce our exposure fee through 2010, Ex-Im Bank is reaffirming our commitment to the Cape Town Treaty. We firmly believe that this treaty and the international registry will result in greater predictability for aircraft financiers by significantly reducing the legal risks associated with cross-border, asset-backed aircraft financings and leases, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright.
Ex-Im Bank Vice President of Transportation Robert Morin said, The Cape Town Treaty will expand sources of aircraft financing, increase the amount of financing and lower the cost for airlines. In turn, the lower financing cost will help airlines expand their fleets and buy more new aircraft, thereby supporting jobs in the aerospace industry.
In addition, a common approach has been reached with the European export-credit agencies on offering a uniform Cape Town Discount under the new Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Civil Aircraft, which was recently concluded through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The common approach to Cape Town Treaty discounts will apply to all aircraft that are delivered after December 31, 2010, or under a firm contract entered into after April 30, 2007. Ex-Im Bank believes that the signal given by this common approach underscores the critical importance of the Cape Town Treaty to the future of aviation finance, said Robert Morin.
Since 2003, Ex-Im Bank has offered a one-third reduction of its exposure fee on asset-backed financings of new U.S.-manufactured large commercial aircraft for buyers in countries that ratify and implement the Cape Town Treaty and the related aircraft-equipment protocol (including specified qualifying declarations under the Cape Town Treaty).
Ex-Im Bank's current Cape Town Treaty discount policy enables eligible foreign buyers to receive an Ex-Im Bank exposure fee of as low as two percent, a one-third reduction of the current minimum three percent exposure fee on asset-backed financings of new large commercial aircraft. More favorable financing terms also apply to asset-backed financings of spare engines to such buyers.
Ex-Im Bank also extends preferential financing terms to leasing companies but only if the aircraft leasing company and the airline lessee under the initial operating lease are both based in a country that has ratified and implemented the Cape Town Treaty and have made the appropriate declarations under the treaty and the related aircraft-equipment protocol.
The Cape Town Treaty (formally known as the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment) was concluded at an international diplomatic conference in Cape Town, South Africa, in November 2001. The treaty establishes a commercially oriented, comprehensive international legal framework to protect security and leasing interests in aircraft equipment.
More information on the Cape Town Treaty may be found on the Web site of UNIDROIT, an independent intergovernmental organization that studies the needs and methods for modernizing, harmonizing and coordinating private and commercial law as between states and groups of states. UNIDROIT acts as the depositary under the Cape Town Treaty. See http://www.unidroit.org/english/conventions/mobile-equipment/main.htm.
Ex-Im Bank, the official export-credit agency of the United States, is in its 73rd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.