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EX-IM BANK FINANCING TO SUPPORT NEW INDIAN CELLULAR NETWORK

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 2004

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, DC- An Indian company is developing a $5.5. billion, state-of-the-art wireless communications network with Lucent technology thanks to a $500 million long-term loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

The guarantee, which Ex-Im Bank approved today, will enable Lucent Technologies of Murray Hill, N.J., and 10 other U.S. high-tech companies to sell telecommunications equipment to Reliance Infocomm Limited (RIL) of Navi Mumbai, so that it can develop India's first nationwide CDMA network. An affiliate of Citibank N.A. of New York is the guaranteed lender.

This is a landmark transaction for Lucent, for India, and for Ex-Im Bank, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill said. It brings some of the very best U.S. technology to India to assist it on its march toward prosperity, while supporting high-quality, high-tech jobs in the United States.

RIL plans to complete this national cellular and fixed-line network by 2006, by using this financing, along with $3.4 billion in equity provided by its parent company, the Reliance Group, $1.1 billion in financing from 18 Indian banks, a $250 million facility from Export Development Canada, and $250 million from an international banking consortium led by ABN Amro in Singapore. As of May 2004, RIL, which was established in 2003, had approximately 22 percent share of India's 36 million cellular subscribers. The new system will have the widest mobile reach, covering 95 percent of the Indian market.

Ex-Im Bank, which had $967 million in exposure in India prior to this transaction, has supported two previous U.S. export transactions involving the Reliance Group, India's largest private-sector entity.

Ex-Im Bank, the official U.S. export credit agency, is in its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2003, the Bank authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.