FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 18, 2005
Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
DAKAR, SENEGAL: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is assisting in financing the first sale of a Boeing 737-700 aircraft and attached CFM-56 engines to Air Senegal International. The financing agreement was signed in Washington, D.C., on July 5, and the aircraft arrived in Senegal on July 11. Today in Senegal, Ex-Im Bank Board Member Linda Conlin participated in a commemorative signing with Air Senegal International and the Boeing Company at the AGOA Forum 2005 currently in progress in Dakar. The transaction is the largest Ex-Im Bank financing ever done in Senegal.
Ex-Im Bank is delighted to assist Senegal in developing a modern, safe and efficient air transportation system, said Ex-Im Bank Board Member Linda Conlin. The transaction that we are commemorating today demonstrates Ex-Im Bank's and the U.S. government's commitment to supporting commercial ties between the United States and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa.
The Boeing 737-700 aircraft will be used by Air Senegal International to expand its routes to West Africa and Europe. Air Senegal International is owned by the government of Senegal and Royal Air Maroc, the national flag carrier of Morocco.
In this transaction, Ex-Im Bank is guaranteeing a loan from Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank of Paris, France. The transaction is structured as an asset-based financing in which Ex-Im Bank retains a security interest in the aircraft. Asset-based financing is the principal structure through which Ex-Im Bank supports sales and leases of U.S. large commercial aircraft in developing markets.
Ex-Im Bank is actively working to promote the Cape Town treaty, an international agreement that will facilitate the asset-based financing of large, mobile equipment across international borders. To encourage countries to sign and ratify the Cape Town treaty, Ex-Im Bank has extended its offer to reduce its exposure fee by one-third on aircraft financings for airlines in countries that sign, ratify and implement the treaty. Ex-Im Bank's reduced exposure fee offer has been extended through September 30, 2006.
Ms. Conlin and John Richter, Ex-Im Bank's International Business Development director for Africa, are participating in the AGOA 2005 Forum being co-sponsored by the U.S. government in Dakar, Senegal, July 18 - 20. Earlier today, Ms. Conlin participated in a panel discussion on infrastructure finance with representatives of two other U.S. trade agencies, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Since 1997, Ex-Im Bank has provided $1.6 billion in financing to support exports of 34 U.S. commercial aircraft to six different airlines in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Namibia, Overland Airways in Nigeria, South African Airways, and Air Senegal International.
Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, is in its 71 st 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. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank supported $17.8 billion of U.S. exports to markets worldwide. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.