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EX-IM BANK HELPS US COMPANIES EXPAND BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA BY GUARANTEEING LOANS IN SOUTH AFRICA'S LOCAL CURRENCY, THE RAND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 2, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

U.S. exporters will find it easier to sell their products in southern Africa now that the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) will guarantee loans denominated in the rand, South Africa's currency. The rand has been added to the list of major currencies pre-approved for inclusion in Ex-Im Bank's Foreign Currency Guarantee Program.

This program is good for everyone involved, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. It will facilitate the ability of African borrowers to protect themselves against foreign currency exchange fluctuations. It also will help U.S. companies reach more southern African buyers.

Under the program, African companies now can arrange rand-demominated loans guaranteed by Ex-ImBank to finance their dollar purchases of US goods and services. The rand is the predominant currency used for financing imports to South Africa and some neighboring countries.

Ex-Im Bank is open under all of its loan, guarantee, and insurance programs in South Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa overall in the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has financed approximately $1 billion of U.S. exports. Ex-Im Bank is open to consider business under its regular programs in 21 sub-Saharan African countries, and will consider project finance transactions in 47 sub-Saharan African countries.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of US goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1998, Ex-Im Bank supported $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.