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Ex-Im Bank Hits 75-Year Financing High in Fiscal 2009: Records Set for Overall Financing As Well As Small Business Support

Records Set for Overall Financing As Well As Small Business Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 12, 2009

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Stephanie M. O'Keefe, Senior Vice President, Communications, or Phil Cogan, Vice President, Public Affairs, (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) achieved its highest financing level since its establishment in 1934, authorizing more than $21 billion in support of U.S. exports during the fiscal year just concluded. The Bank also set a record for financing of U.S. small business exports at $4.36 billion.

Ex-Im Bank helped fill the gaps in trade financing created by the international economic crisis, just as Congress intended when it created the Bank during the 1930s, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. That has enabled us to help create and sustain U.S. jobs, as we are mandated, and we have done this as a self-sustaining agency without taxpayer-provided funds.

Ex-Im Bank authorized $21.02 billion in loans, guarantees and export credit insurance to support U.S. exports during fiscal year 2009 which ended Sept. 30, up from $14.39 billion the previous year. The Bank's previous financing high was $15.07 billion in fiscal year 1993.

Spire Corporation, a photovoltaic manufacturing-based firm in Bedford, Mass., is the company that received the Ex-Im Bank working capital financing that boosted the Bank's authorizations past its previous record level. Spire Corporation employs about 230 people at its Bedford headquarters. Ex-Im Bank offers enhanced financing terms for environmentally-beneficial exports such as those manufactured by Spire.

We are delighted to be the company that helped Ex-Im Bank surpass its previous all-time high for financing U.S. exports, said Spire Corporation's Chairman and CEO Roger G. Little. Ex-Im Bank's support is invaluable. It creates a stable platform for access to the capital that our customers require to make decisions quickly. This is a key aspect of our global strategy that has helped to fuel our rapid growth.

Of the fiscal 2009 total, Ex-Im Bank authorized $4.36 billion in support of small business exports, up from $3.19 billion in fiscal 2008. The latest year's small business authorizations comprised 20.7 percent of total Ex-Im Bank financing. The previous high for small business financing was $3.4 billion in fiscal year 2007.

Overall Ex-Im Bank supported 2,891 financing transactions in fiscal 2009, of which small business transactions accounted for 2,540, or 87.9 percent.

As a result of the fees and interest collected by the Bank during fiscal 2009, taxpayers earned $135 million in excess of the cost of operating Ex-Im Bank.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps to create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing 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.

EDITORS NOTE:

Following are additional details to support expanded coverage of this important milestone:

Ex-Im Bank saw increased activity across most Bank products and sectors in fiscal year 2009, including short-term insurance and long-term loans and guarantees; working capital loan guarantees for small businesses; and large aircraft and project finance transactions. Authorizations totaled $9.94 billion for loan guarantees, $6.5 billion for insurance, $3 billion for direct loans, and $1.5 billion for working capital guarantees.

In order to keep exports flowing during the current economic crisis, Ex-Im Bank has introduced new products, such as a Take-out Option, which allows commercial banks to reduce their liquidity risks by selling their Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed medium- and long-term loans back to Ex-Im Bank, and the opening of the Bank's working capital guarantee program to indirect U.S. exporters. Companies that produce goods or services that are sold to U.S. companies, and are subsequently exported, are now eligible to apply for working capital loans guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank.