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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS RAILWAY MODERNIZATION IN KAZAKHSTAN

Agreements Signed at Ex-Im Bank Headquarters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 18, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

MARIANNA OHE (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kazakhstan's national railway soon will be running with more modern locomotives thanks to a $33.1 million loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Financing agreements for the transaction were signed today at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters. The Ex-Im Bank guarantee supports the export by General Electric Co. Inc., Erie, Penn., of 54 locomotive modernization kits to Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), Kazakhstan's state-owned national railway. Sub-suppliers in at least nine U.S. states also are participating in the export sale.

KTZ will use the kits to refurbish 27 of its model TE-10 locomotives, extending their life by 15-20 years. KTZ is modernizing its railways to meet the increased demand for freight and passenger traffic created by economic development.

This is Ex-Im Bank's first transaction with KTZ, and the first time that Ex-Im Bank has provided financing for a non-bank, government-owned company in Kazakhstan without a sovereign guarantee, said Ex-Im Bank First Vice President and Vice Chair April Foley. Ex-Im Bank is pleased to help KTZ modernize its fleet and contribute to Kazakhstan's economic development while supporting U.S. exporters and U.S. jobs.

The financing documents were signed at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters following Ex-Im Bank board approval of the transaction earlier this week. The signers were Foley; KTZ President Dr. Yerlan Atamkulov; and Douglas Kennedy, chairman of the board of ABN AMRO Bank Kazakhstan. His Excellency, Kanat Saudabayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United States, also was in attendance at the ceremony.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is ABN Amro Bank N.V., Chicago, IL. KTZ is the primary source of repayment.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps 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 2003, Ex-Im authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.