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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS U.S. SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTS TO BELIZE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 7, 2002

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved a $5.4 million medium-term loan guarantee to support the $5.8 million sale by several U.S. small businesses of electricity transmission equipment to Belize Electricity Ltd (BEL).

The U.S. exporters include Electric Supply of Tampa, Inc., Tampa, FL; Altec Worldwide LLC, Birmingham, AL; and Peco International Electric Inc., Miami, FL.

We are pleased to support a win-win transaction that helps U.S. companies expand into a small but important Latin American market while enabling the buyer to approach its goal of 100% national electrification by 2004, said Ex-Im Bank Vice Chairman Eduardo Aguirre.

BEL, a privately owned company that is the sole transmitter and distributor of electric power in Belize, will use the posts, towers, wiring and other transmission equipment to reach houses and businesses in remote areas.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is Toronto-Dominion Bank, Baltimore, Md. Centre Merchant Finance, Inc., a finance company based in New York, NY and Guatemala City, Guatemala, was responsible for arranging the loan. BEL 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, by providing loans, guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized $735,000 in financing to support U.S. exports to Belize. The Bank's total portfolio for Belize is $37 million. Overall in fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support approximately $13 billion in U.S. exports worldwide.