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Grupo Santander is Named EX-IM Bank's Small Business International Lender of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 3, 2007

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Grupo Santander is to receive the 2007 Small Business International Lender of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 12.

Grupo Santander provided an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed $100 million loan facility to Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to support Pemex's $115 million purchase of equipment and services from more than 200 U.S. small businesses for the ongoing development of its four primary projects, furthering Ex-Im Bank's mission of supporting U.S. exports and creating and sustaining U.S. jobs.

Small businesses have accounted for a significant share of recent Ex-Im Bank-supported export transactions with Pemex on these four projects. But the latest Santander transaction was the first where U.S. small businesses comprised 100 percent of the sale.

Together with Pemex, we found that a significant share of Pemex's U.S. suppliers consisted of small businesses, so we worked closely with our client and Ex-Im Bank to put together a facility structure for the exclusive support of U.S. small businesses, said Gerardo Gutierrez-Olvera, Executive Director, Global Transaction Banking, U.S.A, Grupo Santander.

In 2002, Grupo Santander started reviewing how it could expand financing of exports to Latin America by U.S. small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We signed a master guarantee agreement in 2003 between Santander in Mexico and Ex-Im Bank, and then Santander Mexico started directly tapping Mexican SMEs importing from U.S. SMEs, Gutierrez-Olvera said, our theory being that 'John Smith' was selling to 'Juan Perez.

The annual number of Santander's Ex-Im Bank transactions in Latin America has multiplied 3-4 times over the last three years.

We applaud Grupo Santander's innovative efforts to partner with Ex-Im Bank to strengthen support for U.S. small business exports to Mexico, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. We plan to use this vehicle to finance Pemex's future purchases from U.S. small businesses. Grupo Santander well deserves this award.

Ex-Im Bank's 32nd annual conference on April 12 and 13 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 12 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized over $12.1 billion in transactions supporting an estimated $16.1 billion in U.S. exports.

For more information about Ex-Im Bank's Annual Conference, including online registration, accommodations, and program details, visit //www.exim.gov/.