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STANDARD BANK LONDON SIGNS EX-IM BANK MASTER GUARANTEE AGREEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 8, 2001

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced that Standard Bank London Ltd. (Standard) has signed an Ex-Im Bank Master Guarantee Agreement (MGA) that will facilitate Standard's financing of sub-Saharan African purchases of U.S. goods and services. The MGA enables Standard to offer numerous Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed financing transactions to sub-Saharan African buyers in a way that streamlines the processing of individual transactions.

This partnership will enable Standard Bank London to efficiently offer financing services to sub-Saharan African buyers and further Ex-Im Bank's goal of expanding support for U.S. exports to this important region, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman John E. Robson.

We are extremely pleased to be approved for Ex-Im Bank's Master Guarantee Program, said Bruce Fields, a member of the Standard Bank Group. Standard Bank London Limited has supported U.S exporters for the past 7 years through it's Forfaiting Group, and believes that with access to the Ex-Im Bank Master Guarantee Program it can better assist U.S. exporters with complete financing solutions for their sales to both African and non-African countries across the globe.

Standard is a U.K. bank and the principal operating subsidiary of Standard International Holdings S.A., which in turn is the international holding company of the Standard Bank Group of South Africa. The principal holding company for the interests of the Standard Bank Group is Standard Bank Investment Corporation Ltd. of Johannesburg (Stanbic), one of Africa's leading banking and financial services organizations. Stanbic has 16 subsidiary banks operating in 16 African countries. Standard International Holdings has representation in 20 countries.

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. Ex-Im Bank currently has MGAs with more than 200 banks. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank helped to finance approximately $12.4 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.