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US COMPANIES SELL VITAL MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO RUSSIAN CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL, BACKED BY EX-IM BANK $31 MILLION LOAN GUARANTEE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 5, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

A pediatric hospital in Moscow, Russia, is buying imaging machinery and other vital medical equipment and services from Lunceford & Associates Inc., Coeur d'Alene, ID, and more than 20 other U.S. suppliers, backed by a $31 million loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The purchase by a Russian state procurement agency for the Scientific Center of Children's Health could not go forward without Ex-Im Bank support.

It is the first new sovereign risk transaction in Russia to be approved by Ex-Im Bank's Board of Directors since the August 1998 Russian financial crisis. The Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs, Vnesheconombank, is the borrower and will convey the full faith and credit of the Russian Federation. U.S. Bank N.A., Minneapolis, MN, is the guaranteed lender.

Maintaining a close, long-term relationship with Russia by supporting creditworthy transactions such as this one will reinforce positive trends in the Russian economy and support the long-term competitive position of U.S. exporters in this important market, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. It is particularly gratifying to support a project so critical to the treatment of gravely ill children.

The Scientific Center of Children's Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences accepts the most serious and complex infant and child cases in the Russian Federation and the CIS countries. The medical facility also implements pediatric scientific programs and provides direction and guidance to Russia's child healthcare programs. Equipment to be supplied by Lunceford includes magnetic resonance imaging, X-ray, CT scanner, ultrasound equipment, blood bank, software and computer work stations, and diagnostic/treatment/laboratory equipment.

It is Ex-Im Bank's fourth financing of Lunceford's sale of medical equipment to Russia. U.S. suppliers include General Electric Co. manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, Waukesha and New Berlin, WI, and Mt. Prospect, IL; eight companies in California; and medical equipment manufacturers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Colorado and Michigan.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. It is an independent federal agency that supports the sale of U.S. goods and services to foreign markets. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in U.S. exports worldwide.