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Monday, 6 March 2017

EUR 238 mn Siemens contract 85% financed by BNP Paribas, used ECA-backed funding

The EUR 238 mn contract signed with Siemens for six power transmission stations was 85% financed by foreign loans led by BNP Paribas as Coordinating MLA and Facility Agent and was closed in November. The loan benefited from a sovereign guarantee by the Finance Ministry and insurance by Germany’s state-owned Export Credit Agency (ECA) Euler Hermes. Youssef Beshay, senior banker at BNP Paribas, tells us that tapping ECA financing enabled the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company as a borrower to “access long-term foreign funding at very low cost relative to Egypt’s sovereign credit rating.” He says that this was not just limited to energy products, but also used in the purchase of the Rafale jets from France and in financing the expansion of the MIDOR refinery. ECAs have been used as funding vehicles from the EU to Egypt for major projects. ECA-backed funding is particularly vital and an “unnoticed source of international support and foreign liquidity to Egypt,” Beshay says. This enabled the government to procure major infrastructure projects on fast-track basis with competitive and long-term funding.

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