EFIC hits new heights

Record $5.9bn in export support and overseas investments

In the 2010 financial year the Australian Government’s export credit agency, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), helped Australian exporters navigate difficult markets through the highest level of signings and the largest volume of exports supported in more than a decade.

EFIC’s 2010 Annual Report reports that EFIC supported exports and overseas investments worth more than A$5.9 billion through facilities of A$971.3 million.

“In a year when Australian businesses faced continuing economic and financial uncertainty, this strong result reflects an increased effort to deliver on our mission: to help Australian exporters overcome financial barriers,” said EFIC’s CEO and Managing Director, Angus Armour.

The results were underpinned by a profit on EFIC’s Commercial Account of A$38.3 million.

EFIC provided facilities including loans, contract bonds and guarantees to support exporters ranging from small companies to major corporates, and their exports to over 40 countries.

EFIC’s signings in 2010 were dominated by its involvement in the US$18 billion Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project, which is the largest project finance transaction in history.

EFIC contributed a loan of US$350 million to this project and the transaction accounted for about 40 per cent of total Commercial Account signings for the year.

Mr Armour said while demand for EFIC’s traditional products remained strong, an important focus during the year was finding further ways to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“EFIC has reviewed and expanded its product range, and strengthened ties with commercial finance providers so that we’re meeting demand from SMEs and making it easier for them to find us, he said.

“With major banks, we re-launched the export working capital guarantee, which is aimed at helping medium-sized businesses to finance large export contracts.

“We also introduced a Producer Offset loan facility with Screen Australia to finance small film productions and a foreign exchange facility guarantee with Travelex.”

Mr Armour said EFIC and its services would remain important to Australian companies seeking to overcome financial barriers to international growth next financial year.

“Global financial markets and credit conditions remain volatile. As a result, we expect further opportunities for EFIC to support Australian companies in 2011 and beyond,” Mr Armour said.

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation
Ph: 02 9201 2276