Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) has supported exports and overseas investments worth over A$5.9 billion through facilities amounting to A$971.3 million in 2010.
According to EFIC’s 2010 Annual Report tabled in Parliament recently, the Australian Government’s export credit agency helped Australian exporters navigate difficult markets through the highest level of signings and the largest volume of exports supported for over 10 years.
EFIC’s CEO and Managing Director, Angus Armour says that the strong results in a year of continuing economic and financial uncertainty reflect an increased effort to deliver on their mission to help Australian exporters overcome financial barriers in overseas markets.
The results were further strengthened by a profit on EFIC’s Commercial Account amounting to A$38.3 million.
Facilities provided by EFIC to Australian exporters included loans, contract bonds and guarantees. Beneficiaries included exporters ranging from small companies to major corporates.
One of EFIC’s major signings in 2010 was the US$18 billion Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project, the largest project finance transaction in history.
EFIC contributed a loan of US$350 million to this project and the transaction accounted for around 40% of total Commercial Account signings for the year.
According to Mr Armour, EFIC had a major focus on the SME market in 2010, assisting small and medium-sized enterprises through an expanded product range in addition to strengthening ties with commercial finance providers to meet demands from SME exporters.
EFIC has also aligned with major banks to re-launch the export working capital guarantee, aimed at helping medium-sized businesses finance large export contracts.
EFIC has introduced a Producer Offset loan facility with Screen Australia to finance small film productions in addition to a foreign exchange facility guarantee with Travelex.
Going forward, Mr Armour predicts that EFIC and its services will remain important to Australian companies seeking to overcome financial barriers to international growth.