AKA makes use of all its specialist knowledge to offer participations in ECA-covered finance for foreign banks or corporates. Usually, the financing is provided by the contributing bank and AKA in an open syndicate and funded jointly by both participants. Alternatively, the finance solution can be provided on a 100 % basis by AKA, free of any credit risk or funding costs for the contributing bank. A precondition for the grant of buyer credit is the availability of cover by a government export credit agency (ECA). Euler Hermes is responsible for providing cover for German exports.
The basics of ECA-covered finance
The basic requirement for financing is the existence of an export contract, which the exporter signs with the importer and which may include services as well. Furthermore, the importer and exporter agree that part of the contract value is to be financed.
Preferably, the exporter’s bank contacts AKA already during the bidding phase to request an offer for export finance. If the transaction meets all the conditions for ECA-covered finance, AKA will then submit a non-binding indicative offer of finance, thus frequently widening the contributing bank’s scope.
Find out more about our joint activities with banks here.
Conditions for ECA-covered finance include:
- Conformity to the OECD consensus
- General requirements stipulated by the responsible national ECA
- Sufficient credit rating on the part of the borrower
Once the export contract has been signed and the borrower mandates AKA to provide the financing, AKA prepares the loan documentation and contacts the borrower directly. The importer’s bank or the importer itself may act as the borrower.
AKA has numerous basic agreements with foreign banks. Under these basic agreements, AKA can quickly provide individual loans on a standardised basis for the relevant banks as the borrowers. If the importer itself acts as the borrower, the loan contract is signed directly with the importer.
A precondition for ECA-covered finance is the grant of cover by an export credit agency (ECA). For example, in Germany, Euler Hermes is the responsible ECA. The application for cover is submitted jointly by AKA and the exporter.
The cover provisions in Europe vary according to ECA but are always based on the Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits adopted by the OECD member states, known as the "OECD consensus".
Among other things, the OECD consensus stipulates the following:
- A maximum of 85 % of the contract value is financed under ECA-covered credit
- 15 % of the contract value must be paid in advance or in interim payments
- Repayment arrangements: the maximum term of the loan depends on the exported goods and the borrower’s country; repayment/interest periods of a maximum of 6 months
- Minimum ECA fee
The rules and conditions of the relevant ECA must be satisfied. Euler Hermes as the German ECA publishes its conditions on its website at www.agaportal.de.
Please see further information on the basic conditions is further below.
In the case of ECA-covered finance, the long-term nature of the financing is a highly attractive advantage. The maximum term is prescribed by the ECA, which is tied by the rules of the OECD consensus via the European Union.
Exporter declaration / guarantee
In the exporter’s declaration, the exporter makes certain undertakings towards AKA, e.g. reporting duties (with regard to the exported goods among other things) and, where applicable, the payment of the credit insurance fees. It may also include further individual obligations including the exporter’s duties in an event of loss.
Repayments are made in equal semi-annual amounts. The first date of repayment depends on the delivery / service period stipulated in the export contract. It is six months after the starting point defined in the loan contract. This may be either the mean weighted delivery date, the last material part delivery date or the date of readiness of operation of the exported goods. Regardless of this, the loan contract always specifies the latest date for the first repayment based on the planned execution of the export contract.
Conditions for disbursement
The conditions for disbursement are specified in the loan contract. These normally include:
- The ECA cover is in full force and effect
- Exporter’s declaration
- Legal opinion confirming – amongst others – that respective borrower is duly incorporated and existing and that the loan agreement has been duly executed and constitutes the valid, legally binding and enforceable obligations of the borrower, and that all necessary internal and external approvals and official permits are in existence
- Confirmation that the export contract became effective
- The provision of any collateral required to be provided by the importer
Usually, the loan is paid to the exporter after it has submitted a disbursement request including documentation proving that deliveries have been made and/or services have been rendered.
AKA has entered into basic agreements with numerous foreign banks for medium and long-term export finance. The basic agreements facilitate for all stakeholders involved to speed up the conclusion of the individual loan agreement and to ensure faster compliance with the conditions precedent for disbursement of the loan amount.
The basic agreements contain standardised rules applicable to all individual loan agreements concluded thereunder. These provisions specifically include the general conditions and provisions of a loan contract which are not dependent on the particular characteristics of the export transactions to be financed.
Consequently, the individual loan agreement must contain the following elements:
- Brief description of the export transaction
- Currency and amount of the loan
- Specific loan disbursement and repayment arrangements
- commercial conditions such as interest and fees
With the conclusion of the basic agreement, main aspects for a loan have been successfully agreed upon and the borrower can start to fulfil the conditions precedent for disbursement. As a result, the individual loan contract can be signed and the conditions precedent of the loan satisfied within a short space of time.
We are happy to answer any questions that you may have on the basic agreements and to provide you with further information on the countries and banks with which basic agreements are currently in force.
CIRR loans are government-supported loans granted at fixed interest rates for export finance to certain countries. CIRR stands for “commercial interest reference rate”. The CIRR is a reference interest rate which the OECD stipulates for use by its member countries as the minimum rate for government-sponsored finance for exports of capital goods and related services for developing countries. A uniform CIRR rate applies in the Eurozone countries.
At the national level, there may be differences in the conditions for eligibility and the CIRR programmes. In Germany, the CIRR loan is offered as a fixed interest rate for the borrower. The Federal Republic of Germany provides the financing banks with funding via the ERP export finance programme. KfW has been mandated with the administration of the ERP export finance programme.
The following general conditions, among others, must be satisfied to be eligible for a CIRR loan:
- The borrower must be domiciled in a country that is included in the OECD’s DAC list
- Export-tied finance granted to the importer or the importer’s bank
- Finance covered by Euler Hermes
- Confirmation by Euler Hermes that the finance is eligible for support
- The loan is repaid over a period of at least four years in equal semi-annual installments
The loan amount is used to finance a maximum of 85 per cent of the contract’s value eligible for cover plus eligible interest during construction and ECA premia. It should not exceed a total of EUR 85 million.
AKA has entered into a master contract with KfW for small and mid-size companies in particular, allowing orders with a value of up to EUR 20 million to be financed.
The fixed interest rate applies to the entire term of the funding and equals the CIRR rate applicable on the date on which the loan agreement is signed plus a margin. The current CIRR rate applies from the 15th day of the first month until the 14th day of the following month and is announced by the OECD.
Longer terms may be agreed upon for finance in the industry sectors of renewable energies, climate change and adaptation and water projects. The corresponding CIRR rates are published on the following page.