The U.S. Export-Import Bank said Transnet SOC Ltd., a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, will receive about 1.1 billion South African rand ($108 million) in financing to support the purchase of 53 American-made General Electric locomotives.
Ex-Im Bank's financing to Transnet will now total $230 million. In February 2011, the bank approved 1.1 billion rand for the sale of 47 GE locomotive kits. Together, the transactions will provide a 2.2 billion rand ($230 million) in financing and support the purchase of 100 GE locomotives.
"As the president highlighted on his recent (Africa) trip, there are enormous opportunities for U.S. exporters in South Africa and across the broader region," said Ex-Im Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg in a statement. "Ex-Im Bank will continue to help American companies expand their reach into this dynamic market."
Ex-Im Bank developed a customized financing tool that was designed specifically to meet the needs of Transnet. Barclays Bank of London is the guaranteed loan agent and arranger, while Nedbank in Johannesburg will be the funding bank. The loan is guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank and will be denominated in South African rand.
Transnet is a large South African freight rail, port and pipeline infrastructure company. The company's stock is owned by the South African government’s Department of Public Enterprises. Ex-Im's financing will support Transnet's purchase of GE C30ACI locomotive kits. These kits, which are manufactured in Erie, Pa., are shipped to Transnet facilities in Pretoria, South Africa and assembled by local workers.
South Africa is one of nine key markets Ex-Im Bank has identified as having strong opportunities for U.S. exporters. In fiscal year 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized about $130 million in financing to South Africa and the bank's current exposure is more than $1 billion.