Export financing could boost bizav deals

 - March 26, 2011, 6:45 AM

The U.S. government’s main export finance agency is looking to be more active in supporting business aircraft transactions. “The ExIm Bank is often called The Bank of Boeing, but I want to see it called The Bank of Wichita,” said Bob Morin, vice president of the transportation division with the Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

Speaking at the Corporate Jet & Helicopter Finance conference in London on February 17, Morin said that his bank’s primary goal is to support U.S. exports and, by extension, U.S. aircraft-building jobs. He made it clear that the ExIm Bank is quite willing to back deals made by foreign manufacturers that support factories in the U.S., such as Europe’s Dassault Aviation and AgustaWestland, which both have aircraft partially built or completed in the U.S.

According to Morin, the ExIm Bank has provided about $1 billion in financial support for business aircraft (fixed wing and helicopters) over the past two years. This represents a five-fold increase in what it was doing for the sector until recently, but the bank intends to do more. Most of its support is provided by way of guaranteeing commercial loans, but it can also provide direct loans.

Morin added that his team is also trying to make the process of getting support far easier than it is in the airliner sector. They are willing to deviate from the standard 12-year terms used for airliner deals. –C.A.