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Ex-Im Approves more than $500 million to Finance Export of U.S. Aircraft to Russia

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) voted to guarantee a loan of more than $500 million provided by Apple Bank for Savings to OJSC VEB Leasing (VEBL) of Moscow for the export of a fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft to Russia to be operated by Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Aeroflot).

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Boeing delivered the first of the aircraft earlier this month.

Ex-Im Bank's financing will support approximately 3,200 U.S. jobs, according to Bank estimates derived from Departments of Commerce and Labor data and methodology.

"The transaction showcases once again the wealth of opportunities for U.S. exporters in Russia," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "Moreover, the aircraft sale will support thousands of high-paying American jobs and provide Aeroflot with a top-of-the-line product."

VEBL, a subsidiary and leasing arm of the state-owned Vnesheconombank Group (VEB), will lease the aircraft to Aeroflot. It is the largest leasing company in the Russian Federation both in terms of its existing lease portfolio and new business volume. In line with VEB's mandate, VEBL aims to increase the competitiveness and diversification of the Russian economy and promote investment activity in key industries. Its portfolio is diversified over a number of different sectors, including, aviation, rail, sea and river vessels, heavy machinery, and automobiles.

"Aircraft financing is one of the main business activities of Vnesheconombank," said Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board Alexander S. Ivanov. "With this transaction we are happy to step into a promising and mutually beneficial partnership with Ex-Im Bank in this field."

Aeroflot, also of Moscow, is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The company, which dates back to 1923, boasts one of the youngest fleets in Europe and is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, which was founded by Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico, Air France, and Korean Air. The new acquisition of the aircraft will contribute to the airline's fleet renewal and route-network expansion. Additionally, the Aeroflot aircraft will share routes and flights with other members of the SkyTeam Alliance as part of the Alliance's codeshare agreement.

"Boeing is very pleased that Aeroflot becomes Russia's first airline to add the 777-300ER to its fleet," said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Commercial Airplanes sales vice president for the Middle East, Russian and Central Asia. "Russia is an important and growing market for aviation and aircraft financing. Ex-Im Bank's innovative financing structuring in this transaction facilitates Aeroflot selecting U.S.-built airplanes to help it succeed, while supporting U.S. exports and sustaining good-paying, high-skilled American aviation manufacturing jobs."

ABOUT EX-IM BANK:

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

Ex-Im Bank approved $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.

SOURCE Export-Import Bank of the United States

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