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Briefing

COVID-19: OeKB makes available EUR 2 billion in export credit support

Austrian exporters can apply as of now for emergency export credit support provided by Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (OeKB) together with the Austrian Ministry of Finance to cushion the COVID-19 crisis. A total amount of EUR 2 billion is made available under this new programme.


Bank loan guarantees

Emergency assistance will be provided in the form of bill of exchange guarantees (Wechselbürgschaftszusagen) in respect of revolving loans granted by the exporter’s bank to the exporter. The bills of exchange are guaranteed by the Republic of Austria, thus allowing the exporter’s bank to extend more favourable conditions to its borrower.


Eligibility for the programme

The emergency support programme is available to Austrian exporters (SMEs and large companies), irrespective of whether they currently participate in OeKB’s export credit support programme. OeKB usually requires a creation of value within Austria of at least 50% for a project to qualify for Austrian export credit support.

An applicant must furnish evidence in the form of (draft) balance sheets per its most recent balance sheet date that it was financially sound before the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.


Purpose and application of funds

The guarantee programme aims to ensure liquidity of exporting companies during the current crisis. Loan proceeds may be used for general corporate purposes, including debt service (excluding however a prepayment of existing loans). Existing or expected export receivables are not required to benefit from the programme. An exporter may apply, even if refinanced receivables have been sold to a third party (“factoring”).


Conditions

The loans supported by OeKB must not exceed 10% (large companies) and 15% (SMEs), respectively of the borrower’s export revenues during the last financial year. In any event, the support is limited to EUR 60 million per company (including its subsidiaries). Support is initially granted for a period of 2 years but loans may be repaid earlier without incurring breakage costs.

The Republic of Austria may assume the borrower’s insolvency risk in an amount between 50% and 70% of the loan, in each case depending on the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Borrowers must pay a guarantee fee in the amount of 0.6% p.a. on utilised loan amounts for which the Republic of Austria has assumed the insolvency risk and of 0.3% p.a. on all other utilised amounts.

Interest is payable at the OeKB’s standard rate (currently 0.5%). In addition, borrowers must pay a set-up fee of 0.1% of the maximum loan amount (max EUR 720).


Application and further information

Borrowers should pre-discuss COVID-19 emergency export credit support with their bank. They would then need to submit an application form together with their bank to OeKB, including supporting documentation. Once reviewed and approved by OeKB the lenders may disburse the funds and the bill of exchange will be issued and subsequently countersigned by the Republic of Austria.

Further information is available on the OeKB’s website.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for further information.