EDC signs USD 15 million line of credit with Astana Finance of Kazakhstan

    OTTAWA, Oct. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) and Astana
Finance of Kazakhstan today signed an agreement establishing a USD 15 million
line of credit to facilitate the financing of exports of Canadian agricultural
equipment to Kazakhstan.
    The agreement was signed at Astana Finance's headquarters in conjunction
with EDC's attendance at AgroproExpo, Kazakhstan's leading agricultural
exhibition, and the formal Kazakhstan launch of EDC's permanent representation
to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
    "Astana Finance is one of EDC's key partners in Kazakhstan in the
agricultural equipment sector," said EDC's President and CEO Eric Siegel. "The
new line of credit will enable EDC to easily and quickly put financing in
place for individual transactions in Kazakhstan as opportunities arise."
    Demand for agriculture equipment in Kazakhstan, Russia and other members
of the Commonwealth of Independent States continues to grow and Astana Finance
is located in Astana in northern Kazakhstan, the heart of the country's grain
region. The line of credit with Astana Finance will help EDC to support
Canadian exporters in this fast growing sector. EDC and Astana Finance have
previously collaborated on five transactions, most recently in a partnership
on a USD 3.5 million financing for the export of agricultural equipment by
Canam Engines to Investa Agro of Kazakhstan.
    Margaret Skok, Canada's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and Klaus Buttner, EDC
Regional Vice-President for Africa, Europe and the Middle East, were present
at the signing. The Ambassador stated that "the support of the Republic of
Kazakhstan continues to further the economic development and competitive
positioning of both Canada and Kazakhstan in a critical sector."
    Astana Finance is one of the leading financial institutions in Kazakhstan
in terms of shareholders' equity. Astana Finance's principal business line is
providing financial services and commercial lending in high-growth sectors of
the economy in the City of Astana and other fast-growing areas of Kazakhstan.
The Municipality of Astana holds 25 per cent of Astana Finance's equity.

    EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial
solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international
business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by 6,400 Canadian
companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.
EDC is financially self-sustaining and is a recognized leader in financial
reporting, economic analysis and has been named one of Canada's Top 100
Employers for seven consecutive years.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Phil Taylor, Public Affairs,
Export Development Canada, (613) 598-2904, ptaylor@edc.ca

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