23 Mar 2014

BHP, Rio score $110m ‘soft’ loan from goverment. Not Quantas?

BHP, Rio score $110m ‘soft’ loan from Export Finance and Insurance Corporation for Chile copper mine

Australia’s export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, has extended the $US100 million ($110.5 million) loan to the miners — the world’s biggest by market value.
The funds will help cover the cost of a $US3.8 billion equipment upgrade being carried out by BHP and Rio at the Escondida mine, in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
The latest deal by the credit agency — a little-known government de facto bank — has spark renewed criticism that it is favouring the big end of town over smaller exporters struggling to break into global markets.
Jubilee Australia chief Brynnie Goodwill said the agency should be supporting small and medium-sized enterprises rather than “well-endowed companies which have access to global capital through their shareholders or the markets”.
The Productivity Commission has previously called for a “substantial reorientation” of the agency’s operations towards smaller businesses.
Its latest loan has been made to Minera Escondida Limitada. BHP is the majority owner with a 57.5 per cent stake, while Rio has a 30 per cent stake.
The term soft loan refer to credit provided on generous terms, such as interest rates below market prices.
Why is Quantas different, I've no idea.

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