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IP/10/143

Brussels, 9 th February 2010

State aid: Commission authorises Danish export loan scheme

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, a Danish scheme providing export loans to Danish exporters and /or their clients who experience difficulties in accessing funding in the current financial crisis. The Commission found the scheme to be in line with its Communication on Reference Rates (see IP/07/1912 ), in particular because it provides funding on market terms and therefore does not constitute state aid in the meaning of Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: “The Danish scheme will contribute to limit the adverse impact of the withdrawal of several banks from the export credit market. At the same time, the interest rate charged by the State is sufficient to ensure that the scheme is not used to offer artificially cheap financing to Danish exporters and their customers".

Due to the financial crisis, several banks exited the export credit business and the banks still active on that market reduced their activities. Since they experience difficulties to find long term funding, the banks are reluctant to grant new long term export credits.

If banks' tightened liquidity position restricts them from financing a long term export loan requested by a Danish exporter and/or its client, they can enter into an agreement with the Danish State owned export finance agency (EKF) for a later assignment of the loan to the scheme. Banks then play a mere role of intermediary and administrator of the loan. The pricing (i.e. interest rate) of the loans is calculated by EKF, which has extended experience in assessing the creditworthiness of borrowers and the value of the collateral they intend to provide. EKF always carefully benchmarks the interest rate on the loan to market prices and to the Commission's Reference Rate Communication.

The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme does not contain state aid.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number NN04/2010 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News .


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