FINANCING TRADE - GORDON PLATT EAB BANK LAUNCHES SMALL BUSINESS LOANS FOR IMPORTS, EXPORTS

FINANCING TRADE - GORDON PLATT EAB BANK LAUNCHES SMALL BUSINESS LOANS FOR IMPORTS, EXPORTS

European American Bank, a subsidiary of Dutch bank ABN Amro, is offering a new import/export financing program through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The first loan under this program was made to ICP Industries, a one-year- old New York company that exports recycled plastics and plastic resins to buyers in the Far East, Europe and the Middle East.Christine Wimpenny, EAB lending officer, said ICP Industries would have had a very difficult time to grow without the support of the SBA's Export Working Capital Program.

"This program is important because it also guarantees letters of credit," she said.

The SBA and the U.S. Export-Import Bank have blended their working capital programs for exporters. The new programs offer a unified, streamlined approach to the U.S. government's support of export financing.

The Export Working Capital Program increases lender profit opportunities and reduces lender risk, the SBA said. The agency and Ex-Im Bank have divided the market, with loan requests of greater than $833,333 going to the latter.

CHILE STRUGGLES WITH EXCHANGE RATE LEVEL

The U.S. dollar is being pushed upward against the Chilean peso by demand for capital remittances associated with external debt conversion operations, according to analysts at Oppenheimer & Co.

All of this is putting the Chilean central bank in a tight spot, they said. The monetary authorities cannot permit a greater depreciation of the peso, unless they are prepared to take a serious risk on inflation.

"However, direct or indirect intervention against the dollar carries the risk of pushing the market rate of exchange down to the floor of the flotation band, which would crimp the central bank's room for maneuver," the Oppenheimer analysts said in a report on Latin America.

With the central bank faced with these problems, it seems likely that the upward pressure could increase on medium- and long-term interest rates in Chile, they said.

Inflation in June and July was higher than desirable, they said, and the monthly inflation for August is projected at 1.2 percent to 1.4 percent.

EMERGING MARKETS PAY SMALLER DIVIDENDS

To pay or not to pay. That is the question the International Finance Corp. poses in a discussion paper on dividend policy in emerging markets.

The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, considered dividend policy in Chile, India, Jamaica, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey and Zimbabwe. It concluded that "dividend policy in these markets is often very different

from the norms that have been accepted in industrial countries. For example, emerging market corporations place more emphasis on dividend payout ratios than on the level of dividends paid, making dividend payments more volatile than in industrial countries."

Last year, the fraction of earnings paid as dividends to investors in developing countries was, on average, two-thirds of that paid to investors in developed countries.

The study, headed by Jack D. Glen of the IFC's economics department, said this difference reflects the importance of internally generated financing in developing countries, as well as a willingness on the part of investors to forego current dividend payouts in anticipation of future earnings growth.

CAMERA COMPANY GETS TRADE FINANCING

Concord Camera Corp., Avenel, N.J., said the Bank of East Asia Ltd., the oldest Chinese bank in Hong Kong, extended a $10.4 million trade credit facility.

The arrangement replaces a $4.0 million facility approved in July 1993. The new facility includes a $6.4 million trade facility which includes letters of credit, mortgage, over-draft and loan packaging. It also includes a $3 million accounts receivable line of credit and a $1 million, five-year equipment financing term loan.