NY LAUNCHES FINANCING PROGRAM TO HELP CAPITAL GOODS EXPORTERS

NY LAUNCHES FINANCING PROGRAM TO HELP CAPITAL GOODS EXPORTERS

Capital goods exporters in New York state will be able to compete more effectively in global markets under a new state-sponsored financing program.

The export finance program is aimed at small and midsize manufacturers of such goods as industrial machinery, computers and aircraft. They need to offer multiyear financing on these big-ticket items to win overseas orders."If the importer of a computer system is a university in France with a limited budget, it will require at least four-year financing," said Alfred Daiboch, director of the New York State Export Finance Program.

The initiative, the first of its kind, is designed to help companies that are unable to get such medium-term financing from commercial banks, he said.

Several thousand companies in New York state with exports of $2 million to $15 million a year are potential users of the new service, Mr. Daiboch said.

"We are interested in helping companies for which exports are an existing and growing part of their business," he said.

A letter of credit would be sufficient for exporters who expect to get paid within 90 days, "but it is not their business to hold a five-year receivable," Mr. Daiboch said.

Latin America "is back again," and there are "plenty of opportunities" in Eastern Europe for New York state capital goods exporters, he said.

If a company is selling air-pollution abatement equipment to a factory in Poland, for example, the cost may be $600,000, and the factory likely will need five years to pay, he said.

Under the new program, such credit would be financed by the New York Business Development Corp., a private company owned by 100 banks, with a guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal agency.

The program also will serve providers of capital services, such as technology and engineering firms. It is a joint project of the business development corporation and the New York State Department of Economic Development.

The program was launched following the recent decision of Eximbank to accept the business development corporation as an approved lender. The corporation is the first non-bank financial institution in the nation to receive such a designation.

"We do not offer working-capital loans," Mr. Daiboch said. "This is not a loan program. It is a note-purchase program."

Before an exporter signs a contract to deliver goods overseas, it submits an application for the program.

"We ask Eximbank if they will guarantee the transaction," Mr. Daiboch said. "This depends on the credit-worthiness of the buyer and the country in which the buyer is located. The decision is entirely up to Eximbank."

The exporter receives a promissory note from the importer and sells the note to the business development corporation, which gets paid directly by the importer with the comfort of the Eximbank guarantee.

The program is expected to open up opportunities in Africa and the Middle East and other areas where markets historically have been limited because of credit-related problems, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo said in announcing the initiative last week.

Mr. Daiboch, who spent nine years as an Eximbank specialist at Bankers Trust Co., said participating exporters must meet a number of eligibility criteria.

The exporter must have a permanent business address in New York state. The product to be sold must be at least 25 percent New York and 85 percent United States in origin.

Multiyear repayment terms must be customary in international trade for the product. This rules out agricultural products.

Mr. Daiboch said products likely to be eligible for the program include capital goods and equipment in sections 35 through 38 of the Standard Industrial Code of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

These sections cover industrial machinery and computer equipment, electronic and electric equipment, transportation equipment, and instruments and related products, such as navigation and guidance systems.

The program, based at the business development corporation's office in New York, will enable exporters to integrate financing into their overseas marketing efforts, Mr. Daiboch said.