Buyers of Swedish goods and services can obtain export credits from SEK. Financing on favorable terms benefits both exporters and buyers. When you work with SEK, turbulence on the capital markets is no obstacle to financing.
Export credits are the most common form of financing for large transactions as buyers’ investments sometimes require long repayment periods.
In Sweden, export credits involve the participation of three parties. SEK provides the financing, while EKN guarantees the majority of the credit risk (usually 95 percent of the loan). We also collaborate and sometimes co-arrange financing with commercial banks. By working with commercial banks we are able to provide effective financing for export deals in all parts of the world.
Applying for CIRRs
You must submit your CIRR application before signing an export contract with your customer. Applications can be submitted by both exporters and banks. It’s free to apply and no costs are incurred if you eventually do not choose to use the CIRR.
Current CIRR rates
SEK offers financing of export credits at both the Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR) and at floating market rates. CIRRs allow overseas buyers to obtain financing at a fixed rate of interest. The interest rates are published monthly by the OECD and you can find the rates on our website. An offer of a CIRR rate from SEK is free of charge. When you enter into the loan agreement you can choose between a floating rate and a CIRR rate; think of the CIRR option as an interest rate cap provided free of charge.
More about CIRRs
Export credits and CIRRs comply with the Consensus on Export Credits, the OECD guidelines that ensure that member countries provide government-supported financing on equal terms. The CIRR system is also governed by EU regulation and Swedish national rules.
In Sweden, SEK manages the state-supported CIRR system on behalf of the Swedish government. In simple terms, this means that an exporter can offer its customer a fixed interest rate (a CIRR), which is valid for four months. A commercial contract must be signed within this time frame. Once this is signed, the borrower (the exporter’s buyer) has a further six months within which to sign a loan agreement.
If floating market rates rise during the negotiating period, the CIRR offer may become very attractive because it is a fixed rate that provides a ceiling for the interest cost. The CIRR rate can thus also be of advantage to the exporter by providing it with an additional tool to help win export orders.
Another advantage of the CIRR rate is that it enables the borrower to calculate its total financing cost for an import project.
The total financing cost is made up of the CIRR rate as well as the EKN premium and market level margins and fees. The EKN premium can be fully financed under the export credit.
Our administration of the CIRR system has generated a surplus of around Skr 2.7 billion for the Swedish government since 1990.
A well-structured export credit can mean the difference between winning or losing a contract. We’ve seen numerous cases in which our exporters win tenders thanks to the financing their buyers receive. From an exporters point of view an export credit works as a cash transaction. All you need to do is to make sure that your payment terms include an advance payment of at least 15 percent. You get paid upon delivery of the goods and/or service and your customer receives a credit.
We provide the financing that foreign buyers need to purchase Swedish goods and services. An export credit can offer an attractive alternative to the capital market or funding from your local bank which means you don´t have to use the credit limit that your bank has made available. This enables you to diversify your borrowing and also provides reliable financing during turbulent periods. We provide long repayment terms that are only limited by the nature of the goods and the maximum allowable tenors under the OECD Consensus. The CIRR rate is a particularly attractive option since, given certain conditions you recieve an offer free of charge during the period that the commercial contract is being negotiated.
Find out more about CIRR
The CIRR is a fixed interest throughout the lifetime of the credit. This enables your buyer to calculate the total cost for his project. It is possible to get CIRR financing in all major currencies and some emerging market currencies. We are exempt from withholding tax on interest in some countries, which is an advantage for the borrower and can thus increase your possibilities to win orders.
We work with banks in a variety of ways. SEK can fund your export credit and in certain circumstances share the credit risk that is not insured by EKN. If need be, we can help guide you through the Swedish export credit system. Usually you assign and transfer the loan to us but remain as agent for the credit . This means that the financing is recorded on SEK’s balance sheet freeing up space on your own balance sheet. We can finance both large and small amounts over long or short periods, with the tenor being governed by the needs of the buyer (as well as the restrictions set by the OECD Consensus). We focus solely on lending and do not compete with you for other banking business.
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