The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa Limited (“ECIC”) covers export credit loans and foreign investments denominated in South African Rand and or US Dollar. In the case of export credit loans denominated in US Dollar, financial institutions are required to raise funding for projects in US Dollar and on-lend to clients in US Dollar, which provides lenders with a natural hedge to mitigate foreign exchange risk.
However, South African contractors who are the beneficiaries of drawdowns under export credit loans for work completed are facing exchange risks in so far as their expenses are Rand denominated. To cater for this risk, South African contractors are allowed to elect which portion of the export contract they would like to receive in Rand. Guaranteed Rates of Exchange (“GRE”), obtained from the South African Reserve Bank (“SARB”) are then issued to the contractor to eliminate the impact of currency fluctuations in their pricing during the delivery phase of the project.
The ruling spot rate on the date of draw down is used to convert the US Dollar Contract Payments or portions thereof, to Rand. The difference between the ruling spot rate and the GRE is compensated by the SARB in the event of foreign exchange losses and profits are paid to the SARB in the event of foreign exchange gains. For this cover there is an exchange risk cover premium administered by the ECIC on behalf of the South African Reserve Bank.
It should be noted that the foreign exchange cover is not a stand-alone policy or product and the Exporter must also apply for Exporter’s cover.
Rates Issued by South African Reserve Bank (“SARB”)
The GRE are issued by the SARB to the ECIC every Friday of the month.
The GRE issued by the SARB is valid from the Friday of the date of issue for seven calendar days i.e. the close of business the following Thursday.
Publication & Fixing of the GRE
The weekly GRE's received from the SARB can be forwarded to a client on request. Should the client want to fix the GRE of that specific week (GRE's quoted for a week can only be fixed in that week - not retrospectively), a written application must be forwarded to the ECIC. On receipt of the application, the ECIC will issue a GRE Offer of Cover to the applicant.
Expiry of the GRE offer of cover ...
The date on which the GRE offer lapses:
For new applications the GRE Offer lapses twenty-four (24) months after the issue of the GRE Offer of Cover. In the event the Client wishes to extend the date on which the GRE Offer of Cover expires, a written request in respect of the extension is required by the ECIC, prior to the date on which the GRE expires. A revised GRE Offer of Cover confirming the extension will be forwarded to the Client as per the conditions set out herein.
The Exchange Risk Cover Policy that will be issued pursuant to the GRE Offer of Cover shall be conditional upon the Exporter taking up the Exporter’s Cover Policy and the Policy becoming effective.
Amendments to the insured rand amount:
In the event the Client wishes to modify or amend the value of the Insured Rand Amount and/or the Percentage of Cover of the Insured Rand Amount during the delivery period, the Client would be entitled to make use of the GRE’s for an increase not exceeding ten percent (10 %) of the South African Contract Price.
Transferability of the GRE
In the event the Project Sponsor wishes to replace the S.A exporter with another S.A exporter (“new exporter”), the new exporter has the option of either utilising the original GRE as confirmed in the GRE Offer of Cover to the previous exporter or fixing the ruling GRE at the time.
Exporter premium for exchange cover
The date from which the foreign exchange Premium is calculated in respect of the GRE commences from the date on which the Exporter makes an application to fix the GRE.
GRE Claims in Terms of Insurance:
Refer to existing procedures for GRE Claims in terms of Insurance as defined by the foreign exchange cover policy.
GRE Quotations are provided for a period of up to ten (10) years.