Skip to main content Skip to footer
...add a successful rollout of 5G in India, and you have the recipe for the ECA of Year 2024.

London, May 1, 2024: EKN has been recognized as ECA Of The Year by Global Trade Review (GTR), while the EKN-backed financing of the world’s fastest 5G network rollout was named one of the top ten Best Deals of 2024. 

“Rolling out 5G in a country with more than 1.4 billion people is a complex undertaking and requires a large amount of equipment from foreign suppliers,” noted GTR and added that “the resulting aggregate financing is notable for its sheer size.”

The aggregate financing was the largest ECA-supported facility signed by a corporate globally during 2023 and comprised of three separate deals: a US$1.35bn and €745mn facility covered by EKN; a US$700mn and €798mn commercial loan covered by Finnvera, the Finnish ECA, and a US$600mn direct loan from Canada’s ECA EDC.

Besides equipment from Ericsson and Nokia, the deal also financed the rollout and commissioning of a 5G network, which is unique according to the operator RJio. The EKN and Finnvera facilities, used to procure purchases from Ericsson and Nokia respectively, are the highest value deals either ECA has ever provided to a private corporate.

“2023 marked a historic milestone for EKN, achieving the highest volume of guarantees in its 90-year history,” says Anna-Karin Jatko, Director General at EKN. “Add a successful rollout of 5G in India, and you have the recipe for the ECA of Year 2024."

The winning teams were presented with the awards at a gala dinner in London on May 1. Malin Tegnér Larsen from EKN was present.

“Congratulations on winning two awards, Malin! How does it feel?”
“It’s been both challenging and exciting to contribute to such a large and complex deal, involving exporters, lenders and ECAs from several countries. Also, working with a buyer as professional as Reliance Jio has been a great experience.”

“As for the ECA Of The Year award, we are obviously grateful and delighted, and take it as confirmation of our hard work paying off in successful deals that underline the important role of trade finance. The Award is a testament to the global acknowledgement of Swedish corporates for innovation, excellence, and competitiveness, particularly in sustainability and climate transition.”

“What were the success factors behind pulling off such a mega-deal in record time?”
“EKN used all the tools at our disposal, coupled with our extensive experience of ECA financing and telecoms, to arrive at an attractive solution. Our organisation, from the team to management and the board, worked hard to reach a decision in a short time.”

“Does the deal represent a trend in export finance?”
“The appetite for diversified financing among large infrastructure project owners is growing, since it helps raise larger amounts at lower risk to lenders and offers the sort of transparency multi-player setups bring to the table.”

“Do you foresee more deals of this kind?”
“In general, the ongoing 5G rollout across the world will require massive funding, and hence the need for ECA support is set to grow. Even to financially solid companies, ECA-supported financing is beneficial as a way to balance debt and a complement to traditional credits and bonds. ECA support is in itself a way to diversify financing.”

Bank of America, the largest single US dollar lender on the EKN transaction, said in a statement, “Partnerships with the mandated lead arrangers, the agent, EKN, Reliance Jio and Milbank were all critical in the overall success of the deal.” 

Each year, GTR’s editorial team selects the market’s Best Deals from the previous 12 months. The winning deals are chosen from submissions sent to GTR, and feature a mix of trade, commodities, supply chain and export finance as well as fintech innovation transactions.

Deal facts, Deal of the Year

Deal name: Reliance Jio 5G
ECA financing
Borrower: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited
Amount: US$4.4bn (aggregate)
MLAs/lenders: Bank of America, Citi, Export Development Canada (EDC), HSBC (facility agent on Finnvera loan), ING, JP Morgan (facility agent on EKN loan), KfW Ipex-Bank, Standard Chartered
ECAs: EDC, EKN, Finnvera

Realated articles

Carl Mellande, portrait

  • Financing
  • Guarantees

The secrets behind 5G leadership

Carl Mellander, CFO at the world’s biggest 5G technology provider Ericsson says export financing is a crucial counter-cyclical tool.

The secrets behind 5G leadership
Man in India with hos mobile phone

  • Financing
  • Trends
  • Trade

Record deal behind record-time 5G rollout in India

In the largest private deal ever supported by EKN, Ericsson delivers equipment worth over USD 2 billion for the rollout of 5G technology across India.

Record deal behind record-time 5G rollout in India

Learn more about EKN

EKN for buyers in Swedish export transactions

Buy from Sweden and benefit from attractive financing.

EKN for buyers in Swedish export transactions

EKN for banks

Collaborate with EKN and offer your customers better terms.

EKN for banks