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Export-Import Bank of Korea's HK$400 Mil. 1.25% Euro Medium-Term Notes Rated 'A-'

    SINGAPORE (Standard & Poor's) Nov. 26, 2003--Standard & Poor's Ratings 
    Services today assigned its 'A-' senior unsecured foreign currency debt 
    rating to the Export-Import Bank of Korea's (KEXIM; foreign currency 
    A-/Stable/A-2; local currency --/--/A-1) HK$400 million 1.25% Euro 
    Medium-Term Notes due Dec. 2, 2004. The notes will be drawn down from 
    KEXIM's US$4 billion Euro Medium-Term Notes Program, also rated 'A-'.
         Standard & Poor's issuer credit ratings on KEXIM are based on its public 
    policy role as Korea's official export credit agency, providing financial 
    facilities in support of the Korean government's (foreign currency rating 
    A-/Stable/A-2; local currency rating A+/Stable/A-1) export-led growth 
    strategy, and foreign trade and investment policies. The bank is owned and 
    controlled by the government.
         The ratings also incorporate the strong direct support from the Korean 
    government, including capital injections and provision of loans. Since 
    1998, Kexim has enjoyed repeated capital injections, totaling close to 
    Korean won (W) 1.9 trillion (US$1.6 billion), from the government. The 
    ratings also take into account the government's legal obligation to 
    maintain the bank's solvency. Standard & Poor's, however, views this 
    statutory obligation as only a sign of the government's commitment to 
    support KEXIM, rather than a guarantee of timely payment for all of the 
    bank's obligations.
         "Taking into account the bank's robust public policy role and the strong 
    support from the Korean government, Standard & Poor's equalizes its 
    ratings on KEXIM with those on the sovereign," said Standard & Poor's 
    credit analyst Chih Wai Liew, in the Asia-Pacific Sovereign Ratings Group.
         Standard & Poor's expects KEXIM's public policy role to remain intact in 
    the near-to-medium term, as the Korean government is expected to remain 
    engaged in active economic management. Thus far, the government has also 
    not shown any intention to privatize the bank. Nevertheless, KEXIM's 
    public policy role could diminish in the longer term if the government 
    were to embrace a more far-reaching, laissez faire attitude toward 
    economic development.
    Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, 
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    www.ratingsdirect.com. All ratings affected by this rating action can be 
    found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com; 
    under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar, select Credit Ratings 

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    Contact the analysts:

    • Chih Wai Liew, Singapore (65) 6239-6346; Takahira Ogawa, Singapore (65) 6239-6342