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US Ex-Im Bank has approved a US$15mn long-term loan guarantee to support the sale by Hewlett Packard and other US suppliers of cellular equipment, software and services to Colombia Móvil (CM). 

A Citibank loan supporting the deal is the first in Colombia to be authorised by US Ex-Im denominated in pesos under Ex-Im’s Foreign Currency Guarantee Program. The Colombian peso was approved for use under the programme on May 10, 2004.

“We would like to do more information technology transactions similar to this,” says Ex-Im chairman Philip Merrill. “Knowledge-based and service exports have enormous potential for US companies and their workers. We also hope to approve more transactions with Colombia under our Foreign Currency Program to support US exports and jobs. Colombia is a market that offers many opportunities for US exporters.”

Suppliers on the contract include:  Portal Software; Siebel Systems;  Oracle Corp;  Intec Telecom Systems;  and Tibco Software.

CM will use the technology for a combined operations support system and business support system for its general service mobile cellular radio network. The company sells cellular services under the brand name Ola and is the first domestically owned, nationwide provider of Personal Communications System (PCS) services in Colombia. CM was formed in 2003 through equal sponsor investments by two publicly-owned utilities, Empresas Públicas de Medellí­n (EPM) and Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá (ETB).