The Export-Import Bank of China (Exim) has offered Rio Tinto a line of credit should the Aluminum Corp of China’s (Chinalco) US$19.5 billion investment in the Anglo-Australian miner be approved, the Wall Street Journal reported. "To further facilitate the cooperation between Chinalco and Rio Tinto, China Exim Bank has been discussing the possibility of…providing a long-term loan facility to Rio Tinto to fund joint-venture projects with Chinalco and/or other eligible Chinese companies," Exim Deputy General Manager Feng Zengbing wrote in a letter to Rio Tinto’s chief financial officer on February 12. The Exim Bank offer comes at a politically sensitive time, as the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board is still considering the proposed deal. Officials from the Chinese lender declined to comment.
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