It seemed unlikely in 2000 that bankers could secure a $900
million, 17-year project finance loan for an oil development
project in Ecuador. The country had just defaulted on its
bonds, replaced its currency with the dollar and suffered an
attempted military coup - all coming hard on the heels of a
severe banking crisis in 1999. Political and economic risks
kept lenders at arm's length. Still, WestLB and JP Morgan
managed to pull together a senior secured $900 million loan to
finance the construction of the $1.2 billion Oleoducto de
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