Summary: India Exim, the Export-Import Bank of India, has initiated legal proceedings against a Dubai-based steelmaker, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel Middle East, for an alleged outstanding debt of $14 million arising from financing agreements. The lawsuit revolves around a term loan arrangement and a standby letter of credit provided by India Exim, which the UAE company purportedly failed to repay. The case highlights financial complexities and cross-border legal disputes in the steel industry.News Article: In a notable legal development, the Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim) has taken legal action against ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel Middle East, a steel maker in Dubai. The lawsuit has been filed in the London High Court and centers around an asserted unpaid debt of $14 million, arising from two financial agreements that were established between the parties.News Article:The matter traces back to early 2013 when Essar Steel Middle East, a subsidiary of the conglomerate ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel Middle East, entered into a term loan arrangement worth $25 million with the UK branch of India Exim. Additionally, Essar Steel Middle East procured a standby letter of credit (LC) from India Exim. This standby LC was intended to serve as security for the original loan facility and was to be issued by India Exim's Mumbai office.However, according to legal documents, the UAE-based steel company defaulted on its initial payments for the loan facility in 2016. Furthermore, when the repayments under the standby LC became due the following year, the company allegedly ignored India Exim's requests for repayment.Amid this financial dispute, in July 2017, India Exim communicated to Essar Steel India (ESIL), the key subsidiary and guarantor for the standby LC, seeking coverage for the rising costs, which had surged to more than $26 million by that point. Despite these demands, ESIL did not make an immediate payment. This period also coincided with another legal battle involving ESIL, as the National Company Law Tribunal in India initiated insolvency proceedings against the struggling steel company.The lawsuit emerges roughly four years after ArcelorMittal acquired ESIL in a significant deal and subsequently formed a joint venture with Nippon Steel to establish AM/NS India. While Essar Steel was an essential asset within the broader Essar Group, it was sold off due to India's revised bankruptcy framework. This framework led to the creation of the National Company Law Tribunal, which took action against several Indian companies, including ESIL, for loan defaults from state-owned institutions.Conclusion:Despite recouping a portion of the unpaid sum in 2019, India Exim is pursuing $0.8 million related to the term loan and approximately $13.5 million under the standby LC agreement. The lawsuit, which underscores the intricate financial dynamics in the steel industry, has been lodged against ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel Middle East, a Dubai-incorporated entity.