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JB's weekly round-up - 9 December 2013

tagmydeals is a free of charge, user-generated database covering deals in trade, export and project finance. Following months of consultation with many of you (something we really appreciate), we have built something that the industry will hopefully find new and genuinely useful.
3 min
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Welcome to the weekly round-up of the TXF news service
 

tagmydeals
Last week TXF formally launched our data product tagmydeals...

tagmydeals is a free of charge, user-generated database covering deals in trade, export and project finance. Following months of consultation with many of you (something we really appreciate), we have built something that the industry will hopefully find new and genuinely useful.
 
This video explains the concept in more detail.

Subscribers to txfnews.com can log in with their existing account or you can register for free on tagmydeals.com. If you or any of your teams would like a demonstration of the platform,  please contact my colleague Max, who would be more than happy to help ([email protected] or +44 (0)20 375 5182).
 
It ain’t easy
It certainly ain’t easy in the commodity finance world for many at the present time – and that applies to lenders and borrowers alike. For some of the big producers, depressed prices continue to play havoc with cashflows and financial planning. At the same time, obviously much is being done to sign off some of the important commodity-related transactions by many of you before year-end. As such there was a real mixed bag of news related to the commodity sector this week.

Russian metals and mining company Mechel was very much on the radar as it arranged covenant holidays on its loans with international lenders and with VTB Bank (TXF News 6 December). The arrangement on the $1 billion loan with the international group was coordinated by ING Bank, Société Générale CIB (SG CIB) and VTB Capital. The deal extends repayment to 2016, and takes the pressure off the company’s cashflow at a time when asset restructuring is paramount. Well done to the arrangers.

In an extension, or rather evolution of the IFC’s Critical Commodity Finance Programme, the institution teamed with SG CIB to co-arrange a $300 million trade finance facility for the import of crude oil into Cote d’Ivoire (TXF News 6 December). The facility is expected to finance around $2 billion worth of oil imports over the next two years. BNP Paribas and StanChart are also participating. That’s global trade teamwork for ya!

The global strength of Russian banks is observed with the $1 billion bilateral financing arranged by Gazprombank for Venezuela’s PDVSA (TXF News 3 December).

Lucky Star
Turkey’s Star Rafineri got a boost last week with a $640.7 million direct loan from US Ex-Im Bank (TXF News 5 December). The transaction is part of an overall estimated $5.5 billion project financing, with several other export credit agencies also involved – namely, JBIC, Kexim and Sace, as well as DFIs such as EBRD.
 
South Korea’s Kexim continues to pump funds into and towards the country’s shipping sector – this time by providing a $113 million ship bond guarantee to a local shipping company – Sinokor Petrochemical (TXF News 3 December). The arrangement was the first time that a ship bond guarantee had been provided by an ECA to a domestic company. The ECA had earlier, back in October, provided a $125 million ship bond to a US company – Scorpio Tankers – purchasing Korean-built ships. That bond ran alongside a $125 million direct loan from Kexim.

The ECA direct loan debate is one TXF will explore closely in a special feature/survey in January/February 2014. Your views are welcome.
 
The chain
Within trade and supply chain finance movements,StanChart had a real winner in being selected by oilfield services company Schlumberger to provide cash management and trade guarantee solutions for its Asian businesses (TXF News 5 December). The arrangement covers some 12 countries in Asia and one in Africa.
 
A lot of fuss surrounds trade and the Chinese renminbi (RMB) at the present time. So it comes as no surprise that we ran a news item on the RMB overtaking the euro in trade (TXF News 4 December). But for now, the Beijing-controlled RMB still has several marathons to run in terms of true internationalisation. As we all know the good old greenback still makes up 81% of global trade transactions.
 
Song to the siren
So, perhaps I was a bit mean last week with the song title as I actually put two into the weekly news text, and both could have been from different artists – this was based on the fact that there are a lot of smart music-savvy readers out there, and some telling me it is all too easy.
 
Anyway, last week the winning song was ‘Something good’, by Alt-J, - but it is also a song done by others, and of course lots of other nearly versions like Hermans Hermits ‘I’m into something good’, as Charles Berry at BPL Global pointed out as I sat with him discussing the merits of the private risk insurance market in trade last week.
 
Then there was also ‘Moving on up’, which is of course, a song done by Primal Scream and also by M People.
 
But I was after ‘Something good’ by Alt-J. And the winner was Paul Simon within agri-commodities, ECT at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam. Well done to Paul. I have sent a Z$100 trillion note to him via snail mail across the herring straits. You should be able to score plenty of roll-mops with that.

And finally…….
Early in 2014, TXF will be announcing its selected Deals of the Year for 2013. As such, we invite all of you – arrangers, advisors, lenders, borrowers, legal, ECA etc – to submit deals which you would like us to consider. We will be sending out an email with full details of the Deals of the Year guidelines later this week. The deadline forDeal of the Year submissions will be 20 January.
 
That’s all folks!

Jonathan Bell
Editor in Chief

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