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JB's weekly round-up - 24 March 2014

We are delighted that Doug Ziurys of FImetrix will be presenting the results of his annual survey of traders during a live webinar on 10 April 2014.
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That was the week that was…

Free webinar: Commodity traders’ views on finance and regulation

We are delighted that Doug Ziurys of FImetrix will be presenting the results of his annual survey of traders during a live webinar on 10 April 2014.

The results focus on the attitude of traders toward issues like regulation, risk and financial provision. The webinar will bring up some of the key points of discussion that will then be addressed in our Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Special Report and at our conference in Amsterdam in May.

To register for the webinar for free, visit: http://www.txfnews.com/special/traderwebinar

Key role for UKEF in British budget

There’s good news for UK exporters in the chancellor’s budget as UK Export Finance’s Direct Lending Scheme (DLS) has received a triple boost: the amount of lending has been doubled to £3 billion ($5 billion), the amount of interest has been cut by a third to the lowest permitted by international agreements, and conditions around loan sizes have been relaxed.

This should translate into a healthy take up in the DLS, an optimism reflected by the chairman of the British Exporters Association, Jon Coleman, who said the changes amount to a “significant strengthening of support for UK exporters.”

Read the article on our website for more details and reaction, as well as a table comparing the UKEF Please wait... product offering with other European ECAs. It will be interesting to see if this change provokes similar moves in other agencies.

Wilmar signs upsized RCF

It’s a sure sign that your business is in hot demand when a facility launched at $1.75 billion closes at $2.49 billion. That’s what happened to Asia’s leading agribusiness group Wilmar Please wait... last week, as it signed its revolving credit facility with a host of international banks.

Mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the deal are: BNP Paribas Please wait... , Maybank Please wait... , Mizuho Bank Please wait... , OCBC Please wait... , Rabobank International, SMBC Please wait... and Westpac Please wait... .

The TXF story has more details of the latest financing, as well as Wilmar’s performance for the last financial year.

Turbulent conditions but a smooth landing for Investec

South Africa’s Investec Please wait... and the Export-Import Bank of the United States Please wait... (US Ex-Im) breathed a collective sigh of relief after the finalisation of a major financing to Air India for four 787 Dreamliner Jets.

Delta Airlines had attempted to prevent the deal from going ahead but its legal challenge was ultimately unsuccessful. Nonetheless, it points to the difficult conditions US Ex-Im and its commercial partners must navigate in order to get deals done. Review the article for full details of the case.

 More big news for US Ex-Im

US Ex-Im also sealed a $1 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Philippines’ Department of Energy for cooperation on energy projects. With renewables and LNG as the primary focus, the agreement will see US exporters provide goods and services that help diversify and modernise the Philippines’ energy supply.

It’s a welcome return to the region for US Ex-Im, having financed the country’s first geothermal energy transaction back in 1994. See the article for more details of that and the more recent deal.

Malaysia on the solar energy map

In more energy news, Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Cosmos Chemicals Berhad (Cosmos) signed a $336 million technology and equipment deal with US-based GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT). The funds will be allocated to the polysilicon facility being built in Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, Malaysia, which is set to be one of the largest in Asia.

It represents another commitment from Malaysia in the solar power sector and the article has details on the advantages and output of the under-construction plan.

Banks in ore of Metalloinvest

Metalloinvest Please wait... has signed a $1.15 billion dual-tranche pre-export facility (PXF) to be repaid in 2016-2019. The facility replaces an existing arrangement, which was due in 2015-2016, and indicates the confidence in the Russian iron ore and steel producer.

The lenders on the deal include BNP Paribas, Société Générale Please wait... and UniCredit Please wait... . Have a look at the article for the full list of lenders.

A case of Yes Minister for Vitol?

Well, not quite. But the Swiss energy trader Vitol Please wait... has turned to former UK energy minister and current Conservative MP Charles Hendry to provide consultancy services for one-and-a-half days per month.

Hendry will advise Vitol on UK and EU energy services, although his experience as trade envoy to Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan could also be useful. Check out the article for more details on the appointment.

And finally…The Fundamentals of ECA Finance

If you plan to be heading to the annual US Ex-Im Conference in Washington next month, we hope to see you there. On the 23rd April (the day before Exim) we will be teaming up with Valerie Colville and Francisco Anzola of CC Solutions for a morning training course on “The Fundamentals of ECA Finance”. There are big savings for those attending the conference. Please visit the site for more information on the modules and how to book.

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