JB's weekly round up - 16 June 2014

TXF will be media partner at next month’s Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi, which looks at ways of revolutionising finance for agri-value chains
3 min

Welcome to the weekly round-up of the TXF news service

That was the week that was………

 Revolutionising agricultural financing – Fin4Ag
TXF will be media partner at next month’s Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi, which looks at ways of revolutionising finance for agri-value chains. We are currently putting to bed a special report on agriculture that highlights some of the opportunities banks and other financiers face in a sector that is fast transforming itself. With mobile technology, commodity exchanges and new financing tools revolutionising agriculture in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, it is time for international banks to take a second look.
The report will feature a range of articles on issues from the rise of African banks in trade and agricultural finance to microfinance schemes, warehouse receipts, innovative insurance programmes and the impressive history of Ghana Cocoa Board’s annual PXF transaction. It will be available to download for free from next week.
Lamon Rutten, a senior manager at CTA, one of Fin4Ag’s two co-hosts, informed TXF that close to 600 delegates are confirmed for the conference, including ministers, central bank deputy governors, bank heads, farmers’ leaders and agri-entrepreneurs.
The Fin4Ag conference runs from July 14 to 18 in Nairobi. Have a look at the Fin4Ag section of our website for more information on the programme and related content. 
 MIGA and OPIC give African farmers a boost
Last week was a good week for African farmers, after the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) joined forces to establish a $350 million political risk facility to support agribusiness investments in countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
The aim of the new initiative is to spur investments in high priority regions and sectors from private equity funds. One of the key funds behind the move is the Silverlands Fund, which hopes to reach half a million smaller farmers in the next decade, increasing total food production significantly. See the news item for details on how the facility will function as well as comments from those behind the programme.

 Turkish delight for Germany’s Schuler
German press manufacturer Schuler has signed the largest order in its history with Turkish steel manufacturer Kardemir thanks to financing being provided by KfW IPEX-Bank. The German ECA is providing Kardemir with a $190 million that has a tenor of 12 years and includes cover from Euler Hermes and Sace.
The financing will allow Kardemir to press ahead with construction of an ultra-modern production line and auxiliary plants that will be used to manufacture wheels for trains. Read the article to see how the plans fit with the country’s rail network expansion ambitions.
 Intesa Sanpaolo and Sace push China trade 
Intesa Sanpaolo and Italian export credit agency Sace last week signed an agreement at a business forum in Beijing to jointly support the export of Italian equipment by Italian SMEs into China, with the provision of €100 million ($136.3 million) in funding.

Under the first deal being arranged within this umbrella agreement, the Italian paper equipment and plant manufacturer looks set to receive a €16 million loan to support the export of technology and equipment. Read the news story for full details.

 Vitol Asia brings in the usual suspects 
On the commodity finance front, energy trader Vitol Asia closed its annual revolving credit facility (RCF) at $1.87 billion.
The transaction was oversubscribed of course, but there were only 20 relationship banks involved in the syndication overall, compared to 30 banks involved with the $2.21 billion revolver this time in 2013. Check out the news item to see the list of banks involved.

 Market moves
HSBC’s James Emmett is to take up the role of CEO Turkey for the London-headquartered bank, while Stuart Tait – who has been with HSBC for almost three decades – will fill Emmett’s current positionas head of the bank’s global trade and receivables finance (GTRF) division. It is a division that amassed a total global revenue of $3.67 billion last year, so Tait has plenty to live up to.

 And finally…
Regular visitors to the TXF News website will have noticed that the team has been pretty busy over the past couple of months in developing our filmed interviews with leading professionals in the world of trade, commodity and export finance. If you haven’t seen any of these do check them out as they are unrehearsed and provide an opportunity to hear real, frank, and often heartfelt opinion from key practitioners. We recently posted interviews from our Amsterdam commodities conference and from our export and agency event in Paris, which can all be viewed here.
That’s all for now folks.


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