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Shop talk: Bpifrance ups ECA cover and offering
Shop talk: Bpifrance ups ECA cover and offering
Aife Howse
29 May 2020

Arnaud Floris, head of West, Central and North Africa at Bpifrance has been busy since he started his new role two months ago at the French ECA in the midst of a global pandemic. Floris speaks to TXF to discuss Bpifrance's response to the crisis.

Perfect Deals of the Year 2019: Commodity finance
Perfect Deals of the Year 2019: Commodity finance
Aife Howse
28 May 2020

It’s time to celebrate commodity finance excellence, as last year’s most outstanding, unique and influential deals, which cover a range of sectors and regions, have been named by TXF.

 Shop talk: EASTvine – the rise of the small and flexible trade fund
Shop talk: EASTvine – the rise of the small and flexible trade fund
Aife Howse
28 April 2020

TXF spoke with EASTvine Capital, a small alternative fund set up in Singapore in 2018 by three ex-bankers who saw an opportunity to fill the commodity trade finance funding gap in Asia, which currently stands at an estimated $600 billion.

Shop talk: Squire Patton Boggs ups commodity finance capacity in Asia
Shop talk: Squire Patton Boggs ups commodity finance capacity in Asia
Aife Howse
20 April 2020

A few months after the launch of Squire Patton Boggs’ shipping and commodities group, headed up by partners Jessica Kenworthy and Barry Simpson, TXF caught up with the pair in Singapore to talk about the opportunities and obstacles in establishing the law firm in new markets amid a turbulent time for the global commodities market.

Shop talk: Squire Patton Boggs ups commodity finance capacity in Asia
Shop talk: Squire Patton Boggs ups commodity finance capacity in Asia
Aife Howse
20 April 2020

A few months after the launch of Squire Patton Boggs’ shipping and commodities group, headed up by partners Jessica Kenworthy and Barry Stimpson, TXF caught up with the pair in Singapore to outline the opportunities and obstacles in establishing the law firm in new markets amid a turbulent time for the global commodities industry.

Rusal pioneers the market with ‘green’ aluminium financing
Rusal pioneers the market with ‘green’ aluminium financing
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning the Russian Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award is aluminium producer Rusal with its $1.085 billion pre-export financing. Rusal has changed the benchmark as this was the first ever sustainability-linked syndicated facility for a Russian corporate arranged by international and Russian banks in Russia.

Cocobod signs Africa’s inaugural ESG-tied loan
Cocobod signs Africa’s inaugural ESG-tied loan
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Cocobod has won TXF’s African Commodities Finance Deal of the Year for securing the first ever syndicated sustainability-linked loan for an African borrower – a milestone trade receivables-backed transaction for the second largest producer of cocoa in the world.

JSW Steel’s pre-pay sets new standard in steel
JSW Steel’s pre-pay sets new standard in steel
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Asian Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award, the up to $750 million cash-for-metal deal, signed between Duferco and JSW Steel in 2019, is the largest trade finance facility ever arranged for an Indian steel company. The financing marks the first deal of this size to close in the steel industry since the financial crisis and looks set to serve as a financing template for future deals.

Var Energi taps largest RBL of 2019
Var Energi taps largest RBL of 2019
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Commodities Acquisition Finance Deal of the Year, Var Energi signed a $6 billion reserve base lending facility (RBL) in 2019 to back a highly strategic purchase for its upstream business in Norway - in a deal which marked the largest RBL in the market last year.

Trailstone amps up ‘green’ funding portfolio
Trailstone amps up ‘green’ funding portfolio
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Most Innovative Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award, Trailstone’s €150 million 2019 borrowing base marked a flurry of firsts for the commodity trade finance sector. In fact, never has such a structure been used to back the purchase and sale of renewable energy generated by wind and solar farms across Europe.

Nayara Energy’s new pre-pay era?
Nayara Energy’s new pre-pay era?
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Energy Commodities Finance Deal of the Year, Nayara Energy’s first pre-payment loan is set to serve as a viable financing template for commodity-linked corporates in the Indian energy sector.

Bunge’s sustainability-linked loan first
Bunge’s sustainability-linked loan first
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Commodity Trading Company Finance Deal of the Year Award, Bunge’s debut sustainabilitylinked facility has provided a seedbed for the trader to replicate deals of this kind going forward in the agribusiness sector, despite the financing taking years of discussions with lenders on how to integrate its financial strategy with its sustainability strategy.

How long can Russian PXF tenors go?
How long can Russian PXF tenors go?
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Winning TXF’s Metals/Minerals Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award, Metalloinvest signed a landmark €200 million pre-export finance (PXF) facility in 2019, with an attractive fixed interest rate for the entire maturity of the six-and-a-half-year loan – a record length PXF tenor for the Russian metals and mining company.

Cofco seals largest ever sustainability-linked loan
Cofco seals largest ever sustainability-linked loan
Aife Howse
1 April 2020

Taking home TXF’s Overall Commodities Finance Deal of the Year Award 2019, China’s Cofco signed the largest loan for a trading company yet which is linked to sustainability elements.

Shop talk: Ashurst keeps cool as corporate debt restructuring heats up
Shop talk: Ashurst keeps cool as corporate debt restructuring heats up
Aife Howse
17 March 2020

During a volatile time for global trade and the commodities market amid the coronavirus pandemic, TXF spoke to Jean Woo, partner at Ashurst in Singapore, to discuss how the law firm is staying abreast of the legal requirements facing its corporate clients as many of them look to restructure their debt.

Nornickel refi: More than a pricing play
Nornickel refi: More than a pricing play
Aife Howse
10 March 2020

Nornickel has sealed a $4.15 billion refinancing at time when Russian corporate borrowers and international lenders have found their cost of debt aspirations harmonising, according to sources, with the producer’s upsized and tightened deal a testament to this market sentiment.

Commodity finance: Traders stir up the funding mix
Commodity finance: Traders stir up the funding mix
Aife Howse
18 February 2020

The commodity trade finance funding mix is evolving. Growing regulation, the rise of alternative funds and all things ESG have contributed to the decline in deal volume in 2019. But are traders being transparent enough about their deals? And will bank-fund hybrid loans form a happy marriage?

Moma: Kenmare turns project debt vanilla
Moma: Kenmare turns project debt vanilla
Aife Howse
23 January 2020

Ireland-based Kenmare Resources returned to the debt markets in December to refinance the remaining debt backing its Moma titanium mine in Mozambique. But this time round, the deal has a new lender line-up, vanilla structure, looser covenants and cheaper pricing, which all reflect the strength of the mine’s cash flows and its expansion capacity.

Shop talk: Fonroche sheds light on ECAs for off-grid solar dream
Shop talk: Fonroche sheds light on ECAs for off-grid solar dream
Aife Howse
14 January 2020

At TXF's PRI conference last month, Pierre Vergnes, head of institutional financing at Fonroche Lighting, explains why the off-grid solar manufacturer taps ECA support over the private market when looking for insurance in challenging high-risk countries.

Shop talk: Sustainability strategies with Gunvor’s first female CFO
Shop talk: Sustainability strategies with Gunvor’s first female CFO
Aife Howse
7 January 2020

Eight months into her new role as CFO at Gunvor, TXF spoke with Muriel Schwab, the first ever woman to fill these shoes at the energy trader, to discuss where the company’s funding strategies will take its trading ventures in 2020.

TXF PRI 2019: Santander on brokers and blockchain hype
TXF PRI 2019: Santander on brokers and blockchain hype
Aife Howse
2 January 2020

On the sidelines of TXF’s PRI conference in December, Saqib Mustafa, executive director of structured trade and receivable finance at Santander, spoke to TXF to discuss the benefits of shopping around for private insurance brokers, and whether blockchain really is the future for hard trade deals?

Sullivan: Fintech in trade - the good, the bad and the impossible
Sullivan: Fintech in trade - the good, the bad and the impossible
Aife Howse
13 December 2019

Amid the coffee and croissants at Sullivan's latest trade finance breakfast seminar, partner Geoffrey Wynne discusses where trade fintech currently sits and where it is going.

Mercuria's Asian RCF: A close (margin) shave
Mercuria's Asian RCF: A close (margin) shave
Aife Howse
12 December 2019

Mercuria’s annual $1.2 billion Asian RCF closed last month. While the downsized deal and significant margin savings suggest the trader has a strong financial position, a continued drop in its oil trading business could spell a different fundraising story for 2020.

Shop talk: Basel IV tests alternative funds in commodity finance
Shop talk: Basel IV tests alternative funds in commodity finance
Aife Howse
10 December 2019

With banks having to implement the finalised version of Basel III (commonly called Basel IV) by 1 January 2022, regulatory requirements are becoming ever complex. TXF spoke to Fasil Nasim, co-founder of alternative fund Audentia Global, to discuss the implications of changing regulations on the commodity trade finance sector.

LNG: Cross-dressing commodity traders and portfolio players
LNG: Cross-dressing commodity traders and portfolio players
Aife Howse
2 December 2019

Commodity traders have always been customers to portfolio players in the LNG space. However, as traders up the signing of long-term offtake contracts, portfolio players are beginning to sell a large chunk of their LNG on the spot market as both parties compete for volume.

TXF Geneva: Qbera Capital on thinking outside the box
TXF Geneva: Qbera Capital on thinking outside the box
Aife Howse
20 November 2019

At the sidelines of TXF Geneva, TXF sat down with Amitji Odedra from Qbera Capital to discuss corporate appetite for diversification in funding, how the trade finance gap is creating opportunities for alternative funds and dabbling in the secondary trading market. 

A path through the zigs and zags: TXF Commodity Finance Report 2019
A path through the zigs and zags: TXF Commodity Finance Report 2019
Aife Howse
12 November 2019

This year's edition of TXF’s Commodity Finance Market Report comprises the insights of 173 traders, bankers, alternative financiers, lawyers, brokers, borrowers and insurers through a two-part survey and in-depth interviews. It is our most representative, expansive and detailed yet.

Rusal: Going green or a tinge of greenwash?
Rusal: Going green or a tinge of greenwash?
Aife Howse
5 November 2019

Given its status as the world's second largest aluminium producer, Rusal's sustainability-linked loan debut is good news for the growing ESG movement. But like other deals in the commodity sector that have closed before it, the financial structure in Rusal's deal lacks the teeth to leave no doubt that it is not tinged with a bit of greenwash.

Russian corporate borrowing: Is de-dollarisation the answer to sanctions?
Russian corporate borrowing: Is de-dollarisation the answer to sanctions?
Aife Howse
25 October 2019

De-dollarisation in Russia is on the rise. And with already limited access to the international syndicated loan markets in the face of US sanctions, euro-denominated funding is providing a lower cost of debt for commodity-linked Russian borrowers.

Kernel: Proving bank appetite for Ukrainian corporate debt
Kernel: Proving bank appetite for Ukrainian corporate debt
Aife Howse
7 October 2019

Kernel signed a tightly priced $390 million PXF last month – a rare example of a Ukrainian corporate taking the structured trade finance route in 2019. And despite the political turmoil developing in Ukraine, the agri trader is out to the international bond/unsecured debt markets for future fundraising plans.

End of an era: MacNamara’s final say
End of an era: MacNamara’s final say
Aife Howse
1 October 2019

Before his retirement at the end of last month, after nearly 40 years in the commodity finance sector, TXF spoke with Deutsche Bank’s global head of structured commodity trade finance John MacNamara one last time.

TXF Global: AXA XL on mergers and risk mitigation
TXF Global: AXA XL on mergers and risk mitigation
Aife Howse
22 August 2019

Joe Blenkinsopp, global head of market development and distribution for political risk, credit & bond insurance at AXA XL, a division of AXA, talks to TXF from the sidelines of TXF Global Berlin, about being part of the XL Catlin-AXA merger. He discusses the consolidation and the healthy state of the private insurance market.

TXF Global: UKEF ups capacity and cuts exposures
TXF Global: UKEF ups capacity and cuts exposures
Aife Howse
19 August 2019

TXF spoke with Adam Harris, head of civil, infrastructure and energy at UKEF, to find out more about the UK ECA's cutting of exposures, while at the same time upping its direct lending capacity by £2 billion.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Citi on digitising trade
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Citi on digitising trade
Aife Howse
12 August 2019

From the sidelines of TXF Amsterdam, Kris Van Broekhoven, global head of commodity trade finance at Citi, talks about Citi's growth in Asia, the drive towards digitising trade and the benefit of being a dollar bank in a dollar market.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Amsterdam Trade Bank on the ripple effect of pricing
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Amsterdam Trade Bank on the ripple effect of pricing
Aife Howse
1 August 2019

On day one of TXF Amsterdam, Harris Antoniou, CEO at Amsterdam Trade Bank, talks about building an efficient transaction cycle, the ripple effect of pricing and how emission reduction targets are impacting trade.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Mizuho on balancing risk and reward
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Mizuho on balancing risk and reward
Aife Howse
18 July 2019

At TXF Amsterdam, Marc Smallcombe, senior director energy and commodities at Mizuho, talks about growth of business in Russia, the challenges of blockchain and why the Japanese bank is benefiting from its low cost of funding.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: ING on following the supply chain
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: ING on following the supply chain
Aife Howse
15 July 2019

In the midst of TXF Amsterdam, Natalia Heidendal, head of structured commodity finance at ING, talks about the search for producers within emerging markets, the rise of base metals and the risks imposed by sanctions and tariffs within the commodity market.

DRC: Learning from the pitfalls of small-scale mining
DRC: Learning from the pitfalls of small-scale mining
Aife Howse
10 July 2019

Small-scale miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) produce one third of the country’s cobalt amid dubious environmental and ethical standards. But can international and local mining groups help address the issue and provide regulatory frameworks to move the market to bankable structured financing?

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: DMCC on free trade zone opportunities
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: DMCC on free trade zone opportunities
Aife Howse
4 July 2019

Sanjeev Dutta, executive director of commodities and financial services at Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), talks to TXF about doing business within a free trade zone, DMCC's debut into the coffee market and the benefits of blockchain transparency.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Deutsche Bank looks to new horizons
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Deutsche Bank looks to new horizons
Aife Howse
28 June 2019

Sandra Hack, global head of structured trade commodity finance at Deutsche Bank, discusses opportunities in the Nordics, overcoming the challenges of regulatory requirements and the possibility of Deutsche Bank broadening its clients within the commodity sector.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Deutsche bank on market opportunities
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Deutsche bank on market opportunities
Aife Howse
28 June 2019

Sandra Hack, global head of structured trade commodity finance at Deutsche Bank, discusses opportunities in the Nordics, overcoming the challenges of regulatory requirements and the possibility of Deutsche Bank broadening its clients within the commodity sector.

TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Sucafina on funding coffee trading operations
TXF Commodities Amsterdam 2019: Sucafina on funding coffee trading operations
Aife Howse
25 June 2019

From the side-lines of TXF Amsterdam 2019, Philippe Penet, CFO at Sucafina, discusses sustainability, the digitisation of the supply chain and locking in coffee prices.

Guinea mining: DFI/ECA-backed loan boosts bauxite mine project
Guinea mining: DFI/ECA-backed loan boosts bauxite mine project
Aife Howse
3 June 2019

DFI loans and a direct loan from Canada’s EDC have enabled commercial banks to push the tenor on Guinea Alumina Corporation’s greenfield mining project financing.

Perfect 10: Sucafina, finding the right blend
Perfect 10: Sucafina, finding the right blend
Aife Howse
9 May 2018

Sucafina has been awarded TXF’s Soft Commodities Finance Deal of the Year after closing a $70 million borrowing base facility in 2018. The deal is the first of its type to finance coffee trading in Brazil and provides a seedbed for future Sucafina facilities to include a more diverse pool of South American assets.

Perfect 10: Hangzhou puts shine on offshore dollar debt
Perfect 10: Hangzhou puts shine on offshore dollar debt
Aife Howse
7 May 2018

Despite a challenging aluminium price environment in 2018, China’s Hangzhou Zhengcai Holding Group tapped the international debt market for the first time with an offshore pre-payment facility, taking home TXF’s Asia-Pacific Commodities Finance Deal of the Year.