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Commodity bankers find reasons to be cheerful
Commodity bankers find reasons to be cheerful
Jonathan Bell
30 May 2016

One week on from the best ever TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Conference in Amsterdam, and there is so much to report on activity in the commodity finance sector, and many positives to take-away.

First Quantum signs new $1.8bn loan with improved financial covenants
First Quantum signs new $1.8bn loan with improved financial covenants
Jonathan Bell
30 May 2016

Mining company First Quantum Minerals has completed a new $1.8 billion term loan and revolving credit facility with its core relationship banks that gives it revised financial covenants and an extended amortisation schedule.

EBRD’s TFP continues to spread its wings
EBRD’s TFP continues to spread its wings
Jonathan Bell
16 May 2016

The EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme is further embedding itself in countries of the new region – Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus – where financial institutions are finding significant mileage in utilising services under the TFP.

BEST SOFT COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Cocoa Touton $80m prepayment provides new dimension
BEST SOFT COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Cocoa Touton $80m prepayment provides new dimension
Jonathan Bell
4 May 2016

The $80 million prepayment to Cocoa Touton Processing is a landmark financing for West Africa, bringing added-value processing on a major scale to Ghana. Jonathan Bell reports.

Iran and banks’ over-compliance hang-ups
Iran and banks’ over-compliance hang-ups
Jonathan Bell
3 May 2016

So, thankfully, sanctions were lifted against Iran on 16 January 2016. Were they really? You would never know judging by the lack of activity and involvement by banks. On a financing front it is almost as though nothing happened.

BEST METALS FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Oyu Tolgoï $200m RCF paves the way for project finance
BEST METALS FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Oyu Tolgoï $200m RCF paves the way for project finance
Jonathan Bell
3 May 2016

Coming at a crucial time for Oyu Tolgoï in Mongolia, the $200 million revolving credit facility provided the working capital needed and lined the venture up for the much-delayed $4.4 billion project financing that ultimately signed in December 2015.

“The end of an era”: Bernard Zonneveld to leave ING for pastures new
“The end of an era”: Bernard Zonneveld to leave ING for pastures new
Helen Reid
2 May 2016

Bernard Zonneveld, global head of structured metals and energy finance, is leaving ING Bank after a 22-year career building the bank’s commodities finance operation.

Please turn ALL the lights back on at US Ex-Im
Please turn ALL the lights back on at US Ex-Im
Jonathan Bell
22 April 2016

Some ten days on from the Export-Import Bank of the United States annual meeting and I still can’t help feeling that it was a rather subdued affair compared to previous years. Sure there were a good close to 1,000 folk there, but where was the real buzz? Perhaps the muted outlook isn’t surprising considering what the bank has had to go through in 2015, and the position they are in now.

Join TXF in supporting AbleChildAfrica
Join TXF in supporting AbleChildAfrica
Jonathan Bell
21 April 2016

Since TXF started, we have tried to help promote our selected charity – AbleChildAfrica (ACA) – by raising money at each of our conferences and other events. We would sincerely like to thank everybody who has donated to this cause – every little helps, and even the smallest amount can make a big difference to these disadvantaged children.

Olam’s strong profile secures a range of funds from investors
Olam’s strong profile secures a range of funds from investors
Jonathan Bell
20 April 2016

Over the past week, Singapore-headquartered agri-business and trader Olam International has secured a new $650 million revolving credit facility (RCF), a $300 million bond issuance, and a $175 million loan through the IFC.

SACE’s Castellano looks forward to the capital markets
SACE’s Castellano looks forward to the capital markets
Jonathan Bell
19 April 2016

In a typically frank discussion with Jonathan Bell, SACE CEO Alessandro Castellano outlines his vision for the development of a pan-European capital markets base as an eventual necessary instrument for the region’s export credit agencies.

US Treasury pushes for elusive level playing field in ECA-backed financing
US Treasury pushes for elusive level playing field in ECA-backed financing
Jonathan Bell
15 April 2016

The United States Treasury is keen to ensure that export credit agencies (ECA) are playing by the same rules – so much so that they look set to try and apply pressure on foreign agencies to unwind certain initiatives which they consider unfair practice.

JB's industry blog: TXF goes premium, The BDI, Omani plastics, and Kazakh PXFs
JB's industry blog: TXF goes premium, The BDI, Omani plastics, and Kazakh PXFs
Jonathan Bell
21 March 2016

TXF’s managing editor, Jonathan Bell, examines the slow-down of global trade, power projects in Kurdistan and TXF’s new premium service.

Oman’s Liwa Plastics successfully concludes $3.8bn debt financing
Oman’s Liwa Plastics successfully concludes $3.8bn debt financing
Jonathan Bell
14 March 2016

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) has closed the $3.8 billion project financing facility for its approximate $6.5 billion Liwa Plastics Industries Complex (LPIC) in the Sohar Industrial Port Complex in the Sultanate of Oman.

A changing world: tapping in to trade opportunities
A changing world: tapping in to trade opportunities
Jonathan Bell
16 February 2016

At a BNY Mellon-hosted roundtable in Abu Dhabi, TXF sat down with a number of UAE banks to discuss the region’s economic developments, the evolving trade arena, and how banks are adapting to such change and leveraging the opportunities on offer.

Bank-fintech alliances set to revolutionise B2B payments
Bank-fintech alliances set to revolutionise B2B payments
Jonathan Bell
12 February 2016

In a new report just released, it asserts that banks and fintechs should collaborate rather than compete, as a strategy to overcome some of the challenges facing the banking market in today’s digital era.

JB's industry blog: Rome, Exim and the latest deals
JB's industry blog: Rome, Exim and the latest deals
Jonathan Bell
2 February 2016

We are delighted to announce that our annual June export and agency finance jamboree will this year be taking place in the Eternal city. TXF Rome 2016 will take place at the Waldorf Cavalieri on the 9th and 10th June. You can see what we’ve got planned and who is confirmed here.

2016 – The year of monkey business
2016 – The year of monkey business
Jonathan Bell
15 January 2016

As we drive into 2016, some fundamental issues are hitting the market. This latest blog looks at shipping, oil, and Iran and assesses what influences they may be having within trade and project finance.

Open for Business: What is next for US Ex-Im?

CACIB and FMO team to finance Argentinean grain port
CACIB and FMO team to finance Argentinean grain port
Jonathan Bell
1 January 2016

Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB) and the Dutch development bank FMO, have combined to arrange and provide a $32.5 million facility for the construction of a green-field grain terminal in Quequén, Agrentina. The A/B structure financing is part of an overall $65 million port project.

Kuwait’s Burgan Bank signs inaugural $350m club facility
Kuwait’s Burgan Bank signs inaugural $350m club facility
Jonathan Bell
1 January 2016

Kuwait’s Burgan Bank has signed an inaugural $350 million two-year club facility with a group of its relationship banks. Wells Fargo Bank, London branch, acted as coordinator, documentation and facility agent.

MIGA provides guarantee for Sirajganj 2 power plant in Bangladesh
MIGA provides guarantee for Sirajganj 2 power plant in Bangladesh
Jonathan Bell
1 January 2016

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is providing guarantees to back loans by Standard Chartered Bank and Siemens Bank to North-West Power Generation Company, a state-owned power generation utility in Bangladesh.

Banks and JBIC combine for $345m in loans to Diamond LNG Shipping
Banks and JBIC combine for $345m in loans to Diamond LNG Shipping
Jonathan Bell
1 January 2016

Japanese banks and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) have signed loans under co-financing agreements totalling ¥41.6 billion ($345 million) for the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers by Diamond LNG Shipping.

Year in review: commodity financing
Year in review: commodity financing
Jonathan Bell
28 December 2015

Jonathan Bell, TXF’s Editor in Chief, picks his favourite commodity financing stories from 2015.

 SG appoints global head of infrastructure finance
SG appoints global head of infrastructure finance
Jonathan Bell
21 December 2015

Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking (SG CIB) has appointed Hervé Le Corre as the new global head of infrastructure finance. He will be based in Paris and take up the position from 4 January 2016.

Orpic signs contracts for Oman’s $6.4bn Liwa plastics complex
Orpic signs contracts for Oman’s $6.4bn Liwa plastics complex
Jonathan Bell
18 December 2015

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) has signed agreements to build, operate and finance the $6.4 billion Liwa Plastic Industries Complex (LPIC) in Oman. TXF can reveal the breakdown of the financing details - so far, more than 16 local and international bank and financial institutions and export credit agencies have committed to the overall debt financing.

Banks revealed in Eu1.5bn Carnival financing arranged by KfW IPEX
Banks revealed in Eu1.5bn Carnival financing arranged by KfW IPEX
Jonathan Bell
11 December 2015

KfW IPEX-Bank recently arranged an approximate €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) export credit agency-backed financing for AIDA Cruises, with the loan being taken by parent Carnival Corporation. Speaking to participants involved in the deal, TXF can reveal that eight other banks came into the transaction.

Hiren Singharay departs from Standard Chartered
Hiren Singharay departs from Standard Chartered
Jonathan Bell
11 December 2015

Hiren Singharay, managing director, syndications – Europe, Middle East, Africa and South Asia - for Standard Chartered has decided to leave the bank and the commercial banking sector after 43 years in the industry. He will continue to work in various advisory roles in the financial sector.

Doha Bank closes $575m syndicated loan facility
Doha Bank closes $575m syndicated loan facility
Jonathan Bell
11 December 2015

Doha Bank has signed a new $575 million syndicated senior unsecured term loan facility, its first since 2007. The loan was oversubscribed, bringing in a diverse range of relationship banks.

Cofarco expands its project and natural resources finance team
Cofarco expands its project and natural resources finance team
Jonathan Bell
10 December 2015

Paris-headquartered finance arranger and trade credit insurance broker Cofarco has hired Stephen Dimon to strengthen its project and natural resources finance team

TXF Asia 2015: Michael Barrow of ADB has high hopes for the AIIB
TXF Asia 2015: Michael Barrow of ADB has high hopes for the AIIB
Jonathan Bell
4 December 2015

Michael Barrow discusses the ADB's recent growth in the private sector across all forms of infrastructure and explains why the AIIB is a welcome addition to the market.

US industry buoyant following formal reauthorisation of US Ex-Im
US industry buoyant following formal reauthorisation of US Ex-Im
Jonathan Bell
4 December 2015

After over five months of political wrangling in the US House of Representatives and the Senate, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Ex-Im) has finally and formally secured reauthorisation. The move is a major boost for US industry which has been hampered in many major overseas export contracts and projects while US Ex-Im has been unable to approve new financial support.

TXF Asia 2015: ECAs need to strengthen their industry knowledge, says CITI's Valentino Gallo
TXF Asia 2015: ECAs need to strengthen their industry knowledge, says CITI's Valentino Gallo
Jonathan Bell
3 December 2015

In this interview taken at TXF Asia 2015, Valentino Gallo from CITI shares his thoughts on growth prospects for 2016, explains why export credit agencies need to know the industry better and calls for closer cooperation between financial institutions.

TXF Asia 2015: 'ECA is a must-have' - in conversation with Robbert Zappej
TXF Asia 2015: 'ECA is a must-have' - in conversation with Robbert Zappej
Jonathan Bell
1 December 2015

Robbert Zappeij of Royal IHC gives a corporate's perspective on the importance of export credit agencies and compares other financing options.

TXF Asia 2015: ANZ will increase focus on renewables, according to Paul Richards
TXF Asia 2015: ANZ will increase focus on renewables, according to Paul Richards
Jonathan Bell
30 November 2015

Paul Richards of ANZ identifies some key challenges for banks and export credit agencies in diversifying their key markets and areas of investment.

IFC makes senior trade and commodity finance appointments
IFC makes senior trade and commodity finance appointments
Jonathan Bell
27 November 2015

International Finance Corporation (IFC) has made several senior appointments within its trade and commodity finance management team.

EY launches global ECA coordination practice
EY launches global ECA coordination practice
Jonathan Bell
26 November 2015

As of 1 December, professional services firm EY, leading through its Eschborn office in Germany, is formally launching its global export credit agency (ECA) coordination practice. The venture, in conjunction with Hamburg-based law firm Arends Hofert Bergemann (AHB), will be led by Hans-Peter Busson, partner at EY.

Emirates Global Aluminium launches syndication of $4.9bn facilities
Emirates Global Aluminium launches syndication of $4.9bn facilities
Jonathan Bell
24 November 2015

UAE-headquartered Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the world’s leading aluminium producers, has launched the syndication for its $4.9 billion corporate facilities. Seven banks have been appointed as MLAs and bookrunners.

Deutsche Bank appoints new EMEA head of commodity trade finance
Deutsche Bank appoints new EMEA head of commodity trade finance
Jonathan Bell
23 November 2015

Deutsche Bank’s global transaction banking business has appointed Willem Calame as head of commodity trade finance for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (ex-Germany) region. He is headquartered in Amsterdam.

Demica appoints head of structuring
Demica appoints head of structuring
Jonathan Bell
23 November 2015

London-based Demica, the specialist provider of working capital solutions and financing partner to multinational companies, has appointed François Terrade as head of structuring.

Mercuria raises $1.1 bn for Asian RCF with 27 banks on board
Mercuria raises $1.1 bn for Asian RCF with 27 banks on board
Jonathan Bell
20 November 2015

Global energy and commodities group Mercuria Energy has signed its Asian revolving credit facility (RCF) for a total amount of $1.1 billion. General syndication saw a substantial oversubscription as the facility was joined by a group of 27 banks.

Rabobank and Atradius DSB combine for wind farm project financing in Finland
Rabobank and Atradius DSB combine for wind farm project financing in Finland
Jonathan Bell
16 November 2015

Rabobank and export credit insurer Atradius Dutch State Business (Atradius DSB) have combined to help arrange project financing for two onshore wind farms in Finland. Project sponsors are Yard Energy and Maas Capital (a subsidiary of ABN AMRO). The turbines are designed, manufactured and assembled by Lagerwey of the Netherlands.

Falcon Group makes senior hires to develop its forfaiting operations
Falcon Group makes senior hires to develop its forfaiting operations
Jonathan Bell
16 November 2015

Specialist financier Falcon Group has appointed three senior originators to develop its forfaiting capabilities. The new hires, Ray Webb, Martin Betts and Keith McConnell, will be responsible for delivering a range of forfaiting services and proposing Falcon’s existing solutions to an extensive network of international relationships.

SMBC and Mizuho sign export credit financing for Azerbaijan’s Azercosmos
SMBC and Mizuho sign export credit financing for Azerbaijan’s Azercosmos
Jonathan Bell
11 November 2015

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (SMBCE) and Mizuho have arranged and signed a €132 million ($142.7 million) loan facility with the Azerbaijan state-owned satellite operator Azercosmos, for the Azersky satellite system. The export credit financing is backed by French export credit agency Coface.

MUFG led club signs $1.63 billion loan for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company
MUFG led club signs $1.63 billion loan for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company
Jonathan Bell
10 November 2015

An international bank group led by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s (MUFG) banking arm, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), has signed a term loan facility for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Company (BTC Co) of up to $1.63 billion. This transaction follows the successful pre-payment of additional project finance facilities for BTC in September 2015.

Berne Union elects Topi Vesteri as president at AGM in Shanghai
Berne Union elects Topi Vesteri as president at AGM in Shanghai
Jonathan Bell
5 November 2015

At the Berne Union - the International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers - and Prague Club annual general meeting this week in Shanghai - hosted by China’s official export credit agency Sinosure - members elected Topi Vesteri

MUFG signs $1 billion export finance framework with Development Bank of Kazakhstan
MUFG signs $1 billion export finance framework with Development Bank of Kazakhstan
Jonathan Bell
4 November 2015

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s (MUFG) banking arm, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), has signed a framework agreement for export finance transactions of up to $1 billion with Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK).

Finacity arranges $100 million trade receivables securitisation for ZIM Shipping
Finacity arranges $100 million trade receivables securitisation for ZIM Shipping
Jonathan Bell
2 November 2015

Stanford, USA-headquartered Finacity Corporation has launched a multi-jurisdiction trade receivables securitisation for ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM). The arrangement allows for up to $100 million in funding from an unspecified leading European bank.

Cofarco expands commodity operations with new Geneva branch
Cofarco expands commodity operations with new Geneva branch
Jonathan Bell
2 November 2015

Paris-headquartered Cofarco has opened its first office abroad in Geneva, with a view to further strengthening its franchise with commodity trading companies and banks in Switzerland. The company has also hired Guillaume de la Ville to head-up the new branch.

Olam signs new loan facilities totalling $1 billion
Olam signs new loan facilities totalling $1 billion
Jonathan Bell
29 October 2015

Singapore-headquartered, agri-commodity trader, ~Olam International^, has signed a revolving credit and term loan facility amounting to $1 billion. The facilities attracted a wide range of international banks with a keen appetite for the soft commodity sector.