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Mafraq I and II: DFI debt and cheap tariffs
Mafraq I and II: DFI debt and cheap tariffs
Max Thompson
7 April 2017

Solar developer FRV reached full financial close on DFI-backed financings last month to fund the construction of two of its four solar projects in Mafraq, Jordan. The highly competitive Round 2 tariffs made DFI-backing a must for both projects.

Shop talk: ANZ turns up the Asian pipeline
Shop talk: ANZ turns up the Asian pipeline
Max Thompson
6 April 2017

Despite a sluggish 2016 in which Asian transaction activity was down on 2015, Paul Richards, global head of export finance at ANZ, is optimistic. The bank has already closed some important financings this year and has both deals, and structuring and liquidity initiatives, in the pipeline.

Egypt FiT Round 2: Will it be bankable?
Egypt FiT Round 2: Will it be bankable?
Max Thompson
4 April 2017

Developers under Egypt’s FiT Round 2 programme are racing to secure international debt for solar power tenders by the end of the April. With revisions to key issues that prevented DFIs lending in Round 1, and a feasible ECA-backed template from Infinity 50, can Round 2 deliver where Round 1 did not?

TXF data update: Export finance volumes double in 2016
TXF data update: Export finance volumes double in 2016
Max Thompson
4 April 2017

Export finance volumes recovered in 2016. The Middle East accounted for a third of the total ECA market, power was the most popular industry for ECA-backed deals, and Japanese direct lending came back to the market.

S&W Breakfast Briefing: Risk sharing techniques
S&W Breakfast Briefing: Risk sharing techniques
Max Thompson
3 April 2017

In the latest edition of law firm Sullivan & Worcester's Trade Finance Breakfast Seminars, senior associate Hannah Fearn discusses the similarities, differences and consequences of risk sharing techniques in trade finance.

New OECD ECA regulation: Rising premium alarm
New OECD ECA regulation: Rising premium alarm
Max Thompson
28 March 2017

Under recent amendments to the OECD Arrangement on Export Credits, Minimum Premium Rates for cover on transactions involving high income countries were redefined. The changes up the cost of ECA cover for borrowers in Category 0 countries, while also giving non-Category 0 borrowers a significant premium advantage.

AbleChildAfrica: Giving the world's largest minority a chance - and so can you
AbleChildAfrica: Giving the world's largest minority a chance - and so can you
Max Thompson
28 March 2017

Around 15% of the global population are disabled. Of those, approximately 80% live in developing countries and 150 million are children. TXF caught up with Jane Anthony, executive director of AbleChildAfrica, with which we are very proud to have a partnership, to find out more about the charity's vital role in Africa.

Hands on: Attarat tackles Jordan's feedstock problem
Hands on: Attarat tackles Jordan's feedstock problem
Max Thompson
22 March 2017

The $2.1 billion 554MW shale oil-fired Attarat Power project in Jordan reached financial close last week backed by Chinese banks and Sinosure cover. Is this the beginning of a reversal in Jordan’s high cost of power feedstock?

Pricing drop: Refinancing ECA offshore wind projects in Europe
Pricing drop: Refinancing ECA offshore wind projects in Europe
Max Thompson
17 March 2017

Sponsors of the ECA/DFI-backed Northwind offshore wind farm in the Belgian North Sea are working to refinance the project's €600 million debt. The question is does pricing fall post construction and are ECAs and DFIs staying in refinancing?

Oman Shipping Company seals K-sure-backed facility
Oman Shipping Company seals K-sure-backed facility
Max Thompson
15 March 2017

Société Générale has arranged a $227 million partially K-sure-backed facility with the state-owned Oman Shipping Company. The underwritten deal is indicative of strong lender appetite for Omani sovereign risk despite the country's deteriorating credit rating.

Powering up: Tanjung Jati B 5&6 electrifies lender appetite
Powering up: Tanjung Jati B 5&6 electrifies lender appetite
Max Thompson
3 March 2017

JBIC and commercial banks, with NEXI cover, are co-financing $3.35 billion of debt to fund a 2GW expansion of the 2.64GW Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant in Indonesia.

TXF Singapore: ASEAN has most growth potential in Asia-Pacific
TXF Singapore: ASEAN has most growth potential in Asia-Pacific
Max Thompson
28 February 2017

The trade and commodity finance community has its say on the biggest issues in the market in our annual audience survey at TXF's Trade, Treasury and Commodity conference in Singapore.

Turbine loans: Broken promise?
Turbine loans: Broken promise?
Max Thompson
28 February 2017

With US wind tax credits (PTC) being cut 20% year-on-year until 2019, the turbine loan market was expected to make a comeback. A trio of wind turbine loans under full PTC closed at the end of last year - so is there life in the old turbine loan yet?

Woodside signs first EKN loan for subsea developments
Woodside signs first EKN loan for subsea developments
Max Thompson
24 February 2017

Last month energy company Woodside tapped a favourably priced $100 million EKN loan, guaranteed by GIEK and DNB, for the supply of subsea equipment to the offshore Greater Enfield Development project in Western Australia.

Funding tap: GCC margins dip
Funding tap: GCC margins dip
Max Thompson
22 February 2017

Two years of tight regional bank liquidity and even tighter government budgets forced many Middle East state-owned borrowers into the ECA-backed and pre-export loan markets at a time when margins jumped significantly. This year, and for the first time since the 2014 oil price slump, margins have begun to tighten again – albeit slightly.

Hiscox shuts down trade finance insurance arm
Hiscox shuts down trade finance insurance arm
Max Thompson
15 February 2017

Symptomatic of a political and trade credit insurance market with too many players chasing too little business, insurance underwriter Hiscox is pulling its trade finance business citing a lack of profitability in a 'low frequency', 'high impact' market.

Nam Dinh 1 nears financial close
Nam Dinh 1 nears financial close
Max Thompson
13 February 2017

Last month Acwa Power and Taekwang Power mandated banks for the $4 billion 1.2GW Nam Dinh 1 coal-fired power project in Vietnam, with the deal expected to close in two months time.

Al Risha solar project nears financial close
Al Risha solar project nears financial close
Max Thompson
9 February 2017

Acwa Power is weeks away from financial close on a bilaterally negotiated 18-year DFI-backed financing for the 61.3MW solar scheme at Risha in Jordan.

Cricket Valley: Merchant hedging lends comfort
Cricket Valley: Merchant hedging lends comfort
Max Thompson
8 February 2017

Cricket Valley Energy Center closed a debt and equity package last month to finance the construction of a 1.1GW greenfield power plant in Dover. The deal includes a rare 'revenue put' to give lenders added comfort.

Korean ECAs back Iraq's new city project
Korean ECAs back Iraq's new city project
Max Thompson
7 February 2017

K-sure and Kexim provided support last month to cover an Iraqi government construction payment to Hanwha E&C for the $10 billion Bismayah New City project in Iraq – the largest overseas project by a single Korean contractor to date.

MIGA umbrella for Myanmar cable risks
MIGA umbrella for Myanmar cable risks
Max Thompson
2 February 2017

Myanmar's telecom sector received a boost last month when MIGA backed the rollout of 4,500 km of fibre optic cable by providing 95% cover for a $100 million loan to Myanmar Fibre Optic Communication Network

Zarqa CCGT seals long tenor, well priced, DFI debt
Zarqa CCGT seals long tenor, well priced, DFI debt
Max Thompson
30 January 2017

On 15 January Acwa Power completed its first drawdown from its $370 million 19-year partially MIGA-covered financing for the construction of the 485MW Al Zarqa combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) in Jordan.

Oman deal flow set to rise – albeit on a staggered basis
Oman deal flow set to rise – albeit on a staggered basis
Max Thompson
24 January 2017

A number of state-owned Omani borrowers are already testing appetite for loans in 2017. But borrowers may have to stagger deal flow to avoid having to compete for lenders and causing an uptick in margins.

KfW Development Bank keeps Lima metro on track
KfW Development Bank keeps Lima metro on track
Max Thompson
20 January 2017

The Peru government raised DFI loans last month from both KfW and AFD – the latest tranches of debt to back the state contribution to the $5.8 billion Lima Metro Line 2 PPP project.

All quiet on the Dubai metro front
All quiet on the Dubai metro front
Max Thompson
18 January 2017

Dubai is close to mandating arranging banks for a $3 billion loan to finance its Al Maktoum International Airport. But progress on the $2.5 billion debt mandate for the Dubai Metro Red Line extension has slowed - the deal has yet to be awarded despite feedback to bidders at the end of 2016.

Amandi Energy ends 2016 on financial close
Amandi Energy ends 2016 on financial close
Max Thompson
17 January 2017

Amandi Energy's $522 million CCGT power plant began construction last month and is expected to increase Ghana's electricity supply by 7% once completed in 2019.

EEHC seals SACE-backed CCGT conversions
EEHC seals SACE-backed CCGT conversions
Max Thompson
11 January 2017

State-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) has tapped SACE cover for a tightly priced loan to finance the CCGT conversions of the Assiut and West Damietta power plants.

Brainwave 2: ASI refinances and adds to original 2014 PV bond
Brainwave 2: ASI refinances and adds to original 2014 PV bond
Max Thompson
10 January 2017

Solar PV investment platform Azienda Solare Italiana (ASI) has closed a landmark hybrid refinancing – although an add-on to its 2014 deal the issue is still the largest project bond to date in the Italian renewables sector.

PLN taps 'attractive' CIRR with HEXIM-EDC co-financing
PLN taps 'attractive' CIRR with HEXIM-EDC co-financing
Max Thompson
5 January 2017

HEXIM and EDC partnered for the first time to co-finance PLN's development of eight GE-supplied mobile power plants in Indonesia. TXF understands the pricing reflects the CIRR on 2 December 2016, the day the deal was signed. 

National Grid taps landmark ECA facility for NSL project
National Grid taps landmark ECA facility for NSL project
Max Thompson
4 January 2017

National Grid North America has tapped a SACE and EKN-backed facility to finance EPC contracts for the North Sea Link project. The transaction is the largest ever European power transmission ECA financing and could serve as a blueprint for future power deals.

Catching up with the US’ new Trade Finance Advisory Council
Catching up with the US’ new Trade Finance Advisory Council
Max Thompson
22 December 2016

The recently-elected members of the US’ Trade Finance Advisory Council (TFAC) attended their inaugural meeting last month. The 20 private-sector leaders represent banks, asset managers, peer-to-peer lenders, exporters, and research institutions. TXF's Max Thompson caught up with Ericka Ukrow, executive secretariat of the TFAC at the US Department of Commerce, to find out how the Council plans to increase access to finance for US exporters.

Year in review: Export & agency finance
Year in review: Export & agency finance
Oliver Gordon
20 December 2016

Ollie Gordon, TXF's news & features editor, picks his favourite export & agency finance stories of 2016.

What does the Trump Administration mean for US Ex-Im?
What does the Trump Administration mean for US Ex-Im?
Max Thompson
15 December 2016

Last week Congress rejected an amendment that would allow US Ex-Im to function without a full board. However, the news that senator Richard Shelby – who has blocked new nominations to the board – has termed out as senate banking committee chairman bodes well for the ECA, as a new pro-Exim replacement is set to start on 3 January.

ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution
ECAs fuel Mozambique LNG project amid IMF caution
Max Thompson
12 December 2016

ECAs are to offer guarantees for two LNG projects in Mozambique, as commercial lenders watch closely to see how talks progress between the government and the IMF before committing to the project.

India Exim boosts Ghana's infra push amid election race
India Exim boosts Ghana's infra push amid election race
Max Thompson
9 December 2016

Last month, India Exim provided loans to finance the construction of a railway line, sugarcane development, and irrigation system in Ghana.The deal closed in the run up to the presidential elections, which finish this week, as foreign investors warm up to the positive economic prospects of the West African country.

Can UK exporters fill UKEF's new £5bn country limit?
Can UK exporters fill UKEF's new £5bn country limit?
Max Thompson
8 December 2016

In light of the Autumn Statement, UK Export Finance will double country limits to £5 billion. But the question is whether the UK actually has enough exporters to fill the ECA’s new capacity.

Lotte Chemical Corp closes first ECA deal amid government probe
Lotte Chemical Corp closes first ECA deal amid government probe
Max Thompson
2 December 2016

Lotte Chemical Corporation sealed its first ECA-backed loan in October after the $1.59 billion transaction was initially put on hold due to an ongoing government investigation into the group, says a banker who worked on the deal.

EBRD on plugging the trade finance gap
EBRD on plugging the trade finance gap
Max Thompson
1 December 2016

In recent years, international commercial banks have reduced the amount of trade finance provided to high-risk countries like Ukraine, Egypt and Greece. Max Thompson caught up with Rudolf Putz, head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), to find out more about what the EBRD is doing to plug the trade finance gap left by retreating banks and what the cost of regulation really means for the industry.

Kexim rolls out reforms to tackle shipping woes
Kexim rolls out reforms to tackle shipping woes
Max Thompson
30 November 2016

South Korean state-run banks Kexim and KDB are currently trimming the fat as part of efforts to "reform" themselves and cut internal costs after over exposure to the country's tanking shipbuilding sector.

EU proposal amends CRD 4 and CRR rules
EU proposal amends CRD 4 and CRR rules
Max Thompson
25 November 2016

The export finance community can begin to breathe a sigh of relief after the EU Commission this week proposed several amendments to the CRD 4 and CRR rules, which if implemented will come into effect in 2018. The proposed regulation amendments include a 0% Leverage Ratio for export finance and a fair treatment in the Net Stable Funding Ratio for trade finance.

China Exim lights Egypt's path from fiscal deficit
China Exim lights Egypt's path from fiscal deficit
Max Thompson
23 November 2016

This year Egypt has made significant cuts to fuel and electricity subsidies in a bid to make up the government's $10 billion fiscal deficit. China Exim’s recent $757 million loan to finance the construction of new electricity lines across the country should alleviate some pressure.

Merging public with private: Q&A with Belgium’s ECA
Merging public with private: Q&A with Belgium’s ECA
Max Thompson
22 November 2016

Belgium's export credit agency (ECA), Delcredere|Ducroire, announced last week at the Credendo Group's 2016 Trade Forum in Brussels that come 1 January 2017 the ECA would be merging under "one name and one theme" – Credendo Group. Max Thompson caught up with Delcredere|Ducroire's deputy CEO Nabil Jijakli to find out more about the name change and get his take on the market’s latest issues.

Reliance taps K-sure with 'aggressive' pricing
Reliance taps K-sure with 'aggressive' pricing
Max Thompson
18 November 2016

Despite the global slowdown in the shipping industry, Reliance Industries' recent K-sure-backed facility for the construction of six VLECs was two times oversubscribed by banks. However, one lender highlighted the complex financing structure and the 'aggressive' pricing as two points of contention during the deal.

From Russia with love: Exiar steps up amid sanctions and falling ruble
From Russia with love: Exiar steps up amid sanctions and falling ruble
Max Thompson
16 November 2016

This year Exiar has doubled its volume of insured exports compared to 2015 as an expanded government mandate begins to bear fruit. Max Thompson investigates the driving forces behind the increase as US and European sanctions continue to force Russia to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.

The post-Crisis transformation of ECAs
The post-Crisis transformation of ECAs
Max Thompson
10 November 2016

Export credit agencies (ECAs) played a key role in stabilising and preventing a complete drying up of the trade finance market following the financial crisis of 2007. Max Thompson examines how the role and product suites of ECAs have developed since.

Brazil bounces back as Temer tempers economic storm
Brazil bounces back as Temer tempers economic storm
Max Thompson
3 November 2016

Over the past two years, Brazil has suffered from its worst recession since the 1930s. However, since the appointment of conservative President Michel Temer, Latin America's largest economy has started to rebound with positive forecasts for 2017.

UAE secures $24.4bn for its first nuclear power plant
UAE secures $24.4bn for its first nuclear power plant
Max Thompson
27 October 2016

Kexim will provide a $2.5 billion direct loan to a Korean Electric Power Corporation (Kepco)-led consortium to fund the construction of four 1,400 MW nuclear reactors at the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant.

JBIC waives Indonesian government guarantee in new balance sheet play
JBIC waives Indonesian government guarantee in new balance sheet play
Max Thompson
25 October 2016

JBIC has announced plans to fund infrastructure projects in Indonesia without guarantees from the Indonesian government. The 'new trend' makes Japanese exports more attractive to state-owned borrowers as it alleviates debt from the government's balance sheet, says one ECA finance expert.

India Exim's $750m LoC to Nepal looks to cement frosty trade ties
India Exim's $750m LoC to Nepal looks to cement frosty trade ties
Max Thompson
24 October 2016

India and Nepal look to fortify trade ties that have come under strain in recent years, as India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempts to implement his 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

Russia heats up Cuban trade ties with $4bn financing
Russia heats up Cuban trade ties with $4bn financing
Max Thompson
21 October 2016

In a sign that trade relations between Russia and Cuba are stepping up, Russia's ECA, EXIAR, has agreed to guarantee the bulk of a $4 billion finance agreement for Cuban development schemes.