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Coface, Cesce power Dubai Metro as ECAs eye UAE infra push
Coface, Cesce power Dubai Metro as ECAs eye UAE infra push
Max Thompson
19 October 2016

ECAs will be key to the UAE 2021 Vision infrastructure investment programme as commercial bank liquidity feels the pinch from low oil prices.

ECAs and NGOs clash over UN’s Green Climate Fund
ECAs and NGOs clash over UN’s Green Climate Fund
Max Thompson
17 October 2016

The UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been urged by a letter from 92 NGOs to blacklist coal-funding ECAs from its funds. However, one market observer says ECAs should not be punished for their past endeavours, especially since adhering to the OECD’s new guidelines on only backing high-efficiency technologies.

European ECAs propel the future of wind farm projects
European ECAs propel the future of wind farm projects
Max Thompson
14 October 2016

In recent years, European ECAs and development institutions have been playing an increasing role in financing wind farm projects around the world. Their involvement is now key to maintaining commercial lenders attraction to the sector, says a renewable energy lawyer.

UPDATE: Floating rate not CIRR undercutting export finance market, says US Ex-Im senior exec
UPDATE: Floating rate not CIRR undercutting export finance market, says US Ex-Im senior exec
Max Thompson
13 October 2016

Direct lending by ECAs based on floating interest rates, rather than the CIRR equivalent, is the source of export finance bankers' discontent, says a US Ex-Im senior executive

EDC flouts Angola risk for landmark locomotive deal
EDC flouts Angola risk for landmark locomotive deal
Max Thompson
12 October 2016

Despite the economic uncertainty in Angola, EDC has agreed a financing for the country which will contribute to the completion of one of the final steps to opening a new trade corridor in Western Africa.

Vitol closes $8bn RCF despite revenue plunge
Vitol closes $8bn RCF despite revenue plunge
Max Thompson
11 October 2016

The RCF – which matches last year's largest-ever facility secured by the company – was heavily oversubscribed and is indicative of continued lender appetite for the trader’s debt.

The Bpifrance-Coface transfer explained
The Bpifrance-Coface transfer explained
Max Thompson
6 October 2016

On 1 January 2017 the French export credit agency (ECA), Coface, will officially transfer all its activity to Bpifrance. Since 1946 Coface has handled state export credit guarantees but by next year French public investment bank Bpifrance will take the reins. On the sidelines of TXF's Paris Export Finance conference, Max Thompson caught up with Bpifrance's CEO, Nicolas Dufourcq, along with Coface's CEO and head of international division,Christophe Viprey and Maelia Dufour.

Ecobank taps AfDB to plug Africa's trade finance hole
Ecobank taps AfDB to plug Africa's trade finance hole
Max Thompson
5 October 2016

Falling commodity prices have caused shortages in dollar funding for African producers and has led to a greater demand for trade financing from local SMEs.

Kexim wades into Africa infra scramble with Ghana power deal
Kexim wades into Africa infra scramble with Ghana power deal
Max Thompson
3 October 2016

Kexim last week provided a loan to finance the Prestea-Kumasi power enhancement project in Ghana as South Korea looks to compete with China and Japan for African infrastructure projects.

What's driving China Exim's infrastructure push in Africa?
What's driving China Exim's infrastructure push in Africa?
Max Thompson
29 September 2016

African economies have been suffering of late from low commodity prices. However, the continent's largest trading partner, China, is investing billions – mostly via China Exim – in the region to prop up infrastructure projects. The question is what is driving China's growing role in Africa?

ECAs key to Iran's renewable energy target
ECAs key to Iran's renewable energy target
Max Thompson
26 September 2016

Iran has set a target to install 5,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2021, and according to one lawyer, export credit agencies will be key to achieving that goal.

Finnvera steps in to finance UK biomass plant amid government subsidy cuts
Finnvera steps in to finance UK biomass plant amid government subsidy cuts
Max Thompson
22 September 2016

The UK government introduced dramatic cuts to renewable energy subsidies in August, just a month before Finland's ECA, Finnvera, closed a £100 million financing for the construction of the world's largest biomass power plant in the UK.

Kexim credit 'unaffected' by shipping losses
Kexim credit 'unaffected' by shipping losses
Max Thompson
21 September 2016

South Korea's ECA, Kexim, posted a net loss of $838.6 million for the first half of the year after bad debt provisions surged due to over exposure to struggling shipbuilders. However, one market source claims Kexim's losses are "not as bad as they seem".

Banks lament as 'all-time low' CIRR spurs ECA direct lending
Banks lament as 'all-time low' CIRR spurs ECA direct lending
Max Thompson
20 September 2016

Although the total volume of the ECA finance market has reduced in recent years, in the first half of this year ECA direct lending was already $1.7 billion up on the whole of 2015. According to one market source, the falling CIRR– the price at which ECAs provide financing– is making commercial bank funding uncompetitive.

First Finnvera-NIB financing creates landmark deal in Brazil
First Finnvera-NIB financing creates landmark deal in Brazil
Max Thompson
16 September 2016

At the end of last month, Finnvera and NIB signed a $225 million facility that will be onlent to a eucalyptus pulp mill project in Brazil. The deal represents the first time Finnvera has tapped an ‘alternative’ form of finance with NIB in order to leverage the credit risk of doing business in a country struggling to revive its economy.

Moody's report highlights credit quality of export finance loans
Moody's report highlights credit quality of export finance loans
Max Thompson
15 September 2016

Global trade numbers might be floundering, but the quality of export finance is gradually gaining in appreciation, especially since Spain's introduction of export finance covered bonds, as ratings agency Moody's revealed in a report last week.

Warid Telecom closes new landmark ECA deal in Pakistan
Warid Telecom closes new landmark ECA deal in Pakistan
Max Thompson
12 September 2016

Due to the political and economic uncertainty surrounding Pakistan, international financing has been hard to come by for the South Asian country. Nonetheless,in July Warid Telecom, a Pakistani mobile operator, closed a $249.76 million EKN-backed loan – the third largest ECA deal in the country – for the purchase of Ericsson telecoms equipment.

Japan eyes 'UN Security Council seat' with $30bn pledge to Africa
Japan eyes 'UN Security Council seat' with $30bn pledge to Africa
Max Thompson
9 September 2016

Japan's latest pledge to commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development in Africa is a "politically motivated" move to ensure the Asian giant has "a seat at the Security Council in the United Nations by 2023", according to one market observer.

EFIC's export loan initiative plugs banks retreat from SMEs
EFIC's export loan initiative plugs banks retreat from SMEs
Max Thompson
8 September 2016

The Australian government's push to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is beginning to bear fruit, as last month Australia's export credit agency (ECA), EFIC, announced the first small businesses to benefit from direct funding under its Small Business Export Loan initiative.

Report analyses how much US Ex-Im promotes US exports
Report analyses how much US Ex-Im promotes US exports
Max Thompson
7 September 2016

A recent report carried out by Nottingham University investigates the impact of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Ex-Im) on US exports particularly in the wake of international competition from foreign national export credit agencies (ECAs). TXF's Max Thompson reveals the report's findings.

ECAs look set for favourable treatment under leverage ratio
ECAs look set for favourable treatment under leverage ratio
Max Thompson
1 September 2016

Earlier this month, the European Banking Authority (EBA) released its report on the leverage ratio requirements under article 511 of the CRR. The report asserts that ECA risk is lower than other trade finance risk and as such, the EBA should leave open the possibility of more favourable treatment of ECAs under the leverage ratio.

China Exim wades into shipping with $18bn mega deal for Coscocs
China Exim wades into shipping with $18bn mega deal for Coscocs
Max Thompson
26 August 2016

Earlier this month, Chinese container shipping conglomerate Coscocs signed an $18 billion financing agreement with China Exim to fund the construction of more than 50 ships as well as overseas investments and mergers. The deal is the largest ECA supported loan to have ever been completed, according to market sources.

New mandate for Polish ECA under development programme
New mandate for Polish ECA under development programme
Max Thompson
22 August 2016

Earlier this year, Poland's government announced its Responsible Development Strategy in a bid to gear up the country's economy to reach new levels of growth. Under the plans, the Polish ECA, Kuke, has been allocated PLN $6 billion ($1.58 billion) which will play a key role in facilitating entrepreneurs' access to credit insurance as well as increasing financial support for exports through increased cooperation with banks.

TXF Data Update: Power sector dominates export finance in H1
TXF Data Update: Power sector dominates export finance in H1
Max Thompson
16 August 2016

Power is the export finance’s largest sector in H1 of 2016, accounting for 44.1% of the market, with significant growth in both coal-fired and conventional power.

Commerzbank expands export finance team to meet ‘growth’
Commerzbank expands export finance team to meet ‘growth’
Max Thompson
16 August 2016

Commerzbank has expanded and repositioned its export finance department in order to become an even bigger player in the ECA market, as Africa and Russia look set to become the bank's most active markets in the coming years.

TXF Data Update: Middle East tops export finance market in H1
TXF Data Update: Middle East tops export finance market in H1
Max Thompson
12 August 2016

The Middle East is the largest export finance borrower market in the first half of the year, with a 35.3% share of the global market; the export finance community cites power, oil and gas, and real estate as the driving factors behind the growth.

TXF Data Update: JBIC most active ECA in H1
TXF Data Update: JBIC most active ECA in H1
Max Thompson
12 August 2016

The Japanese ECA, JBIC, topped the table by covered volume with 25 transactions totalling $9.68 billion in H1 of 2016, with the German ECA Euler Hermes in second place with $3.14 billion in cover, followed closely by the Italian ECA SACE.

TXF Data Update: Export finance market plunges 22.5% in H1
TXF Data Update: Export finance market plunges 22.5% in H1
Max Thompson
11 August 2016

The total volume of ECA deals taking place in the first half of 2016 dropped by 22.5% compared to same period last year, while SMBC topped the lenders table with $2.19 billion in financing.

Angola power deal taps ECA support amidst non-payment crisis
Angola power deal taps ECA support amidst non-payment crisis
Max Thompson
5 August 2016

Even though Angola is facing a rollercoaster ride with a drop-off in oil revenues, and a non-payment crisis, three European ECAs have backed a $460.29 million loan to the MoF of Angola for the construction of the Lauca hydroelectric power plant.

Turk Eximbank seals MIGA deal weeks before downgrade
Turk Eximbank seals MIGA deal weeks before downgrade
Max Thompson
4 August 2016

At the end of June, Turk Eximbank signed a $746.82 million MIGA-backed loan with a syndicate of banks for on-lending to Turkish exporters. The deal closed just weeks before an attempted coup in Turkey which prompted Standard and Poor's to cut Turkey's credit rating.

Banks bypassed as exporters finance customers with ECA support
Banks bypassed as exporters finance customers with ECA support
Max Thompson
27 July 2016

Large exporters are increasingly bypassing the banks and providing direct loans to their smaller customers with the help ECA cover.

RCC replicates Coface facility for two edge-class vessels
RCC replicates Coface facility for two edge-class vessels
Max Thompson
25 July 2016

At the end of last month, the US' Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCC) signed a $1.43 billion Coface-backed buyer's credit agreement with a club of international banks to finance two edge-class cruise vessels for Celebrity Cruises, a premium subsidiary of RCC.

US Ex-Im languishes in competitors' wake
US Ex-Im languishes in competitors' wake
Max Thompson
13 July 2016

At the end of last month, US Ex -Im unveiled its annual competitiveness report for 2015 to Congress. TXF's Max Thompson analyses the report’s findings.

$1.34 bn AfDB loan 'a very good story' for Eskom
$1.34 bn AfDB loan 'a very good story' for Eskom
Max Thompson
8 July 2016

Earlier this week, South Africa's state-operated power electricity firm, Eskom, signed a $1.34 billion loan with the African Development Bank (AfDB). The funds will be used for the company's general capital expansion, which includes new power plants, maintenance and refurbishment of generation, transmission and distribution facilities.

Saipem taps GIEK for innovative multi-tranche facility
Saipem taps GIEK for innovative multi-tranche facility
Max Thompson
7 July 2016

Earlier this month, the Italian drilling company Saipem closed a €667 ($740 million) million GIEK-backed buyer's credit facility to finance the purchase of equipment and services from Norwegian exporters within the offshore oil & gas technology sector.

Back in business: Argentina's trade revival
Back in business: Argentina's trade revival
Max Thompson
6 July 2016

Despite foreign investors’ and ECAs’ concerns over the risk of doing business in Argentina, the export community remains excited by the country’s trade prospects , TXF's Max Thompson discovers. The country's newly -elected president has recently put Latin America's second largest economy back in the international trade arena in a bid to boost investor confidence and spark an economic resurgence.

STX: Investing in the future of cruise ships
STX: Investing in the future of cruise ships
Max Thompson
1 July 2016

On the sidelines of TXF's Export & Agency Finance conference in Rome, Max Thompson caught up with STX France's head of financing and treasury, Jean-Philippe Neau, to find out more about the shipbuilders multi-billion, multi-year debt plan. The interview ranges from the growing shipping market, the Harmony of the Seas's maiden voyage, and how the shipyard leverages its cash flow with such a busy order book.

Hornsdale's $173.5m project financing propels Australia towards renewables target
Hornsdale's $173.5m project financing propels Australia towards renewables target
Max Thompson
30 June 2016

Australia's Hornsdale Wind Farm secured financing with a club loan of A$173.5 million from KfW IPEX-Bank and Société Générale for the project’s second stage of construction. The expansion will double the capacity of the wind farm from 100 to 200MW, as pressure builds from the Australia Capital Territory (ACT) to reach the state’s target of deriving100% of its power needs from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Lenders not 'nervous' as Gunvor taps $400m borrowing base
Lenders not 'nervous' as Gunvor taps $400m borrowing base
Max Thompson
28 June 2016

Despite the downturn in commodities markets, one of the world's biggest oil traders - Gunvor - is currently enjoying its 'best trading years'. The company closed a $400 million borrowing base facility this month.

Is Asia really falling off in the ECA market?
Is Asia really falling off in the ECA market?
Max Thompson
24 June 2016

Despite TXF's figures showing over half the amount of ECA-backed deals in Asia in H1 of 2016 compared to H1 2015, one Asian export finance specialist tells TXF how the data actually flatters to deceive.

ED&F Man closes $1.88bn RCF
ED&F Man closes $1.88bn RCF
Max Thompson
23 June 2016

At the end of last month, UK agricultural commodities trader ED&F Man closed a two-year $1.88 billion revolving credit facility with a syndicate of 45 international banks.

Seaborn CEO: Laying the foundations for subsea ECA support
Seaborn CEO: Laying the foundations for subsea ECA support
Max Thompson
20 June 2016

On the sidelines of TXF's Export, Agency and Project Finance conference in Rome, Max Thompson caught up with the CEO of Seaborn Network, Larry Schwartz, to find out more about the first ever ECA-backed subsea cable.

Year of risk takes its toll on export finance, survey reveals
Year of risk takes its toll on export finance, survey reveals
Max Thompson
15 June 2016

At the beginning of 2016, the TXF-ICC Global Survey on Export Finance was carried out among more than 100 export financiers, ECAs, exporters and borrowers. TXF digest the data and analyse how challenges posed in 2015 have affected the export finance community.

India’s Reliance on ECAs
India’s Reliance on ECAs
Max Thompson
13 June 2016

During TXF’s Export, Agency and Project Finance conference in Rome last week, Max Thompson caught up with senior vice president of Reliance Industries Vineyesh Sawhney to find out how important ECA support is to India’s largest conglomerate.

SMEs help EKN double number of guarantees in Q1
SMEs help EKN double number of guarantees in Q1
Max Thompson
7 June 2016

Increased demand from SMEs has Swedish ECA EKN double its number of guarantees in Q1 of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015.

DFIs warn Egypt rule change will delay all renewable deals
DFIs warn Egypt rule change will delay all renewable deals
Max Thompson
3 June 2016

Earlier last month, the Egyptian government tweaked its contract terms to exclude the option of international arbitration for financiers of renewable energy deals. Development banks, major lenders for these types of deals, met with officials last week to discuss the issue which is delaying funding to a large scale wind farm and solar energy projects in the North African country.

Egypt signs consortium financing for new wind farm
Egypt signs consortium financing for new wind farm
Max Thompson
2 June 2016

Egypt has partnered with GDF Suez, Toyota and Orascom to build a 250 MW wind farm, the project is part of a government push to hit 4.3 giga watt (GW) of wind and solar projects by the end of next year.

SACE reveals 91% rise in claims for Q1
SACE reveals 91% rise in claims for Q1
Max Thompson
1 June 2016

Italian ECA SACE this week announced the value of claims hit €130.8 million in the first quarter results of 2016 - up 91% on the same period last year. SACE says the significant increase reflects compensations paid for Italian supplies in the shipping and the metallurgy sector.

Development agencies pledge $149m for Costa Rican wind projects
Development agencies pledge $149m for Costa Rican wind projects
Max Thompson
31 May 2016

GME, Central America's leading wind energy company, has tapped three international development agencies, FMO, Proparco, and OeEB for $149 million in long-term financing to build four 20-MW wind farms in Costa Rica.

SACE boosts trade ties with Argentina announcing €700m in guarantees
SACE boosts trade ties with Argentina announcing €700m in guarantees
Max Thompson
30 May 2016

Italian ECA SACE reopened its support of transactions with Argentina after the Italian undersecretary for development Ivan Scalfarotto last week announced guarantees for €700 million credit lines during his visit to the newly-liberalised Latin American country.