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Afreximbank’s crucial role in value-added agri projects
Afreximbank’s crucial role in value-added agri projects
Jonathan Bell
26 August 2014

“Africa requires $21 billion over the next 10 years to fill the finance gap in agricultural financing,” remarked Jean-Louis Ekra, president of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) during the ‘Best practices in agri-value chain finance’ session on day one of the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi.

Applying capital market tools for agri-financing
Applying capital market tools for agri-financing
Hesham Zakai
26 August 2014

With an immense amount of financing required in African agriculture, bank financing alone – at least in the current climate – is insufficient. The same was true of Brazil and the agricultural sector in the early nineties, paving the way for the introduction of the capital markets into the commodities sphere there.

Farmers seek better relationships with banks
Farmers seek better relationships with banks
Helen Castell
26 August 2014

One of the liveliest debates at the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi centred on the responsibilities that farmers have in facilitating agrifinance. Although heated criticisms of banks’ lack of understanding of agriculture came thick and fast, farmer groups also pledged to help bridge the gap by improving their record keeping and business skills.

Kenyan coffee farmers look to broader horizons
Kenyan coffee farmers look to broader horizons
Helen Castell
26 August 2014

Kenya’s Kyanzavi Farmers Cooperative is one example of how clubbing together into a single commercial estate can help individual farmers improve their yield, attract finance and pay it back.

Helping apitrade development in Ethiopia
Helping apitrade development in Ethiopia
Bert-Jan Ottens
26 August 2014

In 2012, ProFound together with the Ethiopian Apiculture Board, SNV Ethiopia and Enclude (formerly Triodos-Facet) initiated the Apiculture Scaling-up Programme ASPIRE.

Rosneft and North Atlantic Drilling sign asset exchange deal
Rosneft and North Atlantic Drilling sign asset exchange deal
Jonathan Bell
22 August 2014

Rosneft, Seadrill and North Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL) have signed a unique framework agreement that envisages long-term cooperation in the sphere of oilfield development projects and an exchange of assets.

Rusal fully completes refinancing
Rusal fully completes refinancing
Dominik Kloiber
21 August 2014

Rusal has completed the refinancing of its pre-export finance (PXF) facilities, with the amendment agreement signed 18 August becoming effective on 20 August 2014.

West African agri-sector boost through multi-agency financing
West African agri-sector boost through multi-agency financing
Jonathan Bell
20 August 2014

Three development agencies - Proparco, via its Investment and Support fund for Business in Africa (FISEA), CDC, via the DFID Impact Fund, and FMO, via its MASSIF Fund – have teamed to provide a total of $32 million in financing for the development of West African agriculture.

ING Frankfurt appoints new head of natural resources
ING Frankfurt appoints new head of natural resources
Jonathan Bell
19 August 2014

ING Commercial Banking in Frankfurt is continuing its expansion with the appointment of Crina Nechifor as head of natural resources and structured metals and energy finance.

Standard Bank pinpoints suspected Chinese fraud in half-year accounts
Standard Bank pinpoints suspected Chinese fraud in half-year accounts
Jonathan Bell
18 August 2014

In announcing its half-year financials, Standard Bank has highlighted a $79 million write-down from its exposure to a suspected metal financing fraud in China.

Rosneft proposes mega-loan from Russian state
Rosneft proposes mega-loan from Russian state
Jonathan Bell
18 August 2014

Russian state-owned oil producer Rosneft has asked the Russian government for up to RUB1.5 trillion (approximately $42 billion) to cover some of its immediate and medium-term debt repayment obligations.

RMB arranges loan for Tanzania’s MeTL Group
RMB arranges loan for Tanzania’s MeTL Group
Jonathan Bell
15 August 2014

South Africa’s Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has arranged a $200 million commodity and working capital loan for the Tanzanian commodities trading company Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL Group), one of Tanzania’s largest diversified conglomerates.

EnerJex Resources increases borrowing base and extends credit facility
EnerJex Resources increases borrowing base and extends credit facility
Jonathan Bell
15 August 2014

Independent US-based oil exploration and production company EnerJex Resources has increased the borrowing base under its existing revolving line of credit. In addition, the company has also extended the tenor of the credit with the lender, Texas Capital Bank (TCB).

WesternZagros secures new debt financing
WesternZagros secures new debt financing
Hesham Zakai
15 August 2014

Calgary-headquartered junior oil explorer WesternZagros Resources has secured new debt financing amounting to $200 million. The funding comes from its largest shareholder Crest Energy International.

Kores provides bridge loan for Boleo copper project
Kores provides bridge loan for Boleo copper project
Jonathan Bell
15 August 2014

Korea Resources Corporation (Kores) has provided a $20 million bridge loan to Minera y Metalúrgica del Boleo (MMB) to fund the continuing construction of the Boleo mining project in Mexico.

ABN AMRO bolsters commodities operations team in Asia
ABN AMRO bolsters commodities operations team in Asia
Dalia Gebrial
15 August 2014

Dutch bank ABN AMRO has added three new sector heads to its commodities operation team in Asia, in a bid to extend its focus in the region.

Ocean Partners expands and extends its RCF
Ocean Partners expands and extends its RCF
Jonathan Bell
14 August 2014

Base metals trader Ocean Partners UK Limited (Ocean Partners) has expanded and extended its existing revolving credit facility (RCF). The extension increases the existing credit facility by an additional $90 million, and extends it by a further 12 months.

Bengal Energy signs loan agreement with Westpac
Bengal Energy signs loan agreement with Westpac
Jonathan Bell
14 August 2014

Junior oil exploration company, Bengal Energy, which is focused on India and Australia, has agreed on final terms for its $25 million secured credit facility with Westpac Institutional Bank.

Russia’s Evraz signs PXF with international banks
Russia’s Evraz signs PXF with international banks
Jonathan Bell
14 August 2014

Russian steel manufacturer Evraz has signed a $425 million pre-export finance (PXF) facility with a syndicate of international banks.

EBRD arranges new facility for Ukraine’s Nibulon
EBRD arranges new facility for Ukraine’s Nibulon
Hesham Zakai
13 August 2014

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has arranged a $130 million A/B syndicated facility for Ukraine’s leading grain trader Nibulon.

Banks mandated for Kenyan Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline
Banks mandated for Kenyan Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline
Jonathan Bell
12 August 2014

Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) has mandated banks to arrange a $350 million loan to fund the construction of a new fuel pipeline from Mombasa to Nairobi.

HII Technologies secures debt financing
HII Technologies secures debt financing
Jonathan Bell
12 August 2014

HII Technologies, a Texan oilfield services company, has secured $18 million of senior secured debt funding from a group of lenders, led by Heartland Bank, an Arkansas state bank based in Little Rock.

Mercuria forms partnership with Pemex for gas imports
Mercuria forms partnership with Pemex for gas imports
Jonathan Bell
11 August 2014

Swiss-headquartered trading company Mercuria Energy has signed an agreement with the Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) to establish a joint venture which will import US natural gas into Mexico.

ABN Amro recruits new Americas metals head
ABN Amro recruits new Americas metals head
Dan Sheriff
7 August 2014

Daniel Minzer has joined the Dutch bank as Americas head of metals commodities

Gunvor closes new loan to support European activities
Gunvor closes new loan to support European activities
Jonathan Bell
5 August 2014

Swiss-headquartered commodity trading company Gunvor has closed a new $290 million uncommitted off balance sheet instrument (OBSI) revolving credit facility (RCF) to further support its European trading operations.

Osum Oil Sands closes acquisition credit facilities
Osum Oil Sands closes acquisition credit facilities
Jonathan Bell
4 August 2014

Calgary-based Osum Oil Sands Corporation (Osum) has closed its $210 million senior secured term loan facility, to partly fund the purchase of oil sands assets in Alberta, Canada.

Rusal finally gets full approval for PXF refinancing
Rusal finally gets full approval for PXF refinancing
Jonathan Bell
4 August 2014

Rusal has today confirmed that it has obtained 100% credit approvals from all its lenders for the proposed amendments to the $4.75 billion and $400 million pre-export finance (PXF) facilities.

Uralkali secures longest tenor yet on an unsecured loan
Uralkali secures longest tenor yet on an unsecured loan
Jonathan Bell
4 August 2014

Russian potash producer, Uralkali, has secured a new $250 million credit line from local bank Promsvyazbank, with an exceptional 10-year tenor.

SMBC signs loan with Brazil’s Amaggi
SMBC signs loan with Brazil’s Amaggi
Jonathan Bell
4 August 2014

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has signed a $200 million loan agreement with Brazilian agribusiness company Amaggi Exportação e Importação (Amaggi).

Ariana Resources signs financing to build first mine in Turkey
Ariana Resources signs financing to build first mine in Turkey
Jonathan Bell
31 July 2014

Ariana Resources, the Anglo-Turkish gold exploration and development company, has signed a financing agreement to bring its Kiziltepe gold-silver mine into production – also known as the Red Rabbit Gold Project. The financing is the company’s first mine development in Turkey.

Gunvor closes refinancing for Ingolstadt refinery
Gunvor closes refinancing for Ingolstadt refinery
Jonathan Bell
30 July 2014

Energy trading group Gunvor has successfully closed the refinancing of its $500 million refinancing facility related to its Ingolstadt refinery in Bavaria, Germany.

Mercuria secures Middle East borrowing base facility
Mercuria secures Middle East borrowing base facility
Jonathan Bell
30 July 2014

Mercuria Energy Trading Middle East DMCC, a subsidiary of Mercuria Energy Group, has secured a $200 million borrowing base facility through a group of banks.

Aureus Mining receives equity financing from IFC
Aureus Mining receives equity financing from IFC
Jonathan Bell
30 July 2014

The IFC has agreed to invest £6.6 million ($11.1 million equivalent) in Aureus Mining to further the company’s gold exploration and development work in Liberia.

Ukraine gets grain storage boost with EBRD loan
Ukraine gets grain storage boost with EBRD loan
Jonathan Bell
29 July 2014

The Ukrainian agri-sector has received a boost with funds for a new grain storage terminal in the Port of Odessa.

Ghana Cocobod increases PXF
Ghana Cocobod increases PXF
Jonathan Bell
28 July 2014

Ghana National Cocoa Board (Cocobod) is increasing the size of this year’s pre-export financing (PXF) in order to support additional purchasing of the country’s crop through the 2014-2015 season.

Promotion for Bedi at SMBCE
Promotion for Bedi at SMBCE
Jonathan Bell
28 July 2014

Structured commodity finance stalwart Pepi Bedi has been promoted to head of structured trade finance at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation Europe (SMBCE). He is based in London.

IFC signs its first agri-loan in DRC
IFC signs its first agri-loan in DRC
Jonathan Bell
28 July 2014

The IFC has signed a loan of $18 million to Terra and African Milling Company Congo, to help the company expand its maize farm and mill in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The financing is the first agribusiness loan by the IFC into the DRC.

Trafigura launches Asia-focused RCF and loan package
Trafigura launches Asia-focused RCF and loan package
Jonathan Bell
23 July 2014

Commodity trader Trafigura Beheer has launched a $1.3 billion equivalent revolving credit and term loan facilities. The facilities are Asia-focused.

EDC finances Pacific Rubiales Energy
EDC finances Pacific Rubiales Energy
Jonathan Bell
23 July 2014

Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), has signed to provide financing of $70 million to Canadian company Pacific Rubiales Energy Corporation.

Natixis teams with IFC and Standard Bank to fund Ethiopian imports of oil products
Natixis teams with IFC and Standard Bank to fund Ethiopian imports of oil products
Jonathan Bell
21 July 2014

In a transaction arranged and led by Natixis, the bank has teamed with IFC and Standard Bank to put in place a $500 million trade finance facility, to finance Ethiopia’s import of refined petroleum products.

IFC and Bladex team for LatAm commodity finance
IFC and Bladex team for LatAm commodity finance
Jonathan Bell
21 July 2014

IFC and Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex) have signed a risk-sharing facility of up to $350 million to expand access to trade finance for agribusinesses in Latin America and contribute to regional food security.

Full house for close of highly successful Fin4Ag Nairobi conference
Full house for close of highly successful Fin4Ag Nairobi conference
Jonathan Bell
17 July 2014

“One of the highlights of a successful conference is often how many people are left at the end. And this room is full!” declares Michael Hailu, director, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), at the closing ceremony of the highly successful Fin4Ag Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, jointly hosted by CTA and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA).

African agriculture – a world-beating business within 20 years
African agriculture – a world-beating business within 20 years
Helen Castell
17 July 2014

African agriculture stands at a crossroads and it alone is responsible for taking the right path. The sector has the potential to become a world beater within two decades, but only with a shift in mindset, the right technology and better corporate governance, delegates heard at a closing session for the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi.

Agricultural Investment Funds target Africa
Agricultural Investment Funds target Africa
Hesham Zakai
17 July 2014

The number of Agricultural Investment Funds (AIFs) has increased significantly over the past decade, alongside an increase in the world’s population and food demand. Africa has been the chief beneficiary of this trajectory with 40% of AIFs established having an African geographic focus.

Rosneft, VEB, Gazprombank and Novatek hit by new sanctions
Rosneft, VEB, Gazprombank and Novatek hit by new sanctions
Dan Sheriff
17 July 2014

US and EU make new announcements on the Russia-Ukraine crisis with further impact on trade

Crowdfunding is springboard for bank customers of tomorrow
Crowdfunding is springboard for bank customers of tomorrow
Helen Castell
17 July 2014

Crowdfunding has the potential to turn smallholder farmers into the bank customers of tomorrow, helping them grow to the stage at which they are able to tap traditional finance, delegates to the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi heard Thursday (July 17).

Mobile finance shifting to rural areas
Mobile finance shifting to rural areas
Max Carter
17 July 2014

Mobile finance has undergone strong growth in recent years, with more than 220 operational platforms worldwide. While the majority of these have so far been confined to urban areas, providers are fast realising the need to break into rural regions to expand market share and achieve nationwide presence.

Nine-country report proposes way forward for warehouse receipt finance
Nine-country report proposes way forward for warehouse receipt finance
Helen Castell
17 July 2014

A new study into warehouse receipts and collateral management was unveiled this week at the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi. The 200-page report dissects the experiences of nine countries examining lessons learned and highlighting potential ways forward in one of the most exciting fields of agricultural finance.

Kenyan agribusiness gets IFC support with Bidco loan
Kenyan agribusiness gets IFC support with Bidco loan
Jonathan Bell
17 July 2014

IFC is lending $36.5 million to agribusiness company BIDCO to support expansion of the company’s consumer goods operations into new market categories and create more opportunities for small farmers to enhance productivity and earn better incomes.

Factoring for farmers: financing challenges in the Caribbean
Factoring for farmers: financing challenges in the Caribbean
Hesham Zakai
16 July 2014

When considering challenges faced by farmers in the Caribbean – of which there are many – it is important to appreciate first the breadth of the region, says Niko Kluyver, general manager at FactorPlus.