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How Brazil engaged capital markets in agri-financing
How Brazil engaged capital markets in agri-financing
Hesham Zakai
16 July 2014

With the vast ocean of financing required in African agriculture, banks alone – at least in the current climate – are 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.

Weather data pilots struggle to survive
Weather data pilots struggle to survive
Helen Castell
16 July 2014

Most weather-index insurance pilot projects in Africa fail within three years because of inadequate budgets that don’t allow for scale, weather-station maintenance or training, according to Bernard Pacher, CEO of ADCON Telemetry.

Trafigura launches India’s first online refined metal retail platform
Trafigura launches India’s first online refined metal retail platform
Jonathan Bell
16 July 2014

Commodity trader Trafigura, has today launched India’s first online refined metal retail platform – known as Lykos.

Equity Foundation targets "missing middle" with agri business skills
Equity Foundation targets "missing middle" with agri business skills
Helen Castell
15 July 2014

Equity Group Foundation is targeting Kenya’s under-served mid-sized farmers with a new training programme that seeks to provide them with key business skills. The programme aims to unlock unused agricultural land to improve not only farmers’ livelihoods but the country’s food security, the Fin4Ag conference heard Tuesday (July 15).

Warehousing and mobile payments key to creating intra-African trade corridors for agriculture
Warehousing and mobile payments key to creating intra-African trade corridors for agriculture
Helen Castell
15 July 2014

Developing internal trade corridors for agriculture in Africa and removing obstacles to formal trade will help farmers benefit from rapidly rising food demand in African cities, the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi heard Tuesday (July 15). Tools like warehouse finance can support that process.

Entrepreneurs in Africa plug into new technologies
Entrepreneurs in Africa plug into new technologies
Hesham Zakai
15 July 2014

Key innovations and technologies are helping to drive change across Africa’s agricultural value chains, from mobile payment systems to centralised information registries.

Jean-Louis Ekra highlights Afrexim’s crucial role in value-added agri projects
Jean-Louis Ekra highlights Afrexim’s crucial role in value-added agri projects
Jonathan Bell
15 July 2014

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

African Continental Briefing: Building trust and private-sector empowerment is key
African Continental Briefing: Building trust and private-sector empowerment is key
Helen Castell
14 July 2014

At the 2nd African Continental Briefing at the Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi, participants discussed how to strengthen value chains, build trust and help the public sector empower private players to finance farmers.

Syfaah system to be rolled out in LatAm and Africa
Syfaah system to be rolled out in LatAm and Africa
Helen Castell
9 July 2014

Haiti has found itself at the forefront of agricultural microfinance with an initiative that is shaking up misconceptions about the bankability of smallholder famers and will soon also be launched in Latin America (LatAm) and Africa.

Protection for a price – crop insurance takes root
Protection for a price – crop insurance takes root
Helen Castell
9 July 2014

Despite having nearly 20% of the world’s cultivated land, Africa’s share of the global agricultural market measured by insurance premiums paid is smaller than 1%, according to Jean-Christophe Debar, director of the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality (FARM). Latin America is better “but still under-developed”.

Livestock – more than a commodity
Livestock – more than a commodity
Helen Castell
8 July 2014

Value chains like livestock and dairy face a unique set of challenges, giving them a reputation as being higher risk than those for soft commodities like grains.

Croatian food producer secures EBRD-led A/B loan
Croatian food producer secures EBRD-led A/B loan
Jonathan Bell
8 July 2014

Croatian food and pharmaceutical producer Podravka has secured a loan of €73.4 million ($99.9 million) through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a syndicate of international banks

Official launch of East Africa Exchange gives agri-trade a boost
Official launch of East Africa Exchange gives agri-trade a boost
Jonathan Bell
7 July 2014

In a landmark development for agri-trade in Eastern Africa, the commodity-focused East Africa Exchange (EAX) has been officially launched. The regional commodity exchange has been created to increase access in the region’s commodity markets.

Agriculture gets its Act together
Agriculture gets its Act together
Helen Castell
7 July 2014

Governments in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have a huge responsibility to support agriculture, which in many cases employs more than half the population and is a foundation for the economy.

Traders – the strongest link
Traders – the strongest link
Helen Castell
7 July 2014

The love affair between banks and traders is sometimes resented by producers, who struggle to access bank finance directly. But traders are the arteries and veins of agricultural finance, helping money flow right across the value chain, adding value with processing plants, and supporting smallholders with technical assistance.

Innovative thinking helps close credit data gap
Innovative thinking helps close credit data gap
Helen Castell
7 July 2014

One of the biggest challenges small farmers face when they try to access finance is that they are an unknown risk. More farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have a mobile phone than a bank account, and even when they have tapped credit, it tends to be in a non-traditional form that passes through the net of mainstream credit data collection.

Warehouse receipt finance comes of age
Warehouse receipt finance comes of age
Helen Castell
7 July 2014

Warehouse receipt finance is spreading fast, giving smaller traders and bigger farmers or cooperatives the chance to tap finance immediately while they protect their produce and hopefully negotiate better prices for it.

Funds fill gaps in the value chain
Funds fill gaps in the value chain
Helen Castell
6 July 2014

Development finance institutions (DFIs) have of course always led the charge in sweetening deals in emerging markets – using their own liquidity, quasi-sovereign rating or willingness to lend for longer tenors as a way to attract banks to the table. But now the DFIs are experimenting with new strategies and structures to get funding to the small farmers and traders who need it most.

African banks on the rise
African banks on the rise
Helen Castell
4 July 2014

African banks are taking the lead in financing the continent’s farmers, traders and soft commodities. With more local money in the system, they are also reaching further down the value chain, though still find financing farmers directly a challenge. At the same time, international banks are snapping up stakes in local players, hoping to piggy-back on their distribution network and on-the-ground expertise.

Gazprom Export appoints new director general
Gazprom Export appoints new director general
Jonathan Bell
2 July 2014

Gazprom Export has appointed Elena Burmistrova as its new director general. Burmistrova started her career at Glencore International (Switzerland) in 1992, then worked for various international companies.Between 2003 and 2006 she was deputy director of Spetsgaz, Gazprom Export.

Ghana’s Cocobod sets the standard
Ghana’s Cocobod sets the standard
Helen Castell
1 July 2014

Now in its 21st year, the annual pre-export financing of Ghana’s cocoa harvest is an example of how African agriculture really can attract big international banks – and increasingly cheaply – given the right mix of government involvement, industry organisation and deal structure.

Back to BASIX
Back to BASIX
Helen Castell
1 July 2014

India’s microfinance industry has been through the mill in recent years. One microfinance institution (MFI) that has also faced its share of problems – but has weathered them better than many – is BASIX.

Value-added improves prospects for Pacific Islands agri
Value-added improves prospects for Pacific Islands agri
Helen Castell
1 July 2014

Agriculture forms the backbone of many economies in the Pacific Islands. Despite their geographic remoteness, a handful of islands are quietly building burgeoning export industries in commodities such as cocoa, coffee and sugar and, in the case of Papua New Guinea (PNG), a value-added tuna canning industry.

JB's weekly round up - 30 June 2014
JB's weekly round up - 30 June 2014
Jonathan Bell
30 June 2014

The last few weeks has seen banks flocking to be part of the $2.65 billion revolving credit facility (RCF) signed last week by energy trading company Mercuria Energy.

Mercuria sees heavy oversubscription on RCF
Mercuria sees heavy oversubscription on RCF
Jonathan Bell
27 June 2014

Swiss-headquartered, energy trading company Mercuria Energy has signeda $2.65 billion revolving credit facility (RCF), with the oversubscription on the initial launch amount.

Rusal refinancing arrangement may need legal push
Rusal refinancing arrangement may need legal push
Jonathan Bell
27 June 2014

Russian aluminium producer Rusal reports that it has made significant progress in reaching full agreement with its creditor group over the terms of refinancing of its pre-export finance (PXF) debt, although in order to finalise an agreement the company may now need to seek legal authority through the courts.

Tony Elumelu: Vision for Africa
Tony Elumelu: Vision for Africa
Helen Castell
26 June 2014

Tony Elumelu is chairman of Nigeria-based investment company Heirs Holdings and conglomerate Transcorp. He is also founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that supports entrepeneurship across Africa.

Kenyan horticulture gets boost through Proparco funds
Kenyan horticulture gets boost through Proparco funds
Jonathan Bell
26 June 2014

Sustainable horticultural production in Kenya has received a boost with new funding from development finance institution Proparco.

KfW finances flow of iron ore from Canada
KfW finances flow of iron ore from Canada
Hesham Zakai
25 June 2014

German export credit agency KfW IPEX - Bank is providing finance for the supply of raw materials into Germany and the rest of Europe in the form of a $100 million loan for the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC).

Ukrainian poultry producer MHP secures loan from IFC
Ukrainian poultry producer MHP secures loan from IFC
Jonathan Bell
24 June 2014

IFC is providing debt financing of up to $250 million to Ukrainian poultry producer Myronivsky Hliboproduct (MHP). The loan will be used to help the company expand its production and supply chain. to expand leading which employs over 30,000 people, and to develop Ukraine’s agribusiness sector, a key driver for the economy.

Uralkali signs debut unsecured club facility
Uralkali signs debut unsecured club facility
Jonathan Bell
20 June 2014

Russian potash producer has signed a $450 million, unsecured club loan with five international banks.

Gazprom moves Ukraine to advance payment contract
Gazprom moves Ukraine to advance payment contract
Hesham Zakai
16 June 2014

Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom has moved Ukraine’s Naftogaz to a prepay arrangement, effective earlier today, meaning the country will only receive gas supplies once it has made upfront payments from now.

Brazil’s Biosev signs major three-year revolver
Brazil’s Biosev signs major three-year revolver
Jonathan Bell
16 June 2014

Brazil’s Biosev, the world's second largest sugarcane processor, with 11 industrial units strategically located in four agro-industrial clusters in Brazil, has closed a major financing facility.

JB's weekly round up - 16 June 2014
JB's weekly round up - 16 June 2014
Jonathan Bell
16 June 2014

TXF will be media partner at next month’s Fin4Ag conference in Nairobi, which looks at ways of revolutionising finance for agri-value chains

Chevron sells Chad oil interests in unique deal
Chevron sells Chad oil interests in unique deal
Jonathan Bell
15 June 2014

Chevron Global Energy, a subsidiary of oil major Chevron, has sold its interest in a producing oil concession in southern Chad and the related export pipeline interests to the Chad government for approximately $1.3 billion. In a unique deal, the sale to the has been organised through trading company Glencore.

Tullow refinances and expands Norwegian exploration loan facility
Tullow refinances and expands Norwegian exploration loan facility
Jonathan Bell
13 June 2014

Tullow Oil has refinanced its NOK2 billion ($330 million) Norwegian exploration revolving credit facility (RCF), and at the same time it has successfully increased the size of the facility to NOK3 billion ($500 million). The maturity date has also been extended, providing availability to the end of 2017 – thus giving a tenor of 3.5 years.

Vitol Asia closes RCF oversubscribed
Vitol Asia closes RCF oversubscribed
Jonathan Bell
11 June 2014

Energy trader Vitol Asia has closed its syndicated one year revolving credit facility (RCF). The facility was oversubscribed and closed at $1.87 billion.

MIGA and OPIC combine for fund for African farmers
MIGA and OPIC combine for fund for African farmers
Jonathan Bell
10 June 2014

The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) have combined to provide a $350 million political risk facility to support agribusiness investments in countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Glencore signs annual mega-RCF
Glencore signs annual mega-RCF
Jonathan Bell
6 June 2014

Commodity trading group Glencore Xstrata (Glencore) has signed its annual revolving credit facilities for a total amount of $15.3 billion.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Jean-Francois Lambert
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Jean-Francois Lambert
Jonathan Bell
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Jean-Francois Lambert, Managing Director, Global Head of Commodity and Structure Finance, HSBC, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Kris van Broekhoven
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Kris van Broekhoven
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Kris van Broekhoven, Global Head of Commodity Trade Finance at Citi, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Lamon Rutten
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Lamon Rutten
Helen Castell
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Lamon Rutten, CTA Manager (Policies, Markets and ICTs) at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Peter Broinger
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Peter Broinger
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Peter Broinger, Deputy Head of Global Natural Resources, Head of Metals and Mining, Raiffeisen Bank International, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Raymond Busuttil
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Raymond Busuttil
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Raymond Busuttil, Managing Director & CEO, IIG Bank, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Hiren Singharay
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Hiren Singharay
Jonathan Bell
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Hiren Singharay, Regional Head of Syndications, Europe, Standard Chartered Bank, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Eric Intong Monchu
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Eric Intong Monchu
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Eric Intong Monchu, Manager (Trade Finance & Branches), African Export-Import Bank, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Arnold Alpert
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Arnold Alpert
Jonathan Bell
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Arnold Alpert, Director (Deal Origination), Finacity, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Mike Marnell
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Mike Marnell
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Mike Marnell, SVP and Head of Structured Commodity Finance, FIM Bank, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Rogier Schulpen
TXF Amsterdam - Interview with Rogier Schulpen
Hesham Zakai
6 June 2014

TXF talks to Rogier Schulpen, Global Head, Structured Trade & Commodity Finance, Santander, at the inaugural TXF Natural Resources and Commodities Finance Conference in Amsterdam.

Gunvor closes Asian RCF oversubscribed
Gunvor closes Asian RCF oversubscribed
Jonathan Bell
5 June 2014

Energy trader Gunvor Singapore has closed its $536.6 million syndicated Asian-related revolving credit facility (RCF), which was considerably oversubscribed having been launched back in April at $350 million (TXF News 28 April 2014).