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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.

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.