The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a three-year $300 million revolving global credit facility agreement to provide financing to Export Trading Company in a bid to boost intra-African trade. The facility will, among other things, finance the sourcing, processing and transportation of soft commodities of African origin to markets and also to support procurement of key agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer, seeds and other chemicals.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has named Obi Emekekwue as Director and Global Head of the Communications and Events Management Department, while Chandi Mwenebungu becomes Director of the Treasury and Markets Department. Prior to the appointments, Mr Emekekwue and Mr Mwenebungu were respectively heads of the Communications and Treasury functions at the lender.
India will auction coal blocks to private companies in a move that would end restrictions on the sale and use of the fuel after more than 40 years - and end Coal India's near-monopoly status. Coal India and a small stated-owned company are the only firms currently allowed to mine and sell coal in India.
The coal block auctions are intended to attract Indian conglomerates such as Adani Enterprises, and multinational miners such as Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Peabody Energy.
Russian aluminium producer UC Rusal has appointed Alexandra Bouriko, previously Chief Financial Officer, as Chief Executive Officer. Vladislav Soloviev, who previously held this position, has been appointed CEO of En+. He will also become the President of Rusal.
Swiss-headquartered energy group Vitol's offer of $1 per year to the Namibian government to rent the fuel storage facility at Walvis Bay for ten years has been described as "peanuts".
The oil facility overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is strategically located 5km from the port town of Walvis Bay - between the naval base and Bird Island. It will store 70 million litres of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, paraffin and others.
Three senior government officials familiar with the proposal described the offer as "peanuts" and an attempt to take the state "for a ride".
Essar Oil is looking to raise over $1 billion from trading houses after its new Russian owners could not raise loans from major Western banks due to sanctions on Russia.
The company wants to borrow the money for between three and four years and repay it with cargoes of refined products as it seeks to cut its reliance on lending from Indian banks.
It would be the first large multi-year pre-payment deal by Essar Oil, which has previously engaged only in short-term deals.
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) and Kazakh mining group Bogatyr Komir signed a €196.6 million loan agreement to finance the modernisation of coal production processes at the Bogatyr mine near the city of Ekibastuz, in Pavlodar province, by introducing continuous mining technology. This is expected to raise output to 50 million tonnes, improve the quality of end products, cut mining costs, and reduce adverse environmental impacts.
The global LNG market is likely to see more notable swings in price between the winter and summer months, according to Pablo Galante Escobar, the head of LNG at Vitol. Demand in countries such as China will fall off in the summer and strengthen in the winter. On the demand side, Escobar said there was a lower pull from Pakistan than had been expected.
Glencore and a group of bank lenders have reached a deal with Chad on the restructuring of a $1 billion-plus oil-backed loan. Glencore, backed by banks, lent the west African country's state oil firm SHT about $1.45 billion in 2014 to be repaid with crude oil cargoes. The loan was restructured once in 2015 after the crash in global oil prices but Chad struggled to repay the debt. The new terms include an extension of the maturity to 2030 from 2022, a two-year grace period on principal payments and a lower interest rate of 200bp over Libor, down from 750bp. In addition, the agreement includes a supply guarantee for the country’s refinery near N‘Djamena.
US grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland would need to issue equity to help finance a proposed takeover of rival Bunge, according to investors and bond analysts. A years-long slump in agricultural commodity prices makes a debt-only deal too risky. The deal has an estimated price tag above $16 billion.
Anadarko Petroleum’s plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Mozambique moved a step closer after it agreed a 15-year LNG sales and purchase agreement with Electricite de France. France’s state-controlled utility will take 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the Mozambique Area 1 marketing venture led by Anadarko and consisting of Japanese trader Mitsui, India’s ONGC Videsh and Thailand’s PTT, among others.
US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to invest about $146 million in new equipment for its wet mill in Clinton, Iowa, to boost the site's production capacity. The investment includes $39.1 million to expand the building's footprint, $2.8 million for site preparation, and $7.8 million going toward other machinery.
Glencore has posted full-year overall adjusted profits of $14.76 billion. Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg hailed the group's results as its "strongest on record", bolstered by a recovery on commodity markets. He said it had the assets to meet future demand, including from electric vehicles.
Africa-focused OVH Energy has appointed Huub Stokman as its new Chief Executive Officer. He was previously the head of Puma Energy International in Angola. Before that, he spent over 20 years at BP during which he was responsible for sales and marketing, as well as major projects across 15 European countries.
Congo Republic is set to become the latest African country to start debt relief talks with trading houses after borrowing $2 billion from merchants such as Trafigura and Glencore but now finding its debt levels unsustainable. The country has recently appointed investment bank Lazard as an advisor to help it renegotiate debts with the traders, sources said.
Despite the endless stream of PR statements about banks exiting coal-related lending, none can actually track where the proceeds of loans to commodity traders go. When are banks going to come clean about the loopholes in their coal-related lending policies and start a useful debate about coal finance?
For any vultures hoping to pick meat off the carcass of Hong Kong-headquartered Noble Group some bad news: There may be nothing left. Its announcement of huge losses could easily be enough to overwhelm the $1.05 billion in net assets remaining within the company. In balance sheet terms, that would mean Noble may already be insolvent.
If China does seek a way to retaliate against US proposals to impose import curbs on steel and aluminium, then targeting President Donald Trump's favoured coal would be tempting.
US coal output surged the most in 16 years to reach 773 million short tonnes, equivalent to about 701 million metric tonnes, in 2017. So far, so good for Trump. But the problem is that virtually all of the good news for US coal producers is on the export side - and this is mainly a China phenomenon.
Moscow-headquartered aluminium producer UC Rusal has created a new Downstream Division in the company's organisational structure. Andrey Donets has been appointed Head of the new division. He has headed up various business units at Alcoa in the past ten years.
Hong Kong-headquartered commodities trader Noble Group has warned of a massive annual loss of between $4.78 billion and $4.98 billion, citing challenging operating conditions. But it said it was making progress to clinch a $3.4 billion debt-for-equity swap to ensure its survival. The group estimated Q4 losses of between $1.72 billion and $1.92 billion.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that a facility agreement based on the LMA model form did not constitute the lenders' standard terms for the purposes of UCTA. Had UCTA applied, the terms of the facility agreement would have been subject to a reasonableness test. In the recent decision of (1) African Export-Import Bank (2) Diamond Bank Plc (3) Skye Bank Plc v (1) Shebah Exploration and Production Co Ltd (2) Allenne Limited (3) Dr Ambrosie Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako the Court of Appeal has upheld a decision to allow summary judgment for sums due under a facility agreement, rejecting the defendant's arguments that the facility agreement, based on the LMA model form, constituted the lenders' standard terms for the purposes of UCTA. The three claimants were lenders under a pre-export finance facility agreement for $150 million.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has agreed a €50 million loan to Nibulon Group, one of Ukraine's largest grain exporters, to help improve logistical solutions, increase the firm's volumes of cargo transported on inland waterways by up to 4 million tonnes a year, and increase its grain exports by up to 8 million tonnes a year. The financing will be structured as an A-loan of up to $40 million for the EBRD's own account and a B-loan of up to $10 million, which will be syndicated to commercial banks.
As shareholders push the world's cash-rich miners to maintain lush dividends and make the most of existing assets, Glencore is taking a slightly different tactic that positions it for shrewd acquisitions. Glencore, like its other big rivals, is expected to lift its dividend payout when it reports results next week, but the Swiss group is also "open for business" when it comes to buying mines or companies.
US-based Bunge reported a worse-than-expected loss of $69 million for the fourth quarter, the latest in a string of poor results that has left the company's management fending off takeover bids from rivals.
The loss, compared with a profit of $262 million a year earlier, is likely to raise shareholder pressure on executives to find a buyer or take more aggressive steps to shore up the agribusiness division.
The New Payments Platform (NPP) has been launched in Australia, with SWIFT - which helped to design, build and deliver the NPP - claiming it could revolutionise the way payments are made domestically. Key features include PayID, which links a financial account with an easy-to-remember identifier such as a mobile phone number, email address or ABN for businesses, and 24/7 instant payments and real-time line-by-line settlement via the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Australian oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum has launched a A$2.5 billiion share sale to raise funds to support development plans. Woodside has agreed a $744 million purchase of an additional 50% stake from ExxonMobil Corp in the remote, deepwater Scarborough field project. It is also intending to develop the Browse LNG project in Australia and the SNE oil development off Senegal.
Brazilian state-controlled oil group Petrobras has set a late-March deadline to receive binding proposals for a controlling stake in gas pipeline network Transportadora Associada de Gás (TAG). Consortia led by Australia's Macquarie Group, French utility Engie SA, and United Arab Emirates' sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Co are preparing their offers, it wad claimed.
Moscow-headquartered Gazprom is to transform the operational structure of its export activities, including marketing and trading. The new business model sets up an Integrated International Marketing Division, which will be responsible for supplies, trading and marketing within the entire export portfolio of Gazprom. The Integrated Division will be developed in two stages over two years.
Farmers whose land was bought for a Bidco palm oil project in Uganda have been compensated. The payoff to the 36 farmers follows mediation by the dispute resolution office of the International Finance Corporation. A Ugandan environmental lobby last year filed the case at the IFC's ombudsman on behalf of the Bugala Farmers Association, claiming their land was grabbed and that Bidco had degraded the environment to pave way for palm oil production.
Regal RA DMCC, a subsidiary of Regal Assets, has launched a "deep cold storage" solution for investors and traders. Crypto-commodities owners can now store their bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins in a vault at DMCC headquarters in Almas Tower, Dubai.
Commodity traders Gunvor and B.B. Energy (Asia) have submitted the most competitive offers in a tender to supply Pakistan with three liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in April, a document issued by Pakistan LNG showed.
Gunvor placed the lowest offer for a cargo for delivery on April 7 to 8 while B.B. Energy placed the lowest offers for cargoes to be delivered over April 17 to 18 and April 27 to 28. Vitol and Trafigura were the two other companies which took part in the tender.
The tender will be awarded on February 19, according to a separate document by the company.
Cheniere Energy said on Friday that it has signed a deal to sell LNG to China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). Although Cheniere has sold LNG to China on spot-based contracts since 2016, the deal is China's first long-term contract to import U.S. LNG.
Goldilocks Investment, a major shareholdfer in Noble Group, has accused the embattled commodities trader of selective disclosure and misleading investors.
In a statement released on Friday, Abu Dhabi-based Goldilocks said it had written privately to Singapore regulators to highlight its concerns about Noble, which had said in a stock market filing that Goldilocks had tried to take advantage of Noble's financial situation by demanding two seats on its board of directors.
Goldilocks, which holds 8.1% of Noble's stock, said it could not provide a detailed rejoinder because it was bound by a non-disclosure agreement that the commodities firm had declined to waive.
Aim-listed gold, copper and silver producer Anglo Asian on Monday announced a refinancing package to replace the majority of its existing loans, which not only lowers the cost of its debt, but also allows for the redeployment of capital for exploration and optimisation plans
The Azerbaijan-focused company said it had entered into a syndicated, two-year term loan facility with Pasha Bank as arranger for up to $15-million at a 7% a year fixed interest rate. A total of $13.47-million of the facility would be used to repay existing loans to Amsterdam Trade Bank, Gazprombank (Switzerland), Reza Vaziri (Anglo Asian CEO) and Yapi Credit Bank.
A $2.1-million loan with the International Bank of Azerbaijan would not be refinanced, but the interest rate has been reduced from 12% to 7%.
Following the refinancing, debt principal repayments would be reduced to $5.1-million, releasing $8.4-million to support expansion and optimisation initiatives at the Gedabek project.
The refinancing facility would save estimated interest payments of $0.1-million this year.
Total has entered agreements to acquire interests in two exploration licences, the Canje Block and the Kanuku Block, off the coast of Guyana. The development comes after the company reached an option agreement for the nearby Orinduik Block. Once the transaction is complete, Total will hold exploration rights to an area spread over more than 12,000km² in the Guyana Basin.
Cofco International is building a soft commodities hub in Dubai to give it better access to more sugar producing and consuming regions. Marcelo de Andrade, head of that business, has relocated to Dubai from Brazil to establish the trading hub.
Tankers filled with US crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to Togo, in the two years since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports. The repeal has unleashed a flood of US shale oil, undercutting global crude prices, eroding the clout of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and seizing market share from many of its member countries.
Bacanora Minerals, the London and Canada-listed lithium company, has appointed Eileen Carr as a non-executive director and Janet Boyce as chief financial officer. Carr is an accountant with over 25 years experience in the resource sector on both energy and mining projects around the world. Boyce, an accountant, was group chief financial officer Gemfields, a supplier of gemstones that was recently acquired by Pallinghurst.
US grains group Archer Daniels Midland has revealed net earnings of $788 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. During 2017, the company returned $1.5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
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