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Zero-subsidy offshore wind: Too little too soon?
Zero-subsidy offshore wind: Too little too soon?
Max Thompson
19 February 2018

The cost of generating offshore wind power in Europe is finally being driven by the economics of the industry rather than the government subsides that founded it. But has zero-subsidy offshore wind come a little too early for both the technology and lenders?

Does Canada really need to launch a new infra bank?
Does Canada really need to launch a new infra bank?
Max Thompson
30 January 2018

The PPP Canada fund is expected to be replaced by the C$35 billion Canadian Infrastructure Bank in 2018. While the new bank will have a wider mandate and larger budget, some in the project lending community remain sceptical that it will not compete with commercial lenders.

Electrogas Malta: An integrated approach
Electrogas Malta: An integrated approach
Max Thompson
22 January 2018

Electrogas Malta closed a tightly priced refinancing for its 215MW LNG-to-power scheme last month. The 17-year deal is the first ever integrated LNG-to-power project financing in the world, according to its participants.

TXF Private Insurance talk: Atradius on tailoring insurance for trade
TXF Private Insurance talk: Atradius on tailoring insurance for trade
Max Thompson
19 January 2018

TXF caught up with Olivier David, head of special products at Atradius, to find out more about their tailored credit and political risk insurance products and why data sharing initiatives are key to making trade finance more visible.

TXF Private Insurance talk: Why do ECAs reinsure loans?
TXF Private Insurance talk: Why do ECAs reinsure loans?
Max Thompson
12 January 2018

TXF caught up with Vincenzo Pedicini, head of reinsurance at Sace, to find out why reinsuring an ECA loan via the private market is such an important tool for risk management. While reinsurance is concerned with the use of capital and exposures, it also enables an ECA to free up capacity for new deals as well as the requests of their exporters.

US telco financing: The inside scoop
US telco financing: The inside scoop
Max Thompson
11 January 2018

The hottest ticket in town, TXF Americas 2018, just got more exciting, welcoming an exclusive case study on the recent Verizon ECA-backed transactions, with in depth analysis on why telco borrowers are opting for this asset class.

Gulf of Suez: ECA umbrella breezes into Egyptian wind
Gulf of Suez: ECA umbrella breezes into Egyptian wind
Max Thompson
11 January 2018

The JBIC/NEXI deal for Gulf of Suez Wind IPP – a rare ECA-backed deal in an Egyptian renewables market fuelled by DFI debt – is both reasonably priced and over a long tenor. Good news for EETC as it prepares to launch a competitive tender for 500MW of wind capacity.

TXF Private Insurance talk: What's driving East Africa's growth?
TXF Private Insurance talk: What's driving East Africa's growth?
Max Thompson
5 January 2018

TXF caught up with Robert Besseling, executive director at EXX Africa, to find out more about the current challenges private insurers face doing business in Africa, as well as some of the driving factors behind East Africa’s economic growth.

Institutional investors lining up for offshore wind
Institutional investors lining up for offshore wind
Max Thompson
22 December 2017

Institutional debt is becoming increasingly viable for sponsors of European offshore wind as investors become more comfortable with the asset class.

Basel III: The impact of sovereign risk debts on banks and ECAs
Basel III: The impact of sovereign risk debts on banks and ECAs
Max Thompson
21 December 2017

The Basel Committee published a discussion paper earlier this month on the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures. The review raises some very important questions for banks and the wider export finance community.

TXF Private Insurance talk: Why do banks buy credit insurance?
TXF Private Insurance talk: Why do banks buy credit insurance?
Max Thompson
14 December 2017

TXF caught up with Gary Lowe, head of credit insurance and corporate finance at Standard Chartered, to find out more about why banks buy insurance, how the claims process works, and whether a standardised product is nearing the market?

TXF Private Insurance talk: IBM on the future of Blockchain
TXF Private Insurance talk: IBM on the future of Blockchain
Max Thompson
11 December 2017

TXF caught up with Mike Hope, a UKI insurance technical leader at IBM, to find out more about how blockchain technology is driving the trade finance industry forward as it opens up new markets and begins to deliver real projects with increased supply chains.

Myingyan: Plugging Myanmar's power gap
Myingyan: Plugging Myanmar's power gap
Max Thompson
7 December 2017

The Myingyan IPP financing – Myanmar’s debut in the project finance market – has set the blueprint for future deals. But considerable regulatory change is still needed to move the market from DFI-backed projects to pure commercial bankability.

Foreign investors eye Russian infra market
Foreign investors eye Russian infra market
Max Thompson
5 December 2017

With Russia’s economic climate improving in 2017, the country has seen an injection of investment commitments into infrastructure from Asia and the Middle East. Some argue Russia’s burgeoning M&A deal pipeline will spur further projects across the energy and transport sector in 2018.

Walney Extension: More acquisition than project bond
Walney Extension: More acquisition than project bond
Max Thompson
23 November 2017

The first non-recourse investment-grade bond to be used on a construction-stage offshore wind farm in the UK, the Walney Extension financing introduces a new UK asset class to institutional investors – albeit with very little construction risk.

Turkish hospital PPPs: Diversifying the DFI funding mix
Turkish hospital PPPs: Diversifying the DFI funding mix
Max Thompson
16 November 2017

Turkey’s Bilkent Laboratory PPP is nearing financial close and will be the fourth hospital financing in 2017 under the country’s €12 billion hospital PPP programme. However, with sponsors relying increasingly heavily on DFIs, some claim support for upcoming projects may have to come from the capital markets.

S&W Breakfast Briefing: The Equator Principles
S&W Breakfast Briefing: The Equator Principles
Max Thompson
16 November 2017

Among the coffee and croissants, Sullivan & Worcester’s breakfast seminar discussed the importance of the Equator Principles and how they create a common playing field for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risks in projects.

Markbygden ETT: Winding up European ECA and DFI cooperation
Markbygden ETT: Winding up European ECA and DFI cooperation
Max Thompson
10 November 2017

GE Energy Financial Services and Green Investment Group’s €800 million financing for the 650MW onshore Markbygden ETT wind project in Sweden incorporates a number of standout features – the largest volume corporate PPA in the renewables sector to date, and a rare example of the EIB tapping ECA cover.

Egypt FiT Round 2: Will DFIs open doors for commercial banks?
Egypt FiT Round 2: Will DFIs open doors for commercial banks?
Max Thompson
7 November 2017

Thirty developers achieved financial close under Egypt’s solar Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) Round 2. However, with no commercial bank presence and heavy DFI funding this time round, will multilaterals serve as a seedbed for commercial banks under next year's competitive tender process?

LNG: It's a regas
LNG: It's a regas
Max Thompson
2 November 2017

As more governments explore the potential for LNG as part of their fuel mix, an increasing number of LNG regasification terminals are under construction around the world. And with China’s coal to gas transition underway, a new round of development is on the horizon.

LNG: It's a regas
LNG: It's a regas
Max Thompson
2 November 2017

As more governments explore the potential for LNG as part of their fuel mix, an increasing number of LNG regasification terminals are under construction around the world. And with China’s coal to gas transition underway, a new round of development is on the horizon.

Java 3: PLN looks for partners
Java 3: PLN looks for partners
Max Thompson
27 October 2017

PLN has issued a RFP for a minority partner on the Java 3 IPP concession. According to Teguh Harsono, treasury manager at PLN, the deal will be a test case under the new MEMR regulation introduced earlier this year.

GE EFS: Green-lighting Asian renewables
GE EFS: Green-lighting Asian renewables
Max Thompson
20 October 2017

GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) is playing a more active role in arranging financings alongside its equity in renewable projects in Asia. Sushil Verma, GE EFS managing director and head of Asia Pacific, outlines GE EFS' Asian renewables investment strategy and plans for its Japanese solar fund.

Power politics
Power politics
Max Thompson
13 October 2017

With construction of Bangladesh’s Maitree power project well underway despite Unesco objections, developers are now awaiting the Bangladesh government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) report before associated projects near the world heritage-listed Sundarbans mangrove forest move forward.

Making the money go round
Making the money go round
Max Thompson
10 October 2017

ECAs and DFIs active in the emerging markets are getting increasingly capital markets savvy and matching support rhetoric with some very tightly priced borrowing of their own that can be on-lent cheaper - and for longer.

Getting FiTter and faster
Getting FiTter and faster
Max Thompson
3 October 2017

Developers under Egypt’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) Round 2 programme are racing to close financings with DFIs and other lenders to make the scheme's 28 October deadline.

Development banks answer FRV's call
Development banks answer FRV's call
Max Thompson
19 September 2017

Solar developer FRV closed a $65 million DFI-backed loan this week to finance the development of the $93.3 million 51MW Al-Safawi solar plant in Jordan. Won with a highly competitive Round 2 tariff, DFI-backing was a must to get the project financed.

TIM pushes on tenor and timing
TIM pushes on tenor and timing
Max Thompson
18 September 2017

Telecom Italia’s largest and longest tenor export finance deal to date – an 11.5-year €279 million ($334 million) EKN-backed loan to finance the purchase of telecoms equipment from Ericsson – proved cheaper and more flexible than capital markets options.

Sirajganj IPP: How long can Bangladesh tenors go?
Sirajganj IPP: How long can Bangladesh tenors go?
Max Thompson
8 September 2017

Sembcorp has reached full financial close on a $309 million DFI-backed loan to finance the 414MW Sirajganj IPP. The deal is the longest tenor power financing in Bangladesh to date and includes a spate of firsts by the IFC.

New ECA Verizon's
New ECA Verizon's
Max Thompson
6 September 2017

Serial bond issuer Verizon Communications closed two $2 billion ECA-backed deals in July to finance the purchase of telecoms equipment from Ericsson and Nokia. The deals, Verizon's second tapping of the ECA-backed market, proved cheaper and easier than the capital markets this time around.

TXF Venice talk: Sace on its $2.5bn deal pipeline
TXF Venice talk: Sace on its $2.5bn deal pipeline
Max Thompson
4 September 2017

We caught up with Alessandro Decio, CEO at Sace, to find out more about the Italian ECA’s record year so far with growth in the cruise, power, and oil and gas sectors across Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia.

Deutsche Bucht: Cheap debt sunset?
Deutsche Bucht: Cheap debt sunset?
Max Thompson
24 August 2017

Financing for the Deutsche Bucht project has neared Borkum II’s benchmark low for the cost of German offshore wind debt. Despite being the last deal structured under the old EEG regime, the low cost of debt is still good news for future borrowers as Germany begins the transition to zero subsidy offshore wind.

Sinosure: Spreading the umbrella
Sinosure: Spreading the umbrella
Max Thompson
21 August 2017

Sinosure appears to be following a more aggressive mandate, although policy details are sketchy and the agency claims it is natural progress. What is clear is that the enigmatic Chinese ECA is providing more support than ever before – and it’s cheaper too.

TXF Venice talk: Colville remains positive on US-Exim
TXF Venice talk: Colville remains positive on US-Exim
Max Thompson
17 August 2017

TXF caught up with Valerie Colville, co-founder of CC Solutions, to find out about more about her role at the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) and why she’s more positive than ever about the future of US-Exim.

Aela Energia: Shaking the DFI money tree
Aela Energia: Shaking the DFI money tree
Max Thompson
16 August 2017

Having just closed a $410 million DFI-backed wind portfolio financing in Chile, Aela Energia is talking to the same lenders about financing for the next stage of its pipeline of Chilean wind projects.

Instruments of trade: How do Bills of Exchange work?
Instruments of trade: How do Bills of Exchange work?
Max Thompson
15 August 2017

In the latest edition of law firm Sullivan and Worcester’s Trade Financing Breakfast Seminars, partner Simon Cook discusses how Bills of Exchanges are promissory notes used as instruments in cross-border transactions and trade financings.

TXF Venice talk: EIB on financing new developments
TXF Venice talk: EIB on financing new developments
Max Thompson
10 August 2017

TXF caught up with Paolo Munini, coordinator of the R&D task force at the European Investment Bank, to talk about his role in helping facilitate financing to corporates across Europe with a small portion going towards projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

VLCC finance: Staying afloat in a down market
VLCC finance: Staying afloat in a down market
Max Thompson
9 August 2017

Despite intense pressure on VLCC charter rates, in mid-June DHT Holdings sealed a $300 million loan to part finance the purchase of 11 VLCCs from the BW Group - and at a very reasonable cost of debt given the market risk.

TXF Venice talk: MIGA on plugging the $57trn infra gap
TXF Venice talk: MIGA on plugging the $57trn infra gap
Max Thompson
7 August 2017

TXF caught up with Keiko Honda, CEO at MIGA, to find out more about the global infrastructure gap. With an estimated $57 trillion required to meet global infrastructure demand over the next decade, there is a very large funding mismatch to bridge.

Making savings: Mali’s first IPP
Making savings: Mali’s first IPP
Max Thompson
2 August 2017

Mali’s debut independent power project financing, for a greenfield heavy fuel oil-fired power plant, features a blend of Islamic and DFI debt with tight pricing given the risk. The financing includes a debt service reserve account replenishment facility priced at nearly half the cost of the senior debt.

Part 2: TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017
Part 2: TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017
Max Thompson
27 July 2017

The second instalment of the TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017 – which complemented the ICC’s 2017 Rethinking Trade & Finance report – incorporates the more general market trends witnessed by 100 senior export finance practitioners at leading banks, ECAs, and exporters and importers. Again, the results will surprise.

How will Indonesia’s new decrees impact PLN’s IPP concessions?
How will Indonesia’s new decrees impact PLN’s IPP concessions?
Max Thompson
25 July 2017

Four presidential decrees rifled Indonesia’s private power market this year as PLN was given more powers over developers when awarding IPP concessions. While there is still clarity needed over the provisions to avoid legal strife, the state-owned borrower’s busy IPP deal pipeline suggests investors’ interest is still strong.

How can export finance be simplified?: New TXF podcast released
How can export finance be simplified?: New TXF podcast released
Max Thompson
21 July 2017

Making export finance more accessible - a key debate from TXF Venice

TXF Venice talk: Alfa Bank on tackling Russia's market challenges
TXF Venice talk: Alfa Bank on tackling Russia's market challenges
Max Thompson
20 July 2017

TXF caught up with Dina Merkulova, head of trade and export finance at Alfa Bank, to discuss the current challenges the local bank faces in the Russian market, such as increased competition, a lack of liquidity, and working with sanctioned corporates.

TXF Venice talk: How did the Bpifrance-Coface transfer go?
TXF Venice talk: How did the Bpifrance-Coface transfer go?
Max Thompson
13 July 2017

TXF caught up with Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO at Bpifrance, to find out how France’s new ECA is simplifying its tool box for SMEs since the handling of state export credit guarantees was transferred from Coface at the start of the year.

Pricing perceptions: TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017
Pricing perceptions: TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017
Max Thompson
13 July 2017

The TXF-ICC Global Export Finance Survey 2017 – which complemented the ICC’s 2017 Rethinking Trade & Finance report – incorporates the pricing and liquidity views of 100 senior export finance practitioners at leading banks, ECAs, and exporters and importers. The results will surprise.

TXF Venice talk: Efic sharpens its tools
TXF Venice talk: Efic sharpens its tools
Max Thompson
11 July 2017

TXF caught up with Guy Morgan, treasurer at Export Finance & Insurance Corporation (Efic), to discuss the Australian ECA’s new product suites as well as raising low cost funding to support SMEs.

TXF Venice talk: Wartsila on competing with Siemens and GE
TXF Venice talk: Wartsila on competing with Siemens and GE
Max Thompson
10 July 2017

TXF caught up with Andreas Back, senior finance manager at Wartsila, a Finnish engine manufacturer to the marine and energy markets, to find out more about their deal pipeline, a move into solar PV projects, and future business opportunities in Iran and Iraq.

Reversing the charges: AT&T's ECA-backed debut
Reversing the charges: AT&T's ECA-backed debut
Max Thompson
5 July 2017

US telecoms conglomerate AT&T has raised a $1.5 billion EKN-covered loan – the borrower's first ECA facility and the largest ECA-backed technology, media and telecoms deal into the US to date.

Re-landscaping the park: Dubai solar goes shariah-compliant
Re-landscaping the park: Dubai solar goes shariah-compliant
Max Thompson
26 June 2017

Sponsors of the 800MW third phase of the Dubai solar park closed a $700 million soft mini-perm earlier this month - the largest Middle East solar deal to date to go shariah-compliant.