The presence of new administrations across Latin America has mounted concerns over whether wholesale regulatory and policy reform could fundamentally alter the pace of the region’s energy transition.
But Julyana Yokota, senior director and sector lead, Infrastructure and Utilities, Latin America, S&P Global Ratings, recently wrote for World of Renewables, to highlight that the region’s robust regulatory frameworks will, in fact, likely support the region’s transition to renewable energy.
“Frameworks for the energy sector are becoming more robust, with energy utilities operating under increasingly credit-supportive regulatory frameworks,” Yokota argues. “Coupled with growing political support, we may see promising conditions for the energy transition to take hold.”
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The global trade finance gap stands at a staggering US$1.5tn, according to latest figures. And to compound matters further, for many institutions, trade finance rejections are in fact increasing. Indeed, a new global report from BNY Mellon, “Overcoming the Trade Finance Gap: Root Causes and Remedies”, has found that trade finance rejection rates are rising in a third of the institutions surveyed.
In an article for GTR, Joon Kim, Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management at BNY Mellon Treasury Services, provides an outline of the results of the bank’s recent global survey on the trade finance gap – including what participants believe to be the most effective ways of narrowing the gap.
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Writing for The Asset, Commerzbank’s Agnes Vargas and Hans Krohn assess the opportunities that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may bring for Europe’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, and how they can engage with the project.
While the “first phase” of the BRI – the construction of large-scale infrastructure – largely excludes SMEs across Central Europe, it is the “second phase” – financing and trade opportunities along these revived trading corridors – for which international financial institutions should be preparing.
Given the enormity and volume of the infrastructure projects defining the first phase, it is likely to be some years until these projects will link to enable the second phase’s transcontinental trade flow. So for the time being, European SMEs should treat the BRI as a lesson in patience. In the meantime, advise Vargas and Krohn, financial institutions should take advantage of the time they have to prepare.
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In a recent report, S&P Global Ratings has addressed the questions playing on the minds of investors over the past few weeks: how likely is an escalation of U.S.-Iran tensions, and how would it impact financial institutions and governments in GCC countries?
“While we don’t expect the current geopolitical tensions to lead to any rating actions under our base-case scenario,” explained Timucin Engin, Senior Director, S&P Global Ratings, “we do expect corporates in some sectors to face some operating weakness arising from the geopolitical tensions.”
Following outreach by Moorgate, the report was covered by Trade Arabia, Arabian Business, Gulf News, Islamic Business and Finance, and Banker Middle East.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) presents significant potential for the future of global trade. And the country’s reliance on the Middle East for oil imports means that there is potential for the region to become key beneficiaries of the ambitious project. This could bring significant benefits to the Middle East, including increased investment, improved infrastructure and an increase in bilateral trade.
In an article for Banker Middle East, Bana Akkad Azhari, Head of Relationship Management MEA & CIS, BNY Mellon, discusses the striking opportunities for the Middle East in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the role that local and global banks have to play in harnessing these opportunities.
To read the full article, please see page 46 of Banker Middle East‘s June edition here.
Following the extension to the Brexit deadline granted to Theresa May at an EU summit in Brussels from 12th April to 31st October, Rene Defossez, senior economist at Natixis, commented: “This latest delay solves nothing and won’t be an incentive for firms to invest or call off their contingency plans. This delay merely points to lastingly weak growth.”
“Brexit is much like a computer virus: it is causing malfunctions to the UK’s economic and political ‘programs’,” said Defossez. “[The] European Summit has not really acted as an anti-virus: the political situation in the United Kingdom remains deadlocked and the country’s economy will continue to suffer from Brexit-related uncertainties.”
The comments can be found in this article by The National.
S&P Global Ratings’ Gloria Lu, Senior Director of Corporate & Infrastructure Ratings, Asia Pacific, and Abhishek Dangra, Director, Asia Pacific Corporate Ratings, recently discussed the looming volatility shadowing Asia’s infrastructure market for Brink News, offering their own views and potential responses to increasing risks proliferating in the region.
Discussing the refinancing risks that China may face as a third of the market’s debt approaches maturity in the coming months, Lu and Dangra consider some options available to mitigate external pressures, such as political and regulatory reform.
Read the full article here.
In a commentary for Brink News, Julyana Yokota, Director of Infrastructure Ratings at S&P Global Ratings, highlights the geopolitical and regulatory risks that are driving a shift in investor sentiment towards Latin American infrastructure.
Yakota considers Brazil, Mexico and Argentina individually, alongside the broader regional landscape, stating that “credit conditions have significantly improved…particularly with regard to utilities’ regulatory stability and transparency.”
The full commentary can be found here.
Writing for TMI, David Bee, Head of Global Markets at Crown Agents Bank, highlights the benefits of new and innovative technology to financial services in Nigeria – and the potential benefits for corporate treasurers. Please read the full article here.
As the appetite for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa intensifies, currency illiquidity and volatility stand as potential barriers to growth. In an article for The Global Treasurer, David Bee, Head of Global Markets at Crown Agents Bank, explores how new, innovative technologies – such as EMpowerFX – can begin to offset Africa’s currency concerns.
Please click here to read the full article.