World finance :: Money, Earnings & Stock markets

Trlpc lenders welcome european leveraged loan wave


´╗┐Jan 12 About 7.5 billion euros ($8.85 billion) of event-driven loans will be syndicated over the next couple of weeks, in the best start to the year for Europe's leveraged loan market since the financial crisis. Some 15 financings will be syndicated as banks take advantage of strong liquidity and investor appetite for deals, continuing the momentum built during December when a flurry of deals were sold in an end of year push."It is hard to remember other Januarys being as good for a long time. Overall, it is a very positive start to the year with a healthy pipeline. Investors have funds to invest, so it is a good time to bring a deal," a loan banker said. The financings all vary in size and currencies, offering investors a lot of choice. Deals include cross-border loans, pure European loans, sterling loans and carve-outs on US dollar deals."There is a lot of choice for investors as there are a lot of deals in the market. Most deals are pretty high quality and a good size, which is positive," a second loan banker said.

The biggest deals include a 1.325 billion euros cross-border financing for Austrian flexible packaging group Constantia Flexibles, which is expected to be shown to investors at a bank meeting during the week of January 19 and a 2.265 billion euros cross-border loan for Swiss packaging group SIG Combibloc that will launch during the same week. A bank meeting for the euro loan portion of a wider $795 million debt financing backing the acquisition of US-based ANGUS Chemical took place on January 8 and was well attended, despite the euro portion being small at $150 million-equivalent. It is a good sign for the euro and sterling carve-outs for Dutch software company Exact, UK software and IT services company ACS and chemical manufacturer Platform Specialty Products Corp which will all be shown to investors this week.

Other IT and technology names set to come to market include domain and hosting company Host Europe Group, online betting business Sky Bet and the public-sector division of British software firm Northgate Public Services. Elsewhere, German utility E. ON's Spanish and Portuguese operations, German elevator components maker Wittur, Norwegian technology firm Evry, Reckitt Benckiser's pharmaceuticals business Indivior and UK safety and survival equipment maker Survitec are also due to launch for syndication.

PRICING IT RIGHT With so many deals, bankers will be cautious on pricing in order to sell them quickly and avoid making costly changes. Syndication of Southern European car rental company Goldcar and telecoms masts group TDF's German subsidiary Media Broadcast continued syndication into January after failing to attract investors before Christmas. However, if all the deals syndicate successfully, it could lead to a far more bullish market when the next batch of deals launch."The loan market feels strong but in a sensible way - it is not frothy. There is a lot of deal flow and people want to do deals but bankers will be a bit careful and won't want to push pricing. If the deals fly out of the door, there will be more bullish behaviour to follow. For now it is strong and steady as no one wants to screw up in January," the second banker said. ($1 = 0.8475 euros)

Who funds the trillion dollar plan of the uns new global goals


´╗┐UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As world leaders brandish a hard-fought new set of global goals designed to improve lives in all countries, the question of who foots the trillion-dollar bill remained open on Saturday as financial pledges started rolling in. The United Nation's 193 member countries on Friday adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap to end poverty and hunger, fight inequality and conquer climate change over the next 15 years, or 800 weeks. The goals tackling issues in both rich and poor countries replace an earlier U. N. action plan, the Millennium Development Goals, which focused mainly on poverty in developing nations. While aid funds and debt relief were key for the millennium goals, there is wide recognition of the need for other sources for the estimated $3 trillion a year needed to enact the SDGs. The World Bank, with other development banks, coined the phrase "Billions to Trillions" to illustrate the challenge. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Secretary-General Angel Gurria said private sector participation was critical while governments need to strengthen tax and regulatory systems to encourage investment."Without the private sector, it is not going to happen, as we have budgetary constraints in every country," Gurria told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview."You'll have a lot of pledges but you'll need a framework to allow the flows (of finance) to then happen naturally."A July conference in Addis Ababa addressing SDG funding issues made clear that private sector as well as philanthropic foundations had a major role to play, with private enterprise the main source of economic growth and job creation, outsizing donor nation funds.

Meanwhile the world's richest nations again committed to a target of earmarking 0.7 percent of gross national income for overseas development assistance - although few meet that level in practice - which now stands at about $135 billion a year. Pledges of funding started to roll in during the U. N. three-day SDG summit that ends on Sunday. U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced more than $25 billion in initial commitments over five years from 40 countries and more than 100 international organizations to help end preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents. Contributions to boost funding for gender equality powerment included $5 million from Chinese e-commerce giant the Alibaba Group and $1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled an initial pledge of $2 billion with aims to increase that to $12 billion by 2030. Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said the agenda would not be achieved without business - and that meant ensuring stability and good governance in countries to support big partnerships."Business is attracted to where there is a solid and able environment and basic rule of law, commercial law, dispute resolution, peaceful and inclusive societies," said Clark, the former New Zealand prime minister."For us, it's fundamentally not about financial contributions that business makes to U. N. agencies. It's about shared values ... the way business does business. Is it inclusive, and is it sustainable?"Centerpiece to funding talks has been a focus on helping countries boost their domestic resources by improving tax collection and attacking tax evasion and illicit cash flows.

While some criticize this as tinkering with a broken global tax system, Gurria said SDG funding does not need new initiatives but can build on and improve existing structures. He called for a team of "tax inspectors without borders" to build trust in countries' systems and boost investment."If you get it right, you can get trillions," Gurria said. But it is agreed that funding alone was not enough to achieve the global goals, with policy changes needed to support the priorities. Michael Green, executive director of the Social Progress Imperative which analyzes countries' progress on social measures, said economic growth alone would not meet the SDGs, which deal with subjects ranging from energy subsidies to developing genebanks."The SDGs are about political will and inclusion," Green told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "We have the resources if we use them properly for this is not just about money."