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Industry roundup: 28 April

Deutsche Bank provides sustainable trade financing to Vestas for wind turbines in Australia

Deutsche Bank has announced that it will provide an ECA-backed AU$313.97m account receivables purchase facility, with a two-year tenor, to Vestas for two wind farms owned by Australian subsidiaries of Global Power Generation SA. The facility will be used for purchasing receivables on a limited recourse basis, arising out of the supply and installation of Vestas’ wind turbines for the Ryan Corner and Hawkesdale wind farms in the state of Victoria. In addition, the wind turbine exports will be insured by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation.

With more than 132 GW of wind turbines in 82 countries, and 113 GW currently under service, Vestas has installed more wind power than anyone else. Vestas currently operates the most amount of wind generation in Australia and is a leading turnkey provider in the country’s promising renewable energy sector. GPG SA is a joint venture company between Naturgy, a Spanish multi-national natural gas and electrical energy utilities company, and the Kuwait Investment Authority. Including the Ryan Corner and Hawkesdale wind farms, GPG SA has increased its capacity in Australia to over 700 MW.

"We are pleased to partner with Vestas and support General Power Generation’s short-term financing needs," said Matthew Moodey, APAC head of Natural Resource Finance and Trade & Loans Structuring at Deutsche Bank. "This landmark multi-market transaction further demonstrates the strength of our global platform and our strong focus on sustainable financing in the region."

"This new financial solution led by Vestas demonstrates our ability to work with sustainable energy providers, buyers/operators and ECAs to structure cross-border ESG transactions which make the sustainable options commercially viable," commented Kamran Khan, head of ESG for APAC at Deutsche Bank. "Our high standards for ESG compliance and our world-class financial structuring/pricing capabilities provided the necessary comfort to all parties that this transaction will be received by the market as a high-end ESG transaction, establishing important benchmarks for the renewable energy sector in Australia."


Traton migrates trade finance to the cloud in corporate-led initiative

Surecomp, a provider of global trade finance solutions for banks and corporates, has announced that automotive multinational Traton SE has gone live with its trade finance processing solution COR-TF in the cloud. The move came as part of a corporate-wide initiative to shift many of the firm’s on-premise installed solutions to its cloud environment in order to improve agility and reduce total cost of ownership.

The Munich-based company - which reported €22.6bn in revenue last year - has been using Surecomp’s COR-TF solution since 2007 to centralise and standardise its global trade finance workflow. Provided by Traton, COR-TF is the IT solution for trade finance in the entire Volkswagen Group. With processing automation and enhanced operational efficiency the initial drivers, the export-heavy business has since seen considerable expansion and executes more than a thousand transactions per month.

"Thanks to a great team effort between Surecomp and Traton, we are pleased to have successfully gone live with COR-TF in the cloud," commented Stephan Mazurkiewicz, VP Trade Finance and Insurance at Traton. "With reduced reliance on our internal IT infrastructure, we now have the accessibility, agility and efficiency to support Traton’s 'Global Champion Strategy'."

"We are very proud to have supported Traton in this important corporate-led initiative," said Yaron Hupert, SVP Account Management at Surecomp. "We are transitioning more and more customers to the cloud as the cost benefits and scalability prove invaluable to future-proofing their business. Traton is a shining example of how straightforward this move can be, with an immediate realised return on investment."


Citi releases 2020 ESG report

Citi has released its 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, an annual report that highlights the ways in which the bank is enabling progress and sustainable growth in communities across the world. 

"The events of 2020 are a stark reminder that companies like ours have a role to play in helping tackle the world’s toughest problems - and this sense of responsibility drives our ESG agenda," said Jane Fraser, Citi CEO. "We don’t see ESG as a separate effort. Instead it is embedded in our daily efforts to support our clients, colleagues and communities, and our work as a bank. We take great pride in our work and are delighted to share it with all our stakeholders in this report."

Among the many focus areas this report covers, key highlights from the past year include:

  • COVID-19 relief and recovery: Citi and the Citi Foundation committed over US$100m in support of COVID-19-related relief and economic recovery efforts globally. Citi was also selected by Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, as sole financial advisor to the COVAX Facility to support the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines.
  • Racial equity: Citi launched Action for Racial Equity, a commitment to invest more than US$1bn over the next three years to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the US. This effort includes four goals: to provide greater access to banking and credit in communities of colour, increase investment in Black-owned businesses, expand Black homeownership, and advance anti-racist practices in the financial services industry. Among the progress made in just seven months since launching the effort, Citi says it is more than a third of the way to its US$100m commitment to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that are expanding banking and credit access in communities of colour. Citi will be investing more than US$200 million - out of a US$550m, three-year commitment to affordable housing - in five equity funds that will be co-managed by Black investment managers to preserve multi-family affordable rental housing in cities all across the country.
  • Low-carbon transition: Last summer, Citi launched its 2025 Sustainable Progress Strategy to play a leading role in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. At the core of this new strategy is a commitment to finance and facilitate US$250bn in environmental solutions globally over the next five years, and US$500bn by 2030, as well as reduce the climate risk and impact of its client portfolio and the environmental footprint of its facilities. Building on these efforts, in early 2021, Citi committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which includes emissions associated with its financing as well as achieving net zero for its operations by 2030. Last year, Citi was awarded LEED Platinum certification of its global headquarters in New York City.

The report also notes the bank's efforts towards pay equity transparency, impact investing, affordable housing, and youth unemployment. 

"Our recent US$1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030 shows how we are focusing our financial resources - from those that support environmental finance and affordable housing, to racial equity and economic inclusion - to help ensure a more sustainable and equitable future," said Ed Skyler, head of Global Public Affairs at Citi and Chair of the Citi Foundation. "We will continue to look for ways to use our balance sheet to solve problems, and deploy our capabilities to respond to the evolving needs of society."

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