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CEO CFO Insights

11 Sep 2019   Policy, Africa

Benin Minister of Finance on the Country’s Successful Eurobond Debut, Reform, and Development

Benin’s debut Eurobond issuance was one of the top sovereign transactions of 2019, decisively putting the country on the map for EM investors. Bonds & Loans caught up with the country’s young and enthusiastic Minister of Finance, Romuald Wadagni, to discuss the government’s borrowing strategy, the country’s impressive growth story, and progress on key reforms.

IFC Treasurer: “Global debt markets are undergoing rapid transformation”

Bond markets are not particularly well-known for being cutting edge. The vast majority of trading still takes place over the phone, and the settlement process more often than not still takes days rather than hours or minutes. But in emerging markets, where funding innovation is helping borrowers overcome capital bottlenecks and Fintech is enabling new pockets of growth, that perception is changing – and rightly so. We speak with John Gandolfo, the Treasurer of IFC, the private sector-focused arm of the World Bank, about the headwinds facing the global economy, the growing importance of sustainability, and what the rise of Fintech and Regtech means for emerging market debt.

Eurotorg’s Strategy, Investment Chief on Funding Diversification

After issuing Belarus’ debut corporate Eurobond in 2017, Eurotorg tapped the Russian market for the first time in July with its RUB5n issuance. Bonds & Loans speaks with Andrei Matsiavin, the company’s Chief Strategy and Investment Officer about Eurotorg’s strategic focus areas, issuing in the Russian market, and its future funding plans.

Azul Airlines Focussed on Brazilian Market and Fleet Revamp

Joelmir Baumgratz discusses increasing capacity for less cost, consolidation in the airlines market, oil price fluctuations driving complex hedging strategies and using air miles as collateral on financings to bring yields down.

MTN CFO Targets Capital Structure Optimisation in Nigeria and Ghana

South Africa-based pan-African telecoms operator MTN Group has been at the forefront of the industry’s transition towards data-centricity and, in Africa specifically, it is leading the region’s bid to use mobile technology to bolster financial inclusion and connect ever greater numbers of users to the internet. We speak with Ralph Mupita, MTN’s Group CFO, about the funding strategy underpinning the company’s bid to make mobile connectivity ubiquitous in Africa.

Brazil: Despite a Challenging Outlook, the Local Market Grows Leaps and Bounds

It has not been an easy 12 months for Brazil’s corporate sector, which faces a multitude of challenges, both internal and external. Bolsonaro’s victory in the elections, though divisive, at least provided some reprieve from the political uncertainty that has weighed on Brazil’s markets in the run up to the vote. Still, many questions remain around the direction of policy, and the new government’s ability to push it through congress, as well as broader shifts in the macro-economic environment.

Turkcell CFO: Building Resilience to Market Volatility is Core Treasury Objective

After enduring significant volatility in 2018, many Turkish corporates are struggling to keep their balance sheet in order and retain access to affordable financing. Some, however, like Turkcell – the country’s largest telecommunications operator – are bucking the trend. Bonds & Loans speaks with Osman Yilmaz, Chief Financial Officer of Turkcell about the company’s shift towards an asset-light business model, hedging strategies, and green borrowing.

4G Capital CEO Talks Co-opetition with Traditional Lenders in East Africa

East Africa continues to be a world leader in the mobile banking space. Consumers across the region are now able to access an array of financial products through their smartphone, from online payment services to micro loans, enhancing financial inclusion for a largely underbanked population. Bonds & Loans speaks with Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, CEO of 4G Capital, a FinTech providing a combination of business training and unsecured instant access credit for working capital, about the company’s strategic vision, FinTech regulation, and partnering with banks.

Scrapped New City Airport, Struggling Pemex Dominate Discussions at HSBC Mexico Roundtable

Mexican borrowers are gradually adjusting to the new market environment that has emerged since the inauguration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and amid broader emerging market volatility driven by the rise in global interest rates. Nevertheless, CFOs at a Breakfast Roundtable hosted by HSBC and Bonds & Loans in Mexico in February have raised important questions about some of the new administration’s policy decisions, highlighting the need for clear, consistent and transparent decision-making as essential in their bid to secure stronger growth and investment.

SA Institute of Race Relations CEO: Financial Innovation at the Heart of South Africa’s Turnaround

With a potential credit downgrade in the offing, yawning fiscal gaps to fill, and an election on the horizon, South Africa has found itself at yet another critical junction, forcing government and state-owned companies to weigh short-term wins against long-term objectives. In advance of our Bonds, Loans & Sukuk event in Cape Town in March, we speak with Dr Frans Cronje, CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations about the upcoming election, policy reform, and the role of financial innovation in transforming the country’s nascent and increasingly important services sector.

 

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