Established in 1997, the Tesco banking business employs thousands of staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Established in 1997, the Tesco banking business employs thousands of staff in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

Edinburgh-based Tesco Bank’s chief executive Gerry Mallon described the acquisition of Ageas’s holding in Tesco Underwriting as a “significant step” in the financial division’s development.

Tesco Bank will acquire Ageas’s 50.1 per cent stake in the underwriting joint venture for a total of £104 million plus Ageas’s part of any change in net asset value realised by Tesco Underwriting from 30 June until closing of the deal. In addition, Ageas will receive a reimbursement of an internal loan for an amount of £21m.

The bank said all parties would work closely “to ensure a smooth transition” ahead of the formal change in control, which is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2021.

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Bosses said the partnership had been valuable for both Tesco Bank and Ageas since the joint venture was established ten years ago, underwriting Tesco Bank-branded car and home insurance policies that have “proved popular with customers”. In 2014, the partnership was extended for a further seven years, to 2021.

The bank added: “This investment is in line with Tesco Bank’s strategy of focusing on propositions which better meet the needs of Tesco shoppers, and builds on the unique offering insurance customers already benefit from as part of the wider Tesco family, such as the guaranteed Clubcard discount.”

Ageas is to focus on developing its core business and broker distribution channel.

Mallon said: “[This] announcement is a significant step in Tesco Bank’s development which underlines our commitment to the insurance market and our customers.

“We look forward to doing more of what we know our customers want – offering products that have a strong emphasis on value,

Adds CFO’s comments, details of deal

MEXICO CITY, Oct 13 (Reuters)Mexican cement maker Cemex said in a statement on Tuesday that it has extended repayment dates on about $2.1 billion of credit and will prepay some $530 million in loans, as part of a so-called “green” financing deal.

Cemex also changed some $313 million of dollar-denominated credit to Mexican pesos and around $82 million to Euros in the deal, under which the company incorporated green metrics into approximately $3.2 billion of commitments.

Cemex said the transaction meant it had no important debt maturities through July 2023.

“We are pleased with this transaction, which allows us to improve our debt maturity profile and underscores Cemex’s commitment to sustainability as one of our key strategic pillars,” said chief financial officer Maher Al-Haffar.

The green metrics include reducing net CO2 emissions related to cement products and power consumption from green energy. Performance in respect to the metrics could result in adjustments of interest rate margins of up to 5 basis points, Cemex said.

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Anthony Esposito)

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(Bloomberg) — China’s government is expected to price a potential $6 billion bond sale as early as Wednesday, ahead of possible volatility from U.S. elections next month.

The Ministry of Finance is arranging investor calls for 144a and Regulation S senior bonds Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter who aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The ministry is seeking to raise about $6 billion via multi-tranche notes that will likely include three-year, five-year, 10-year and 30-year maturities, Bloomberg reported last week.

Officials at the ministry weren’t immediately available to comment.

The planned bond sale follows the ministry’s jumbo global debt offerings in two currencies in November, when it sold $6 billion of dollar bonds and 4 billion euro notes. The former drew bumper demand with orders at more than triple the targeted size.



chart, treemap chart: Scarce Supply


© Bloomberg
Scarce Supply

China’s fresh sovereign debt sale this week comes as uncertainty ahead of the U.S. elections in November is beginning to weigh on investor sentiment with some analysts anticipating a pick-up in volatility.

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“By moving forward the USD bond auction to October, MOF will avert risks of facing less receptive market conditions and increased volatility due to the U.S. elections,” said Chang Wei Liang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore. With the Fed keeping policy rates near zero and yields hovering near record lows, China should see a significantly lower cost of funding across the curve compared to 2019, he added.

China’s Ministry of Finance hired 13 financial institutions for the sale that includes four Chinese firms, according to people familiar with the matter.

(Updates with chart after fourth paragraph, analyst comment in sixth paragraph)

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Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) (OTCPK:AOMFF) recently announced the signing of a definitive purchase agreement for Bombardier Transport (BT) at an updated €7.15 billion enterprise value – a €300 million reduction from the previous announcement. The expected closing has been moved forward to Q1 ’21 (relative to H1 ’21 previously). While the lower valuation is a slight positive, I believe that the revised terms remain unfavorable to Alstom, considering the risks associated with BT’s project execution and the challenging path toward margin recovery at BT. Pending evidence of free cash flow improvement and the resolution of project issues at BT, I remain on the sidelines.

A Closer Look at the Updated Terms

To recap, a definitive purchase agreement has now been officially signed between Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRBF), Alstom, and Caisse de depot (CDPQ) that will see Alstom purchase BT (currently owned by CDPQ) for a lowered $8.4 billion enterprise value (€7.15 billion). Excluding further downward adjustments linked to the net cash protection mechanism, the implied price range for the acquisition is in the €5.5 billion to €5.9 billion range (down from the prior €5.8 billion to €6.2 billion).

Source: BT Acquisition Presentation Slides

While the moderate price cut is positive, it was already widely anticipated by the market after BT reported c. €380 million in unexpected project charges for its FQ2 results. And considering Alstom has explicitly stated it will take FQ2 results of BT into account when negotiating a final, definitive merger agreement, the extent of the reduction (€300 million EV vs. the €380 million charge) was perhaps even a little disappointing. Encouragingly, the closing window was narrowed to Q1 ’21, although the financing structure remains the same as communicated previously, including the €2 billion rights issue and the planned reserved capital increases of CDPQ and Bombardier at €2.6 billion and €0.5bn,

(Bloomberg) —

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National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest lender by assets, agreed to buy rival Samba Financial Group for $15 billion in the biggest banking takeover this year.

NCB will pay 28.45 riyals ($7.58) for each Samba share, according to a statement on Sunday, valuing it at about 55.7 billion riyals. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the biggest single shareholder in the two banks, will have the largest stake in the combined entity with 37.2%.

The new bank will have total assets of more than $220 billion, creating the Gulf region’s third-largest lender. Its $46 billion market capitalization nearly matches that of Qatar National Bank QPSC, which is still the Middle East’s biggest lender with about $268 billion of assets.

Banks in the oil-rich Gulf have been combining as regional economies suffer the twin shocks of lower energy revenues and the global coronavirus pandemic. The Saudi consolidation also coincides with a long-awaited wave of banking mergers in Europe, where lenders are exploring tie-ups or have begun taking over smaller rivals.



chart: New Pecking Order


© Bloomberg
New Pecking Order

“Under NCB’s management, better value should be realized from Samba’s over-capitalized assets,” CI Capital analysts including Sara Boutros said in a note to clients. “The deal also provides NCB with a larger capacity to grow more aggressively, particularly in the corporate space, as the market stabilizes and as lending opportunities emerge.”

Read more: Moody’s Sees Virus and Oil Shocks Speeding Up Gulf Bank Mergers

Merging two major domestic banks is a key component of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” initiative to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil by creating local champions in industries such as finance. Besides the Public Investment Fund, the largest shareholders in the combined NCB-Samba entity will include the Saudi Public Pension Agency, which will own 7.4%,