Centre for Entrepreneurs reaches two

CFE turns twoLeading entrepreneurial think tank, the Centre for Entrepreneurs, reached its second birthday today, marked by an event at its 11 Charles Street headquarters in Mayfair. In its 24 months the Centre has produced ground-breaking reports on immigrant entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, angel investors, local government procurement, TV stereotypes and – most recently – seaside entrepreneurs.

It has also launched the Maserati 100 and the Fortuna 50 and taken over StartUp Britain (with its famous bus tour). The next 24 months are likely to be just as busy with reports planned on universities’ support for entrepreneurs and ex-offenders and entrepreneurship.

The Centre’s birthday announcement is here.

Standard & Poor’s video featured by Global Banking & Finance Review

Low oil prices are having an impact across the Gulf, affecting corporates, infrastructure projects and banks. Following Moorgate outreach, Global Banking & Finance Review featured a Standard & Poor’s CreditMatters TV interview discussing the findings from their recent report “Some Gulf Corporates Could Feel The Heat On Low Oil Prices”:

Low oil price is slowing infrastructure development in the Gulf, says S&P

oil rigKarim Nassif, associate director at Standard & Poor’s, based in Dubai, recently published research looking into the impact of lower oil prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). His findings reveal that the recent restraints on oil and gas prices, which have halved in value since mid-2014, have steered the GCC into a weak economic environment, with corporate and infrastructure companies particularly suffering on the back of reduced government expenditures. In fact, debt issuance by these companies has fallen by 58% over the past year, meaning that some ongoing infrastructure projects have come to a halt, and in some cases, limited government budgets have even prompted project cancellations.

As a result of Moorgate outreach, Infrastructure Investor, Construction Week, Infrastructure Middle East, Financial Tribune and The Arabian Post covered the news.

InfraDeals cover S&P’s high-profile downgrade in Russia

The_Kremlin,_MoscowIn recent weeks, Standard & Poor’s has reported that Brunswick Rail, a Russian freight railcar lessor owned by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), faces breaching covenants and, as a result, may need to prepay Russian ruble 4 billion (around £43 million) of its syndicated bank loan, due July 2016.

It is understood that the company is in the process of negotiating amendments to the loan, but a demand for full prepayment will likely lead to significant liquidity pressure, potentially resulting in a payment default. Consequently, S&P has reduced the Brunswick Rail’s corporate credit rating to ‘CCC-‘ from ‘B-’.

Unless the company sees significant favourable changes in its circumstances, it is likely that it will default within the next six months. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that MIRA has closed its Moscow office and ceased sourcing new deals in Russia amidst the continuing financial crisis in the country.

As a result of Moorgate outreach, InfraDeals covered the rating downgrade in an article, which can be viewed here with subscription.

IJGlobal and InfraNews cover Standard & Poor’s new rating on UK schools building programme

LmspicRecently, the Priority Schools Midlands batch – a UK schools building programme sponsored by construction company Carillion and fund manager Equitix – reached financial close, receiving a combined equity investment close to £13.2 million. The debt was rated BBB- with a ‘stable’ outlook by Standard & Poor’s, due to expectations that construction will be completed on time and within budget and that operations will be managed effectively. This is because all of the risks will be passed to an experienced contractor and the underlying tasks are deemed to be straightforward. As such, the project is due to deliver eight secondary school buildings across the Midlands region of the U.K. from late 2016 to late 2017.

As a result of Moorgate outreach, IJGlobal and InfraNews covered the news. (Please note that these links lie behind paywalls)

Powering projects; the focus of S&P’s October Outlook

bahrain.cmykIn October’s Infrastructure Outlook – Standard & Poor’s monthly newsletter rounding up all the key ratings updates and research relevant to infrastructure and project finance – Karim Nassif, an associate director based in Dubai, examines how some corporate and infrastructure companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council are suffering on the back of low oil prices. He explains that if prices fail to rebound shortly, economic growth in the area will continue to weaken – given that oil is, by far, the largest export – which would impact corporate credit prospects and potentially cause significant delays or cancelation of infrastructure projects.

Energy is covered significantly in the issue; with a focus on S&P’s ‘BBB’ credit rating on the bonds issued to Spanish solar power project Solaben. Elsewhere, as governments and corporates alike become more carbon conscience, Outlook looks at structural shifts occurring within Europe’s energy giants. Germany-based utility E.ON, for example, has announced a change in its transaction structure in response to a new law that reinforces utilities’ responsibilities on nuclear liabilities in Germany, which, in turn, lead to the affirmation of its short-term corporate credit rating.

Closer to home, in the U.K., the outlook on Scotland and Southern gas network Scotia was revised to ‘positive’ – a result of their improving financial risk profile and their track record of outperformances.

To view these articles and other key ratings movements, please see the full version of S&P’s October infrastructure newsletter, which includes a short video, here.

Specialist press covers RiskFirst’s latest client win, as Manulife signs up to PFaroe

ImageManulife Asset Management, the global asset management arm of Canada-based financial services group Manulife, has adopted RiskFirst’s risk analytics and reporting platform, PFaroe.  PFaroe’s risk analytics will complement Manulife Asset Management’s current Liability-Driven Investment (LDI) offering, enabling the asset manager to stress-test clients’ pension plans against economic and demographic assumptions and explore the impact of alternative portfolio allocations in order to drive more effective solutions. Manulife Asset Management runs approximately C$16 billion (around US$12 billion) in customised LDI strategies for North American pension plans.

Following Moorgate’s outreach, the news was covered by Fundfire (behind paywall), Institutional Investor (behind paywall), Reuters, Wealth Adviser, Buy-side Technology, Institutional Asset Manager, Global Investor, FinExtra, Street Insider, Yahoo Finance and Waters Technology.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers