Saturday, October 07, 2006

Japanese bank supports Turkey's steel industry

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a loan agreement totalling US$14 million with Borcelik Celik Sanayii Ticaret AS, a steel mill in the Republic of Turkey.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed aloan agreement totalling US$14 million with Borcelik CelikSanayii Ticaret AS, a steel mill in the Republic of Turkey. Theloan is cofinanced with ABN Amro Bank NV. Borcelik, based inBursa, south of Istanbul, is Turkey1s only private steel mill andthe country's second largest producer of steel sheets.

JBICwill provide a direct loan (buyer's credit) to finance theJapanese export of a complete set of reverse cold millingfacilities to the mill.

The Japanese exporter is ItochuCorporation and the domestic manufacturer is Mitsubishi-HitachiMetals Machinery.

In order to receive such loans, Turkishborrowers usually need to obtain guarantees from the Turkishgovernment or else the loans have to be extended through thegovernment itself.

This loan is the first to be given directly toa borrower, with the guarantee provided by a Turkishprivate-sector commercial bank - in this case, Yapi ve KrediBankasi AS.

Despite a growing domestic demand for steel, Turkeystill depends on imports for steel sheets.

The expansion of thiscold rolling mill will increase steel sheet production, and theadditional output is expected to replace imports.

The Japan Bankfor International Cooperation (JBIC), the result of the mergerbetween the Export-Import Bank of Japan (JEXIM) and the OverseasEconomic Cooperation Fund (OECF), was established on 1 October1999.

With its capital fully subscribed by the JapaneseGovernment, JBIC is the main institution responsible for Japan1sofficial financing overseas.

JBIC has therefore taken over theInternational Financial Operations (IFOs) of the former JEXIM,which contributed to the promotion of Japan1s exports, importsand overseas direct investment while encouraging the activitiesof private financial institutions as well as the stability of theinternational financial order.

JBIC has also taken over theOverseas Economic Cooperation Operations (OECOs) of the formerOECF as a core financial institution to assist developingcountries in their efforts to develop economic and socialinfrastructure and stabilise their economies through theprovision of low-interest and long-term yen loans on the OfficialDevelopment Assistance (ODA) terms.

Asset finance solutions provided for manufacturing

First Index has announced that it has partnered with WHATRATE to provide asset finance solutions for its manufacturing users.

First Index, the world's most active marketplace forcustom-manufactured parts, announced today that it has partneredwith WHATRATE to provide asset finance solutions for itsmanufacturing users. With more than $10bn transactional valueposted through its online matching service, findFAST, First Indexhas more content and is more active in the custom-made partsengineering market than any other service provider. Its users aresubcontractors and buyers of engineered custom-made parts anddemand for finance in this sector is substantial.

In order toprovide users with a fast sourcing service for finance, FirstIndex has adopted the unique whatrate.vendor.

solution.Recognised as an established and trusted brand by the UK'sleading Lessors, Whatrate will build a First Index-brandedservice online, where users will be able to quickly sourcefinance for purchases of plant and equipment or to fund projects.The system provides instant answers from a selection of lenders,often more than the organisation would otherwise be able toaccess, in a fraction of the time normally taken to source andtalk to several finance houses.

To obtain quotes for finance,users simply enter some basic information about theirorganisation, the goods and amount to be financed.

An automaticcredit check is run and the result matched against the lendingterms of more than 15 leading UK lenders - whose criteria areconfigured into the system - and quotes returned instantly.

HansWigart, Managing Director of First Index, commented, 'Thisunique solution gives our customers and users the fast turnaroundon information they need.

When quoting on a large manufacturingproject, the knowledge that they can finance the equipment neededfor the job is all-important.

Not only can users access fastanswers on finance, they can also use the system to configure theterms most suited to their circumstances.' He continues,'We know from RFQ activity that the manufacturing sector isgrowing again - armed with this new service, hard-pressedmanufacturers can have the confidence they need to take on jobsand be part of that growth.' Roy A.

Royer, CEO of Whatrateadded, 'We're delighted to have partnered with FirstIndex - which we see as being an innovative leader in thecustom-made parts engineering market.

Whatrate.Vendor has beenspecifically developed so that businesses like First Index canseamlessly integrate our service into theirs with minimal set-upcosts.

Furthermore, because the service is fully managed andsupported by Whatrate, First Index can concentrate on its corecompetencies and we can concentrate on ours.

End result, FirstIndex can deliver great products at great prices, supported bythe best range of financing options on the market.' Usingthe First Index service is completely free and the system issecure and anonymous.

Users are not identified to potentiallenders until they have compared bids received and decided on anoption.

Manufacturers are thus able to take on a project,confident in the knowledge they have finance available but takeaction only when the deal is secure.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Carbon Trust operates Energy Technology List

The Carbon Trust has taken over the management of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with effect .

The Carbon Trust has taken over the management of the EnhancedCapital Allowance (ECA) scheme on behalf of the Department forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs with effect from 5 August2002. To coincide with this, a number of new initiatives havebeen launched including the expansion of the Energy TechnologyList and a marketing programme which has been created to helpmanufacturers, suppliers and purchasers promote and identifyqualifying equipment. The Energy Technology List details therange of energy-saving products and technologies that can qualifyfor 100 per cent first year allowances under the Enhanced CapitalAllowance (ECA) scheme.

As of 5 August 2002 the list ofqualifying products and technologies has been expanded fromboilers, pipe insulation, thermal screens, Combined Heat andPower, lighting, motors, variable speed drives and refrigerationequipment, to include heat pumps for space heating, warm air andradiant heaters, solar thermal systems, and compressed airequipment (as well as the expansion of the existing technologyclass for boilers to include efficient oil-fired condensingboilers and the inclusion of refrigeration cabinets andcompressors in the refrigeration category).

To help promotequalifying products and technologies a new Energy Technology Listsymbol has been developed.

In addition, the Enhanced CapitalAllowance website,, has been relaunched with anonline exhibition to help the end-user find suitable products andtechnologies on the Energy Technology List.

The benefits of thisinitiative are: * The Energy Technology List helps companiesidentify energy-efficient products and technologies which canqualify for the 100 per cent first year allowance under the ECAscheme as well as save on long term operating costs.

* Companieswith products on the Energy Technology List can now use the newEnergy Technology List symbol to give themselves a competitiveadvantage over other products on the market.

The EnergyTechnology List symbol demonstrates that the product isindependently endorsed and can benefit from the environmental andfiscal advantages associated with the ECA scheme.

As manager ofthe ECA scheme, the Carbon Trust's responsibilities nowinclude the maintenance of the Energy Technology and ProductLists, as well as the identification and assessment of furthertechnologies that could merit support through the scheme.

Finance schemes ease access to capital allowances

Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2002 Budget, an automation and drives supplier is promoting the financing schemes that are available through a sister fiancial operation.

Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2002 Budget,Siemens Automation and Drives is promoting the financing schemesthat are available through its sister company Siemens FinanceOperation. For businesses seeking to install modernenergy-efficient equipment such as motors and variable speeddrives, the financial savings (through reduced energyconsumption) and enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) already makesuch investments attractive. Moreover, by using a finance scheme,the monthly payments are often be less than the value of theenergy savings, so financial benefits are enjoyed immediately.Many companies prefer to use a lease, lease-purchase or otherfinance scheme, rather than raising a separate bank loan oreating into a limited capital budget.

Arranging a finance schemethrough Siemens at the same time as specifying the equipment canallow the hardware to be in place - and savings to be made - farmore quickly than if a finance scheme were to be negotiatedseparately; it can also avoid having to pursue lengthy internalcorporate procedures to secure approval for capital expenditure.Once a Siemens finance agreement is in place, the interest rateis fixed and the customer is certain of what the monthly paymentswill be - which may not be the case with an advance from a bank.ECAs have been available for (almost) as long as the ClimateChange Levy (CCL) has been in place.

For a while there was someambiguity over whether ECAs were available to companies that hadnot made a direct purchase of an item (capital equipment had tobe owned by a company in order for the equipment value to bewritten-off against tax), but the Chancellor clarified thesituation in the 2002 Budget: it is now the case that'expenditure incurred on designated energy-saving equipmentfor leasing within the ECA scheme can qualify for 100 per centenhanced capital allowances.' This announcement is welcomedby many companies that could see the long-term benefits ofinstalling energy-efficient equipment, but, for one reason oranother, were unable to make the initial investment.

As well asmaking direct financial savings, companies that lease equipmentcan now enjoy the same tax-related cashflow benefit as thosebuying equipment outright.

Siemens finds that many customers areincredulous that monthly payments against a finance agreement canbe less than the value of the energy savings being made.

SteveBarker, Business Manager for Drives at Siemens Automation andDrives, states: 'As a rule-of-thumb, if an investment inenergy-efficient equipment will pay for itself through energysavings, we can probably arrange a two- or three-year financeagreement with monthly repayments that allow immediate savings tobe made.' Steve Barker adds: 'Once customers overcomethe initial feeling of it's-too-good-to-be-true, they becomevery interested indeed.

Although it is so far only a smallproportion of Siemens customers that use our finance schemes, thefeedback is so positive that I am sure the proportion will growsignificantly, especially in the area of energy-efficientelectric motors and variable speed drives.' Schemes can betailored to meet the needs of the customer, whether theinvestment is GBP 1000 or several million pounds.

Each contractis also drawn up to best suit the accounting and taxationrequirements of the customer.

Depending on the exact terms, therecould be further benefits beyond the term of the financeagreement.

For example, at the end of a lease the customer mayhave the opportunity to upgrade the equipment so as to takeadvantage of new technologies that have been developed.

Thislevel of flexibility is simply not available to a customer thathas purchased equipment outright.

If it often said that the onlypeople who can afford to save money are those who can afford tospend it.

But with flexible finance schemes available fromSiemens, virtually anybody can now upgrade to energy-efficientequipment and enjoy an immediate payback with the added cashflowbonus of the Government's ECAs.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

European late payment act will squeeze SMEs

A European directive on late payment will place big burdens on UK Small and Medium Sized Enterprises because they will be forced to compete on the same playing field as large corporates.

European late payment act will squeeze SMEs A European directiveon late payment will place big burdens on UK Small and MediumSized Enterprises (SMEs) because they will be forced to competeon the same playing field as large corporates, says accountantsand business advisors, PKF. The directive, announced ahead ofschedule on 7 August, will mean that SMEs in distributionbusinesses (eg wholesalers and computer, food and manufacturingindustries) who buy their goods from blue chips will be chasedfor payment by large credit groups who will use the full force ofthe law against them. Businesses will be able to claim up to GBP100 in debt recovery costs for time spent chasing each overduebill as well as interest - up until now, only small firms coulduse it.

It will result in larger companies being able to escapepenalty fines because they have the internal and externalresources to fight back whilst smaller firms will be squeezed.Nitin Joshi, corporate recovery partner at PKF said, 'Thisis another European directive that will result in UK SMEs gettinga raw deal.

10,000 UK businesses go under each year owing to latepayment and the vast majority are SMEs.

Up until now, the law wason their side but this will result in the smaller firms - thelifeblood our of our economy - being unfairlydisadvantaged'.

Nitin offers five top tips to help SMEsavoid large late payment penalties:- 1.

Outsource yourreceivables management to a specialist firm wherever possible.

2.Don't become supplier dependent - try to buy from a numberof different sources.

3.Look out for interest and late paymentclauses when you sign purchaser terms and conditions.

4.Get aservice level agreement from your solicitor which includesdetails of payment dates.

5.Buy from non-EU suppliers to avoidunfair regulation procedures.

For further information on theEuropean Late Payment Directive please contact:- is holding a seminar on Wednesday 30 October 2002 in Londonand on Thursday 31 October in Guildford, called 'Making themost of international trade - the ins and outs for UKbusinesses'.

The seminar will bring together an experiencedteam from the banking and accounting worlds and offer practicaladvice and information on global cash management, protectingagainst foreign currency risks, indirect tax issues and transferpricing arrangements.

Specialising in manufacturing business recovery

A free corporate health check is being offered to many organisations in the manufacturing sector that are experiencing financial difficulties.

Specialising in manufacturing business recovery Manyorganisations in the manufacturing sector are experiencingfinancial difficulties. Telford Jones has helped sole traders andfamily owned businesses through to medium sized corporates. Thecompany provides practical no nonsense advice, exploring all theoptions, ranging from recovery procedures to full rescue andturnaround.

In Telford Jones' experience, the earlier anissue is tackled the greater the chance of survival.

The companyis offering a free Corporate Health Check to UK businesses, andencourages you to call for an informal confidential chat.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Japanese bank supports Brazil's steel industry

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed loan agreements totalling US$39 million with Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao (CST), which operates steel mills in Brazil.

JBIC supports Brazil's steel industry The Japan Bank forInternational Cooperation (JBIC) has signed loan agreementstotalling US$39 million with Companhia Siderurgica de Tubarao(CST), which operates steel mills in the Federative Republic ofBrazil. This loan is cofinanced with BNP Paribas, Tokyo Branch.JBIC will provide direct loans (buyer's credits) to CST,which is located in the Espirito Santo State, to financiallysupport exports from Japan, including exporting the completeequipment for a steam power plant and a LD gas recovery system toCST. The Japanese exporter is Marubeni Corporation and thedomestic manufacturers are Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd andKawasaki Heavy Industries.

Most direct loans made by JBIC toBrazilian borrowers have the benefit of guarantees from thegovernment of Brazil.

However, recently JBIC has begun toactively engage in loan commitments by examining thecreditworthiness of the individual companies, and assessing theircorporate risk.

This loan is the first extended to a Braziliansteel company based on a corporate risk-taking basis, in view ofCST's position as the dominant steel exporter in Brazil.

Machine tool technology acquisition simplified

The UK's largest machine tool company has introduced a concept in asset finance that allows acquisiton of latest machine tool technology while maintaining or lowering monthly outgoings.

The UK's largest machine tool company 600 Group todayannounces the introduction of Smart Finance, a new concept inasset finance through which customers can increase their profitsby acquiring the very latest in machine tool technology whilemaintaining or even lowering their monthly outgoings. With thenew Smart Finance approach, operators can quickly enjoy theproductivity benefits of installing the latest technologymachines from class leading manufacturers such as Colchester,Electrox, Fanuc, Harrison, Okamoto etc. If customers are alreadypaying for existing equipment then there is a good chance that anew 600 Group machine can be installed with no deposit, withoutincreasing monthly payments and, in some cases, possibly evenreducing payments.

The Smart Finance method is simple.

Thecustomer's total monthly finance outgoings are calculatedand consolidated into one single, convenient loan with afavourable rate of interest.

Payment holidays can be included,while the loan is as flexible as customers want it to be, with asolution to suit everyone and up to 60 months to pay.

600 GroupProduct Strategy and Marketing Director, Dr Stephen LeBeau, says:'Smart Finance is the most advanced and flexible financialtool within the machine tool sector and it really does unlock thepotential for customers to upgrade capacity without increasingmonthly outgoings.'