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ABN Amro has won a mandate to provide US$40mn working capital financing to the Fondo Nacional del Cafe in Colombia. Of the total amount, US$34mn was disbursed as a commodity-backed (coffee) three-year trade facility in a club deal with Banque Natexis Populaires. A US$6mn commercial loan, disbursed in local currency and backed by the fund’s tax receivables, was also arranged.

Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia (Fedecafe), the national federation of Colombian coffee producers, markets and sells about 30% of the nation’s coffee exports. Fedecafe manages the Fondo Nacional del Caf é, which was created by the Colombian government in 1940 to promote, co-ordinate and support coffee producers in coffee sales and exports.

The structure of the commodity-backed trade facility comprises the opening of a concentration account with ABN Amro in New York through which Fedecafe will handle around US$150mn of its international sales flows from ten of their main buyers located throughout Europe.

Daniel Cotti, managing director, Global Trade Advisory at ABN, says: “This agreement is further evidence that organisations around the world recognise the importance of an integrated approach to managing their financial supply chain.”

Catalina Crane, CFO at the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia, adds: “It was very important that ABN Amro was not only able to offer the broad range of services that

we would expect, but also that they have the ability to provide these in a truly integrated manner. They understand the combination of financing options that best fits our business requirements.”

This transaction will allow for additional products to be incorporated into the business proposal prepared for Fedecafe such as futures brokerage and clearing services, which will translate into a more efficient way to manage Fedecafe’s financial supply chain.

ABN claims it has brought together the key components of corporate treasury best practice – liquidity management, FX, trade services and cashflow – in its working capital business to provide an integrated advisory approach that helps clients meet their working capital management challenges. The aim it says is to assist clients to unlock the value in their financial supply chains, realise cost benefits, manage risk and build sustainable competitive advantage for the future.