Renter's Insurance Guide

Lpc ab inbev backs sabmiller buy with record us$75bn loan

Nov 11 AB InBev is backing its $100 billion-plus bid for SABMiller with a record $75 billion syndicated loan, which is the largest commercial loan in the history of the global loan markets, adviser to the lenders Allen & Overy said on Wednesday. The financing has been agreed with AB InBev's key relationship banks, including Banco Santander, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank."AB InBev's ability to raise $75 billion in the loan markets in the space of a few weeks shows that banks are still willing to support top-class borrowers in record amounts, despite the current era of increased regulatory and capital costs," Allen & Overy partner Nicholas Clark said.

The size of AB InBev's loan eclipses the previous record which was held by Verizon Communications, which raised a $61 billion bridge loan in 2013 to back its purchase of the remaining 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless that it did not already own, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data. Unusually for a multibillion dollar acquisition loan, AB InBev arranged the loan itself, using its treasury team to assemble the group of relationship banks, people familiar with the situation said.

Self-arranging the loan allowed AB InBev to reduce its borrowing costs by cutting fee payments to lenders, a senior banker said.

The company primarily syndicated the loan in London and New York, leveraging its relationships with its core European lenders and new lending relationships that the company has built since it acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008, the people familiar with the situation said. The loan will include bridge loans that will be refinanced by bond issues and medium-term loans which will remain in place, they added. AB InBev launched its offer for SABMiller on Wednesday. The takeover would be the largest ever UK M&A transaction and one of the largest mergers in corporate history.

Malta stock exchange to launch islamic equity index, eyes sukuk

Feb 4 The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) will launch on Monday an Islamic equity index aiming to attract business from Middle East firms, a move it hopes will also prompt the government to issue Islamic bonds (sukuk), senior executives told Reuters. The 25-year old MSE is rolling out a new strategy which includes facilitating financial products that follow Islamic principles such as bans on investing in alcohol, tobacco and gambling-related businesses. The launch of an Islamic index, developed alongside Dubai-based sharia advisory firm Dar al Sharia, and a debut sovereign sukuk would mirror steps taken by Britain and Luxembourg to develop their own credentials in the sector.

"The concept of Islamic finance is not new, but this is the first time an organisation in Malta is taking a concrete step to move forward," said Joseph Portelli, chairman of the MSE. In 2011, Malta's financial regulator issued a guidance note on Islamic investment funds, the first EU member country to do so, although no such funds have been listed yet.

The government has now commissioned a report on Islamic finance and is conducting studies with legal advisors to review the regulatory and tax implications of issuing sukuk, said Eileen Muscat, chief executive of the MSE.

There is ample domestic demand for government debt, so a sovereign sukuk would have to be justified as a strategic decision rather than a fiscal one, she added."From a regulatory point of view it's not nearly an issue. The regulations are wide enough to accommodate sukuk."The exchange is also launching this month a new capital market for small and medium-sized firms.