Company financing is renewed

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Renewed or die. The classic aphorism acquires a new relevance (it is renewed) in pandemic times. With interest rates in a long induced coma and business activity slowing down, the heart of the economy needs new ways to pump life. In this context, the digital meeting ‘Alternative financing and new trends in traditional bank financing’, organized by Expansión and Actualidad Económica in collaboration with Banca March, delved into the convenience of companies not limiting themselves to traditional bank financing, thus as in the advantages of opening up to the capital market, sustainable bank financing and new trends for an industry in transition, among other issues that, today, represent the spearhead of financial activity.

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Nicolás Menà © ndez Sarrià © s, editor of Expansión, moderated the conversation, which was introduced by Josà © Manuel Arcenegui, general director of Corporate Banking at Banca March, and had more than 500 guests online. Arcenegui started by explaining the closeness of his entity to the subject. “We are an entity of Balearic origin 100% family owned and historically committed to the development of business activity. From the beginning we understood well that it had to be supported in many different ways”. One of them, financing in fixed income markets as an alternative to traditional financing, occupied the first panel, which had four complementary views: those of Javier DÃaz Hevia, Deputy Financial Director of Tà © cnicas Reunidas; Alberto DÃez, Senior Fixed Income Manager at Dunas Capital; Guillermo Hott, Director of Capital Markets-Debt at Banca March, and Gonzalo Gómez Retuerto, General Director of MARF at BME.

The latter spoke about the MARF (Alternative Fixed Income Market) mechanism, created in 2013 by the Madrid Stock Exchange so that small and medium-sized companies can finance themselves with the issuance of bonds and access to fixed-income investors. Gómez Retuerto was pleased that more than 30 companies of all types and different sectors have participated for the first time in MARF, while Hott contributed his experience in Banca March to explain that the motivation of those who come to this mechanism passes for cost diversification and modernization, and for taking a step prior to long-term financing.

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DÃaz, for his part, contributed to the debate with the company’s point of view. TÃ © cnicas Reunidas’s access to this alternative financing, he said, has been relatively simple, without the need for large resources. It is true that, in his case, it is a listed company, but DÃaz does not believe that it is complicated for those who are not listed either, because the cost of the process is competitive, despite certain fixed expenses that are diluted over time depending on the issue. . Finally, from the investor’s perspective, DÃez presented the Dunas criteria, with interesting details, such as the possibility of using promissory notes as an alternative to investing liquidity peaks, which currently have a negative accumulation, or the Non-rated bonds, which do not have to be synonymous with bad risk, he said, and offer appetizing opportunities. In addition, DÃez recalled that MARF is also a valuable provider of information that investors consider, together with that provided by the advisor, sufficient for decision-making.

The MARF seems to be emerging, then, as the star of the moment, “a very attractive and consolidated market in 2021”, as Arcenegui concluded, although the conversation also left the door open to new alternative financing options such as securitisations and other lines of credit. innovation that are currently being explored. In any case, as DÃaz pointed out, alternative financing does not compete with traditional financing.

sustainable. The second panel dealt with “sustainable bank financing”, focused more specifically on “new trends for an industry in transition”. Laura Santiago, senior associate at G-Advisory; Roberto Cabrera, Director of Financing of Grupo Acciona; Juan Manuel RodrÃguez de Alba, Senior Officer of the Sustainability Area of ​​the Official Credit Institute (ICO), and Ramón Llorente, Director of Loan Origination and Distribution at Banca March.

The starting point of the debate made clear its professional and practical nature: the risk is not negotiable, that is, a greater risk cannot be accepted due to a sustainability factor. The key is acceptance of the price. Regarding how to set this, Llorente explained that there is a base margin based on the objectives that the company undertakes to achieve; from there and depending on the time and the evolution of the issuance term, there is a bonus or a penalty, in case of non-compliance. Because sustainability comes with responsibility.

Cabrera, for his part, highlighted the wide variety of possibilities offered by sustainable financing, an activity that he knows well from his work at Acciona, a company that Arcenegui recognized as a pioneer and a benchmark in the tendency to understand sustainability not as a cost, but as an opportunity. And on the fundamental issue of creating a methodology to measure the value contribution of sustainability, Santiago said that the market follows its own evolution, developing its own standards, in which he highlights the importance of having defined key indicators of performance (KPI, for its acronym in English) quantifiable and ambitious, while RodrÃguez de Alba detailed the contribution of the ICO, which is creating its own evaluation methodology. A measurement, as Llorente recalled, of the companies’ contribution to society. This standardization, in the words of Arcenegui, reflects that we are facing a market in transition, especially in the way of internationalization, with trends closely linked, at the moment, to climate change.

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