APICORP Expands Energy Trade Finance Services to the Arab World and Beyond

Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), the multilateral development bank owned by the member states of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), has just announced the signing of a trade finance services agreement with JP Morgan Treasury Services.

This deal enables APICORP to significantly expand its range of trade finance services to energy companies. Commencing June 2012, APICORP will offer a complete range of trade finance products and services to its clients, including letters of credit, collections and guarantees. The government of UAE owns a 17% stake in APICORP.

Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive and General Manager of APICORP said: “We are pleased to announce another major milestone in APICORP’s bid to diversify business streams and grow the Bank for the benefit of the Arab World’s energy sector.

"This announcement has been preceded by extensive efforts with JP Morgan to set up a highly reliable service that can be increased in scale to meet rising demand.”

Under the trade finance services agreement, JP Morgan will provide APICORP with trade finance processing support, including internet-based technology, and access to trade finance services from a global network of branches.

“APICORP will initiate transactions and interface with customers as well as make final credit approval decisions,” said Al Nuaimi. “Of the financial institutions that were considered for this alliance, we felt J.P. Morgan is the most suited partner, recognized for its expertise, wide banking network, and trade processing capability.”

Meanwhile, Mark Garvin, Chairman of JP Morgan Treasury and Securities Services International said that, “JP Morgan’s collaboration with APICORP, to meet trade finance demand from the multilateral development bank’s clients in the Middle East, has resulted in much needed additional liquidity in the global trade finance markets.

“This mandate is testimony to JP Morgan’s ongoing commitment to the region and strong local market knowledge, coupled with our global expertise in trade finance, which enables us to meet the cross-border trade finance needs of clients such as APICORP.”

“The collaboration with JP Morgan allows APICORP to expand its geographical reach by extending facilities to Arab energy companies operating in the Arab World as well as in the emerging markets of Latin America, Africa, and Asia,” Al Nuaimi said.

“It also has the added benefit of extending services to a wider range of energy companies and projects, including small and medium enterprises.”

He further added: “These services will be launched in June this year following the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), which is expected imminently.”

Since its establishment in 1975, APICORP has helped finance the development of projects in oil and gas, petrochemicals, fertilisers, power and water generation, transportation and storage logistics, and energy intensive projects such as aluminium smelters.

APICORP’s, move into trade finance is complementary to its 37 years of expertise as a projects lender in the energy sector.

JP Morgan has conducted business in the Middle East for 75 years and has seven offices in the region including a branch in Riyadh.

(Source: Tripoli Post)

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