SACE: A DRIVING FORCE FOR ITALIAN GLOBAL EXPANSION AND SUSTAINABLE FINANCING

Italy's Export Credit Agency charts a strategic course in the global market

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(L to R) Ciro Aquino, Regional Manager GCC – Head of Dubai Office, SACE; Barbara Riccardi, Regional Head of Middle East, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking; Zouheir Sabra, Group Chief Financial Officer, BEE’AH Group; Michal Ron, Chief international Business Officer, SACE; Giovanni Luigi Gioia, Relationship Manager GCC, SACE; and Pierluigi Ciabattoni, Senior Relationship Manager GCC, SACE.
(L to R) Ciro Aquino, Regional Manager GCC – Head of Dubai Office, SACE; Barbara Riccardi, Regional Head of Middle East, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking; Zouheir Sabra, Group Chief Financial Officer, BEE’AH Group; Michal Ron, Chief international Business Officer, SACE; Giovanni Luigi Gioia, Relationship Manager GCC, SACE; and Pierluigi Ciabattoni, Senior Relationship Manager GCC, SACE.

Published: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 11:21 AM

In the dynamic landscape of international trade and finance, SACE has served as Italy's Export Credit Agency for over 45 years. Its unwavering and comprehensive support has been instrumental in aiding Italian companies in their global growth efforts.

The SACE Group, with a robust portfolio exceeding 164 billion euros, plays a multifaceted role, not only as an essential partner for Italian enterprises venturing abroad, but also as a supporter of the international banking system. By providing financial guarantees, SACE facilitates companies' access to credit, ensuring liquidity, and encouraging investments aligned with competitiveness and sustainability objectives, particularly within the context of the Italian Green New Deal.

With a global presence across 13 strategically positioned offices in key countries for Made in Italy, SACE acts as a crucial link, connecting Italian businesses with local partners. The Group's comprehensive array of financial solutions facilitates business transactions for Italian companies on the global stage.

"SACE has maintained a strategic foothold in the UAE and the broader GCC region through its Dubai office since 2016. Over the past decade, SACE's commitment to the UAE market has shown a fivefold increase, with a current portfolio exposure of 4.1 billion euros. Notably, in the first nine months of 2023, the SACE Dubai office facilitated over 3.8 billion euros in support to Italian exporters in the UAE. The focus on strategic sectors such as renewables, infrastructures and constructions, logistics, food and beverage, and energy highlights SACE's commitment to strengthening the Italian supply chain worldwide.

In 2017, SACE launched the innovative Push Strategy programme, a concrete step to implement its support towards commercial opportunities for Italian exporters in key and expanding markets. Through this initiative, SACE guarantees medium-to-long-term financing for top-tier foreign buyers. A pivotal aspect of the strategy involves assessing Italian supplies for the borrower’s investment plans, facilitated by business matching activities between Italian SMEs and their international counterparts.

Furthermore, in 2023 SACE launched Green Push, a new solution within the Push Strategy programme that aims to promote Made in Italy exports in support of the international green transition. This initiative is aimed at supporting Italian exports within supply chains linked to environmental assets while also facilitating the ecological transition of large international corporations. In the GCC, SACE Dubai Office has successfully concluded Push Strategy transactions with major players, including BEE’AH and Bapco Energies, totaling 1.1 billion euros. Over 600 business matching activities have been organised, including both in-person and online meetings, engaging over 1,700 Italian SMEs.

One of the noteworthy success stories includes the $50 million Push facility extended to Archirodon Group in 2021. This transaction highlighted SACE's commitment to supporting infrastructure and construction projects in the Middle East and was a pioneering initiative structured within the framework of Sustainability Linked Loan principles, showcasing SACE's dedication to environmentally responsible financing.

Another significant collaboration was with BEE’AH in 2022, where SACE finalised a Push Facility to facilitate the development of commercial relationships between BEE’AH and Italian businesses. This partnership aimed at increasing procurement from Italy in the near future, showcasing SACE's commitment to nurturing international business relationships.

Similarly, in the same year, SACE established a $300 million Push Facility for Bapco Energies (former Nogaholding), structured as a Sustainability-Linked Loan. This strategic financing played a crucial role in accelerating efforts towards sustainable economic growth, aligning with Bahrain’s energy demands and decarbonisation commitments.

As SACE marks a year since the launch of its ‘INSIEME 2025’ Business Plan, the Group continues to make headlines with its new ESG Strategy. Unveiled on November 30 in Dubai, alongside the first day of COP28, the strategy aims to revolutionise the SACE’s business model, aligning it with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The innovative ESG Strategy integrates environmental, social, and governance criteria into every decision-making process, underpinned by a scientific impact measurement system.

SACE is actively positioning itself as a leader of sustainable financing, showcasing a visionary approach that extends beyond short-term objectives. With a clear roadmap guiding its path through 2030 and beyond, SACE emerges as a beacon of responsible financial practices, committed to promoting sustainable development in an increasingly interconnected global landscape.

Address: Office 2103, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC – Dubai

T: +971 4554 3451

www.dubai@sace.it


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