Walmart is getting into business lending — with some help from Goldman Sachs.
(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. promoted Christina Minnis, Akila Raman and Miriam Wheeler in the firm’s global financing group, boosting the trio of women to its senior ranks.Minnis becomes co-head of global credit finance alongside Michael Marsh, who was freshly promoted to the role, according to an internal memo viewed by Bloomberg. Raman will become chief operating officer of the global financing group, while Wheeler was appointed head of the Americas real estate financing group.They join a growing list of female bankers being elevated as Chief Executive Officer David Solomon seeks to increase diversity in the bank’s top ranks, including a goal to make women 40% of its vice presidents by 2025.“For a long time, it was just Christina and me. So this is the first time we have had so many women in these senior roles,” in the financing group, said Susie Scher, who co-heads the group with Denis Coleman.The promotion of Minnis, who runs both the global acquisition finance and Americas credit finance divisions, cements her as one of the most senior women at the bank. A Goldman veteran, she joined in 1998 and made partner a decade later. Minnis and Scher have worked together for more than 20 years.Raman has worked for Scher since she joined the bank’s derivatives business in 2004. She will also continue as head of Americas natural resources investment-grade capital markets and risk management. Wheeler, who was previously the co-head of Americas REFG, joined the firm in 2005. Raman and Wheeler both made partner in 2018.Credit HiresGoldman also named Eric Jordan and Simone Verri as co-heads of global investment-grade capital markets and risk management. Jordan currently heads that group’s Americas division, while Verri leads the European arm.Kevin Sterling becomes head of Americas leveraged finance. He joined the bank in 1998, and is currently head of Americas credit finance capital markets.Read more: Goldman Sachs names Feldgoise, Sorrell to lead global M&A unitThe shuffle comes amid a hot streak in credit markets. U.S. junk bond sales may hit an annual record this week, and investment-grade issuance sailed past that milestone in August.“All of the changes definitely reflect a growth in the business generally,” Scher said. “Our financing business has never been bigger.”While companies initially borrowed to shore up their balance sheets to help get through the Covid-19 pandemic, they’re now taking advantage of low borrowing costs to raise money for strategic opportunities such as mergers and acquisitions, Scher said.In the leveraged loan market alone, Goldman led 11 deals for $14 billion over the last nine days, according to Scher.“I am very cautious about the next period of time,” she said. “But we will get through it, and companies will have raised a lot of capital to set themselves up for success.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Libya moved closer to reopening its battered oil industry after the state energy firm said it would resume exports, though only from fields and ports that are free of foreign mercenaries and other fighters.The National Oil Corp. is ending force majeure -- a legal status protecting a party that can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control -- at “secure” facilities in the conflict-ridden nation and has told companies to resume production. The shutdown would continue elsewhere until militias leave, the NOC said in a statement Saturday.Oil facilities have been at the heart of Libya’s civil war, now almost a decade old, with different groups closing or sabotaging them to press political and economic demands. Daily crude production slumped to less than 100,000 barrels in January from 1.1 million after Khalifa Haftar, a Russian-backed commander who controls eastern Libya, blockaded energy infrastructure.Output will probably increase to 550,000 barrels a day by the end of 2020 and to almost a million by the middle of next year, according to forecasts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.Some firms that use or operate the OPEC member’s eastern ports announced they were restarting work. Among them were Arabian Gulf Oil Co., which can produce almost 300,000 barrels a day and exports them from Hariga port, and Sirte Oil & Gas Production and Processing Co., which runs the Brega terminal.But other major fields have yet to restart. They include Sharara, the country’s largest deposit, according to a person familiar with the matter. The southwestern field was occupied by mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group earlier this year and it was unclear if they had agreed to leave.The NOC said last week it would be dangerous to start pumping oil again with armed forces in close proximity. It is assessing security at different fields and receiving reports from all facilities, the person said.“From a logistical perspective, exports could restart immediately, as the NOC’s crude inventories are elevated,” Goldman analysts including Damien Courvalin said in a note Sunday. “Beyond destocking, however, the increase in field production is likely to take time.”Force majeure “continues in fields and ports where the presence of fighters from Wagner and other armed groups that hinder activities and operations is confirmed,” the NOC said.The NOC’s announcement came after Haftar said on Friday he would lift a blockade his forces imposed on fields and ports in January.Haftar, who is also backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, said his move was conditional on oil revenue being shared more evenly between the eastern administration and the United Nations-recognized government based in Tripoli, the capital, in the west.The general spoke after an accord last week with Ahmed Maiteeq, deputy prime minister of the Tripoli government, at a meeting in Russia. Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has yet to accept the agreement, casting further doubt on any imminent resumption of oil production.Any additional supplies from Libya would enter the market at a time when OPEC+ -- a grouping of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and others such as Russia -- is curbing output to bolster oil prices. Brent crude has fallen more than 5% this month to $42.90 a barrel, extending its coronavirus-induced loss in 2020 to 35%.Libya, home to Africa’s largest oil reserves, was exempt from the OPEC+ cuts, first agreed in April, because of its strife.Its energy infrastructure is crumbling after almost 10 years of conflict and chaos following the ouster of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla told Bloomberg in June that it would cost more than $100 million to fix wellheads alone. The lack of basic, nuts-and-bolts servicing has left pipelines corroding and storage tanks collapsing.“The restart is likely to be hampered by damages to productive capacity,” the Goldman analysts said.(Updates with analyst forecast in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.