Renault-Nissan to reboot alliance

Renault-Nissan to reboot alliance
Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn leaves jail after being granted bail in April. (AFP)
Updated 29 November 2019

Renault-Nissan to reboot alliance

Renault-Nissan to reboot alliance
  • French carmaker sets out to repair relations following arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn

PARIS: Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi plan to appoint a general secretary at the helm of their partnership to boost cooperation and reboot joint operations after the departure of former alliance supremo Carlos Ghosn.

France’s Renault is trying to repair relations with its Japanese partners after they were shaken by Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo a year ago on financial misconduct charges, which the alliance’s founder denies.

The scandal disrupted efforts to roll out industrial projects together and find cost savings — increasingly vital as global auto demand falters — as Renault and Nissan shook up their teams in an effort to stabilize their business.

“This alliance executive will be key for coordinating and facilitating several major alliance projects that are to be launched to accelerate business efficiencies for the respective companies,” the groups said in a joint statement.

A source close to Renault said the future general secretary had already been recruited, describing him as francophone, but declined to give more details.

The new head of the three-pronged partnership will report to the Alliance Operating Board and the group CEOs in a departure from the structure in which Ghosn was an all-powerful figure.

Set up in April, the new Alliance Operating Board is a key element of a revamped corporate governance structure set in motion by Renault and alliance president Jean-Dominique Senard, who arrived at the French carmaker in January.

The Alliance Operating Board alternates its monthly meetings between France and Japan.

A source at Renault said that a future common platform for electric vehicles will be one of the alliance board’s key targets.

Renault is also looking for a new CEO. Financial chief Clotilde Delbos has taken on the job on an interim basis.


Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

Updated 04 December 2020

Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan
  • The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities 
  • PIF  is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is in talks with bankers to raise a loan of between $5 billion (SR18.75 billion) and $7 billion to provide flexibility in its investment strategy.

The PIF has declined to comment on reports of the loan, said to be in the form of a revolving facility from a number of international banks, but sources said it was part of the fund’s regular financing arrangements, which have seen it take out and repay facilities for the past two years.

The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities and may not necessarily be used.

The PIF has been opportunistic during the coronavirus pandemic in identifying what it saw as undervalued assets on global stock markets and has been an active trader in securities on international markets.

The fund invested $7 billion in mainly US stocks in the first quarter of the year, when markets were first impacted by pandemic lockdowns, and increased and diversified that in the second quarter. It scaled back its commitments in the third quarter when asset values were near all-time highs. In the summer, it spent $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in the Indian digital business Jio Platforms.

PIF, under governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan, while simultaneously building an international portfolio of assets.

Earlier this year, PIF repaid a $10 billion syndicated loan ahead of schedule after it completed the sale of its stake in SABIC to Saudi Aramco, and in 2018 it raised an $11 billion term-loan facility from international banks.

Previous fundraisings were done in partnership with a group of 10 banks from the US, Europe, and Asia that form part of the fund’s “core banking relationships.”