Funding strategy & Policies
Although Syngenta operates globally, two of its largest markets are Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) and North America. Both sales and operating profit in these two regions are seasonal and are
weighted towards the first half of the calendar year, reflecting the northern hemisphere planting and growing cycle. This results in a seasonal working capital requirement.
Syngenta’s principal source of liquidity consists of cash generated from operations. Working capital fluctuations due to the seasonality of the business are supported by short-term funding available from
a $2.5 billion Global Commercial Paper program, supported by a $1.5 billion committed, revolving, multi-currency syndicated credit facility.
In 2013, the credit facility was extended by one year and will now mature in 2018, with a possibility to extend by one year which can be applied for in 2014. The amount drawn under the Global Commercial Paper program at December 31, 2013 was $250 million (2012: $nil).
Long-term capital employed is currently partly financed through four unsecured bonds and through unsecured notes issued under the Note Purchase Agreement in the US Private Placement market.
Liquidity Risk and Refinancing Risk
Within Syngenta’s risk management framework, liquidity risk is defined as the risk of being unable to raise funds to meet payment obligations when they fall due.
Refinancing or funding risk is defined as the risk of being unable, on an ongoing basis, to borrow in the market to fund actual or proposed commitments. Syngenta mitigates its liquidity and refinancing risk by
maintaining: a limit system; a committed unsecured funding facility; ongoing discussions with its core banks to best monitor its funding capacity; simulations; and diversification of its debt portfolio. Syngenta’s liquidity risk policy is to maintain at all times sufficient liquidity reserves both at Group and subsidiary level in order to meet payment obligations as they become due and also to maintain an adequate liquidity margin. The planning and supervision of liquidity is the responsibility of the subsidiaries and Group Treasury. Liquidity requirements are forecasted on a weekly basis. Syngenta operates regional or country cash pools to allow efficient use of its liquidity reserves.
Interest Rate Risk
Syngenta is exposed to fluctuations in interest rates on its borrowings (including forecasted borrowings) and excess cash. While the majority of Syngenta’s borrowings have fixed interest rates, portions of Syngenta’s net borrowings, including its short-term commercial paper program and local borrowings, are subject to changes in short-term interest rates.
Syngenta monitors its interest rate exposures, analyzes the potential impact of interest rate movements on net interest expense and enters into derivative transactions with the objective to manage its interest rate risk within approved risk limits.
Capital Structure & Gearing
Absent major acquisitions, Syngenta targets maintaining a solid investment grade credit rating, as recognized by major third-party rating agencies, which it currently believes provides an optimal balance
between financial flexibility and the cost of capital. Syngenta manages capital by monitoring levels of net debt, as calculated below, and equity against targets. Capital is returned to shareholders primarily through dividend payments, with the aim of continuous dividend growth, complemented by tactical share repurchases.
The net debt to equity ratio was 24 percent at December 31, 2013 (19 percent at December 31, 2012).
||Full Year 2013
||Full Year 2012
|Cash Flow from Operating Activities/Net Debt
|Cash Flow from Operating Activities / Net Debt
(including Pension Deficit)
1Excluding Restructuring and Impairment
Legal Positioning of Syngenta’s Debt
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Syngenta Finance N.V.
Syngenta files accounts for Syngenta Finance N.V. with the London Stock Exchange and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM). Electronic copies are available using the links provided below.