press releases https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/press/rss.html press releases en <![CDATA[2016: Year of transition]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/press-release-annual-results-2016.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank’s transition got off to a good start in 2016. The bank’s strategy focuses on excellent customer service, improvement in the financial results, and a flexible and stronger balance sheet. Progress was made in all these areas. Customer satisfaction rose in all segments thanks to investments in digitalisation, organisational changes, and improvements in service provision. In 2016, as a cooperative bank, Rabobank reinforced its leading position in the Netherlands and successfully expanded its role in food & agri worldwide. The capital base was further strengthened, in line with the objectives. Thanks to a good operating result, the net profit amounted to EUR 2,024 million (-9%). The result came under substantial downward pressure from non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, an extra provision for compensating commercial customers with an interest rate derivatives contract, and an impairment on the stake in Achmea. The underlying operating profit before tax was EUR 4,090 million, (+14%). This is largely attributable to lower loan impairment charges and cost savings, while income levels were stable despite a low interest rate environment

  • The net profit amounted to EUR 2,024 million. All Rabobank businesses in the Dutch and international markets showed improvement in underlying results. The underlying operating profit before tax was EUR 4,090 million, 14% up on 2015 (EUR 3,592 million).
  • The decline in net interest income was limited despite reduction of the balance sheet and the low interest rate environment. Partly owing to the recovery of the Dutch economy, loan impairment charges fell sharply to EUR 310 million or 7 basis points, well below the long-year average.
  • The retail and commercial loan portfolios amounted to EUR 424 billion (EUR 425 billion in 2015). Amounts due to customers increased by EUR 10 billion to EUR 348 billion. Private savings rose by EUR 2 billion to EUR 142 billion despite additional repayments on residential mortgages.
  • Staff expenses fell by 6%, mainly due to a drop of 6,446 FTEs, bringing the total to 45,567 FTEs (internal and external employees). The intended reduction in staffing is proceeding quicker than planned. The cost/income ratio exclusive regulatory levies rose to 67.1%, partly due to non-recurring factors.
  • Rabobank aims to achieve a common equity tier 1 ratio of at least 14% in 2020 and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. Accordingly, Rabobank further reinforced its strong capital position in 2016. Solvency—measured as fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio—rose by 1.5 percentage points to 13.5%. The current (transitional) common equity tier 1 ratio is 14.0% (31-12-2015: 13.5%). The sale of Athlon had a beneficial effect of 0.4 percentage points. The (transitional) total capital ratio improved from 23.2% to 25.0%.
  • In January 2017, Rabobank issued new Rabobank Certificates for a nominal amount of EUR 1.5 billion to retail and institutional investors. This raised the pro-forma common equity tier 1 ratio by a further 0.8 percentage point. Rabobank is accelerating the realisation of its capital targets in anticipation of an expected increase in capital requirements.

“2016 was a year of transition for Rabobank. We’re making progress towards achieving our strategic objectives but we’re not there yet. The bank’s objectives are to achieve excellent customer service, improvement in the financial results, and a flexible and stronger balance sheet. In 2016, we achieved what we set out to do in all three areas. I am proud that, thanks to the enormous efforts of our employees, all businesses have generated improved results, both in the Netherlands and abroad, and that surveys among our 8.7 million customers show that customer satisfaction has risen. Customers in our Retail, Private banking, Commercial and Wholesale banking businesses in the Netherlands, and in the food & agri domain worldwide, are increasingly appreciative of our service provision. Based on the developments in 2016, we look to the future with confidence.”

“On 1 January 2016, our new cooperative structure came into effect, making us more customer-oriented and more effective. In the new governance model, the local banks have a maximum focus on serving our customers in the Netherlands. Where possible, we perform support functions centrally. We put intensive effort into this transition in 2016.”

“The improvements at the bank are proceeding at high speed and are continuing in 2017. This asks a great deal from our employees. Many of them are seeing their jobs disappear as a consequence of digitalisation of our services, and the implementation of much-needed improvements particularly in the back-office and support functions. Certainly in view of the heavy demands they face, we are extremely grateful to our employees for their efforts in what was a very intensive year.”

“In 2016 we took several new initiatives to improve our customer service and to innovate. A good example is the 'mortgage within a week’ service. Since 1 July 2016, we have offered interest-rate averaging to our mortgage customers. Our market share in the mortgage sector rose from 20% to 21%. Commercial customers whose funding needs are less than EUR 1 million have benefited from our service, which offers them clarity on their funding request within one day. We are developing a model for peer-to-peer lending through Rabo&Co, which matches private banking customers with SME customers.”

“For our Wholesale clients, we were able to play a leading role in many major food & agri and other transactions in the Netherlands and worldwide. We were recently named the Best Commodity Bank by Global Finance Magazine. 2016 was also an extremely successful year for the international Rural business, with extremely high customer satisfaction scores and growth in the loan portfolio. One of the highlights was the Farm to Fork event on innovation in food & agri. The event was a showcase for how the bank brings clients together and shares knowledge.”

“In sectors experiencing structural problems, such as glass horticulture, pig farming and the dairy industry, Rabobank has taken the lead in the search for solutions. We are taking responsibility, in partnership with the sector.”

“Rabobank seeks to reflect the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in its activities. From a broad sustainability perspective, the SDGs provide direction to the priorities for a sustainable society. In this respect, our Banking for Food activities are leading in the world, but our activities at local banks in the Netherlands and through Rabobank Foundation also make a contribution. We make both people and resources available to shape these activities. Our cooperative dividend, which is invested in projects determined by the Member Councils of the local banks, amounted to EUR 49 million.”

“We received many accolades for our efforts on sustainability in 2016. In the Dutch Transparency Benchmark, we earned joint first place in the financial institutions category. RobecoSAM puts Rabobank at number 7 in its worldwide ranking of over 100 international banks and gave us the maximum score for climate contribution. In 2016, Sustainalytics analysed 396 banks worldwide, ranking Rabobank number 1 for its positive impact on the environment. Our joint venture with FMO and Norfund underlines our deep commitment to sustainable growth and development in Africa and its local financial sector. Together we invest in African banks to stimulate growth. Also worthy of mention is our first green bond, which we issued in 2016 with a total value of EUR 500 million. We will invest the returns in sustainable energy projects, such as wind farms and solar panels. Our vision on Banking for the Netherlands and Banking for Food drive the agenda for our contribution to the SDGs.”

“2016 was a year of contrast for Rabobank in financial terms. We achieved good operational results, saw a sharp fall in the loan impairment charges as the economy picked up, and succeeded in bringing down costs. The result was tempered by, among other things, non-recurring items such as restructuring costs, extra provisions for compensating commercial customers with an interest rate derivatives contract, and an impairment on the stake in Achmea. We achieved a good underlying operating profit before tax of EUR 4,090 million, 14% up on 2015.”

“A strong capital base is one of the main pillars of Rabobank’s strategy. Our objective is to achieve a common equity tier 1 ratio of at least 14% in 2020 and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. In 2016, we once again reinforced our strong capital position, partly through the sale of Athlon. The recent issue of new Rabobank Certificates with a nominal amount of EUR 1.5 billion also impacts the fully loaded common equity tier 1 ratio, thereby accelerating the realisation of our target of at least 14% in anticipation of a possible increase in capital requirements.”

“In 2016, we took steps to reduce the balance sheet, including the sale of mortgage portfolios to investors and a more intense focus on core activities. We intend to take more of the loan portfolio off-balance and will continue to reduce the balance sheet in 2017.”

In 2017, economic growth will pick up, but at the same time, there is economic and political uncertainty around the world. In Europe, the consequences of Brexit and the outcome of elections in the Netherlands, Germany and France will be influential factors.

In 2017, Rabobank will continue to invest in customer service provision. We will give priority to our digital activities and innovation, in combination with our identity as a bank firmly anchored in local communities and always nearby. Outside the Netherlands, we will further capitalise on the growth potential in Rural Banking and through our continued focus on F&A, we will reinforce our leading position in the F&A chain for our Wholesale clients. Overall, the positive developments Rabobank experienced in 2016 give us confidence for 2017 and beyond.

Rabobank Press Office +31 (0)30 2162758 or pressoffice@rabobank.nl

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

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Press release Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:30:00 GMT 243462
<![CDATA[Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q1: China Imports to Determine Start of Seasonal Price Rise]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170203-pork-quarterly.html?utm_medium=RSS The level to which China imports pork after Chinese New Year will determine the start of the seasonal increase of the Rabobank Five-Nation Hog Price Index, according to the latest Rabobank Pork Quarterly report.

“A lower-than-expected decline in imports will support prices in key exporting countries, while exchange rates remain the other important variable influencing prices”, according to Albert Vernooij, Rabobank Animal Protein Analyst. “Prices will also be affected by the slow increase in global supply, supported by growing productivity and rising sow numbers.”
Highlights of the latest Rabobank Pork Quarterly for Q1 2017 include:
China: positive vibes to continue
Chinese pork prices will remain elevated, but likely slightly less so after Chinese New Year. The stabilising sow herd and rapidly rising productivity will not affect the market before summer, while the continuing impact of environmental policies on industry restructuring will limit expansion.
EU: positive prospects but wildcards remain
Pressured supply and continuing exports will support prices and margins in the EU. However, rising export dependency as a result of ongoing pressured domestic consumption increases the importance of a favourable exchange rate, given rising competition from the Americas.
US: rising supply increases industry challenge
The margin split in the US industry will continue in 1H 2017. Rising production will continue to pressure farmers’ margins, while demand—both for packing capacity and for pork—will support packers’ margins. However, trade developments and the impact of exchange rates will be the wildcards, especially for packers.
Brazil: export crucial for local prices in Q1
Continuing export growth will remain key for the Brazilian pork industry, given the expected 3% production increase and the expected slow recovery of domestic meat consumption. However, all signs point to a positive 2017.]]>
Press release Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:03:29 GMT 243307
<![CDATA[Rabobank excludes direct funding of natural gas exploitation beneath Wadden Sea]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/rabobank-excludes-funding-of-natural-gas-exploitation-beneath-wadden-sea.html?utm_medium=RSS Several mining companies have applied for a permit to extract natural gas below the Wadden Sea both on and off shore, despite the sea having been designated a UNECSO World Heritage Site in 2009. In response to a request by the Wadden Society (Waddenvereniging) to investors not to facilitate these efforts, Rabobank has decided not to fund the exploitation of natural gas below the Wadden Sea directly.

Residents of the Wadden Islands had expressed concern after four companies applied for permits from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2016 for gas drilling below the Wadden Sea. This drilling could cause subsidence of the sea bed in an area already affected by rising sea levels as a result of climate change. The Wadden Sea Society, dedicated to the preservation of the nature reserve, and local residents are anxious about the potential impact on the protected area, such as a decline in the environmental value of the area as a result of the deepening of the sea surface of the Wadden Sea. Rabobank adopts a precautionary approach to activities undertaken in vulnerable nature reserves and has therefore decided to exclude natural gas exploitation below the Wadden Sea from funding. This precautionary approach entails that the bank only provides loans towards initiatives in vulnerable areas if it has been demonstrated that the natural resources in these areas will not be undermined.

Arjan Berkhuysen, director of the Wadden Society: ‘We are pleased with this unequivocal decision by Rabobank: they have honoured our request to stop investing in companies involved in natural gas drilling in the Wadden area. In making this decision, Rabobank has also demonstrated that it takes the issue of sustainability and its presence in the Wadden region seriously. We hope that other banks and pension funds will follow suit. This decision has inspired us, in any case, to work with residents of the Wadden Area in making both politicians and investors aware that they too have a unique opportunity to preserve this unique conservation area.’

Rabobank Director of Sustainability Bas Rüter, commenting on the decision: ‘This decision is in line with recent refinements we have made to our climate policy. Effective today, this more stringent policy also specifically excludes the direct funding of coal mining, coal transport and coal-fired power plants. We have also decided to prioritise the trade in low-carbon fuels over the trade in fossil fuels, which release more carbon dioxins. The trade in these fossil fuels will gradually be reduced. Rabobank is actively looking for customers to work with us on accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy supply.’

Rabobank invests worldwide, together with her customers, in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as well as in large-scale wind and solar energy generation. In the Netherlands is investment in energy-efficient homes and office buildings. Rüter continued: ‘These initiatives are just a few examples of Rabobank’s continued efforts to contribute to achieving the climate targets set under the Paris Agreement. We are pleased to say these efforts have not gone unnoticed: Rabobank was ranked first in a listing of 100 banks in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2017 in terms of its climate footprint. That excellent result certainly provides an incentive for us to achieve our climate and sustainability goals.’

Other recent Rabobank initiatives:

  • Participant in the Transition Coalition during the Dutch Climate Summit, which called on the Dutch government to take some of the following initiatives:
    - Creating a climate act designed to achieve the targets under the Paris Climate Agreement by 2050, with concrete intermediate goals to be set in 2030 and 2040
    - Appointing a Minister for Economy, Climate and Energy, who would be responsible for coordinating policies
    - Designating an independent climate authority to create unity among the various parties and remind them of the importance of efficient and consistent implementation, as well as ensuring that the commitments made are honoured, irrespective of the government in power at that particular time
  • Rabobank joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on 1st January 2017, where it has been actively working on accelerating the funding of climate-smart agriculture (CSA).
  • Active contribution to the Kies voor Klimaat (“Choose Climate”) publicity campaign launched on Tuesday 24th January.
More information]]>
Press release Fri, 03 Feb 2017 09:00:00 GMT 243283
<![CDATA[Rabobank increases capital buffers by issuing EUR 1.5 billion new Rabobank Certificates]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170117-rabobank-certificates-result.html?utm_medium=RSS Further to the offering of newly issued Rabobank Certificates, announced on 11 January 2017, Rabobank announces that the nominal issued amount will be EUR 1.5 billion. As a result of the issuance, Rabobank has accelerated meeting its target Common Equity Tier 1 ratio (‘CET1’) of minimal 14% and anticipates on an expected increase in capital requirements.

Rabobank will issue 60 million new Rabobank Certificates. The price per newly issued Rabobank Certificate has been set at 108% of the nominal value of EUR 25. The total book of demand was 2.4 times oversubscribed on the back of demand by both institutional and retail investors.
 
Delivery and payment, as well as the commencement of trading of the newly issued Rabobank Certificates will take place on Tuesday 24 January 2017 at 09.00 a.m. CET. After the issuance, a total nominal amount of approximately EUR 7.4 billion in Rabobank Certificates (297,961,365 Rabobank Certificates) will be outstanding.
 
Rabobank Certificates are certificates of Participations which are issued by Rabobank (through Stichting AK Rabobank Certificaten). The Rabobank Certificates are perpetual instruments listed on Euronext Amsterdam.
 
Rabobank Certificates are the most deeply subordinated capital of Rabobank and qualify as CET1 capital. Distributions on the Rabobank Certificates are discretionary and based on the nominal value. As per the current payment policy, Rabobank intends to pay distributions equal to the yield on the most recent 10-year Dutch state loan + 1.5%-point annually with a minimum of 6.5% annually. The intended distributions are paid quarterly.
 
Information on the issue of Rabobank Certificates can be found at Rabobank.com/ir.
 
For more information:
Hendrik Jan Eijpe, Rabobank Press Office
+31 30 2130869 or hendrik-jan.eijpe@rabobank.nl 
  
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.
 
This press release is not for distribution, directly or indirectly in or into the United States. This press release is not an offer to sell Rabobank Certificates or the solicitation of any offer to buy Rabobank Certificates, nor shall there be any offer of Rabobank Certificates in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful.
 
This press release and the offering are only addressed to, and directed in Member States (other than the Netherlands) of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) at persons who are “Qualified Investors” within the meaning of Article 2(1)(e) of the Prospectus Directive (“Qualified Investors”). For these purposes, the expression “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended.
 
In addition, in the United Kingdom this press release is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, Qualified Investors (i) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the “Order”) and qualified investors falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order, and (ii) to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as “Relevant Persons”).
 
This press release must not be acted on or relied on (i) in the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom, and (ii) in any Member State of the EEA other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Qualified Investors. Any investment or investment activity to which this press release relates is available only to (a) Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and (b) Qualified Investors in member states of the EEA (other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).
 
Each prospective investor should proceed on the assumption that it must bear the economic risk of an investment in Rabobank Certificates. None of Rabobank or any of the banks involved with the offering make any representation as to (i) the suitability of the Rabobank Participations for any particular investor, (ii) the appropriate accounting treatment and potential tax consequences of investing in the Rabobank Participations or (iii) the future performance of the Rabobank Participations either in absolute terms or relative to competing investments.
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Press release Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:52:43 GMT 243078
<![CDATA[Seven banks plan blockchain platform to help European SMEs increase trade]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170116-banks-platform-dtc-blockchain.html?utm_medium=RSS A group of seven banks has agreed in principle to develop a ground-breaking shared platform that aims to make domestic and cross-border commerce easier for European small and medium-size (SME) businesses by harnessing the power of distributed ledger technology.

Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Société Générale and UniCredit signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels under which they intend to collaborate on the development and commercialization of a new product called Digital Trade Chain (DTC).

This product is based on a prototype trade finance and supply chain solution originated by KBC and tested to ‘Proof of Concept’ stage. DTC, which won the Efma Accenture Innovation Award for "best new product or service of 2016" in October, is intended to seamlessly connect the parties involved in a trade transaction (i.e. buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, seller’s bank and transporter), online and via mobile devices.

This new product will simplify trade finance processes for SMEs by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions. Larger companies use documentary credit as a way of reducing the risks involved in doing business, but documentary credit is not always suitable for SMEs or for companies that prefer open account solutions.
By maintaining secure records on a digital distributed ledger DTC will accelerate the order-to-settlement process and decrease administrative paperwork significantly. The platform’s end-to-end transparency will also give SMEs confidence to initiate trade with new partners in their home market or in other European markets.

By pooling expertise and resources the consortium members will jointly explore the development and launch of a scalable version of DTC. They will initially focus on building critical mass for DTC in seven European markets: Belgium and Luxembourg (KBC), France (Natixis, Société Générale), Germany (Deutsche Bank, UniCredit), Italy (UniCredit), the Netherlands (Rabobank) and the UK (HSBC).

 

Watch the demo of DTC

 

(This press release has been sent by Rabobank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Nataxis, Société Générale and UniCredit.)

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Press release Mon, 16 Jan 2017 15:10:17 GMT 243069
<![CDATA[Offering of new Rabobank Certificates to further increase capital buffers]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2017/20170111-rc.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank intends to increase its capital buffers. The bank is offering new Rabobank Certificates to retail and institutional investors to further strengthen and optimise its capital position. With this offering, Rabobank will accelerate the realisation of its targets in anticipation of an expected increase in capital requirements. The subscription period for retail investors opens today and closes on 16 January 2017 17:30h CET. A roadshow for institutional investors will take place in the coming days. The offered Rabobank Certificates may be issued at a discount to the current trading price. The minimum expected issue size is EUR 1 billion.

A strong capital base is one of the main pillars of Rabobank’s strategy. Therefore, Rabobank targets by 2020 a Common Equity Tier 1-ratio ("CET1") of at least 14% of its risk-weighted assets and a total capital ratio of at least 25%. As a result of the Rabobank Certificates offering and given an ongoing strong focus on CET1, total capital and loss absorbing capital, Rabobank has adjusted its target Additional Tier 1 layer to roughly 2% from 3.5% of its risk-weighted assets. This will further optimise the capital stack.
 
As the timing of the issuance is close to the publication of Rabobank’s annual results, Rabobank announces today that it expects that the group’s capital ratios at 31 December 2016 will be higher than the corresponding ratios as reported in the half year 2016 results. On 30 June 2016 the (transitional) CET1 ratio was 13.4% and the total capital ratio amounted to 23.5%.
 
Rabobank’s strong capital ratios are well above the current regulatory requirements and the intended issuance of Rabobank Certificates will further increase them. Rabobank also wants to inform investors that the result for the second half of 2016 will be negatively impacted by a non-cash impairment of Rabobank’s stake in Achmea of approximately EUR 700 million due to developments in the insurance sector. This impairment will be more than offset by a strong operational performance, low loan impairment charges and positive effects of the cost reduction programmes. Furthermore, this impairment has limited impact on the capital ratios.
 
Bas Brouwers, Chief Financial Officer: "Rabobank is traditionally one of the best capitalised banks in the world. The intended issuance will enable us to prudently manage our CET1 capital base in anticipation of the expected strengthening of regulatory requirements. In addition to the issuance, we will continue to reduce and optimise our balance sheet through the sale of loans to investors, develop lending opportunities which are less capital intensive and focus on our core business. This allows us to continue to serve our customers with mortgages and business loans and to keep on improving our performance in line with our ambition to be a leading customer-oriented cooperative bank in the Netherlands and in Food & Agri worldwide.”
 
Rabobank Certificates are certificates of Participations issued by Rabobank (through Stichting AK Rabobank Certificates). The Rabobank Certificates are perpetual instruments listed on Euronext Amsterdam and have a nominal value of EUR 25 each. The current total nominal amount outstanding is EUR 5.9 billion.
 
The Rabobank Certificates are the most subordinated capital instruments issued by Rabobank and qualify as CET1 capital. Distributions are fully discretionary. Rabobank currently intends to pay a distribution on the nominal value which equals to the effective return on the most recent 10-year Dutch state loan + 1.5%-point per annum with a minimum of 6.5% on an annual basis. The discretionary distribution is paid quarterly.
 
For this issuance, Rabobank has mandated an international syndicate of banks. In the Netherlands, Rabobank will act as Retail Coordinator and ABN Amro and ING will be involved in the retail offering.
Information on the issue of Rabobank Certificates can be found on www.rabobank.com/ir
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.
 
This press release is not for distribution, directly or indirectly in or into the United States. This press release is not an offer to sell Rabobank Certificates or the solicitation of any offer to buy Rabobank Certificates, nor shall there be any offer of Rabobank Certificates in any jurisdiction in which such offer or sale would be unlawful.
 
This press release and the offering are only addressed to, and directed in Member States (other than the Netherlands) of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”) at persons who are “Qualified Investors” within the meaning of Article 2(1)(e) of the Prospectus Directive (“Qualified Investors”). For these purposes, the expression “Prospectus Directive” means Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended.
 
In addition, in the United Kingdom this press release is being distributed only to, and is directed only at, Qualified Investors (i) who have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the “Order”) and qualified investors falling within Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order, and (ii) to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (all such persons together being referred to as “Relevant Persons”).
 
This press release must not be acted on or relied on (i) in the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom, and (ii) in any Member State of the EEA other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, by persons who are not Qualified Investors. Any investment or investment activity to which this press release relates is available only to (a) Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and will be engaged in only with Relevant Persons in the United Kingdom and (b) Qualified Investors in member states of the EEA (other than the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).
 
Each prospective investor should proceed on the assumption that it must bear the economic risk of an investment in Rabobank Certificates. None of Rabobank or any of the banks involved with the offering make any representation as to (i) the suitability of the Rabobank Participations for any particular investor, (ii) the appropriate accounting treatment and potential tax consequences of investing in the Rabobank Participations or (iii) the future performance of the Rabobank Participations either in absolute terms or relative to competing investments.
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Press release Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:45:00 GMT 242637
<![CDATA[FGH Bank completes sale of RNHB]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161229-FGH-RNHB-sale.html?utm_medium=RSS FGH Bank has completed the sale of the real estate financing activities of RNHB Hypotheekbank. RNHB Mortgage Bank is a label of FGH Bank NV, a fully owned subsidiary of Rabobank. RNHB Mortgage Bank has been sold to a consortium of investors including Vesting Finance.

RNHB has 60 employees, a credit portfolio of €1.7 billion and a customer database of more than 9 thousand loans.]]>
Press release Thu, 29 Dec 2016 11:30:00 GMT 241909
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q4 2016: Supply ‘Crunch’ Bites]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161222-rabobank-global-dairy-quarterly-q4-2016-supply-crunch-bites.html?utm_medium=RSS Milk supply from dairy export regions has fallen sharply, by 2.6m tonnes in 2H 2016, with milk volumes from Oceania and Europe severely challenged. In addition, domestic demand in the US and Europe continued to strengthen, negating the need for further stock growth and reducing volumes available for export by 4.5m tonnes in LME terms. As a result, global dairy prices have rocketed upwards, increasing by over 45% in 2H 2016.

Most of the domestic demand growth is for cheese and butter. Therefore, the spread in prices across the dairy complex stocks will remain wide, with demand for butterfat driving the market and surplus protein, including European stocks, weighing on the market, according to the Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q4 2016.

Kevin Bellamy, Rabobank Global Dairy Strategist, says: “Milk production around the world in 2H 2016 is in poor shape. Europe’s production has tightened—not only due to low prices, but also in response to the efforts of the European subsidies, which—if farmers deliver on their commitments—should remove a million tonnes of milk from the market. Meanwhile, we’ve seen poor production in Oceania, with New Zealand missing last year’s peak production levels by 6%.”

Other key highlights of the Rabobank Global Dairy Quarterly Q4 2016 include:

  • The current price rally has further upside to come, as milk supply growth across the export regions will take time, despite improving milk prices.
  • Prices across the dairy product matrix will diverge, driven by higher butterfat demand and surplus of protein stocks.
  • Significant recovery of production and volumes available for export will be delayed until 2H 2017, as the new Oceania season commences.
  • China will return to the international market, and we forecast imports to rise by 20%.

However, further strengthening of the US dollar, combined with rising commodity prices, will challenge demand from other key importing regions.

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Press release Thu, 22 Dec 2016 09:00:00 GMT 241873
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Supply-driven global meat markets to put pressure on prices]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/rabobank-supply-driven-global-meat-markets-to-put-pressure-on-prices.html?utm_medium=RSS Consumers are set to benefit from downward pressure on global meat prices during 2017, according to Rabobank, the leading food and agribusiness bank.

  • High supply and competitive market expected to push down current prices
  • China forecast to maintain record levels of pork imports into 2017
  • More complex production market forecast, with pressure to mitigate threats including concerns over antibiotic use and greenhouse gases

While global meat consumption continues to rise, a supply-driven and more competitive market will create challenges for producers, putting pressure on prices and margins, Rabobank forecasts. The predictions are included in its report Prices Under Pressure in a Supply-Driven Market: Global Outlook for Animal Protein in 2017.

Rabobank predicts that China will continue to exert a huge influence on global meat markets. The world’s most populous country increased pork imports to record levels in 2016 and Rabobank forecasts these import levels will remain constant next year. China’s beef and poultry imports are also expected to rise.

In the US, production is expected to continue growing, but consumers’ appetites are being tested as record levels are reached. The strong dollar and uncertainty over future trading relationships with China and Mexico create potential headwinds for American producers. The US is currently the world’s largest exporter of pork to China, excluding the EU.

Justin Sherrard, Rabobank’s global strategist – animal protein, said: “In a market driven by supply, we expect prices to come under pressure next year – a boon to consumers but a clear challenge for producers and processors.

“With rising demand, we forecast that China will maintain its 2016 record levels of pork imports next year and could increasingly seek something akin to ‘imports-plus’, locking in supply as it targets food safety and security for its growing population.

“Meanwhile, US producers head into 2017 grappling with the potential of changes to the country’s trade policy and further currency movements. Indeed, with worldwide currency fluctuations depending on political machinations as well as central bank decisions, we are becoming accustomed to expecting the unexpected.”

Elsewhere, Rabobank predicts an increasingly complex production market, making it more challenging for producers to exploit opportunities. They may come under additional pressure to adapt their systems to mitigate threats including the focus on antibiotics use, the attention on livestock as a source of greenhouse gases and growing retailer competition. Rabobank highlights that this complexity is creating new growth opportunities for the producers and processors that read the market well and respond swiftly.

They are likely to respond by strengthening supply chains, co-ordinating inputs and increasing transparency to improve traceability in supply chains, Rabobank says.

Justin Sherrard added: “The onus is very much on producers to mitigate the concerns of consumers, particularly around animal health and welfare issues, by adapting their production models and supply chains. This is a challenge which will continue to be a major theme in 2017.”

Rabobank’s Global Outlook for Animal Protein is produced annually, providing one of the most closely-watched forecasts for the coming year’s market prospects.

Here you can find the report.
In this video Justin Sherrard provides an explanation about the Rabobank Global Outlook for Animal Protein 2017.

For more information about the report, please contact:
Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist Animal Protein, Justin.Sherrard@Rabobank.com, Tel: +31 (0)30 7123182

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Press release Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:56:55 GMT 241798
<![CDATA[Rabobank Global Poultry Quarterly Q4 2016: Avian Influenza Concerns Rise Again]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/rabobank-global-poultry-quarterly-q4-2016-avian-influenza-concerns-rise-again.html?utm_medium=RSS The outlook for the global poultry industry in 2017, which is generally positive, is now being challenged by a new wave of avian influenza (AI) outbreaks. This is a most unwelcome development in a global market that was just recovering from the negative impact of the 2015 AI crisis.

New outbreaks—just at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere winter season, when risk is usually high—certainly have the potential to shake up global market conditions in 2017—both in meat trade and breeding stock trade. This adverse development comes at the same time the industry has started reporting better results, and given the favourable fundamentals. The industry currently has strong market balances in most regions and ongoing low costs, despite pressure from declining red meat prices.

The return of avian influenza (AI) is now shaking up global trade conditions and is especially affecting the outlook for Asia, Europe and Africa. It will also be a test for the US industry, after last year’s multiple AI outbreaks. As many European and Asian countries are exporters of meat and breeding stock, this will certainly impact the outlook for the industry, and could shake up meat and breeder trade again.

The rise of chicken concepts will lead to a more differentiated chicken market and also to changing supply and trade conditions. For example in the EU this will lead to increasing standard chicken production in Eastern Europe, with concepts becoming more important in Western Europe and the US.

The ongoing Chinese supply shortage will continue to affect global market conditions. Imports to China and Hong Kong are expected to remain high, benefiting countries that are allowed to export directly to China, while Chinese consumers will continue to face high prices for specific preferred products, such as feet and wings. The Industry is working on new strategic sourcing initiatives to alleviate some of this supply pressure.

Pressured global trade volumes are expected next year, given a continuation of high AI impacts and increasing trade protectionism. China’s import demand and the possibility of improved relations between the US and Russia are promising, but lower support for TTIP and TPP will have adverse impacts.

Nan-Dirk Mulder: nan-dirk.mulder@rabobank.com, Tel: +31 30 71 23822

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Press release Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:49:45 GMT 241797
<![CDATA[Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q4 2016: Supply-Driven Market Keeping Prices Low]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/rabobank-beef-quarterly-q4-2016-supply-driven-market-keeping-prices-low.html?utm_medium=RSS The global beef market heads into 2017 dominated by supply growth and soft global prices, according to the Rabobank Global Beef Quarterly Q4 2016. With US and Brazilian beef production forecast to increase by a further 3 percent in 2017, supply will continue to dominate. The capacity of the market to balance this growth in supply will rely heavily on the ability to stimulate demand, particularly in Asian nations.

According to Angus Gidley-Baird, Senior Analyst Animal Proteins: “Four key factors will influence the direction of the beef market in 2017: South American growth, space in the US market, China’s demand and South-East Asian demand. More recently, three events have also had an impact.”

US election result drives currencies. If the movements in the US dollar and Mexican peso following the US election are any indication of the future, growing US production will struggle to find relief in increased exports. At the same time, the growing Mexican beef industry could find new opportunities in the global market.

Future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership unlikely. Following the US elections, indications are that there will be no further progress on the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While there are missed opportunities for beef-trading nations that were in the TPP, it may create opportunities for China to promote its own regional trade agenda.

Dry conditions in Inner Mongolia and lower dairy prices have caused increased cattle slaughter in China. While pushing domestic cattle prices down, imports into China have remained competitive thanks to increased volumes from Brazil. The current higher levels of production are expected to be followed by lower production in 2017, further supporting demand for imports.

Cattle prices in most countries either fell or remained steady over the last three months, resulting in the Rabobank 7-Nation Index tracking down for the period August to November.

For more information about this publication please contact its author:
Angus Gidley-Baird: angus.gidley-baird@rabobank.com, Tel: +61 2 8115 4058

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Press release Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:00:00 GMT 241745
<![CDATA[Petri Hofsté and Pascal Visée appointed to Supervisory Board]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/2016-appointments-rvc.html?utm_medium=RSS The General Members Council of Rabobank has appointed Petri Hofsté (pending finalisation of the assessment by the ECB, De Nederlandsche Bank and the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets) and Pascal Visée as Members of the Supervisory Board. Petri Hofsté will be a member of the Audit Committee and the Cooperative Affairs Committee. Pascal Visée will be a member of the Risk Committee, the HR Committee and the Appointments Committee.

Petri Hofsté (1961) studied finance and accounting and has served as Supervisory Director at various companies since 2013. Petri Hofsté is a Member of the Supervisory Board of Achmea B.V. She is also a Member of the Supervisory Board of Kasbank N.V., Fugro B.V. and BNG Bank. In addition, she holds several auxilliary positions, including serving as a Member of the Advisory Board of the Amsterdam Institute of Finance and Member of the Board of Directors of the Nyenrode Foundation and of the Hendrick de Keyser Foundation. Prior to Petri Hofsté taking on the role of Supervisory Director, she worked in various positions at APG, De Nederlandsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, ABN AMRO and KPMG.
 
Pascal Visée (1961) studied business economics and Dutch law and is a chartered accountant. He joined Unilever in 1987 and held various international positions at the company for 26 years. Since 2013, Pascal Visée has served as an independent advisor in the field of business operations and technology. He has in this capacity worked with companies including Genpact Inc. and McKinsey & Company Inc. Pascal Visée is a Member of the Supervisory Board of Mediq B.V. and PLUS Retail B.V. He is also a Member of the Supervisory Board of Erasmus University, Member of the Board of Directors of the Albron Foundation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Prince Claus Fund.
 
Chairman of the Supervisory Board Ron Teerlink is pleased with the appointments: ‘The appointments of Petri Hofsté and Pascal Visée mean the Supervisory Board is now at full strength and has a balanced composition. The backgrounds of both Petri Hofsté and Pascal Visée are extremely valuable to Rabobank. I am looking forward to working with them.’
 
The Supervisory Board of Rabobank Nederland is comprised of Ron Teerlink (Chairman), Marjan Trompetter (Vice Chairman), Irene Asscher-Vonk, Leo Degle, Leo Graafsma, Petri Hofsté, Arian Kamp, Jan Nooitgedagt and Pascal Visée.]]>
Press release Wed, 14 Dec 2016 18:10:13 GMT 241756
<![CDATA[Rabobank starts registration of Covered Bond Programme]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161213-covered-bond-programme.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank has started the process to register its inaugural Covered Bond Programme with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Rabobank intends to incorporate covered bonds into its future funding mix. The programme will further diversify and optimize Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank.

An inaugural benchmark transaction could be contemplated in 2017 but timing will depend on market conditions and the overall funding needs of the bank. Furthermore, Rabobank requires DNB approval of the programme before it can decide to issue covered bonds.

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Press release Tue, 13 Dec 2016 08:30:00 GMT 241689
<![CDATA[Leading Dutch financial institutions embrace United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/leading-dutch-financial-institutions-embrace-united-nations-sustainable-development-goals.html?utm_medium=RSS Last year, the UN set out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, a set of 17 highly ambitious goals relating to climate, poverty, health care, education, and other challenges. Institutional and private investment capital is critically needed to help finance the $5-7 trillion that is needed each year to finance the 2030 Agenda.

Tomorrow, 18 Dutch financial institutions, which collectively manage over €2.8 trillion in assets, will invite the Dutch government and Central Bank to continue to make a concerted effort with them in support of the SDGs. The Initiative is the first in the world to bring together national pension funds, insurance firms, and banks around a shared SDG investment agenda. Board representatives of the Signatories will present their call for further cooperation and collective action to Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)’s conference in front of over 700 investors.

The consortium believes that it is not only of societal importance, but also in the interest of their investors and business relations, to consider the largest social and environmental challenges of our time in their work and investments. In their report ‘Building Highways to SDG Investing’, its signatories recommend priorities for maximizing ‘SDG investing’ (SDGI) – at home as well as abroad.

The SDGI agenda is a result of a six-month consultation process with more than 70 fellow investors, government representatives, and expert practitioners. In their report the signatories offer concrete ways in which to accelerate and scale investing in the SDGs. Further conversations will take place over the course of December, including a cross-sectoral stakeholder consultation at the Dutch Central Bank on the 14th of December.

The Signatories look forward to collectively build Dutch ‘SDG investment highways’ in the years ahead. Per Herman Mulder, co-facilitator of the SDGI Agenda: “In today’s tumultuous world, public-private action is ever more important as a driver for positive change. The 2030 Agenda offers not only a challenge, but also an opportunity to collectively do well by doing good.

For more information:

  • The report ‘Building Highways to SDG Investing’ will be released tomorrow at 10 AM on www.sdgi-nl.org
  • For questions, please contact Veerle Berbers – SDGI Communications
    +31 6 24236642 / Veerle.Berbers@c-change.io
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Press release Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:45:21 GMT 241303
<![CDATA[Rabobank data in EBA publication]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161202-transparency.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank notes the announcements made today by the European Banking Authority (EBA) regarding the information of the EU-wide Transparency Exercise 2016 and fulfilment of the EBA Board of Supervisors’ decision.

Background 2016 EU-wide Transparency Exercise
The Board of Supervisors of the EBA decided in its meeting of 20 of April 2016 to carry out a Transparency Exercise in 2016, which will be done onwards regularly with annual frequency. It will be published at the same time as the Risk Assessment Report (RAR). The annual transparency exercise will be based solely on COREP/FINREP data on the form and scope to assure a sufficient and appropriate level of information to market participants.
 
The templates were centrally filled in by the EBA and sent afterwards for verification by banks and supervisors. Banks had the chance to correct any errors detected and to resubmit correct data through the regular supervisory reporting channels.

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Press release Fri, 02 Dec 2016 22:02:09 GMT 241287
<![CDATA[Rabobank confirms ECB capital requirements 2017]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161202-SREP.html?utm_medium=RSS Rabobank has received notification of the ECB’s final decision concerning the own funds requirements that it has to meet as of 1 January 2017, following the results of the 2016 Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP).

The decision requires that Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. (“Rabobank”) maintains a total SREP Capital requirement of 9.75% on a consolidated and unconsolidated basis. The requirement consists of a 8% minimum own funds requirement and a 1.75% Pillar 2 requirement.
 
The total CET1 minimum requirement is 6.25% consisting of the minimum Pillar 1 requirement (4.5%) and the Pillar 2 requirement (1.75%). In addition, Rabobank should comply with the phasing in combined buffer requirements consisting of a Capital Conservation Buffer (1.25%) and a Systemic Risk Buffer imposed by the Dutch Central Bank (“DNB”) of 1.5% in 2017. This translates into an aggregate 9% CET1 requirement for 2017.
 
In the years 2018 and 2019 the CET1 requirement will increase, as both the Capital Conservation Buffer and the Systemic Risk Buffer requirements will be further phased-in (by 0.625%-point and 0.75%-point per annum respectively). This will result in an expected aggregate CET1 requirement of 11.75% in 2019.  Rabobank currently has a CET1 ratio target of at least 14%.
 
As from 2017 the Pillar 2 surcharge will be split by the ECB into the aforementioned Pillar 2 requirement and a Pillar 2 guidance. The 9% CET1 requirement excludes the Pillar 2 guidance, which is not disclosed. The Pillar 2 guidance is not relevant for the Maximum Distributable Amount (“MDA”). 
 
With a CET1 ratio of 13.4% as per 30 June 2016, Rabobank already complies with the requirements for 2017. The fully loaded CET1 ratio of Rabobank was 12.4% as per 30 June 2016. With a Tier 1 ratio of 16.8% and a Total Capital Ratio of 23.5% as per 30 June 2016 Rabobank also comfortably meets its total SREP capital requirements.
 
Requirement on an unconsolidated basis
The decision also requires that Rabobank maintains a CET1 ratio of 7.5% on an unconsolidated basis. This 7.5% capital requirement includes: the minimum Pillar 1 requirement (4.5%), the Pillar 2 requirement (1.75%) and the Capital Conservation Buffer (1.25%).  The unconsolidated CET1 ratio of Rabobank was 16.4% as at 30 June 2016.
 
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.]]>
Press release Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:58:52 GMT 241268
<![CDATA[Sale of Athlon to Daimler Financial Services finalized]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161201-athlon-finale.html?utm_medium=RSS DLL, a Rabobank subsidiary and global provider of asset-based financial solutions, confirmed the sale of its mobility solutions entity Athlon Car Lease International B.V. including all its subsidiaries to Daimler Financial Services, a division of Daimler AG.

The sale transaction, announced in July 2016 and valued at € 1.1 billion, recently received final approvals and consents from the necessary regulatory authorities. The company will continue to operate under the Athlon brand name, with the current offices of Athlon in Almere, The Netherlands, serving as headquarters for the newly integrated fleet management company.

“We now hand over our vehicle leasing business to a company that possesses all prerequisites to continue Athlon’s track record of success”, stated Bill Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of DLL. “This is the right step for Athlon and the right step for DLL, who can now wholly focus all of its resources, investments and innovation toward our core business of vendor finance, and create greater synergies with our parent, Rabobank.”

Wiebe Draijer, CEO of Rabobank, commented: “This sale represents a positive outcome for all parties.  Athlon now has the opportunity to grow under the leadership of Daimler Financial Services, and DLL will further sharpen its vendor finance focus and continue to fulfil an important strategic role in our overall product portfolio. The transaction will also improve the Common Equity Tier One (CET1) ratio of Rabobank by approximately 40 basis points, which is fully in line with our ambition to further strengthen our capital position.”

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Press release Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:57:00 GMT 241248
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Uncertain economic outlook calls for robust policy]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161130-outlook-2017.html?utm_medium=RSS Now that uncertainty looks set to only increase with the arrival of President Trump, it would be sensible for the government to address the structural weaknesses in our economy in the areas of pensions, the labour market, health care and the housing market. What are now hairline cracks could turn into gaping holes or worse if the economic situation deteriorates. Repairing these hairline cracks now would be an efficient way of avoiding this. This is the message from the Rabobank economists in their Outlook 2017 published today.

Traditionally, the Rabo economists present their forecasts for the coming year in the annual Outlook. The Dutch economy is expected to post growth of 2.0 per cent in 2016 and 1.8 per cent in 2017. Hans Stegeman, Chief Economist for the Netherlands at Rabobank: “The Dutch economy’s performance this year and next will be slightly better than the European average. This is due to factors such as the improvement in the housing market and the recovery in the labour market. But the Netherlands is still a small and open economy. The international uncertainties have only increased with the election of Donald Trump as US president, and therefore the uncertainty with respect to our forecasts for 2017 has increased as well.”

Three economic scenarios for the Netherlands
The high degree of uncertainty regarding the economy has led to the economists developing three potential scenarios for the Netherlands in the 2018-2023 period, which they have called Muddling Through, The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Deglobalisation. Stegeman: “With the Muddling Through scenario, the name says it all: there will be no visionary policy and the structural problems will not be addressed. Economic growth will average 1.4 per cent in the 2018-2023 period.
In the Fourth Industrial Revolution scenario, we will have underestimated the productivity gains from today’s technological developments and the Dutch and German governments will take measures to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, including a strong budgetary stimulus. Annual growth in the Netherlands will be 2.3 per cent and growth will pick up in the rest of the eurozone as well.

Finally we have the Deglobalisation scenario, in which the world becomes much more protectionist and there is little willingness to engage in international cooperation. World trade will slump, and annual economic growth in the Netherlands will be only 0.3%. The bandwidth of the scenarios appears to be wide, but the limited economic growth in the Deglobalisation scenario is still higher than the average seen in the Netherlands since the Great Financial Crisis.”

There are a number of bottlenecks in our economy to be deduced from these three scenarios. Stegeman: “The damage to the Dutch labour market in the scenarios is still acceptable. One important reason for this is of course the ageing of the population. But this does not mean that nothing needs to happen. Without policy action, the big difference between the self-employed and ‘permanent’ employees will indeed continue to be a problem. And in the Fourth Industrial Revolution scenario, this also means that people’s ability to adapt will be inadequate, so that some groups will likely face long-term unemployment.

Second, the development of disposable income is not favourable. Even in the Fourth Industrial Revolution  scenario there will be only a limited increase in purchasing power. This is entirely because we have structured our affairs in the Netherlands on a collective basis. Dutch households have relatively low freely disposable income, because firstly a significant amount of assets are locked up in property and pensions, and secondly because much of our spending, on health care for example, is funded collectively. In each scenario, making changes to the Dutch institutions associated with pensions, health care and home ownership would be a sensible move.”

Global economy to grow by 3 per cent in 2017
In the Outlook, the Rabo economists also look at the developments in the global economy and the financial markets. Elwin de Groot, Senior Market Economist at Rabobank: “The global economy is expected to grow at a rate of around three per cent in 2017. The election of Trump has increased uncertainty worldwide. Both his proposals for a protectionist trade policy and the geopolitical implications of his plans are raising the level of uncertainty. Europe is also entering a period of political uncertainty and faces serious challenges. The Chinese economy appears to be stabilising, but this country also has its bottlenecks.”

De Groot adds: “We think that the recent rise in capital markets interest rates is only temporary. The political uncertainty means that a strong rally by the euro against the dollar is unlikely. Lastly, we think that government bonds from countries such as Italy, Greece and Portugal will continue to be sensitive to political developments in Europe in 2017.”

 

The Outlook 2017 is available at www.rabobank.com/economics

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Press release Wed, 30 Nov 2016 08:00:00 GMT 241210
<![CDATA[Rabobank: Global food prices set to stay low in 2017]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/20161123-rabobank-global-food-prices-set-to-stay-low-in-2017.html?utm_medium=RSS Record-high stock levels are set to keep worldwide food prices low during 2017 even as inflation starts to rise in many developed economies, according to a major report from Rabobank, the leading global food and agribusiness bank.

  • High global stock levels expected to keep food prices low with ‘wildcard’ China potentially selling from huge reserves
  • Trump presidency brings currency uncertainty which will translate into volatile food prices, while elections in Europe add further unpredictability
  • Changing global demographics continue to underpin demand for meat, dairy and animal feed

Staple food commodities like wheat, corn and soybeans – a key part of livestock diets across the world – are being stored in record volumes, weighing on the prices which are expected to be paid to farmers next year.

In the Rabobank Global Outlook 2017 report, which looks at the prospects for 13 crucial food and agricultural commodities, Rabobank highlights the role of China in creating further uncertainty in the market. The world’s most populous country has huge stocks of many key commodities, with estimates suggesting it holds 60% of global cotton supplies, over half of corn, 40% of wheat and 21% of soybeans.

If China decides to begin selling some of these reserves, this could depress global prices for commodities including cotton, sugar, corn, soybeans and vegetable oil, according to Rabobank.

It expects US inflation to increase to around 2% during 2017, while prices are also expected to rise in the UK and, to a lower extent, the Eurozone. Even these small increases may be enough to attract attention later in 2017 to commodity index funds, which offer a hedge against inflation while agricultural prices remain low.

Stefan Vogel, Rabobank’s head of agri commodity markets and an author of the Rabobank Global Outlook 2017, said: “After three years of declining prices and extreme weather wrecking crops in many important agricultural regions, 2017 looks set to bring some much-needed stability to food prices. Nevertheless, record global stock levels mean prices are likely to remain stubbornly low – good news for consumers but less so for the world’s farmers. 

“Yet the most striking wildcard in this is China. Given the size of its population, its economic growth and its massive share of global agri commodity imports, it exerts a colossal influence on world food prices. And with huge stocks of many of the most important commodities – including corn, wheat and soybeans – any decision by China’s policymakers to begin selling down these reserves would have a profound effect on world markets as Chinese imports would decline.”

Elsewhere, Rabobank predicts that volatility in the global currency markets will move agricultural commodity prices during 2017, with the euro likely to depreciate as a result of French, Dutch and German elections during 2017. 

The potential impact of such currency fluctuations can be seen in the UK where the decline in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote in June has pushed up the price of food imports by as much as 16% while boosting agricultural exports. As a result British grain sales abroad are at their highest level for almost 20 years.

Following the election earlier this month of Donald Trump as president, Rabobank is cautious on the outlook for the US. During his campaign Trump suggested he may pursue protectionist economic policies. Such action could have wide-reaching effects on American imports and exports of commodities if trade agreements are revised.

In terms of individual commodities, coffee prices (currently 163.3 USc/lb) are expected to decline significantly, with an especially bearish outlook on arabica coffee, while robusta coffee prices are expected to be supported by a large production deficit. However, lower prices are unlikely to find their way through to consumers.

Rabobank predicts the ongoing shift of developing countries to more meat-based, Western-style diets, which will continue to drive consumption – and therefore support the prices – of soybeans (currently 1,020 USc/bushel) which play a major role in feeding livestock, pork (56.5 US$/cwt) and beef (108.7 US$/cwt). Dairy prices should also rise during 2017 as demand steadily increases, according to Rabobank.

Stefan Vogel added: “While farmers, consumers and commodity traders will all be keeping an eye on potentially volatile currency prices during 2017, overall the fundamentals remain strong. The global population is growing and prosperity is rising, fuelling the switch to more expensive, meat and dairy-rich diets. In our view global food prices should in the main hold up, even if farmers are braced for little or no commodity price growth during the year.”

First published in 2010, the Rabobank Global Outlook report looks closely at the prospects for the following year of 13 key food and agricultural commodities. Outlook sets out quarterly price forecasts with the ‘base case’ representing the most likely price trajectory in Rabobank’s view and ‘high’ and ‘low’ cases accounting for the risk factors driving volatility in the market.

NB: All commodity prices correct at 12PM GMT 22nd November 2016.

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Press release Wed, 23 Nov 2016 16:24:37 GMT 241039
<![CDATA[Rabobank: make sustainable palm oil the norm]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2016/rabobank-make-sustainable-palm-oil-the-norm.html?utm_medium=RSS There is both potential and urgency in the palm oil sector to achieve the transformation to sustainably produced palm oil. Rabobank would like to make an active contribution to this process, in conference with her customers. That is why Bas Rüter, Director of Sustainability at Rabobank, is presenting Rabobank’s vision ‘Make sustainable palm oil the norm’ to Lilianne Ploumen, Minister of Foreign Trade, in Jakarta today.

Palm oil is by far the most efficient oilseed crop per hectare. The demand for palm oil is expected to increase considerably in coming years (2014: 60 mill. tons -> 2020: 70-75 mill. tons). Worldwide, palm oil is an important food resource and the most commonly used vegetable oil. It is an ingredient found in 50% of all supermarket products. But the increased production of palm oil has also resulted in serious sustainability issues, such as the clearing of tropical rain forests and the loss of biodiversity.

Rabobank is an important player in the palm oil sector and would like to use its Banking for Food strategy to actively contribute to solving the sustainability challenges of this sector. That is why since 2004, in cooperation with customers, the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam Novib, the bank has been participating in a network of shareholders from the palm oil supply chain called the Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO aims to have the production of palm oil meet all social, economic and environmental criteria in order to ensure a sustainable sector.

The Rabobank’s more sharply defined vision ‘Make sustainable palm oil the norm’ will be on the agenda on Tuesday 22 November. “For Rabobank, the refinement and publication of our vision of the palm oil sector is our first visible interpretation of the agreement on international corporate social responsibility (CSR), which was signed last month. It enables us to utilise our position within the sector to persuade all players in the chain to work more sustainably,” explains Bas Rüter. The bank not only expects its customers to meet the minimum requirements of the RSPO, but also supports them in refining their ambitions beyond these requirements in order to protect the environment and foster the economic independence of small farmers. As part of the Dutch government’s trade mission, Lilianne Ploumen will be receiving Rabobank’s vision during the Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil on Tuesday, which will include all important shareholders from the Indonesian palm oil industry.

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Press release Tue, 22 Nov 2016 10:56:46 GMT 240972