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Funding strategy & Policies

Short-Term Liquidity

Two of Syngenta's 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. Latin America is another large market for Syngenta and sales and operating profit there is weighted towards the second half of the calendar year, reflecting the southern hemisphere planting and growing cycle. This seasonal operating activity results in seasonal working capital requirements.

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 and a $3 billion committed, revolving, multi-currency syndicated credit facility, which was amended, extended and increased following the change of control related to the ChemChina takeover in May 2017. The syndicated credit facility has an amount of $3.0 billion and expiry date in 2024.

The amount drawn under the syndicated credit facility at December 31, 2020 was $nil (2019: $nil). The average outstanding balance under the syndicated credit facility for the year 2020 was $126 million (2019: $32 million). The amount drawn under the Global Commercial Paper program at December 31, 2020 was $nil (2019: $878 million). The average outstanding balance under the Global Commercial Paper program for the year 2020 was $996 billion (2019: $1,292 million).

Although the Terms of the Global Commercial Paper Program allow the issuance of Index Linked Notes, where the amount of promised principal is contractually dependent on the performance of an index or a formula, Syngenta hereby notifies investors under this Commercial Paper Program that all Notes will be redeemed at par.

Long-Term Financing

Long-term capital employed is currently financed through unsecured notes and bonds issued in the US, European and Swiss debt capital markets, as well as unsecured notes issued 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 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, drawings under the syndicated credit facility and local borrowings, are subject to changes in short-term interest rates.

Syngenta monitors its interest rate exposures and analyzes the potential impact of interest rate movements on net interest expense. The risk management strategy involves ensuring an efficient fixed/floating mix of total debt within approved interest rate limits.

Capital Structure & Leverage

Capital structure

Syngenta targets maintaining an investment grade credit rating from two out of three specified rating agencies, as recognized by major third-party rating agencies, which it currently believes provides an optimal balance between financial flexibility and the cost of capital. At December 31, 2020, Syngenta’s credit ratings were as follows: Standard & Poor's Rating Services BBB-/A-3; Moody's Investors' Services Limited Ba2/NP; and Fitch Ratings Ltd BBB/F3.

Syngenta manages capital by monitoring levels of net debt, as calculated below, and equity against targets. Syngenta defines net debt as excluding financing-related derivatives and related collateral paid and received under Credit Support Annex (CSA) agreements as these balances offset each other. Capital is returned to the shareholder primarily through dividend payments.

Leverage

The net debt to EBITDA ratio was 3.0x at December 31, 2020 (2.9x at December 31, 2019).

Key Ratios

  Full Year 2020 Full Year 2019
Cash Flow from Operations Activities / Net Debt 26% 11%
Cash Flow from Operating Activities / Net Debt
(including Pension Deficit)
24% 10%
Net Debt / EBITDA1, 2 300% 293%
Net Debt / Equity 178% 172%
  1. Earnings before interest, tax, non-controlling interests, depreciation, amortization, restructuring and impairment
  2. EBITDA excluding capitalized development costs

Legal Positioning of Syngenta's Debt

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Syngenta Finance N.V.

Syngenta files accounts for Syngenta Finance N.V. with the Netherlands ity for the Financial Markets (AFM). Electronic copies are available using the links provided below.

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2020 Results Syngenta Finance NV
2019 Results Syngenta Finance NV Read more
2018 Results Syngenta Finance NV Read more
2017 Results Syngenta Finance NV Read more

Syngenta Finance AG

Title Download
2020 Results Syngenta Finance AG
2019 Results Syngenta Finance AG
2018 Results Syngenta Finance AG Read more
Contact Investor Relations

Christian Iaconucci
Switzerland +41 61 323 2323
Fax: +41 61 323 2424
USA+1 202 628 2372
global.investor_relations @hjasj.com