Sculpting Fundamentals and Non-Constant Interest Rates

This page introduces sculpting in the situation where the DSCR and future cash flow drives the size of the debt in project finance. The models and videos on basic sculpting demonstrate that efficiently evaluating project finance debt structuring issues like sculpting with a changing interest rates should involve first and foremost understanding a few mathematical equations. This page introduces structuring and sculpting through addressing fundamentals of sculpting in the case where the DSCR drives debt and there are no taxes.

There are a couple of key files where I put the financial formulas, modelling examples and the VBA code for cases where you run into circular references.  You can file these file on the google drive in the Project Finance Section under exercises and then Section D for the Sculpting course.  The files are available for download by pressing the button below.  The second file includes a function for determining the pattern of DSCR’s that achieve a target average loan life if the debt to capital constraint drives the size of the debt (sorry that this sounds like a foreign language).

Fundamental Case with No Taxes, No DSRA, No LC Fees, No Debt to Capital Constraint, a Single Debt Issue and Constant Interest Rates

If you have not put sculpting in one of your models, or you have forced sculpting with some kind of solver equation or goal seek equation, you should work through an exercise using the following two equations,

Compute target debt service as : DS = CFADS/DSCR

Compute debt as NPV of the target debt service using the interest rate.

Alternatively compute the NPV by working in two steps.  The first step is to compute the compound interest factor.  To do this, begin with 1.0 and then add the interest rate to this factor — 1.0 x (1+interest rate)

When you compute the interest rate factor, begin the compounding at the commercial operation date and adjust the formula above — prior factor x (1+interest rate x operating flag)

To compute the NPV of debt service, use the SUMPRODUCT as follows — NPV = SUMPRODUCT(Debt Service/Compound Factor).  Note that you can use the divide sign in the SUMPRODUCT function.

The screenshot below demonstrates how you can work through the sculpting and structuring issues.  In this case you should create a debt switch (if you want to be fancy and call it a mask, you can but I have no idea why you call the true and false switch a mask).  Then the debt service is the CFADS divided by the DSCR multiplied by the switch.  The closing balance in the loan schedule is the present value of the debt service and the repayment is the target debt service minus the interest expense. The video below walks through the fundamental sculpting equations. The video is designed so that you can fill in the blanks in yellow by yourself as discussed above.  This is the easiest case and it is the base for much more complicated situations that deal with debt to capital constraints, DSRA movements, L/C fees etc.

Sculpting Exercise 2: Non-Constant Interest Rates

Some term sheets include step-up credit spreads. Others allow a portion of the interest rate to be un-hedged.  In these cases, the first thing I hope you think about and understand is why structures such as a step-up structure occur.  What is generally happening is a strong incentive to re-finance. It is probably absurd for you to leave the step-up credit spread in the base case scenario.

In cases when the interest rate changes, a simple present value formula cannot be used. Instead, an interest rate index can be created that accounts for prior interest rate changes as follows:

Interest Rate Indext = Interest Rate Indext-1 x (1+Interest Ratet)

Debt Amount at COD = ∑ CFADSt/Interest Rate Indext

The video below walks through how to create an interest rate index and then use the SUMPRODUCT function to multiply the index by the target debt service.  You can use the SUMPRODUCT with a divide sign which is very helpful — SUMPRODUCT(Debt Service/Compound Factor). Note that you cannot use a discounting factor that separately values the debt service.  In general when discounting cash flows with different rates you should compute some kind of compounding factor.  To see this think about inflation Zimbabue.  You cannot discount a future cash flow without considering what happened to the currency in the past.

Further Information and Learning: Request Resource Library (Free), Find Details About In-Person Courses, Make Suggestions on Course Subjects and Locations

The reason I have worked on this website is so that you consider an in-person class which is by far the best way you can become a top project finance analyst.  If you click on the button below, you will be forwarded to a website that describes some of unique courses.

If you click on the right button you can quickly send an e-mail to edwardbodmer@gmail.com and request the resource library (no charge).  The google drives include more case studies, financial models, risk analysis files and other materials than are included on the website. I promise not to pester you if you do send me an e-mail.

I would really like to know what courses may be most interesting to you and where you would like the courses to be held. If you click on the left button below, I have a form that I will use to try and put together a class with a few people.

If you are a student, I would be honoured to come to your university or your business club and give you a hands-on guest lecture. If you click on the button on the left below, you can do me a big favor by giving me some information about your institution.