Traxia, the first crypto project to be built on top of the Cardano blockchain, has been listed on the KuCoin exchange.
Traxia – a ‘decentralized global trade finance ecosystem’ which aims to create a open marketplace for users and businesses to exchange invoices as short-term assets using Cardano’s smart contract technology – has launched following an initial coin offering that raised $15.1 million. The platform, developed by LiqEase, is scheduled to fully integrate with the Cardano platform by the end of this year.
Ethiopia’s Ayka Addis Textile & Investment Group, which has reported massive losses for the past four years, is to receive a pre-shipment credit from Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE). The company owes DBE ETB2.3 billion ($82 million) in project debt and working capital credit. DBE’s management had taken a strict credit stand against the borrower citing its outstanding loan, repayment history and loan portfolio, but the DBE board has opted to extend assistance to enable Ayka to continue importing and exporting.
Standard Chartered’s unique supply chain finance solution offers a win-win for both buyers and suppliers. By Michael Sugirin, Head of Open Account and Trade Implementation, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered.
FCI members have unanimously voted to make Shariah compliant factoring a part of FCI’s group of supported business finance solutions. Changes to the general rules of international factoring will now ensure that this branch of factoring is facilitated within the FCI member network, allowing support for this type of business on a fully cross-border basis.
IFC and Dalus Capital are providing a $10 million capital investment to eFactor Network, a Mexican fintech company specialized in factoring and working capital. Through a multifunding and multicurrency electronic factoring marketplace, eFactor Network allows the connection between large buyers, suppliers and financial institutions (banking and non-banking) to optimise working capital by realising electronic discounts in real time. Proceeds from the capital injection will be used to develop new financial products for SMEs.
Regulation tech start-up kompany and Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) have signed a contract for the development and implementation of a group-wide next-generation business KYC solution. The KYC solution, which is nearing the implementation phaser, was developed by integrating multiple services into a cloud-based platform, thus streamlining the compliance steps in accordance with RBI’s structure and business demands. RBI customers will benefit from several new value-added functionalities such as real-time, automated and cross-border commercial register checks.
Amber Road has integrated Dow Jones Risk & Compliance’s Sanctions Ownership Research (SOR) list into its Global Knowledge database. The database helps automate RPS processes and vets customers, suppliers and other trading partners against 600-plus restricted and sanctioned party lists sourced from government institutions worldwide.
Timelio, an Australia-based online marketplace for invoice and supply chain finance, has surpassed $250 million in invoice funding. The group aims to improve cash flow for businesses and enable them to get paid immediately without waiting up to 90 days for customers to pay.
Customer non-payment continues to hamper the growth of small subcontractors working in the UK construction sector, according to a study by Bibby Financial Services (BFS) and The Vinden Partnership.
Sixty per cent of subcontractors have suffered from bad debt in the past 12 months, with the average firm writing-off £16,149 each year, the research - undertaken in the aftermath of the collapse of Carillion - found. Seventeen per cent said the most common reason for not receiving the full amount billed was due to a customer going out of business.
Specialist Finance Director at BFS, Kash Ahmad, said: "Bad debt is a serious issue for many construction businesses and, across the entire sector, more than £2.8 billion is written-off each year, representing a significant economic leakage."
Mumbai-based supply chain finance start-up CredAble has raised Rs 100 crore in series A funding from Alpha Capital. Of this, Rs 25 crore comes in equity and the rest is debt funding. The funds will be used to scale up operations and technology, as well as onward lending. The company has also applied for a non-banking financial corporation license and is expecting to get it within a month.
Bank of China's Luxembourg branch has signed a $1.05 billion (€890 million) syndicated loan with a group of ten international banks. The facility is to be used for general corporate purposes. The deal pays a margin of 55 bps p.a. above USD LIBOR and has a bullet maturity with a two-year tenor, extendable by a further year. The deal was led by Wells Fargo Bank, London Branch, as sole co-ordinator and documentation agent, with ING Bank, London Branch being appointed to be facility agent.
Scorpio Bulkers has received a commitment for a loan facility of up to $30 million from ING Bank to refinance two of the company's Kamsarmax bulk carriers, SBI Zumba and SBI Parapara.
The loan facility has a final maturity date of five years from drawdown date and bears interest at Libor plus a margin of 2.20% per annum. This loan facility increases the company’s liquidity by about $8 million after repayment of the vessels' existing debt.
Vinay Mendonca, the global head of product and propositions for global trade and receivables finance at HSBC, has warned that 'digital islands' could inhibit blockchain trade.
He said in the best case, blockchains and other digital platforms should do for the global value chain what shipping containers did for the physical transportation of goods. Just as the standardized dimensions of containers allowed them to move around the world easily from ship to rail to truck, DLT with data standards and interoperability ought to create seamless flows of value. But without such standards, trade finance could end up on "digital islands", or silos disconnected from each other, he said.
Fourteen banks responsible for about half of India's internal trade have joined a consortium that aims to introduce blockchain technology in order to speed up processes and reduce hurdles to approving new loans.
The banks have signed up for the India Trade Connect consortium, which hired the Bengaluru-based software firm Infosys, to develop a blockchain platform for loans that back trade transactions within India.
Alternative lender BlueVine has secured $60 million in equity funding from Menlo Ventures. BlueVine said it will use the funds to expand its invoice factoring and business line of credit products, as well as to explore new products for small and medium-sized enterprise borrowers.
Large UK firms are using "supply chain bullying" to "squeeze their suppliers, delaying payments to improve their own cash flow", Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), wrote in a letter to the companies.
Cherry's letter called on companies to "personally shine a light" on how they pay suppliers, and to report on payment terms. The FSB has said that about 80% of members have reported being paid late, and a third of the membership said that payment terms had "deteriorated" over the past two years. Just 4% had reported improvement. A third of all payments are late and roughly 50,000 firms have failed each year, at least partially due to poor payment timeframes.
Spend management cloud provider Ivalua has announced the findings of a worldwide study of supply chain, procurement and finance business leaders, revealing that 55% of organizations are set to make a major investment in artificial intelligence over the next two years.
A further 25% also plan to make a minor investment in AI to determine its potential ROI over the next two years. The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Ivalua, revealed that finance, supply chain and procurement business leaders believe that one of the biggest challenges to adopting AI is the poor quality of enterprise data.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (59%) said that poor data quality will make it impossible for AI to make accurate and informed decisions, undermining their ability to get value from any AI investment.
ING is working with Yolt, which it owns, and British fintech firm Funding Options on bringing new features to customers across Europe. The lender is launching a marketplace for small and medium-sized enterprise financing in the Netherlands, which will open to other external financing providers, becoming the first Dutch bank in doing so.
ING is also expanding its money management capabilities offered to consumers with the launch of Yolt in France and Italy.
As we move more and more into a digital and smart supply chain, initiatives to enable early pay for a broader segment of a company's suppliers is increasingly becoming a reality.
Key trends include managing multiple solutions - more companies are starting to take a wider integrated approach when it comes different early pay programs; and how from self-funding to hybrid models - the role of funding early pay programs is changing.
Marsh has launched the Aircraft Finance Insurance Consortium, a non-payment insurance product designed for banks and capital market investors that are funding new aircraft purchases from Boeing.
AFIC provides an alternative aircraft finance insurance product for new aircraft deliveries and is underwritten by Allianz, AXIS Capital, Sompo International, and Fidelis.
BPL Global has set up a branch office in Geneva via its French subsidiary BPL S.A. Philippine de Villèle joins from UBS to head the office. The branch will focus on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients.
Villèle previously spent two years from 2011 in BPL Global's Paris office, working with commodity traders and key French banking clients on trade, structured, project and export finance. She rejoins from UBS, where she was head of its CPRI team within its Commodity Trade Finance department for five years.
London-based international payments company Moorwand has become the first fintech to offer its services to payment innovators through Open Payments Cloud. OPC enables users to connect the fintech services they need, such as issuing, processing and KYC, through a single platform.
NatWest is looking for businesses to take part in the trial of a new system to help cut costs, improve productivity and boost cash flow. NatWest APtimise brings together invoice automation and intelligent payments in one cloud solution.
NatWest claims a small and medium-sized enterprise typically receiving 100 invoices a month will spend more than 20 hours manually keying invoices, matching them to purchase orders, responding to supplier queries, scheduling, approving and executing payments. APtimise cuts the time by more than half, it says.
The Kuwait Finance House has joined Ripple Net for international remittance payments. It is not known if the bank will use Ripple’s xCurrent, which allows settlements in fiat currency, or Ripple’s xRapid, which uses XRP for liquidity.
Dianrong, an online marketplace lending group in China, and R3 have announced Dianrong's next version of its supply chain finance solution will be made available on Corda, R3's blockchain platform for finance and business. Dianrong and R3 are now working to integrate Dianrong's established supply chain finance solution onto Corda.
Asia Pacific exporters fear turnover will decline due to the increase in US protectionist measures and their potential for triggering a trade war with the region, according to research by Atradius. Forty-five per cent of the exporters surveyed in the region expect their turnover to decline 10% to 20% due to uncertainty over and changes in trade agreements. Suppliers focusing on domestic trade, on the contrary, consider the introduction of international trade barriers to be a business growth opportunity.
Atradius' Payment Practices Barometer for Asia Pacific - May 2018 - available here - also revealed that payment duration increased from 55 days in 2017 to 57 days in 2018. All Asia Pacific countries surveyed, except for China and Singapore, have experienced an increase in payment duration over the past year.
In the context of international trade, vessel tracking - through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) - can be used to identify those seeking to evade sanctions. Several regulatory bodies have documented guidelines specifying that vessel tracking should form part of a bank's approach to compliance in trade finance, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority and the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB).
For a bank or financial institution providing trade finance, the use of AIS software is increasingly becoming a key component of their compliance arsenal, enabling them to avoid inadvertently breaching sanctions.
Peter Mulroy, Secretary General of FCI spoke to Katharine Morton at the ICC banking commission annual meeting in Miami about how trust is helping factoring move beyond the ‘wild west syndrome’ and how transparency is vital for building trust in the future of reverse factoring
Jason Oakley, the former MD of Metro Bank, is readying his new small and medium-sized enterprise challenger bank to enter the UK market. The new entity will be called Recognise and aims to be trading under restriction by the middle of next year.
Money transfer operators InstaReM and BeeTech are to open up a new payments corridor between South East Asia and Latin America using Ripple's instant payment rails. The agreement will enable customers of the Singapore-based operator to send real-time payments into South America. BeeTech users will benefit from instant pay out services via xVia into the 60 markets across the world that InstaReM supports.
Ant Financial, the financial services spin-off of e-commerce group Alibaba, has has signed its third deal this month as a strategic technology supplier to the Chinese banking industry.
The agreement with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPD Bank) follows partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank.
Ant Financial and SPD Bank will partner in online risk management, including fraud prevention, with the former providing technological support to help the latter prevent loan, transaction and marketing fraud. The partnership will also leverage Ant's financial-grade technologies in AI, supply chain finance, biometric identification and risk management.
ABN AMRO has appointed Christian Nolting and Nicolay Kuhnle as Directors in its Global Transportation & Logistics Asia-Pacific team. They will be based in Singapore and support Asia-Pacific Head of Transportation & Logistics Darryl Tan in expanding the bank's coverage, particularly with clients in its shipping segment.
Nolting joins ABN AMRO from NORD/LB, where he was Deputy Head of Ship Finance for Asia Pacific. Nicolay joins the Asia Pacific team from ABN AMRO's Transportation & Logistics office in Oslo, Norway, where he was involved in several milestone transactions with shipping and offshore clients.
French bank Natixis has joined the trade finance network Marco Polo, a joint undertaking with enterprise software firm R3, fintech firm TradeIX, and a network of financial institutions including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, and Standard Chartered.
Danish supply chain finance group Tradeshift has closed a $250 million Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board.
HSBC, H14, GP Bullhound, and Gray Swan, a new venture company established by Tradeshift’s founders, joined the round which brings Tradeshift’s total funding to more than $400 million and gives it a $1.1 billion valuation.
Juan Pablo Cuevas has joined cross-border payments fintech group Earthport as its Latin America and the Caribbean Executive. He joins from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was Managing Director, Trade and Supply Chain Executive.
Cross-border B2B payments provider TransferMate has launched Global Receivables, a new solution for businesses to bill and collect overseas payments from thousands of customers in seconds.
The Republic of Ireland-headquartered group said the solution was particularly suited to businesses with significant volumes of receivables in foreign currencies.
US senators have debuted a bill that seeks to quicken payments to smaller businesses from the Department of Defense.
Under the terms of legislation, the DoD would be required to pay smaller contractors, as well as larger firms that deploy small contractors, within 15 days - quicker than the current terms of 30 days.
Swiss aviation company Swissport is seeking to tap blockchain technology to enhance the efficiency of its operations. The airport ground and cargo handling services provider is launching a blockchain pilot with Olam, a not-for-profit foundation aimed at developing an open-source platform for supply chain partners.
Fidelity Bank Ghana is boosting its support of the country's small and medium-sized enterprises through new products, specialized services, as well as financial and technical assistance.
The plans were revealed at the bank's SME summit in Accra, which was held so the businesses could interact and share ideas, as well as find out how the bank can lend more assistance to its SME clients.
We know data driven finance can drive up business advance rates for all types of event financing - starting from purchase orders and raw material buys, to inventory to finally receivables. Factoring, for example, is traditionally financing 75% to 90% of invoice value, while many forms of approved invoice finance do either 100% less interest or a percentage off invoice value (ie, 1% to 3%)
The movement to bring real time data to lending continues, and while everyone wants to issue the next ICO coin, there are some exciting and quiet developments to help businesses access cash when and where needed.
Digital financial technology group Wirecard is expanding its ecosystem of value-added services by now offering loans via its platform to existing B2B customers. The credit assessment and decision system is directly integrated into Wirecard's digital payment infrastructure. An Artificial Intelligence (AI) based data analysis system, which uses data from long-term business relationships in the area of payment processing, can be used for real-time evaluation.
SME lender Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has applied for an Irish licence to operate a foreign exchange (FX) service, with a view to passporting from the country into the rest of the European Union.
BFS has operated in Ireland since 2006. Its UK-based parent originally emerged from Britain's Bibby Line shipping group, and much of its focus in the 16 countries where it operates includes import/export services.
The financial services arm is based in the UK but is now looking to tap its Irish unit to counteract the potential impact of Brexit.
Trade asset distribution platform Tradeteq has released a white paper aimed at demonstrating how machine learning, combined with broader data collection, can improve access to trade finance for SMEs.
The paper states that traditional models - such as the Altman Z-score - use a 'linear discriminant' analysis, which is based on several accounting indicators. This presents a number of issues for SMEs - including focusing on a small number of accounting entries while ignoring valuable non-accounting information. Being based on accounting data filed on an annual basis, traditional scoring also lacks timely information.
The paper argues that a good predictive credit model for trade finance lending should accommodate varying data availability across companies to increase the depth of datasets, leverage a broad set of available and emerging data sources, and utilise trade network data, including common clients, suppliers, or bank relationships, to spot irregularities and predict credit risk.
Have you ever wondered how Chinese companies finance domestic trade? Alvin Shen, CEO and managing partner of Broader Way Group, explains what at first glance may seem an opaque tool, Banker Acceptance Drafts (BADs), and how they are evolving.
Business management firm Sage is partnering with PayPal to make payment acceptance easier for small and medium-sized enterprises. Sage is integrating PayPal into its platform, enabling companies using Sage 50cloud to pay invoices with PayPal. Companies can also begin accepting payments from their business customers that pay with PayPal by creating a PayPal business account.
The Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) has published proposed revisions to two of the sectors of its guidance on anti-money laundering (AML) and the financing of terrorism for the UK financial services industry. The proposed revisions, are to the asset finance and syndicated lending sectors.
Commerzbank has traded an FX forward with German industrial group thyssenkrupp in which the pilot transaction was instantaneously replicated in a blockchain. The EUR/PLN FX forward deal, which amounted to €500,000 with a one month tenor, was initiated by thyssenkrupp using FX Live Trader, Commerzbank's FX trading platform.
IDB Invest, the private arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, has signed an unsecured loan of $10 million with a term of up to four years with Factotal. The funds will be used to finance Chilean small and medium-sized enterprises through factoring and financial leasing.
Whether you’re an insurance buyer, provider or simply looking to learn more about political risk and trade credit insurance as a risk management tool, this event is a unique opportunity to network with senior decision makers and discuss the key issues impacting the private insurance industry.
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