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Year in review: Trade & supply chain finance
Year in review: Trade & supply chain finance
Hesham Zakai
22 December 2016

Hesham Zakai, TXF’s head of content, picks his favourite trade & supply chain finance stories of 2016.

Year in review: Commodity finance
Year in review: Commodity finance
Jonathan Bell
21 December 2016

Jonathan Bell, TXF’s editor-in-chief, picks his favourite commodity finance stories of 2016.

Banks must ‘jump in’ to digital payments innovations
Banks must ‘jump in’ to digital payments innovations
Helen Reid
10 August 2016

In a world fast moving towards digitalisation, banks are working to adapt the infrastructure of cross-border payments. Partnering with IT players, banks and fintechs can play to their strengths and together construct the payments systems of tomorrow.

The long and winding road to digital trade finance documents
The long and winding road to digital trade finance documents
Helen Reid
8 August 2016

Awareness about digitisation of trade finance documents still has a way to go in order for mass adoption to be achieved, as the paperless trade technologies battle against legacy systems. TXF discusses with essDocs the obstacles and ambitions of the growing digital trade finance documentation sector, and how SWIFT’s Bank Payment Obligation might be regaining credence.

Sustainable supply chain management gaining momentum
Sustainable supply chain management gaining momentum
Helen Reid
5 August 2016

Olam’s acquisition of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)’s cocoa business provides the perfect opportunity to investigate the trader’s track record for sustainable cocoa and palm oil, its particular supply chain management technique, and the way the industry is moving towards ever greater monitoring of sustainable practices.

Trade credit insurers face 'triple whammy' of risks
Trade credit insurers face 'triple whammy' of risks
Helen Reid
2 August 2016

Trade credit insurance is reeling from the shocks affecting the global economy, recent reports from leading insurers show. World corporate risk has reached a peak, says a Coface report, and Euler Hermes reported increased claims from American companies.

Mobile money revolutionising micro trade finance
Mobile money revolutionising micro trade finance
Helen Reid
29 July 2016

The advent of mobile banking to the unbanked in Africa and other emerging markets is not only transforming personal finance but also trade and supply chain finance. changing the relationship of small traders to trade finance.

Project finance faces up to Brexit uncertainties
Project finance faces up to Brexit uncertainties
Helen Reid
29 July 2016

Project finance looked set to be shook by Brexit, but with a market currently flush with liquidity, and the likelihood of a continued relationship with the European Investment Bank, the sector may not be hit as hard as predicted. However, questions remain over how large UK projects will develop.

Castleton cements super-trader status with $3.3 billion loan
Castleton cements super-trader status with $3.3 billion loan
Helen Reid
26 July 2016

Castleton Commodities International has closed a $3.3 billion trade loan refinancing its huge 2015 facility, which marked its expansion into global oil trading. The energy and metals trading company secured a lower margin on the loan and included new Asian lenders, consolidating its position as a super trader.

TXF awarded ‘Best Trade Finance Journal’ by TFG
TXF awarded ‘Best Trade Finance Journal’ by TFG
Helen Reid
26 July 2016

Trade & Export Finance News (TXF) has been named best trade finance journal by Trade Finance Global (TFG) in its annual product awards for excellence, which recognise companies innovating in the trade finance sector.

Is Blockchain the new space race?
Is Blockchain the new space race?
Helen Reid
26 July 2016

The creation of Chinese and Russian blockchain consortiums to match the New York-based R3CEV consortium evokes a Cold War space race in the financial technology sector. The new consortiums are a healthy sign of worldwide interest in distributed ledger technology, but also potentially indicate a fragmentation of the blockchain verification systems.

UK businesses search for slavery in supply chains
UK businesses search for slavery in supply chains
Helen Reid
21 July 2016

Businesses in the UK are investigating modern slavery in their supply chains as they issue their first statements since the Modern Slavery Act came into force.

'Faster horses': Blockchain to combat trade fraud
'Faster horses': Blockchain to combat trade fraud
Helen Reid
20 July 2016

Speakers at a blockchain conference at Barclays’ fintech innovation hub, Rise, in East London, emphasised the technology’s potential for replacing paper documents and preventing fraud in international trade.

FintechWeek ‘16: London “undisputably the fintech capital of the world”
FintechWeek ‘16: London “undisputably the fintech capital of the world”
Helen Reid
18 July 2016

Over the coming days, FintechWeek teases out the new challenges facing the fintech industry as anxieties over London’s role as a financial centre take shape.

Mobile fintech opens African SMEs to international trade
Mobile fintech opens African SMEs to international trade
Helen Reid
15 July 2016

Fintech, via mobile platforms, is the best way to ensure liquidity for African SMEs struggling in a climate of worldwide withdrawal from risky markets and small-scale players, claims Viola Llewellyn, co-founder of SME liquidity provider Ovamba Solutions.

Coface's increased loss ratios 'credit negative'
Coface's increased loss ratios 'credit negative'
Helen Reid
15 July 2016

French credit risk insurer Coface has warned that increased losses from Latin America and Asia for 2015 could cut into 2016 annual profits.

Banks' regulatory burden "never been heavier" - Deutsche's John MacNamara
Banks' regulatory burden "never been heavier" - Deutsche's John MacNamara
Helen Reid
11 July 2016

On the sidelines of our Natural Resources and Commodities Finance conference in Amsterdam, we caught up with Deutsche Bank's global head of structured commodity trade finance, John MacNamara, who shared his thoughts on the impossibility of predicting commodity prices, the effect of new regulatory burdens on banks, and the commodities outlook for the Russian region.

Trafigura exits Swiss traders' association over transparency
Trafigura exits Swiss traders' association over transparency
Helen Reid
8 July 2016

Trafigura’s exit from the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association demonstrates the effect of past mistakes on its current transparency agenda, and the different priorities and attitudes of big traders towards greater openness.

One Belt, One Road, many projects
One Belt, One Road, many projects
Helen Reid
7 July 2016

China’s One Belt, One Road initiative spans continents and oceans, and is set to become the largest regional trade network in the world. Financial institutions in China and abroad are cooperating in new ways to make it happen.

PhosAgro’s debut PXF a ‘benchmark transaction’ for future eurobond
PhosAgro’s debut PXF a ‘benchmark transaction’ for future eurobond
Helen Reid
6 July 2016

Russian fertiliser producer PhosAgro’s debut PXF is testing market appetite ahead of a planned Eurodollar bond issuance, as Russian exporters benefit from a weak rouble and look to enter international bond markets.

Trade finance 'an easy business for banks to exit'
Trade finance 'an easy business for banks to exit'
Helen Reid
5 July 2016

Trade finance is being increasingly neglected as banks refocus on core markets and slash costs in the face of mounting risks and regulatory pressures. It’s an area of finance particularly prone to cuts; very relationship-based and difficult to automate.

South Africa’s downgrade to junk ‘almost inevitable’
South Africa’s downgrade to junk ‘almost inevitable’
Helen Reid
29 June 2016

Africa’s second largest and most sophisticated economy risks a heavy blow to its ability to attract financing if, as experts widely predict, its credit rating is downgraded in December.

Cargill and Bunge go against the tide on sustainable palm oil
Cargill and Bunge go against the tide on sustainable palm oil
Helen Reid
28 June 2016

Cargill and Bunge stood out as the only traders not to cut ties with Malaysian palm oil producer IOI after its sustainability certificate was suspended, throwing up questions over the best way to deal with producers infringing sustainability principles in highly complex supply chains.

Fraud on the rise in 'frothy' markets
Fraud on the rise in 'frothy' markets
Helen Reid
22 June 2016

A trade finance fraud expert says despite efforts to combat it, fraud is on the increase due to volatile commodity markets increasing the opportunities to skim profits.

Separating noise from reality in supply chain finance: Tom Dunn, Orbian chairman
Separating noise from reality in supply chain finance: Tom Dunn, Orbian chairman
Helen Reid
21 June 2016

On the sidelines of TXF's Trade, Treasury and Fintech conference in London, we caught up with Tom Dunn, chairman of Orbian, getting his perspective on the biggest obstacles and opportunities in supply chain finance today.

Creativity on the rise in supply chain finance, says DHL CFO
Creativity on the rise in supply chain finance, says DHL CFO
Helen Reid
20 June 2016

Fabio Manca, chief financial officer of DHL, gives an exclusive interview to TXF at our London conference, discussing the evolving supply chain finance landscape.

Trading more than insults: how would Brexit impact trade finance?
Trading more than insults: how would Brexit impact trade finance?
Helen Reid
17 June 2016

All the British EU referendum seems to have been good for so far is trading insults - as emotions run high in the last few days before the historic 23 June vote, and British politics reels from the murder of MP Jo Cox, it is worth taking the time for a more sober, analytical perspective on the Brexit debate.

Factoring reaches record high
Factoring reaches record high
Helen Reid
16 June 2016

Factoring volumes are growing as supply chain finance offers low-risk financing in highly risk-averse trade finance markets, new figures from a factoring consortium show, with combined global turnover reaching a record high in 2015.

Industry superheroes rewarded at TXF Amsterdam and Rome
Industry superheroes rewarded at TXF Amsterdam and Rome
Helen Reid
14 June 2016

The industry had its say about the best institutions and players in commodity and export & agency finance for our annual Best in Class awards. The winners in each category were chosen by TXF subscribers. Full results are below.

China Exim continues to woo Ethiopia with $500m industrial park loan
China Exim continues to woo Ethiopia with $500m industrial park loan
Helen Reid
13 June 2016

China Eximbank is advancing a $500 million loan to Ethiopia towards the construction of an industrial park in Adama, in the latest rapprochement between the two countries.

Export financiers look to Africa and Middle East for new opportunities in slowing market
Export financiers look to Africa and Middle East for new opportunities in slowing market
Helen Reid
10 June 2016

The export and project finance community has its say on the biggest issues in their market in our audience survey at TXF's Export, Agency and Project Finance conference in Rome.

Glencore signs $7.7bn loan and sheds agri assets
Glencore signs $7.7bn loan and sheds agri assets
Helen Reid
9 June 2016

The commodities trading powerhouse today confirmed the sale of just under 10% of its Glencore Agri business, continuing divestment in the context of ambitious debt reduction plans, and drawing continued commitments from banks with a $7.7 billion loan.

OW Bunker ruling: a boon for commodity trade finance
OW Bunker ruling: a boon for commodity trade finance
Helen Reid
23 May 2016

In an example of the legal difficulties thrown up by large-scale insolvencies in the trade and shipping sector, the OW Bunker case has yielded a difficult but necessary ruling which clears up a blurry legal landscape around trade receivables and securities.

Why are banks still steering clear of Iran? Q&A with Matthew Oresman
Why are banks still steering clear of Iran? Q&A with Matthew Oresman
Helen Reid
17 May 2016

The lifting of Iranian sanctions following the country’s nuclear deal with the US heralded a wave of transactions and many predicted a gold rush.Global payment processor SWIFT started reconnecting Iranian banks to its system in January after four years of isolation, enabling them to process international payments. However, banks are still highly wary of going into transactions in the country, with the shadow of hefty fines slapped on BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and others, hanging over them.

Building the blockchain: Q&A with R3CEV, the bank consortium and research lab exploring the future of trade finance
Building the blockchain: Q&A with R3CEV, the bank consortium and research lab exploring the future of trade finance
Helen Reid
13 May 2016

Blockchain research banking consortium R3CEV is a focal point for the exploration of distributed ledger technology and its potential applications to trade finance. Its experimental model and collaborative approach to solving trade finance problems marks it out as a new development in a finance sector increasingly enmeshed with technology.

Puma Energy attracts new banks to $800 million RCF
Puma Energy attracts new banks to $800 million RCF
Helen Reid
11 May 2016

Puma Energy, the international oil company, has closed a new revolving credit facility and extended previous facilities, showing it retains the confidence of lenders in a volatile market.

Mind the gap: WTO warns of trade finance deficit
Mind the gap: WTO warns of trade finance deficit
Helen Reid
10 May 2016

Demand for trade finance exceeds supply by around $1.4 trillion, a new report by the World Trade Organisation warns. The knock-on effects of this gap on global trade and development are huge, and a joint effort by commercial and development banks is needed in order to build capacity and increase the availability of finance. Experts on the issue give TXF their perspective on how best to remedy the problem.

Why are banks withdrawing from correspondent banking?
Why are banks withdrawing from correspondent banking?
Helen Reid
6 May 2016

Banks are continuing to withdraw from many of their correspondent banking relationships - a process which threatens global trade, especially in poorer countries. TXF speaks to bankers to see whether anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations are solely to blame for this trend and what can be done to mitigate it.

What does the future of trade hold?
What does the future of trade hold?
Helen Reid
3 May 2016

Digitalisation is essential for companies looking to enter global trade, a new report finds. Trade stands to make huge efficiency and cost gains from digitalisation, and corporates must rapidly enter the digital economy or risk losing competitiveness, say the authors.

“The end of an era”: Bernard Zonneveld to leave ING for pastures new
“The end of an era”: Bernard Zonneveld to leave ING for pastures new
Helen Reid
2 May 2016

Bernard Zonneveld, global head of structured metals and energy finance, is leaving ING Bank after a 22-year career building the bank’s commodities finance operation.

BEST ENERGY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Gazprom Marketing & Trading secures RCF and looks East in difficult sanctions context
BEST ENERGY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Gazprom Marketing & Trading secures RCF and looks East in difficult sanctions context
Helen Reid
27 April 2016

Gazprom Marketing & Trading the trading arm of Russian gas producer Gazprom, broke new ground in its expanded $500 million RCF, with a debut Asian tranche indicating the company’s ambitions to establish itself in East and South-East Asian financial markets.

BEST ASIA-PACIFIC COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Chinese copper shines bright with Dongying Fangyuan
BEST ASIA-PACIFIC COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Chinese copper shines bright with Dongying Fangyuan
Helen Reid
22 April 2016

Chinese copper major Dongying Fangyuan took home TXF’s Best Asia-Pacific Commodities Deal of the Year 2015 with a $145 million pre-financing expanding its lender pool and cementing its position as a leader in the Chinese copper market, boasting a proprietary processing method which is both cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Did Abengoa’s overly complex SCF programmes contribute to its downfall?
Did Abengoa’s overly complex SCF programmes contribute to its downfall?
Helen Reid
22 April 2016

Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa's fall from grace to near bankruptcy reveals concerns about the firm’s indulgence in overly complex supply chain finance programmes.

MOST INNOVATIVE TRADE / COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: L1 Energy taps $2.3bn RBL for Dea acquisition
MOST INNOVATIVE TRADE / COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: L1 Energy taps $2.3bn RBL for Dea acquisition
Helen Reid
21 April 2016

Winning TXF’s Most Innovative Trade / Commodity Finance Deal of the Year 2015 award, L1 Energy’s $2.3 billion seven-year senior

BEST COMMODITY WORKING CAPITAL DEAL OF THE YEAR: Trafigura secures world’s largest metals borrowing base
BEST COMMODITY WORKING CAPITAL DEAL OF THE YEAR: Trafigura secures world’s largest metals borrowing base
Helen Reid
20 April 2016

Trafigura showcased traders’ ability to gain in volatile markets, as it secured its flagship $2 billion refined metals borrowing base with 16 banks.

BEST COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Castleton taps massive borrowing base for Morgan Stanley oil business acquisition
BEST COMMODITY FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR: Castleton taps massive borrowing base for Morgan Stanley oil business acquisition
Helen Reid
18 April 2016

Global commodities trader Castleton Commodities International tapped 25 banks for a borrowing base and revolving credit facility totalling $3.75 billion, to finance its acquisition of Morgan Stanley’s Global Oil Merchanting Business.

Crown Agents Bank interview: Helios acquisition expands Africa-focused bank
Crown Agents Bank interview: Helios acquisition expands Africa-focused bank
Helen Reid
15 April 2016

Richard Jones, CEO of Crown Agents Bank, speaks to TXF about its recent acquisition by Helios and what it means for the expansion of the bank's activities.

'Dodgy' SCF programme contributed to Abengoa demise
'Dodgy' SCF programme contributed to Abengoa demise
Helen Reid
13 April 2016

Spanish renewable energy company Abengoa's fall from grace reveals concerns about its indulgence in overly complex supply chain finance programmes.

Fintech: a bubble about to burst?
Fintech: a bubble about to burst?
Helen Reid
11 April 2016

Leading fintech directors and analysts at a roundtable last week said the fintech space is a bubble and a shake-out is to be expected.

Lesotho to expand diamond industry amid global downturn in the precious stone
Lesotho to expand diamond industry amid global downturn in the precious stone
Helen Reid
8 April 2016

Diamonds may be forever, but they are as vulnerable as the next commodity to a global downturn. Diamond miners had a rough year in 2015, although they still outperformed all other commodities. Lesotho, one of the most diamondiferous countries in the world, is ploughing ahead with its mining expansion plans, aiming to attract more foreign investment.