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Full digital disruption needs culture change from banks
Full digital disruption needs culture change from banks
Lucy Palfreeman
13 September 2017

The partnership between banks and digital providers is growing, but does it guarantee digital growth and inventory savings for trade finance, or is it all for show?

Getting comfortable: HSBC’s blockchain evolution
Getting comfortable: HSBC’s blockchain evolution
Lucy Palfreeman
1 September 2017

Vivek Ramachandran, HSBC commercial banking’s global head of growth and innovation, outlines the bank’s developments and goals within the blockchain trade tech space.

Blockchain or blocked chain?
Blockchain or blocked chain?
Lucy Palfreeman
23 August 2017

What happens to a blockchain proof of concept (PoC) after delivery? TXF looks back at the prototypes that didn’t progress, those that still might, and questions whether the digital ledger truly has the potential to disrupt the trade finance industry.

Aceh Block A: Spark in a gas-free borrowing climate
Aceh Block A: Spark in a gas-free borrowing climate
Lucy Palfreeman
15 August 2017

MedcoEnergi is syndicating a very rare reserves based loan for the Aceh Block A gas project. With Indonesian gas production dwindling and energy demand increasing, the government needs to radically overhaul market regulation to boost sponsor and lender appetite.

Basel III update: New proposals snub trade finance
Basel III update: New proposals snub trade finance
Lucy Palfreeman
3 August 2017

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has made further changes to the finalisation of the Basel III reforms, following a meeting in March this year, yet not one addresses the largest failing of Basel III – its application for trade finance banks.

Bridging the gap: Exporters look elsewhere as US Ex-Im is unable to provide
Bridging the gap: Exporters look elsewhere as US Ex-Im is unable to provide
Lucy Palfreeman
1 August 2017

US Ex-Im has been without authority to approve transactions above $10 million for over 18 months, provoking huge changes for some of Ex-Im’s largest clients. However, exporters are beginning to look elsewhere – to private insurers and some other ECAs – to fill the financial support vacuum.

Risk or reward: Is Iran bankable?
Risk or reward: Is Iran bankable?
Lucy Palfreeman
27 July 2017

Some economic sanctions were lifted 18 months ago and Iran is open and keen for business. However, the commercial bank sector is far from tapping into the immense opportunities that could spark a huge growth for trade and projects. Western banking hesitance and Chinese influence has become the norm on Iranian soil, but can non-US banks operate assured that the US will not react?

Registration open for 44th International Trade and Forfaiting Conference
Registration open for 44th International Trade and Forfaiting Conference
Lucy Palfreeman
27 July 2017

The 44th International Trade and Forfaiting Conference is to be held in Edinburgh in early September, set to play host to a large trade finance crowd.

Berne Union releases July newsletter
Berne Union releases July newsletter
Lucy Palfreeman
27 July 2017

The latest issue of The Bulletin, a bi-monthly source of news, views and statistics from the international credit and investment insurance industry, is available now online.

Digital Trade Chain: An incomplete solution to SME funding puzzle
Digital Trade Chain: An incomplete solution to SME funding puzzle
Lucy Palfreeman
3 July 2017

Digital Trade Chain - a consortium of Europe’s seven largest banks - has chosen IBM to design a platform to simplify trade finance processes for SMEs. But will it be able to tackle the pre-trade financing contracting issues affecting SMEs?

US Ex-Im: Back with the big bucks?
US Ex-Im: Back with the big bucks?
Lucy Palfreeman
30 June 2017

Unable to approve transactions of more than $10 million for over a year now, the two Trump nominees for the new US Ex-Im quorum have sent a mixed message to the big-ticket market. Will it be business as usual again, or is potential Ex-Im president Garrett another disaster waiting to happen?

Shop talk: What next for blockchain and trade?
Shop talk: What next for blockchain and trade?
Lucy Palfreeman
21 June 2017

R3 is best known in trade as the driver behind the R3 blockchain consortium, comprising 80 financial institutions on R3's Corda digital ledger. Todd McDonald, R3 co-founder and head of ecosystems development talks to TXF about where he sees the future of blockchain and trade heading.

Indian solar: How low can it go?
Indian solar: How low can it go?
Lucy Palfreeman
20 June 2017

India has experienced record low bids for solar concessions over the past year. While that is good news for offtakers – how low can offers go before they stop being bankable?

AML tech: Are regulators stuck in the past?
AML tech: Are regulators stuck in the past?
Lucy Palfreeman
15 June 2017

AML requirements are getting tighter and more costly for banks. But uptake of cost-cutting technology is slow – and for once it is regulators rather than banks that are hindering the process. Banks want direction and regulators do not appear to be providing it.

Australia's IFU: A bright spark - but what kind?
Australia's IFU: A bright spark - but what kind?
Lucy Palfreeman
13 June 2017

Despite a growing deficit and the announcement of a $55 billion infrastructure budget for the next 10 years, the Australian government is adopting the CEFC template and becoming both a co-lender and equity provider to projects via its new Infrastructure Financing Unit.

TXF Africa talk: The challenges in energy
TXF Africa talk: The challenges in energy
Lucy Palfreeman
12 June 2017

TXF caught up with Jeff Murage, programme coordinator at KfW bank, as he discusses his energy portfolio and the challenges he see's in widening Africa's energy and infrastructure environment.

TXF Africa talk: Health Solutions International
TXF Africa talk: Health Solutions International
Lucy Palfreeman
7 June 2017

TXF caught up with Dr Isabella Ipiu, director and founder of Health Solutions International, and global health fellow with the University of California Global Health Institute.

TXF Africa talk: RMB on export credit and project finance
TXF Africa talk: RMB on export credit and project finance
Lucy Palfreeman
5 June 2017

TXF caught up with Inal Henry, export credit finance and project finance head at RMB, on their sub-Saharan initiatives and mandate.

Jackpot seven: KNPC cleans up with ECA backing
Jackpot seven: KNPC cleans up with ECA backing
Lucy Palfreeman
5 June 2017

With backing from seven ECA’s and 11 commercial banks, KNPC's $6.25 billion Clean Fuels project financing is setting a new benchmark for inter-creditor complexity.

Belt and Road Initiative: One-way street with no private parking?
Belt and Road Initiative: One-way street with no private parking?
Lucy Palfreeman
24 May 2017

China has been providing the core infrastructure debt to give the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) traction. But even allowing for rising Chinese state debts and a sovereign downgrade, BRI could never be bankrolled by China alone. BRI needs foreign private and public sector investment and that is not going to happen while it functions as a trade one-way street.

A zest to invest: New fintech platform sparks interest from banks
A zest to invest: New fintech platform sparks interest from banks
Lucy Palfreeman
17 May 2017

A new electronic platform - CCRManager - has found a pragmatic approach to digitalising trade finance processes, and banks are taking notice.

Trade tech: A cutting edge response again
Trade tech: A cutting edge response again
Lucy Palfreeman
16 May 2017

As the trade tech sector begins to play catch-up with other forms of fintech, developers claim banks are not putting enough cash into better security systems - new software that could actually save on compliance costs.

Patent wars: The privatisation of blockchain
Patent wars: The privatisation of blockchain
Lucy Palfreeman
30 March 2017

With a growing number of banks, fintechs and patent trolls patenting blockchain software, a new council has been set up to counteract the negative effects of such activity. But is it enough to prevent the privatisation of blockchain?

Paperchase: ATF and AcofiGestion launch African trade loan securitisation vehicle
Paperchase: ATF and AcofiGestion launch African trade loan securitisation vehicle
Lucy Palfreeman
23 March 2017

Africa Trade Finance (ATF) and fund manager AcofiGestion have teamed up to launch an independent securitisation vehicle focused on African trade finance loans.

Do green bonds equal clean?
Do green bonds equal clean?
Lucy Palfreeman
17 March 2017

The power of ‘green’ has ballooned in the past decade, as investors look for responsible ways to invest. People are catching wind of the opportunities for investment in the green bond market, but still with no official global definition, how can we tell the difference between green and sovereign, and how do they apply to trade, asks Lucy Palfreeman?

One Belt, One Road: How much will it spur global trade?
One Belt, One Road: How much will it spur global trade?
Lucy Palfreeman
14 March 2017

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is the cornerstone of China’s foreign trade policy. How much will it impact global trade figures and is it already doing so?

Shipping blockchain: All in the uptake
Shipping blockchain: All in the uptake
Lucy Palfreeman
7 March 2017

Maersk and IBM's blockchain trial could revolutionise the shipping container supply chain. But to make real cost savings, all parts of that chain have to adopt the solution.

Blockchain: Is law the chink in the link?
Blockchain: Is law the chink in the link?
Lucy Palfreeman
1 March 2017

Blockchain technology is beginning to gain real traction in trade finance. But as Mercuria found in its recent test of a new ING/SocGen solution, there are still potential legal issues to consider.

TXF Venice preliminary agenda confirmed
TXF Venice preliminary agenda confirmed
Lucy Palfreeman
24 February 2017

TXF Events has unveiled the preliminary agenda for its annual flagship global conference covering project, infrastructure, export & agency finance. TXF Venice 2017: The Global Borrower’s Summit will take place on June 7 – 9th at the Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel and feature keynote sessions with government ministers, DFI leaders, CEOS and captains of industry.

GPI: Too SWIFT for comfort?
GPI: Too SWIFT for comfort?
Lucy Palfreeman
20 February 2017

SWIFT’s new GPI service is a vast improvement in payments transaction speed – so why have enhanced security safeguards associated with that speed not been rolled out with phase 1?

Before the law: UK Appeal Court affirms autonomy of letters of credit
Before the law: UK Appeal Court affirms autonomy of letters of credit
Lucy Palfreeman
17 February 2017

A UK Court of Appeal decision has strengthened the autonomy of English law letters of credit and provides new guidance as to what constitute fraudulent claims on those credits.

Collaboration or competition the key to trade tech?
Collaboration or competition the key to trade tech?
Lucy Palfreeman
8 February 2017

Technology developers all claim co-operation is key to a globally scalable trade finance solution. But are banks and independents really serious about collaboration or is a race for market share, and the potential tech pitfalls that implies, the real driver?

Locked out of the bank
Locked out of the bank
Lucy Palfreeman
31 January 2017

WIth the costs associated with tighter bank regulation dampening the appetite of banks for SME business, and non-bank providers charging heavy margins, the beginnings of a global SME funding crunch are in place. Are ECAs doing enough to meet the needs of a growing number of cash-strapped SME exporters and supply chain providers?

Predictions for 2017: TXF’s latest podcast is up
Predictions for 2017: TXF’s latest podcast is up
Lucy Palfreeman
27 January 2017

Come on in, put the kettle on and enjoy TXF’s new podcast where our panel discuss the ‘biggest shift, biggest change’ in trade over the past year, and give their predictions for 2017 to help us feel our way through the mist of uncertainty.

Some of those annoying technical issues in trade finance
Some of those annoying technical issues in trade finance
Lucy Palfreeman
27 January 2017

Associates of Sullivan & Worcester LLP warn about the underlying complexity of drawing up an insurance policy and the importance of securing lenders’ interests.

Broad brush Brexit – but no details
Broad brush Brexit – but no details
Lucy Palfreeman
23 January 2017

Theresa May’s speech last week confirmed what many analysts expected - a hard Brexit and a farewell to the single market. But the speech was broad strokes, and the real implications and details are no clearer.

DTC: Another blockchain consortium – but will it last?
DTC: Another blockchain consortium – but will it last?
Lucy Palfreeman
17 January 2017

Seven banks have joined together on KBC’s new Digital Trade Chain (DTC) to aid European small and medium businesses (SMEs) increase trade.

Cents and sensibility: When will US Ex-Im be allowed to do its job properly?
Cents and sensibility: When will US Ex-Im be allowed to do its job properly?
Lucy Palfreeman
13 January 2017

The volume of US Ex-Im export and job support plummeted again in 2016. But against all the political odds the battered ECA still made a profit for the US Treasury – albeit less than a third of what it generated in 2013.

Data mining: Investors beware
Data mining: Investors beware
Lucy Palfreeman
10 January 2017

A growing number of investors in trade finance funds complain that low default risk trade data provided by the ICC Trade Registry is being used out of context to pitch high risk fund offerings.

TXF Deal of the Year 2016 Award submissions due to close on 23rd January
TXF Deal of the Year 2016 Award submissions due to close on 23rd January
Lucy Palfreeman
4 January 2017

We are looking for the most innovative, market influencing transactions within trade, commodity, ECA/DFI-backed and project financing.

The age of uncertainty: Trade wars and laws in 2017
The age of uncertainty: Trade wars and laws in 2017
Lucy Palfreeman
23 December 2016

Forecasts for trade since the financial crisis have been steady. Now, political anxiety and regulatory tightening casts a huge shadow of ambiguity over the trade outlook for 2017. Trump, Brexit and China have all rocked the trade plateau, making the trade finance arena next year ever more uncertain, and open for increasing speculation.

Asian trade worries drives up CPRI demand
Asian trade worries drives up CPRI demand
Lucy Palfreeman
21 December 2016

There has been a rising demand in the Credit and Political Risk Insurance (CPRI) market as Asia reacts to rising debts and weakening currencies. The effect on the Asian trade space has seen the rise of default claims on commodities and a drop in exports.

ICC Trade Register 2016 promotes low risk of trade finance, but investors should still take care
ICC Trade Register 2016 promotes low risk of trade finance, but investors should still take care
Lucy Palfreeman
21 December 2016

The ICC Trade Register for 2016 finds that trade finance continues to have a favourable risk profile. However, some within the trade finance community question whether the report tells the whole story.

Export finance faces ‘uncertain’ 2017, says CC Solutions
Export finance faces ‘uncertain’ 2017, says CC Solutions
Lucy Palfreeman
19 December 2016

The forecast for 2017 is uncertain but, according to Francisco Anzola of CC Solutions, the export finance market cannot let speculation influence its direction.

HSBC predicts services to contribute a quarter of global trade by 2030
HSBC predicts services to contribute a quarter of global trade by 2030
Lucy Palfreeman
15 December 2016

The new global trade forecast predictions from HSBC with research partner Oxford Economics see the services industry accelerate steadily to stand at a quarter of global trade by 2030. But the prediction could fall short if countries accelerate the tightening of trade barriers due to the political landscape.

IBM and Mahindra aim to evolve Indian supply chain with blockchain solution
IBM and Mahindra aim to evolve Indian supply chain with blockchain solution
Lucy Palfreeman
9 December 2016

IBM and Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group announced this month their new partnership in developing a blockchain prototype to aid Mahindra’s supply chain, a first for a non-banking company in India.

Finacity’s first Singapore receivables securitisation aids suffering shipping sector
Finacity’s first Singapore receivables securitisation aids suffering shipping sector
Lucy Palfreeman
6 December 2016

Finacity and ING Belgium have launched a container shipping receivables securitisation for Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), a CMA CGM Group company. The new receivables securitisation will facilitate up to $350 million for the Singapore-based shipping company.

Exporters and Importers Choice Awards 2016 winners announced
Exporters and Importers Choice Awards 2016 winners announced
Lucy Palfreeman
5 December 2016

TXF has announced the winners of the 2016 Exporters’ and Importers’ Choice Awards.

An apprehensive China see’s RMB power depreciate in world trade
An apprehensive China see’s RMB power depreciate in world trade
Lucy Palfreeman
1 December 2016

The Chinese renminbi this month dropped from the second to the third most active currency in trade finance, overtaken by the euro. The drop has resulted from a slowing economy in the past couple of years, and could see a re-evaluation of how the country approaches globalisation.

Is R3 ‘losing momentum’ after loss of Santander and Goldman Sachs?
Is R3 ‘losing momentum’ after loss of Santander and Goldman Sachs?
Lucy Palfreeman
30 November 2016

Earlier this month Goldman Sachs revealed they had not renewed their membership of R3 CEV, the blockchain consortium. Hours later, Spanish banking giant Banco Santander followed suit. So what does this mean for the future of R3, and more importantly blockchain?