Wednesday, 5 July 2017

CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal at SMBC

Dear Members and Friends,

Trade Finance is an exciting business! One of the recurring themes we have been talking about over recent months has been the robustness of emerging markets in general and the remarkable performance registered so far during the first six months of 2017.

In January, the relative expensiveness of valuations and tightness of spreads had shaped asset manager’s strategic and tactical allocations for an increased preference towards cash holdings, only to realise that they had been missing out on the rally witnessed in the first few months of this year. That realisation led to new flows pouring into the asset class as investors became increasingly aware that company balance sheets were healthier and the weaker US dollar provided a supportive background for emerging market issuers. Much of this investment is reflective of, or supported by, trade flows providing an incentive for greater bank intermediation. In the longer term, it will also underpin the work going on at the moment to make trade assets an easier asset class for funds and others to invest in, an area we shall be exploring during our annual conference.  

On a more exciting note, we are enthusiastic that preparations for the 44th Annual Trade and Forfaiting Conference are well on track to ensure another memorable ITFA event. To register on-line, to view the conference programme and for any other informative details, please click here. As this year’s Conference started to gain pace, please bear in mind that since the Early Bird Discount has now expired, we encourage you to register by no later than 15 August in order to avoid incurring the late registration fees. 

As ITFA is totally aware of the need for finance professionals to network, talk with old and new partners and find opportunities as cost effectively as possible, we are pleased to announce that our networking portal is open for business. All registrants will be sent an email with a link to a networking page. You can then look up availability of other delegates and book a space in our dedicated networking room. We hope to see you in Edinburgh!

In the July edition of the ITFA Newsletter you will find an article titled ''the ITFA Board Member Perspectives'', written by Paul Coles. Andre Casterman has contributed an interesting piece titled ''Online Market Places will help Re-Invent (and digitise) Trade Financing''. Texel Finance Limited has provided our readers with the Lloyd’s Political Risk Claims Figures as at Quarter 2, 2016. Finally, we update you on the NERC Summer event which was held on 29th June in London, the SEARC meeting held on 30th June and the GRC Stammtisch event which took place in Frankfurt on 03rd July. We conclude with Trade chart of the month, contributed by Dr. Rebecca Harding - Equant Analytics titled ''Why the South and East China Seas matter''.

We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may want to share with us by sending an email to myself, any of the Board Members or to our general email,  

Best wishes,
Sean Edwards

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