Monday, 6 November 2017

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

Dear Members and Friends,

I can hardly believe that we are approaching the end of yet another fascinating year. It is so true that time really does fly by when you are having fun and being kept busy doing what you enjoy most.

Duarte Pedreira and I are fresh off the plane from Cape Verde where we delivered a half-day’s training on forfaiting to the delegates of the annual Afreximbank Structured Trade Seminar. The event also allowed us to strengthen our relationship with this important partner in advance of our annual meeting next year in Cape Town. With some sponsors already on board, we are shaping up very well indeed for our flagship event.

Over the past couple of years, investors and corporations have dedicated a large amount of time and resources focusing on emerging market economies, which, in 2016 and 2017 have been the leaders in terms of performance, GDP growth, trade and flows into the economy. For market analysts, EM sovereign bonds are particularly important as they are the benchmark for the state of their respective economies, in terms of GDP growth, inflation, central bank monetary policy, risk aversion in the markets, not to mention that they are also impacted by movements in the FX market.

Following the sharp correction in EM bonds in February 2016, all the conditions were optimal to make EM a reliable alternative to investment in the economies of the developed world. Valuations had become way too cheap, their economies benefitted from the ever weakening US Dollar, demographics remain highly in their favour, and more importantly, central banks and governments in EM economies had taken investor friendly measures in ensuring the continuous flow of monies in EM credit. 

Yet again, our traditional markets have proved fruitful for investors with trade, one of the main enablers of growth.   

On a different note, in this month’s Newsletter, Marcus Wade, Founder and Owner at Trade Asset Exchange, has contributed an interesting read entitled ''The Blockchain Market’’. Paul Coles, ITFA Head of Market Practice, keeps us up-to-date with the ''Updated/Replaced ITFA BAFT Legal Opinion.’’ Another interesting article is the introduction of another of the new ITFA Board Members, Khilola Turaeva - ITFA Head of Institutional Relations. ITFA is pleased to announce another new member - Xangbo. Our regular feature - Chart of the Month, contributed by Dr Rebecca Harding of Equant Analytics takes a closer look at China-US Trade.

May I remind you that all ITFA members are invited to attend our annual ITFA Christmas Cocktail Party. Each Main Delegate (per member institution) was sent an invite by email, so we would greatly appreciate if you could RSVP on by latest 1st December 2017. As always, we encourage you all to attend this invaluable networking opportunity! May we kindly point out that this event is strictly for ITFA members only and access to the event is restricted to confirmed guests only. We also look forward to welcoming our ITFA members to the ITFA Educational event titled ''Navigating Trade Finance in a Changing World’’ which is being organised directly prior to the Christmas Party. For more information please read further on in the Newsletter…SAVE THE DATE!

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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