CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal and Special Adviser to the Global Trade Finance Department at SMBC



Dear Members and Friends,

This month’s message is being written from Ho Chi Minh City where I am moderating a panel at the annual FCI factoring conference. It’s interesting to reflect, sitting here, how these markets, more emerged than emerging at times, need the finance that we are so well poised, but often fail, to offer. A theme here has been the convergence of factoring with newer forms of open account finance and its need to evolve. For all of us, this is a reminder to be creative and not doctrinaire: the deep experience of ITFA members, positions us well to ensure our future is bright so let’s engage and reach down the throats of our customer’s supply chains.

May proved to be a negative month for risky assets, the first time so far this year, and emerging markets were no exception to that. As liquidity dried up global emerging markets were down 0.15%. The on-going trade war uncertainties created higher volatility in the markets once again, especially due to the threat of higher tariffs. That being said, emerging markets were more resilient to these market conditions. The reason is that China’s economy has seen boosted economic figures unlike the U.S. Also, the Indonesian, Turkish and Brazilian economies performed well in the midst of the volatility.

That being said, the euphoria seen in the first three months of the year seemingly dissipated in May. The depreciation in the US Dollar during the month has its impact on spreads. With markets now more than ever expecting a long pause in central bank activity, or even possibly rate cuts at best, this could possibly be seen as a catalyst for EM currencies and EM economies. In fact, this is one of the reasons why EM, in the month of May, was more resilient. This bodes well as EM economies still benefit from a positive economic environment.

In the June edition of the newsletter Andre Casterman – ITFA Board Member and Chair of the ITFA Fintech Committee contributes an article entitled ‘’Trade Banks embrace Fintech: Discover the Latest Adoption News in Budapest.’’ Bakhtiyor Naimov, ITFA NERC Committee member provides a detailed summary of the ITFA NERC event held in Amsterdam on the 22nd May 2019. ITFA Consultant, Shannon Manders, delivers an interesting read entitled ‘’EBRD ventures into Supply Chain Finance, Calls on Network for Support.’’  We also share some fantastic news concerning our 2018 chosen charity, providing an update on what your generous donations have funded.

In addition, Andre Casterman – Chair ITFA Fintech Committee and CMO at INTIX together with Dr. Rebecca Harding – CEO, Coriolis Technologies, contribute to this newsletter with an interesting article entitled ‘’Fintechs Collaborating: Coriolis Technologies and Intix combine their Capabilities as ‘The Future of Trade is Data.’’ This month, ITFA is proud and delighted to welcome R3 and Axis Bank UK Ltd as new members of the Association.

Preparations for the 46th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference which will be held in Budapest, Hungary between the 4th and 6th of September are well underway. We urge you to register by 30 June in order to benefit from the Early Bird ticket price. We hope to see many of you in Budapest!

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, info@itfa.org.

Best wishes,

Sean Edwards