CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE – Sean Edwards, ITFA Chairman / Head of Legal at SMBC



Dear Members and Friends,

Believe it or not, we’re already approaching the end of October and we’ve entered the final stretch of 2018. Six weeks later and many of us are still talking about our Cape Town conference, which I have to admit, is a good sign! However, rest assured that next year’s conference in Budapest, Hungary will be just as good – but different! Planning has started in earnest – just leave it in our good hands and you will not be disappointed.

Back to our industry – currently prone to uncertainty, but sentiment is what drives prices. And it is this high level of uncertainty that has driven market views on EM for the better part of the year. In fact, in 2018, volatility and larger swings in asset prices and economic numbers were registered as the level of uncertainty increased. Uncertainty was to the fore as there were a number of external market forces, impossible to anticipate let alone quantify, which had a massive impact on asset prices. A major culprit are ongoing trade wars, which pretty much characterised (and continues to characterise) the better part of 2018.

Emerging markets (EM), as opposed to 2017 are amongst the worst performing class for this year. Undoubtedly, the strengthening of the dollar is something investors find difficult to digest. That said, when considering that EM contributes to over 55% of global growth, and given the robustness of their economies, EM should continue to remain at the forefront of global economic growth.

On a more jovial note, in this month’s Newsletter, Deutsche Bank’s Clarissa Dann gives a detailed account of the topics discussed during the Cape Town Conference.  Shannon Manders of GTR, provides an interesting read titled ‘’Industry steps up to Identify ‘Black Sheep’ in Supply Chain Finance’’. TXF Editor, Katharine Morton, summarises her experience at the conference – ‘’ITFA with an African Rhythm’’. ITFA’s new Board Member, Andre Casterman, writes about the ITFA Fintech Committee – ”making the most of the fintech opportunities.” Casterman also shares an interesting write up about ITFA’s invitation to the FCIB International Credit Risk & Management Summit. Last but not least, ITFA is pleased to announce two new members – NMB Bank Plc and Sidian Bank.

May I remind you all that with the Christmas season just around the corner, the ITFA Board is pleased to invite all ITFA members to attend our annual ITFA Christmas Cocktail Party which is taking place on 10 December 2018 at Grace Hall, London. All ITFA Main Delegates should have received the invitation, so we would greatly appreciate if you could RSVP by latest 30 November 2018. As always, we encourage you all to attend this valuable networking opportunity, so please…save the date! 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.

On a different note, the ITFA Board wishes to thank all the generous conference attendees who donated to the Shelter Them charity. As several attendees asked to be able to transfer donations through bank transfer, the ITFA Board decided to continue the collection until the end of the year. Please find hereafter the account details:

Kindly ensure that on the payment description you write as follows: “your surname – Shelter Them”

Account owner: ITFA International Trade & Forfaiting Association

Credit Suisse Zurich

Swift-Code: CRESCHZZ80A

Clearing: 4835

EUR-Account no. 0288.968432-82

IBAN No: CH21 0483 5096 8432 8200 0

CHF-Account no. 0288.968432-81

IBAN No: CH55 0483 5096 8432 8100 0

GBP-Account no. 0288.968432-82-6

IBAN No: CH53 0483 5096 8432 8200 6

There will be a further possibility to donate at the ITFA Christmas Reception – so don’t forget to bring along some cash.

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