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,

June was an eventful month after a torrid May. Emerging markets were closely monitoring the end of month G-20 meeting that resulted in a restart in trade consultations between the U.S and China as well as an agreement of not imposing new tariffs. In addition to that, the US Federal Reserve released minutes during the month which increased the odds of a rate cut by the end of July i.e. adding further monetary stimulus in an attempt to delay a potential recession.

Turkish assets rallied during June following a decisive opposition win in Istanbul’s mayoral election re-run. Erdogan conceded defeat in favour of CHP candidate Ekrem, who was on course to capture 54 percent of votes. We also saw Japanese Prime Minister Abe and China’s President Xi meet up. China and Japan are major trade and investment partners. While it is no secret that they are rivals for political and economic influence, they have come to realize the need to work together in the face of their changing relations with the U.S.

Emerging markets have shown more resilience to the ongoing trade war uncertainties due to reporting resilient economic figures unlike the U.S. In fact, emerging market currencies appreciated against the dollar, China included. Given that a possible rate cut could be seen in the U.S., this could possibly result in EM currencies gaining even further, thereby boding well for EM economies.

The July edition of the ITFA Newsletter includes an interesting article : ‘’Machine Learning in Trade Finance: Who is Doing What?’’ by Shannon Manders, ITFA Consultant. HoorYar, ITFA Middle East Regional Committee Member briefs us on ITFA’s first Trade Finance Distribution Forum held in the Middle East. ITFA also shares with its readers Lloyd’s Headline Political Risk Claim Figures for Q417.

The fun continues with a second piece by Shannon entitled: ‘’Analysis: Investigating the new Guidelines for CRR-Compliant Non–Payment Insurance Policies”. Aife Howse, TXF Reporter, provides an article entitled: ”Is Anything Moving the Dial in Tradetech?”

New members this month are Africa Merchant Capital, CDH Investment Bank and Miller Insurance Services LLP. We welcome them to our community.

With just over one month to go for the 46th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference in Budapest, the ITFA Board is keen to welcome you at its trademark annual event. Taking place between the 4th and 6th September, we are expecting a great crowd of delegates to attend this year’s Conference, as the number of registrations are already showing a great turnout. This is your last chance to register at the standard rates, available till 16 August. After that late registration fees kick in.

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