BEST TRADE FINANCE BANK | Citi
Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) franchise provides integrated cash management and trade finance services to multinational corporations worldwide. It is distinguished by its massive global footprint. The bank does business in 160 countries (with experts on the ground in 96 of them) and 140 currencies.
Citi is one of the first global banks to offer its corporate clients in Latin America host-to-host automated solutions. In North America, offerings range from simple trade finance loans to complex distribution financing structures. In Africa, crucial relationships with export credit agencies and multilateral agencies allow Citi to meet its customers’ capital spending needs and to customize supplier financing. And its cross-border trade hub in Singapore supports regional trade flows in Asia-Pacific, where Citi is the largest US-based bank in terms of commercial letters of credit outstanding. Citi has implemented the MT798 corporate-to-bank SWIFT messaging protocol, which lets clients submit document images to Citi securely. The bank’s online open-account portal automates the process of matching purchase orders with invoices. Citi is expanding its role as a white-label provider of both back-office and client-facing trade solutions.
BEST TRADE FINANCE PROGRAM | EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Program
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which promotes foreign trade in the countries where it operates, launched Its Trade Facilitation Program in 1999 and more than 120 issuing banks in 25 countries currently participate in the program, working with more than 800 confirming banks around the world. The TFP provides cover for a broad range of trade finance instruments and can be used to guarantee against political and commercial payment risk. The TFP provides short-term loans to banks and factoring companies for lending to local exporters and importers, and it offers trade-finance training and advisory services to local banks.
BEST MULTILATERAL INSTITUTION FOR TRADE FINANCE | Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank, based in Manila, aims to plug widening gaps in trade finance among the region’s emerging economies. That’s an increasingly important role as commercial banks are withdrawing from the more challenging markets, where complying with new regulations to fight money laundering and terrorism adds cost and complexity, the ADB says. Backed by the ADB’s triple-A credit ratings, the program works with more than 200 banks, including 61 issuing banks, providing guarantees and loans in markets that need them most.
BEST BANK FOR COMMODITY FINANCE | ABN Amro
Amsterdam-based ABN Amro’s global commodity finance operations provide financial structures, including inventory financing, for companies involved in the production, transport, trade, processing and distribution of commodities, with a focus on agricultural commodities, metals and energy. The bank has been building up its financing of commodity flows at a time when other banks have left the business. It has a Hong Kong commodities desk and a regional structured inventory product desk in Singapore, and is in the process of converting its representative office in Shanghai into a full branch. The Netherlands is China’s second-largest trading partner in the European Union. ABN Amro also has offices in Sydney and Tokyo that provide trade services. The bank’s overall international network covers 23 countries and territories.
BEST TRADE DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT | HSBC
HSBC offers a range of electronic trade products and solutions to speed up the trade cycle, improve accuracy and reduce operating costs. Its Document Tracker lets customers check the delivery status of their export documents and track shipments via the HSBC website. DocumentExpress automates the process of preparing export documentation. With some 5,800 specialists in 56 countries, HSBC offers more than 100 products and services that can be combined into a customized solution for managing trade risks, processing trade transactions and financing trade.
BEST TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE PROVIDER | Euler Hermes
Paris-based Euler Hermes, the world’s leading provider of trade credit insurance, is a subsidiary of Germany’s Allianz group. Its trade products insure companies against accounts-receivable losses caused by credit risks like foreign buyers’ insolvency or bankruptcy. Euler Hermes has a network of risk experts in more than 50 countries. Its proprietary online information service, Eolis, connects to a global risk platform with data on more than 40 million companies. Euler Hermes, which actively monitors all insured accounts and assigns them specific credit limits, says that on average, 40% of a company’s assets are in the form of trade debts.
BEST BANK FOR EXPORT FINANCE | Commerzbank
With an on-the-ground presence in more than 50 countries and 5,000 correspondent banking relationships, Commerzbank settles more than $100 billion of trade transactions annually. Commerzbank finances 30% of the foreign trade of Germany, its home market. It is the most active bank for German export letters of credit, according to SWIFT data. Commerzbank is the leading trade bank for German SMEs, and it provides complex project finance cover for large machinery exporters. For the past 11 years, Commerzbank has been the most active confirming bank for the EBRD’s trade facilitation program (see Best Trade Finance Program, above). In Central and Eastern Europe, Commerzbank is expanding its export finance expertise in the Austrian and Czech SME sectors, and it is the only foreign bank with a representative office in Minsk, Belarus. Through its subsidiary mBank, it is a major trade finance provider in Poland. A founding partner of the African Development Bank’s trade facilitation program, Commerzbank is also is one of the few international banks with a network across Africa. Exporters must increasingly supply financing up front, so Commerzbank offers tailored liquidity solutions through forfaiting options and individually structured trade finance.
BEST BANK FOR STRUCTURED TRADE FINANCE | Citi
Commodity firms in emerging markets have long used structured trade finance, where loans are repaid out of revenues from international sales. Now other industries are taking advantage of these solutions. Citi creates alternative financing structures tailored to each company that aid in liquidity and working capital management and can lower risks by improving relationships with suppliers. Citi’s commodity trade finance is managed as a global business, enabling the bank to finance interregional commodity flows and connect existing Citi clients that are active in the supply chain. Citi’s export and agency finance advisers use guarantees issued by export credit agencies to purchase exporters’ receivables. The bank has more than 60 experts in 15 locations worldwide. ECA financing enhances exporters’ risk capacity, enabling them to expand into higher-risk markets.
BEST BANK FOR TRADE FINANCE IN EMERGING MARKETS | BNP Paribas
With a global network of over 100 trade centers in 60 countries, BNP Paribas provides trade finance solutions in many emerging markets at a time when other banks are cutting back. It has added operations in Africa and acquired Bank BGZ in Poland last year. It is now is the leading provider of trade finance to Poland’s farmers, expanding its trade centers in the country to four from one. Its Turkish subsidiary, Türk Ekonomi Bankasi, is a top-three bank in export financing volume. And BMCI in Morocco was the first bank to provide structured trade finance products in that country.
BEST BANK FOR TRADE FINANCE IN FRONTIER MARKETS | Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered has maintained a presence in challenging countries like Iraq and Pakistan while other foreign banks have pulled out. The bank is present in 15 African countries and its alliance network covers 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In such frontier markets as Botswana, Ghana and Kenya, Standard Chartered has supported eco-friendly projects using tailored, structured trade and working capital solutions. The bank is also active in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
BEST PRESHIPMENT FINANCING SOLUTION | Standard Chartered
Standard Chartered is a leading provider of working capital solutions, offering preshipment finance facilities to its corporate customers’ suppliers. The finance is directly linked to the anchor client and based in large part on the strength of the client-supplier relationship. Under its buyer finance program, Standard Chartered provides financing to dealers and distributers to ensure access to working capital for them to purchase the anchor client’s products. The bank also offers Islamic, shariah-compliant versions of these programs.