Trade Finance TV on Location at TXF Global Commodity Finance Amsterdam 2019

Where did copper production finance, base oil exports, and structuring techniques all come together in two days?  Find out in these edited highlights from speakers and delegates at TXF Amsterdam held 23 to 24 May 2019.

First into the studio was KME’s Chief Financial Officer Pierpaolo di Fabio and Deutsche Bank’s Director of Structured Commodity Trade Finance, Sven de Zoeten, reminiscing about the commodities supercycle – and the need for a different approach to funding working capital.

Following on was the International Trade & Forfaiting Association’s Sean Edwards and André Casterman on the originate to distribute model and how to make trade finance assets attractive to investors.

With oil as something of a bellwether in commodities, it was good to hear from Deutsche Bank’s Director of Structured Commodity Finance Yann Ropers and EMEA Regional Head of Distribution Boris Jaquet about the appetite for reserve-based lending oil borrowing from new E&P companies based in the North Sea.

Turning to the smaller corporates, Amsterdam Trade Bank CEO Harris Antoniou and London Wall Risk Management’s Colin Heritage then shared their thoughts about SME access to commodity finance.

Three “musketeers” of commodity and structured commodity finance who could count more than a century’s experience between them stepped up into the studio and agreed that trade gets paid if you play the structuring cards right – listen up to Deutsche Bank’s Vice Chairman of Trade Finance Commodities – the full version has additional input from Sullivan & Worcester partner Geoff Wynne and former HSBC guru turned consultant Jean-François Lambert.

Given that Amsterdam is something of a commodities epicenter,  we then welcomed two Dutchmen: Deutsche Bank’s Head of Structured Commodity Trade Finance Sander Stuijt and Assistant Vice President Structured Commodity Trade Finance Tim de Lange to talk about what has changed and what has endured across generations in the market.

With Shandong Qingyuan Group collecting a TXF’s Best Overall Commodities Finance Deal of the Year, Trade Finance TV had great pleasure in welcoming Ma Zhi Qing, the Zibo-based founder onto the programme, with Deutsche Bank’s Head of Structured Commodity Trade Finance Asia Pacific, Frank Wu, not only in his capacity as financier, but as our Mandarin translater.  Ma and Wu explain how the change in government policy around the granting of import licences and foreign debt regulations has helped what started as an idea formulated behind the wheel of a tractor three decades ago into the rapid development of this remarkable lubricant corporate.

On 1 April 2019, Sandra Hack took over the Global Head of Structured Commodity Trade Finance baton from John (Mac) MacNamara, who set up the original desk in 1999. Are these very big shoes to fill? Hack tells Trade Finance TV how she is making her own way in this very exciting new role.

Talk of digitalising trade finance continues, but who is actually making it happen?  CEO Souleïma Baddi (ex Societe Generale) is joined by Citibank’s Global Head of Commodity Trade Finance Kris Van Broekhoven and they explain who this new blockchain-based platform backed by some of the world’s largest banks and traders is doing this in commodities.

The other part of the digital journey is, of course the messaging, and it was good to hear from SWIFT’s Head of Trade & Supply Chain Huny Garg, and Senior Product Manager Bridget Cosgrave about how SWIFT is supporting banks and corporates with trade payments. Having heard about the commodities, the deals, and innovation at TXF Amsterdam, we closed with a reminder from Reed Smith partner Robert Parson about the risk of trade finance fraud and what the industry is doing about it. Table 7

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