Asian trade finance demand surges as recovery takes hold

Despite dark predictions for a long, drawn-out hit on trade as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, trade transaction volumes in Asia finished 2020 ahead of 2019 levels, according to HSBC. Proprietary data from the global trade bank, seen by GTR, shows that the number of guarantees, trade and receivable finance products taken up month by month in 2020 overtook 2019 levels in September, and stayed above year-prior levels throughout the fourth quarter. “It was very difficult to predict what kind of recovery would take place. At a certain level, we looked at our data and we were quite amazed,” says Ajay Sharma, regional head of global trade and receivables finance, Asia Pacific, at HSBC. “When we looked at the data in July, we could see that working capital cycles were stretched, past dues were quite wide, and there was stress in the banking system. Today, all of this is back to normal. I don’t think any of us could have expected to see it bounce back so quickly in this way.” He adds that, in terms of transaction volumes, the fourth quarter of last year was the best in the last eight. “This just speaks to the strength of… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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