North American utilities’ negative outlook could see modest improvement, says S&P

Credit quality for the North American regulated utility industry weakened in 2020, which saw downgrades outpace upgrades for the first time in a decade. However, the industry generally performed well throughout the pandemic and S&P expects it will continue to mostly manage through the remaining COVID-19-related risks. Despite a negative 2021 industry outlook, S&P expects a modest improvement to credit quality over the next 12 months.

Speaking to Utility Dive, Gabe Grosberg, Senior Director at S&P Global Ratings, discusses the challenges the sector has faced in the past year, and its prospects moving forward.

Read the full article here.

Leumi UK’s Gil Karni explores what UK hotels can learn from overseas neighbours in Global Banking & Finance Review

Like most industries, the UK travel and hospitality sectors have been hit at an unprecedented level by the COVID-19 pandemic and recovering from existing losses will take time. However, by following the example of their international counterparts, UK hotels can learn a lot about how best to deal with impending challenges, writes Leumi UK’s Gil Karni for Global Banking & Finance Review.

Of course, hotels must remain flexible and strive to adapt seamlessly to societal changes – despite the rate at which they may change. Regardless of the shape the post-pandemic world takes, it’s the hotel business and the people that keep it moving that will ensure the survival of the industry.

To read the full article, please click here.

With global trade undergoing significant change, BNY Mellon invited experts from leading banks to discuss how the industry can overcome challenges to support a new future for trade

The ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic has created a new trade finance landscape, impacting trade flows and supply chains and accelerating digitalisation on a global scale. In conjunction with GTR, BNY Mellon invited experts from leading banks around the world to a virtual roundtable discussion to explore the new norm, and how the industry can overcome challenges to support the evolving needs of clients, and successfully navigate the future of trade finance.

To read the full write-up of the discussion, please click here



Digitisation is underway and accelerating in the Middle East – but what are the key technologies being deployed? BNY Mellon’s Bana Akkad Ahari explores in Gulf Business

Digitisation is critical to the future of finance and treasury in the Middle East. As the industry continues to develop, the banking sector is challenged by the ever-increasing need to deliver optimised speed, transparency and efficiency; the difficulty in prioritising where to invest; keeping up with the launch and development of new technologies; and being constantly alert to potential new partnerships in a fast-paced world.

In an article with Gulf Business, Bana Akkad Azhari, Head of Relationship Management MEA & CIS, BNY Mellon Treasury Services explores some of the key emerging technologies that can deliver an enhanced client experience, such as SWIFT gpi, real time payments, OCR technology and artificial intelligence, and how can banks overcome challenges to reap the benefits of the digital age.

Read the full article here.

Natixis’ Jean-François Robin speaks to Financial Times on the weakened stock markets

Speaking with Financial Times, Jean-François Robin, Natixis’ Head of Global Market Research, talks about the weakened stock markets, as indices slide after investors took note of the deteriorating coronavirus crisis.

“The first quarter of the year will be worse than expected because of renewed European lockdowns everywhere”, noted Robin. “We were expecting a bit of a better start to the year.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Leumi UK appoints Mickey Schiller as new CEO, covered by specialist press

Leumi UK has announced the appointment of new CEO, Mickey Schiller. He replaces Gil Karni, who has headed the bank’s activity since 2018.

His appointment marks the bank’s commitment to adding exceptional talent to its team in order to originate new lending opportunities – particularly in the property and hotel finance sectors. Indeed, following a successful year in this space, Leumi UK will focus on real estate and hotel finance as key drivers of growth in 2021 under Mickey’s direction.

The news was covered by TRF news, Finance Magnates, Coingenius News, The Fintech Post, Business Money, Property Week, The Commercial Property Hub, Commercial Reporter, and Boutique Hotel News.

Leumi UK’s Louise Gillon speaks to Hotel Analyst on debt funding for hotels

Speaking to Hotel Analyst, Louise Gillon, Head of Hotel Finance at Leumi UK, discusses lenders’ strong appetite for the hotel sector despite COVID-19 challenges.

Commenting on the bank’s recent deals, Louise notes that “Leumi’s focus has always been in major city centre locations across Western Europe. We’ve been happy to finance regional assets on a portfolio basis but have stayed away from single asset transactions in the regional market. We like hotels that have dual demand drivers of both corporate and leisure, and have rarely financed assets focused purely on just one of these areas. And we don’t expect any significant changes in this regard.”

To read the full article, please click here (paywall).

Citi looks at the how embedded trade is revolutionising the supply chain

With numerous moving parts often causing delays in operation, the integration of services in international trade presents a transformative opportunity for everyone in the ecosystem. Offering a way to combine logistics, ordering and financing on one platform, “embedded trade” allows corporates to streamline their services – optimising cashflow and mitigating risks.

In Citi’s latest insights article,  Luis Valdich, John Mazzara, Xiaolei Cong and Opeyemi Olomo look at how this innovative landscape is unfolding and its potential to revolutionise supply-chain efficiencies.

Read the full article here.

Deutsche Bank releases the third installment of its ISO 20022 guide

Deutsche Bank has released the third installment in its “Guide to ISO 20022 migration series, which offers a comprehensive update on the industry shift to the de facto global standard for financial messaging: ISO 20022.

The paper explores the latest developments, including SWIFT’s year-long postponement of the migration in the correspondent banking space. The decision meets industry calls for a delay and also provides ample time to build the new central Transaction Management Platform (TMP) – a core feature of SWIFT’s new strategy that will allow the industry to move away from point-to-point messaging and towards central transaction processing.

It also details the wave of action that has been seen by market infrastructures around the world – with many, including the ECB, EBA CLEARING and the Bank of England, announcing revised migration approaches.

The news was covered by Global Banking and Finance Review , TMI, The Paypers, Treasury Today, CTMfile

Leumi UK’s Roy Shilo discusses how tech is weathering the COVID-19 storm in Financial IT

Writing for Financial IT, Roy Shilo, Head of Commercial Finance at Leumi UK, explains how technology is on track to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis in good health.

Seeing people and businesses through months of uncertainty while accommodating the needs of an increasingly tech-reliant society has meant an abundance of opportunities for tech investors and entrepreneurs. As such, long-term investment in innovation will become central to the recovery of the global economy, signalling a positive future the industry.

To read the full article, please click here (page 50).