Natixis joins blockchain platform for commodities trade finance, komga SA, covered by tier one, specialist press

Natixis has joined a new venture, komgo SA, a blockchain platform set to digitalise the trade and commodities finance sector. The venture, founded by Natixis and 14 of the world’s other largest institutions, aims to build an innovative, open and efficient network within commodity trading, optimising the flow of physical commodity operations.

The platform will be developed in partnership with ConsenSys, the largest formation of technologists and entrepreneurs building applications, infrastructure, and solutions on the Ethereum network.

The news was covered by the Financial Times, BloombergReuters, TXF, Fintech FuturesCoin Telegraph, Block Tribune, Ledger Insights, Coin Rivet, Finextra, Coindesk, Bitcoin Magazine, Crypto Vest, ETH News

News of BPL Global opening its doors in Geneva covered by the specialist press

BPL Global – the leading specialist credit and political risk insurance broker – recently announced the opening of a new branch in Geneva. Philippine de Villèle (left) re-joins from UBS to head the office.

With a focus on developing new relationships with Swiss-based banks, traders, NGOs and other potential clients, the branch will also act as a local point of contact for the broker’s existing clients. It takes the number of BPL Global offices to six, joining London, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

Following outreach from Moorgate, news of the Geneva branch was published by TXF, Intelligent Insurer, IJ Global, Trade Finance, GTR, Sigorta Gündem, Credit Insurance News and Schweizer Versicherung.

BPL Global names Sam Evans as Director

BPL Global, the leading credit and political risk insurance (CPRI) broker, has recently announced the appointment of Sam Evans as its newest Director. Having joined BPL Global in 2004, Evans has extensive experience of helping European-based corporates, banks and commodity traders effectively use the CPRI product, with a strong focus and extensive experience of the African Market.

In his new role, Sam will continue to manage a London-based team of 6 people, which has traditionally focused on French-speaking banking sector and includes one of the world’s largest commodity traders based in Geneva. The team also counts as a client one of South Africa’s largest financial institutions and he was instrumental in placing their first 15 year interest rate swap in the market.

Commenting on the appointment, BPL Global’s Managing Director, Sian Aspinall, said: “Sam’s extensive market knowledge and calibre as a broker means that he is highly regarded at both BPL Global and by clients alike. We are delighted to welcome Sam to the board in recognition of this, and it evidences our long-standing commitment to promoting talent from within and retaining our independence.”

Following outreach from Moorgate, news of the appointment was published by GTR, TXF and Trade Finance.

Credit risk, stranded assets and the environment: S&P Global Ratings’ Mike Wilkins contributes a chapter to a major new Routledge study

With ongoing advances in sustainability, the risk of being unable to monetise ca​r​bon assets grows by the day. A new book from Routledge, Stranded Assets and the Environment: Risk, Resilience and Opportunity, explores the ramifications of asset stranding across various sectors of the global economy.

Mike Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance at S&P Global Ratings, supplies chapter 8, drawing on research and real-world corporate case studies to focus on the credit implications of stranded assets.

Natixis announces new appointments to Executive Committee

In line with its strategic plan, Natixis has announced that Anne-Christine Champion, Natixis Global Head of Distribution & Portfolio Management, Olivier Delay, Natixis Global Head of Real Assets, Dominique Fraisse, Natixis Global Head of Energy & Natural Resources and Cyril Marie, Chief Financial Officer of Natixis Investment Managers will join the bank’s Executive Committee.

These appointments aim to ensure that Natixis successfully meets the ambitions set out in its strategic plan ‘New Dimension’, whilst further strengthening the bank’s position as a leading player in active asset management and in becoming the “go-to bank” in the 4 selected sectors for Corporate & Investment Banking – which includes Energy & Natural Resources, Aviation, Infrastructure, Real Estate & Hospitality.

What’s more, the four appointments and their subsequent expertise will strengthen the Originate-to-Distribute strategy, essential in Natixis’ sustainable value creation model.

The news was covered in IJ Global and IFR (please note the login/paywall).

Commerzbank’s Ruediger Senft cited on sustainable trade finance in Global Trade Review

Global Trade Review has cited the head of corporate responsibility at Commerzbank, Ruediger Senft, on the impact of climate risk on global commerce.

Senft explains that while trading companies and commodity producers face “real and urgent challenges”, they can “look to their banks for expertise on how to build resilient, future-proof supply chains”. He argues that “instead of retrenching from trade, we need to work out how to make the trade that we do finance more sustainable.”

Commerzbank’s Ruediger Geis remains optimistic for world trade in Euromoney

Euromoney‘s latest edition has cited Ruediger Geis, Head Product Management Trade at Commerzbank, in an article accompanying the magazine’s 2018 Trade Finance Survey.

The feature focuses on addressing the “gaps” in global trade finance – the considerable amount of trade that remains unfinanced around the world. “We should all be looking for ways to fill these gaps because trade creates jobs,” says Geis. “But as much as two thirds of the unmet demand is accounted for by SMEs in remote regions of emerging markets without the creditworthiness or collateral to make them bankable.” Yet Geis remains upbeat for the future. “Trade is like water: it will always find a way around obstacles.”

S&P Global Ratings assesses the outlook for American generators post-withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord

Earlier this month, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the 2015 UN Paris Agreement on climate change. Signalling a hiatus for the country’s decarbonisation efforts, the move reverberated not only across America but through the world.

In light of the unprecedented withdrawal, S&P Global Ratings has published its report, “Withdrawal Symptoms: What Trump’s Paris Agreement Decision Could Mean for American Generators”, outlining the repercussions for the American power grid.

Notably, S&P believes the withdrawal – largely motivated by President Trump’s plans to revive U.S. coal – may not boost the unregulated coal industry’s performance as hoped.

Meanwhile, the impacts on both the U.S. nuclear and natural gas industries are ambiguous. Although the Paris accord represented a boon for nuclear, S&P expects support for the industry to continue given its advantages of fuel security and grid stability.

Following Moorgate’s outreach, the report was covered by specialist news outlets, including Infrastructure Investor, Solar Reviews, Hydroworld and Penn Energy.

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S&P Global Ratings’ Aneesh Prabhu warns against mishedging by American generators in Energy Voice

American power generators now operate in a markedly changed landscape. The switch to natural gas – the largest fuel switch in the industry’s history – weakening demand growth, along with the rise of both renewables and disruptive technologies have all contributed to such market dislocation. And given that such pressures have increased market volatility, generators are revisiting their hedging strategies – favouring medium-term contracts as enthusiasm for longer-term hedges dwindles.

Writing for Energy Voice, Aneesh Prabhu, director, S&P Global Ratings, believes that while these shorter-term hedges may help to weather the current market’s dislocation, they should not be lauded as a magic bullet. He writes: “These new hedges can incur negative implications for credit risk – especially when compared to long-term options.”

Warning against the perils of mishedging, or using an unsuitable hedge, Prabhu calls for independent power producers and diversified companies to listen to the markets for a more accurate indication of moving power prices.

To read the full article, please click here.

Image credit: CC search user: Timothy Burling. (License)