It is the second year that GTR has run its Asia Leaders in Trade Readers’ Poll, and interest in the competition is ever-increasing.


Indeed this year GTR was pleased to see a rising number of local and regional banks submitting votes. Winners of our Asia awards will be able to collect their awards at our Asia awards ceremony in September.

Best overall trade finance bank in Asia Pacific


Best structured commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific

Standard Chartered

Best export finance bank in Asia Pacific


Best commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific

Standard Chartered

Best trade outsourcing bank in Asia Pacific

JP Morgan

Best trade credit insurance broker in Asia Pacific

Gallagher Singapore

Best political risk insurance broker in Asia Pacific


Best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific


Best political risk insurer in Asia Pacific

Ace Global Markets

Best export credit agency in Asia Pacific


Best trade finance boutique in Asia Pacific

Eurofin Asia

Best trade finance bank in Singapore


Best trade finance bank in Vietnam


Best trade fiance bank in People’s Republic of China

Bank of China

Best trade finance bank in Malaysia


Best trade finance bank in Indonesia

Bank Danamon

Best trade finance bank in India


Best trade finance bank in Thailand

KasiKorn Bank

Best trade finance bank in Taiwan

Chinatrust Commercial

Best trade finance bank in South Korea

Shinhan Bank

Best trade finance bank in the Philippines

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Best trade finance bank in Australia and New Zealand


Best trade finance bank in Japan

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

Best trade finance bank in Mongolia

Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia

Best trade finance bank in Bangladesh

Dhaka Bank

Best trade finance bank in Pakistan

Habib Bank


Best overall trade finance bank in Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific is one of the most significant regions for trade services for Citi and generates one third of global revenue for the bank. This has been recognised by GTR readers as Citi wins the award for best trade finance bank in Asia-Pacific for 2011. India, South Korea, China, Singapore and Hong Kong account for 80% of the bank’s trade business.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Japan are also significant.

Citi’s priorities remain a focus on asset distribution to leverage credit appetite and enhance returns, continuing to enhance supply chain product capabilities, strong origination focus targeting the appropriate solutions for respective industries and clients, continuing to develop its Singapore hub for its financial institutions business and the bank’s focus on agency-backed solutions.

“It is a very exciting juncture in Asia Pacific as the growth of trade flows, both inter- and intra-regional, provide the backdrop for growing demand in the marketplace. In this current environment clients are increasingly turning to experienced providers, like Citi, for end-to-end trade solutions to connect with their key partners,” says Ravi Saxena, regional head of trade, Asia Pacific, treasury and trade solutions, global transaction services, Citi.

“Growth in trade for Asia will likely outperform GDP growth – and thus trade finance will be important to our clients. Banks are also likely to prefer this asset class given its lower risk profile.”


Best export finance bank in Asia Pacific

HSBC has yet again won the award for best export finance bank in the Asia Pacific region.

The bank has continued to sign groundbreaking export credit agency (ECA) deals in the region. A number of firsts closed in 2011 include the first long-term ECA-supported shariah compliant financing in Indonesia for telecoms firm Axis; as well as the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group’s (PVN) coal fired Vung An project financing.

Furthermore, HSBC was a mandated lead arranger (MLA) on a US$2bn project financing for Vietnam’s Mong Duong Power Company coal-fired power plant last year.

The project was the largest power project in Southeast Asia, as well as the first IPP financing in Vietnam since 2003 and the largest Asian project finance syndication of 2011. In addition, the bank was an MLA in the US$1.2bn Santos LNG project in Queensland,

Australia, signed last year. Commenting on the bank’s success, Christopher Green, head of export finance, Asia-Pacific, HSBC comments: “The selection of HSBC is vindication of our commitment to be best in class in terms of product execution throughout Asia Pacific and for taking on highly challenging and complex situations and structures.”

“We are particularly pleased with our broad geographic footprint across the region, where we have delivered transactions in Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and North Asia – one of the few international banks to achieve such a broad market penetration.”


Best structured commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific

GTR readers have voted that the award for best structured commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific be handed to Standard Chartered this year.

Despite challenges due to the economic turmoil in Europe and a perceived slowdown in some large Asian economies, Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) has consistently closed innovative transactions and delivered structured solutions to new and repeat clients.

“The deal flow in 2011 has been robust, with our assets and revenue registering a double digit year-on-year growth,” says Bharat Padmanaban, global head of structured trade finance and financing solutions at SCB.

“Backed by an extensive range of products, our structured trade finance and financing solutions team has gone beyond just offering the classic STF structures such as pre-export financing or prepayment finance,” explains Padmanaban. “The teams have leveraged on products and people to deliver bespoke solutions to clients, including structures using special purpose vehicles and asset-backed financing.”

Over the past year, the bank has added a number of new clients in Asia, and has completed transactions in Sri Lanka and Nepal for the very fi rst time. Moreover, the business in Indonesia has been ramped up significantly and is now an important contributor to the bank’s Southeast Asia business.


Best commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific

Continuing its winning streak, Standard Chartered has once again been named best commodity finance bank in Asia Pacific, as voted by GTR readers.

In 2011 Standard Chartered grew its commodity finance assets signifi cantly, and reserved 75-80% of that share to clients who have worked with the bank for more than two years. As such, the bank was able to fulfi l the needs of those clients with which it has a historical relationship.

The last 12 months also saw the bank add more product expertise, purchase boutique advisory fi rms, including Gryphon Partners, which serves its mining and metals clients better, and offer both private equity and equity placement support, on top of all other types of debt and trade products.

“2011 was a year of questions around US dollar liquidity and cost of funding issues,” says Seshan Chathapuram, Standard Chartered global head of client coverage, commodity traders and agrifinance. “The bank remained largely liquid throughout the year. Our A/D ratio globally was around 80% and we never turned down a client for lack of liquidity.”

“We count Asia as our home and have large on-the-ground presence in the two most active commodity trading and financing hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as in the origination/consumption hubs of India, China, Indonesia and most of South and Southeast Asia,” Chathapuram adds. GTR readers have voted JP Morgan as the best trade outsourcing bank in Asia Pacific.


Best trade outsourcing bank in Asia Pacific

Over the past year, JP Morgan has continued to provide new and streamlined outsourcing solutions to its financial institution clients. Across the Asia Pacific region the bank deployed 39 new products in 12 locations in 2011.

Its trade loans grew by 84% in 2011 year-on-year. A key differentiator for JP Morgan is its web-based technology platform, which the bank says is transforming the way its clients access and analyse trade.

Leveraging the Trade Channel platform, the bank’s clients are able to manage their trade activities from initiation through to payment, while gaining greater visibility into their trade exposure, cash flow and trading patterns.

Separately, an increasing number of corporates are also outsourcing their trade functions to JP Morgan, which will not only help them manage their trade functions more efficiently but also free up their internal resources so they can focus on growing their business.

Pravin Advani, JP Morgan global trade executive, Asia Pacific, comments: “In today’s volatile economic conditions and competitive market environment, our clients are continually looking for ways to raise business efficiency and improve working capital management. JP Morgan’s customized trade solutions allow them to build greater control and transparency into their trade functions and improve their operating efficiency, manage counterparty risk and enhance liquidity.”


Best trade credit insurance broker in Asia Pacific

Triumphant for the second year in a row, Gallagher Singapore has again been voted the best trade credit insurance broker in Asia Pacific.

A year after undergoing a complete overhaul in terms of ownership and branding, Gallagher Singapore continues to sail ahead of the competition.

The insurance brokerage, formally known as ITI Solutions, was acquired by US firm Arthur J Gallagher in mid 2011. Managing director Freddie Lim heads up the Singapore operations.

“We provide reliable, relevant and innovative insurance solutions that are responsive to the requirements of traders and financial institutions in Singapore and Asia,” says Lim, commenting on the firm’s win.

The firm’s biggest achievements over the last 12 months include the whole turnover credit policy that it put together for Stemcor Southeast Asia – a first for the steel trader.

Gallagher also counts as one of its achievements its role as reinsurance broker to Singaporean firm United Overseas Insurance. “We acted to assist them to write credit insurance in connection with a very challenging loan programme for their parent company, United Overseas Bank,” adds Lim.


Best political risk insurance broker in Asia Pacific

GTR voters have elected Ace Global Markets as the best political risk insurer in Asia Pacific. It is the second year Ace wins an award, after being voted best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific in 2011.

Julian Hudson, regional manager of political risk and credit, Asia Pacific, says: “I am very proud that we have been awarded this accolade as it recognises our commitment to providing our clients with the best political risk insurance product available in Asia Pacific. We will build on this success in the coming 12 months as we refine the solutions for corporate and banks in the region.”

He believes the combination of underwriting expertise on the ground in Singapore, coupled with Ace’s dedicated country and credit risk team, breadth of political risk product offering and the company’s strong balance sheet are what make its strength, and what convinced GTR readers.

“We always look at ways to underwrite a deal rather than reasons not to,” he adds. Ace particularly focused on diversifying its client base in the past year, and its political risk book has grown year-on-year, which was “challenging given the uncertain global political and economic risk climate”, according to Hudson.


Best political risk insurance broker in Asia Pacific

Jardine Lloyd Thomson Asia (JLT) has won the accolade of best political risk insurance broker in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are extremely honoured to be receiving this award for the second year running, especially with a number of new players establishing themselves in Asia over recent years,” says Matthew Strong, JLT managing director, capital risks, Asia.

During the course of last year JLT has continued to strengthen and expand its team of specialists across the region with a presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing and Bangkok.

“In addition to a growing team in the region, we work in a seamless fashion as a single global team with our credit and political risk colleagues in London and around the world, without geographic or bureaucratic restriction, to deliver the best possible service to our clients wherever they are and wherever the best market for their business may lie,” says Strong.

Strong comments that it has been an interesting year for the insurance market with considerable losses from natural catastrophes being suffered by insurers. But he notes that from an Asian credit and PRI perspective, it has generally been a positive year with a surge of new insurers and capacity entering the region.

“This can only be good for our clients as it delivers knowledge, choice and competition to meet the increasing local demand, which the insurance market needs to continue to strive to respond to,” he adds.


Best trade credit insurer in Asia Pacific

Coface has been voted the best trade credit insurer in Asia-Pacific for the first time by GTR readers.

Last year, Coface posted a growth of 12.4%, and reached €102mn in turnover, maintaining its leading position among private credit insurers in the Asia Pacific region. The result was due to the strong growth of the domestic insurance market in China and the dynamism of the electronics industry, which brought significant growth in the Korean and Taiwan markets, according to Coface.

Coface has a presence in 11 countries and regions in Asia Pacific, and with its 20-year history and team of 20 risk underwriting specialists, the trade credit insurer is able to provide a top class service to its customers.

“Coface has a variety of credit insurance solutions to suit the cover requirements of most types of businesses, whether trading domestically or overseas. We offer transparency on company credit opinions and flexibility on insurance cover and premium providing clients with value for money,” Richard Burton, CEO of Coface, Asia Pacific region tells GTR.

“We are more than a credit insurer. We aim to support our clients upstream in evaluating and preventing risks, so that they can make the best decisions at the most opportune moment. Coface offers them a comprehensive, detailed analysis of country, sectoral and credit risk, relying on its own powerful international direct network made up of 66 countries,” he adds.


Best export credit agency in Asia Pacific

K-sure has once again been named the best ECA in Asia Pacific. The Korean ECA has steadily increased its business volume over the past three years. Total business volume reached W165tn in 2009, W187tn in 2010, and W192tn in 2011.

Its 2010 results helped make Korea the seventh biggest exporting country in the world, a position K-sure is working hard to maintain. K-sure has provided a total of W14tn for medium and long-term (MLT) export credit insurance in areas including engineering, procurement and construction, shipbuilding and resource development.

These efforts have contributed to Korea escaping the crisis early, as it has helped Korean companies to actively expand their exports.

Not satisfied with the quantitative growth, the ECA also went for qualitative growth to strengthen the nation’s export competitiveness by linking trade insurance to actual exports.

“The year 2012 is more meaningful to K-sure than any other year. It is the fi rst year for Korea to take a giant step toward achieving the US$2tn mark in trade, and it is the 20th anniversary of K-sure’s establishment. “We are more than happy to hear the achievement that K-sure has been recognised as ‘Best ECA in Asia Pacific’,” says K-sure chairman and president Cho Kye-ryoong.


Best trade finance bank in Singapore

Named the ‘world’s strongest bank’ for two consecutive years by Bloomberg Markets, OCBC has won GTR Asia’s award for best trade finance bank in Singapore. Its native peers DBS and UOB were close behind.

OCBC typically supports trade fl ows in, out and within Asia. It is an active player in commodities trade around energy, agriculture and hard commodities, supported by a strong middle offi ce and the most aggressive late cut-off times for trade products.

“Our strategy is to deepen our franchise in our key countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Thailand,” says OCBC’s global head of trade finance, Clara Hang.

“We strive towards being the choice trade finance bank by taking advantage of the global economic climate to take market share from retreating European banks and deepening our presence in global industries. We want to be seen as the ‘go-to’ bank for trade finance.

This is through organising our strategy around the key approaches of liquidity, risk mitigation, cost and service convenience. With these at the forefront of the group transaction banking department’s efforts, we have seen strong growth in many aspects of our business,” Hang adds.

One example of this is OCBC’s high penetration into the Global Traders Programme (GTP), an initiative by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore to attract and encourage global trading companies to use Singapore as their regional or global base.


Best trade finance boutique in Asia Pacific

EuroFin Asia Group (EFA) has won the accolade of best trade finance boutique in the Asia Pacific region.

Based in Singapore and Geneva, EFA provides funding and strategy management within the structured finance, commodity and natural resources sectors. Since 2006, the group has financed over US$2bn-worth of trade fl ows.

Within the last 12 months, EFA has more than doubled the size of its trade finance assets under management and has reinforced its presence as a main player in the Asian non-banking trade finance market. It also continues to develop links between the Asian markets and the rest of the world, as well as the former Soviet Union markets.

Over the past year, EFA has also had to overcome the various challenges created by the ongoing uncertainty of the eurozone banking sector.

“Exposing investors to a non-traditional asset class will always remain demanding due to fears of innovative investment strategies. It is therefore a constant challenge to grow our business with our investors in the trade financing sector of Asian and emerging market companies,” says Francois Dotta, EFA partner and head of trade and commodity finance.

“However, even in the adversity of the global markets we continue to grow, and thanks to the support of our investors and the performance of our investments we see great opportunities to continue our development,” he adds.


Best trade finance bank in People’s Republic of China

Bank of China has won the award for best trade finance bank in the People’s Republic of China. It beat off stiff competition from last year’s winner ICBC to win this accolade for the first time.

It is increasingly evident that the bank is keen to become a more international player supporting global trade flows, particularly those flows to and from other emerging markets.

In May it signed an agreement with Ecobank Ghana pledging to grow trade and investment links between the two countries. Bank of China staff will be seconded to work on selected desks at Ecobank in Ghana.

This move reflects comments made by Xiao Gang, chairman of the board of directors at the bank where he called for China’s banking sector to speed up its internationalisation.

He sees the retreat of European banks from certain markets as an opportunity for Chinese banks to gain market share. Being involved at a global scale will also help Chinese banks overcome the challenges of slowing profi ts due to reduced domestic growth.

“With China’s trade and investment with the rest of the world becoming increasingly diverse, Chinese banks must further expand their global networks so their overseas business can have a larger coverage.

“In addition to enhancing their existing presence in Western countries, Chinese banks should attach more importance to delivering financial services in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, either by building up operating entities or through deepening co-operation with corresponding banks around the world,” he said in an official statement.


Best trade finance bank in Malaysia

For the second year running Maybank has been voted best trade finance bank in Malaysia.

“We are grateful to all our clients and to GTR for this recognition for the second year in a row. We still remain committed to our vision of becoming a regional financial services leader,” says Mahadir Manap, director of trade and supply chain financing at Maybank.

“We shall continue exploring various avenues and opportunities to grow our trade finance business for our clients across Asia. That means expanding product capabilities and offering end-to-end trade and supply chain solutions to support clients’ working capital requirements.”

Maybank has the largest trade finance market share in Malaysia, with a well established network and specialised trade expertise. It provides trade and supply chain products and services to approximately 17,000 clients throughout Malaysia. These clients are largely involved in manufacturing, commodities, fast-moving consumer goods, construction and the services industry.

Maybank has specialists in 24 dedicated trade finance centres and sub-centres across Malaysia, offering trade advisory services and customised solutions tailor made to meet specific clients requirements.

It is also the first local bank to offer clients a web-based trade finance solution across the region. The service enables clients to perform and monitor trade finance transactions online anytime and anywhere.


Best trade finance bank in Vietnam

Techcombank has won best trade finance bank in Vietnam. The bank, which has HSBC as a strategic partner and can therefore tap into its global network, has a nationwide network of 307 branches.

Techcombank was the fi rst local Vietnamese bank to establish a dedicated transaction banking business division in 2010 to focus on trade finance and cash management.

Total trade transaction value reached a record US$5.8bn in 2011, increasing 75% from 2009. The bank has developed both import and export solution packages across a wide range of industries including agribusiness, seafood, textiles, chemicals, electronics and steel.

“These customised programmes contribute as much as 70% of total trade volume/assets of the bank,” says Bach Thuy Ha, head of transaction banking. “In addition, we have developed trade-related solutions for FI clients including letter of credit (LC) outsourcing and refinancing, and risk participations.

We introduced the GSM102 import LC under the US Department of Agriculture programme to help Vietnamese importers access lower-cost funding from the US government, achieving a utilisation rate of over 90% of the approved limit after just one year, and accounting for around 30% of Vietnamese market share.

Most recently, we introduced an export bill factoring programme in conjunction with a major US bank for clients.


Best trade finance bank in Indonesia

Best trade finance bank in Indonesia for the second year running is Bank Danamon, with Mandiri a close second.

Bank Danamon offers the complete range of trade services from letters of credit to open account. Indeed, its typical trade fl ows are open account fi nancing for local supply chains followed by import loan fi nancing, which has boosted its portfolio signifi cantly.

Danamon has a strong domestic network spread across Indonesia, including in the commodity-rich east of the country.

In line with new government policy, both the steel and construction industries in Java dominated Danamon’s portfolio in 2011, followed by mining, energy, and the automotive sectors, scattered around Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan.

The bank has supported sizeable rubber and sugar trades for the last three consecutive years.

Its exposure in the sugar industry increased significantly after it launched new initiatives on delivery order financing. It has a dedicated trade commodity desk to handle such commodity finance transactions, as well as to undertake mark-to-market inventory valuation.

“Having trade business as an embedded culture in our bank, we aim to be the best trade finance bank in Indonesia by providing comprehensive services and solutions for our clients’ needs and also by becoming the centre of trade knowledge for both our clients and other trade practitioners, including other banks,” comments Margaret Tjahjono, trade product management head.


Best trade finance bank in Thailand

KasiKornbank has once again successfully scooped the award for best trade finance bank in Thailand once again. It has weathered the worsening global economic climate despite the fact that the US and Europe are the top destinations for Thai exports. “Along its 67-year journey in the trade finance business, Kasikornbank always serves its valued clients with vision and care,” comments a bank spokesperson.

The bank continues to support its clients in a variety of ways. It is an active participant in trade finance facilitation programmes run by the World Bank’s IFC and the Asia Development Bank.

This year the bank launched a credit insurance programme in partnership with insurers Coface, Euler Hermes and Factors Chain International. The aim of the programme is to target potential small and medium-sized companies that usually trade on an open account basis. KasiKornbank is the only Thai bank that is a member of Factors Chain International.

“This kind of risk mitigation service would help exporters to reduce their risk and encourage them to expand the market into those new areas and also into growing Asian market which is the way to diversify their risk to other parts of the world. In addition, exporters would be able to trade and expand the business more confi dently which also results in higher export volume of Thailand,” a spokesperson at the bank said.


Best trade finance bank in India

Once again, GTR readers have voted ICICI Bank as the best trade finance bank in India. The bank has carved out a niche as India’s largest private sector bank. ICICI Bank offers full transaction banking services in Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Russia, the UK and US.

“We at ICICI Bank value our relationship with our customers and consistently focus on improving our relationship with every customer we deal with. Creating a unique value for our esteemed customers is what differentiates us from our competitors,” a spokesperson at ICICI says.

One of the bank’s biggest achievements this year has been implementing its Trade Online facility. The platform allows the bank’s customers to initiate requests, such as bank guarantee issuance, letters of credit issuance and remittances relating to direct imports, advance imports and services online.

“Our model has enabled us to understand and support the trade requirements of corporate clients,” the ICICI spokesperson says. “This is an alternative channel made available to customers for initiating trade request and transactions at their own premises instead of visiting the branch and submitting the requirement in person. Currently no other Indian bank offers a similar facility.

A significant work has been done to enhance the features and make available the entire range of trade product on this online platform.”


Best trade finance bank in South Korea

Shinhan Bank has scooped the GTR award for best trade finance bank in South Korea. Shinhan Bank is currently Korea’s third largest commercial bank in terms of asset size, accounting for approximately 10% of its total deposits. It is also the oldest financial organisation in Korea.

The bank, which has 18,000 employees and has been established for 26-years, is well diversifi ed in Korea with a nationwide branch network. By the end of 2011, the bank accounted for approximately 76% of the Shinhan Financial Group’s total assets, and it is the core operating subsidiary among the group’s 12 financial subsidiaries.

The group’s latest subsidiary is Shinhan Card, a wholly-owned credit card company and the number one card company in Asia. Shinhan Bank provides its customers with an international trade finance service to support their overseas trade business. Its trade services include import letters of credit, trust receipt fi nancing, standby letters of credit and documentary collections.

Its unique selling point has been its excellent customer service, financial inclusion in Korea and forward looking strategies and programmes, all of which have made the bank a financial powerhouse, Shinhan Bank says.

“We, at Shinhan, strongly believe in blending in with the local environment using our global experiences,” the bank stated. Best trade finance bank in the Philippines

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is a new GTR award winner this year. It is one of the Philippines’ top tier universal banks operating a branch network of over 800.

With trade finance at the heart of its strategy, BPI has four international branches; one in Hong Kong and three in Europe. Over 60% of its trade deals are within Asia, a region earmarked for branch expansion.

For the past year, BPI has increased its customer base by 15% and registered a 30% increase in average transaction count per customer across market segments. There are strong trade flows from Singapore where BPI holds more than 30% of the Philippine market share. It also has a double digit share in flows to and from Japan and the US.

BPI is the only local bank who has issued Rmb-denominated letters of credit and sent out Rmb-denominated cross-border trade payments into China. The bank offers a complete suite of trade finance services that cater to markets across the economy from multinationals to SMEs.

Its BPI Expresslink and BPI Expressonline web offerings have been enhanced to present comprehensive 24/7 interfaces for trade customers.

In partnership with the IFC, BPI pioneered the Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) programme in the Philippines and in 2011 financed over US$115mn in renewable and energy-efficient projects reducing carbon footprint, including several local hydroelectric and waste-to-energy projects.


Best trade finance bank in Taiwan

Once again, GTR readers have voted Chinatrust as the number one trade finance bank in Taiwan.

As the most globalised bank in Taiwan with 67 overseas outlets, Chinatrust not only focuses on the local Taiwanese markets but also aggressively pursues international ones with respect to its trade finance products.

Via its overseas branches and subsidiaries, Chinatrust aims to provide a total global solution for clients in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and the US.

The business scopes are not limited to traditional trade products, but also include structured trade finance, supply chain finance and new products such as risk participation and import refinancing.

Chinatrust was the first Taiwanese bank to set up a structured trade and commodity finance (STCF) team. Starting with crude oil and natural rubber, the bank has closed most STCF deals in Singapore and has established a solid base of business with an expected volume of US$1.5bn in 2012.

Even in Europe, Chinatrust has structured a factoring transaction involving the outsourcing of both the credit and collection function to third parties while providing financing without a local branch. To seize China’s business opportunities, Chinatrust opened a Shanghai branch in April 2012 and aims to set up more branches in China in the future.


Best trade finance bank in Japan

The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi-UFJ (BTMU), part of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has once again won the award of best trade finance bank in Japan.

The bank has made efforts this year to promote its commodity and structured trade finance offering and is expanding its business for non-Japanese clients with global ECAs in Asia, Europe and the America regions.

BTMU has also continued to enhance its export credit and trade finance capabilities by arranging deals with export credit agencies (ECAs) such as The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (Nexi).

Toru Masutani, head of BTMU’s ECA, commodities and trade finance business, says: “It is our great pleasure and honour that BTMU has been selected again as the best trade finance bank in Japan. We have established the extensive network to promote global ECA finance and materialised landmark deals with our global collaboration.”

“Our commodity and structured trade finance business has also been expanded signifi cantly in these challenging and diffi cult market conditions. BTMU will continue its effort to be the leading trade finance bank in the global market.”

Best trade finance bank in Mongolia The Trade & Development Bank of Mongolia (TDB) has won the best trade finance bank in Mongolia award for the second year in a row.

The bank handled the country’s rocketing economic growth (GDP rose by 17.3% in 2011, compared to 6.4% in 2010) and increased demand for trade funding with expertise, participating in 48% of Mongolia’s trade finance-related transactions in 2011.

M. Delgerjargal, account manager, international banking at TDB, tells GTR: “In 2011, the country experienced an increase of external trade turnover of 83% compared to 2010. Following the economic growth fuelled by the developments in the mining sector, trade business with foreign exporters increased significantly in the last year.

“Trade finance lines established by financial institutions increased by 33.3% and trade finance volumes increased by 73% compared to the year end of 2010. Thanks to the intensive growth of foreign trade in Mongolia as well as increased customer knowledge about trade finance instruments, utilisation of these instruments has increased greatly last year.”

TDB has been taking risk-adverse actions and improving corporate governance in response to the global financialmarket instability. The bank also attracted investment from Goldman Sachs, which helped it broaden and internationalise its shareholder base and meet the needs of its clients.


Best trade finance bank in Australia and New Zealand

ANZ has scooped the GTR award for best trade finance bank in Australia and New Zealand. The bank’s trade service and a global proposition, with teams in 28 countries, stood out for GTR readers.

ANZ says it has had to face challenges linked to the strengthening of the Australian dollar, the volatility in the American and European economies and a slow recovery in New Zealand in the past year.

Mark Evans, global head of trade and supply chain at ANZ, comments: “These awards highlight ANZ’s strength in our core markets of New Zealand and Australia, and the unique mix of experienced people, depth of client insight and regional presence that we bring to our clients.”

In the past year, ANZ gained market share in Australia and New Zealand, and grew its assets and customer base, especially in the small to medium business segment. It also launched a range of Rmb-denominated trade and supply chain services to support its clients across the Asia Pacific region.

According to the bank, a regional trade network of over 500 trade specialists, the utilisation of a common platform and dedicated processing hubs provides it with insight, connectivity and greater transaction capacity, making it a leader in the trade finance sector.


Best trade finance bank in Bangladesh

Dhaka Bank is this year’s winner of the award for best trade finance bank in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi institution managed to beat last year’s winner global player Citi to the top spot.

Trade finance has been central to Dhaka’s business since the bank was set up in 1995. The bank provides a variety of trade finance products including import and export letters of credit, documentary collection, and the reissuance of local guarantees against counter guarantees from international correspondents.

It has over 320 correspondent bank relationships and has maintained a significant number of credit lines with major international banks.

It is a participant in the Asian Development Bank’s trade finance facilitation scheme after signing up to the programme in 2009. Its membership was seen as a strong step towards widening the international acceptance of the bank. Under the terms of the scheme, ADB issues guarantees for banks confi rming letters of credit issued by Dhaka.

Dhaka was already on the road towards international recognition by the trade finance markets after it was one of the fi rst Bangladeshi banks to sign up to the IFC’s global trade finance programme back in 2005. The bank also works closely with

Bangladesh Bank’s Export Development Fund (EDF) to provide additional financing for the country’s exporters. Authorised banks can borrow US dollars from the EDF against their foreign currency loans extended to Bangladeshi manufacturers and exporters.


Best trade finance bank in Pakistan

Habib Bank has been voted best trade finance bank in Pakistan. The Karachibased bank stood out for GTR readers, who commended its personalised customer service, as well as various initiatives aimed at small businesses. Anwar Zaidi, chief executive of Habib Bank’s UK subsidiary, says:

“As the largest bank in Pakistan, we are also present in 25 other countries. By virtue of that, we have access to different trading centres, and we have an intrinsic knowledge of trade finance, which makes us very well-equipped to handle trade transactions.

“Since we are based in an emerging country, we have the appetite to take risks in these markets, while other banks are sometimes reluctant to do so.

We also have a very strong understanding of how to stretch transactions in order to protect the interests of the bank and other counterparties involved. “The key is our customer service.

Our customers talk to human beings, not computers, and we are available at extended hours to handle transactions that require a prompt response.” In 2011, Habib Bank teamed up with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to finance the growth of small Pakistani businesses.

Under the agreement, the IFC will help Habib Bank design and launch financial services and banking products aimed at small businesses, which will then be rolled out country-wide through the bank’s extensive branch network.