Seabury TXF has teamed up with Thomson Reuters to launch a new platform where treasurers can sell their account receivables.
The marketplace is hosted on Thomson Reuters’ Eikon platform – essentially its version of the Bloomberg Terminal – and will allow for both primary and secondary trading of receivables.
Corporate treasurers can upload the receivables they wish to sell, where they can be bought and subsequently traded (in the case of longer-term receivables) by qualified institutional investors. This secondary trading option is uncommon among the plethora of receivables platforms to hit the market in recent years. It offers further flexibility for both buyer and seller.
The platform, called the Receivables Board, leverages Thomson Reuters’ massive data stores. Many of the treasurers and investors will already be users of the Eikon system. This means they are essentially a known quantity, with track record and some level of pre-vetting on both sides, in terms of KYC regulations.
“There’s data on the investor and seller side, that provides for known parties. The biggest challenge with receivables is knowing what you’re buying, how can you gain transparency on what you’re purchasing in a receivable? Who are the parties involved? Those are the problems we’re solving with this,” Robert Lin, the Hong Kong-based CEO of Seabury TXF tells GTR.
This is the first transactional module on the Eikon terminal. The aim is ultimately to become “a truly transparent exchange, which is much more competitive than anything we’ve seen before”, Lin says.
Seabury TXF – part of the Seabury Group, which provides financial services in a range of sectors – is a trade finance specialist. It already uses a marketplace platform to connect investors with receivables but in that case it acts as a portfolio manager, purchasing many of the receivables on its own account, before selling to the investor market.
Receivables Board will see the firm act as more of a conduit, using the data points available to attract more institutional investment, which will eradicate the need for Seabury to buy the invoices in the first place.
The platform has been under development for over a year and will be focusing initially on Asia, targeting Hong Kong and Singapore. The region is flush with non-bank platforms trying to service the yawning trade finance gap, which was globally estimated to be US$1.6tn last year by the Asian Development Bank, with 40% of that estimated to be in emerging Asia.
The firm hopes that the partnership with Thomson Reuters, however, will help them break ground elsewhere in the world. Seabury TXF also has presence in the US.
Thomson Reuters’ head of Asia customer proposition, Stuart Brown, says that the partnership also combines well with existing corporate services on the Eikon platform, such as FXall, an electronic trading platform, Eikon Auctions, through which central banks and finance ministries can manage foreign exchange, bonds and money market auctions, and World Check, a due diligence tool.
“The launch of the Receivables Board app on our Eikon platform demonstrates the openness of our technology and the ability for our partners to quickly innovate to solve real customer needs. This solution will be of incredible benefit to corporate treasurers looking to address their trade finance requirements,” he says.