The GTR website statistics reveal the topics that our readers cared about the most over the past year. Clear trends can be traced in what have been the most important trade finance stories of 2015.
1. Citi vs Mercuria
The Citi vs Mercuria case was one of the most followed legal aftermaths of the Qingdao port fraud scandal. The trade finance community sat on the edge of their seats awaiting the English High Court’s decision on who actually bears the risk in the sale and buy-back of repo transactions. After months of waiting, the verdict eventually came out on a Friday afternoon (London time). In this epic struggle between bank and trader, there were no clear winners. One loser was however obvious: metals and commodity financing in China have been heavily affected, with banks reviewing their positions in the market.
2. Bank moves
Some of the most-read trade finance stories this year have focused around banks’ moves in the industry. Of particular interest was ANZ’s rumoured exit for some trade finance business in Asia. HSBC underwent a global restructuring of its corporate and retail operations following a tax evasion scandal that attracted worldwide attention. But our readers do not just care about the big name stories, they care about the personal side too, which is why our “On The Move” section proves ever so popular, among which Angela Potter’s move to Deutsche Bank proved the most read.
3. Blockchain disruption
The traction on our coverage of blockchain development in trade finance shows the readers’ growing interest for the fintech space and for digital innovations in trade. Our September/October cover story “Follow the yellow block road” on how blockchain is paving the way for innovation in trade finance keeps attracting viewers, as more and more banks sign up to blockchain consortia or develop their own platforms – this story is most definitely to be continued.
4. China rules
GTR’s coverage of the Asia continent has deepened and widened this year since the appointment of a Hong Kong-based editor – and your response has been overwhelmingly positive. Hardly a week goes by without China trade finance stories topping the list of most read pieces. From the One Belt One Road investments, to Silk Road developments, to renminbi (RMB) news – and quite a few there were – the interest in what China is doing with its resources and power is at an all-time high.
5. The odd one out
Abengoa’s financial troubles is not one of your typical trade finance stories. Perhaps due to that, perhaps due to the size of the corporate, or the industry they are in, this issue attracted a lot of attention. After all, every trend has its outlier.