UK-based alternative trade financier Stenn International has launched a US$500mn fund to support global trade in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new Covid-19 recovery programme aims to deliver working capital liquidity for importers to help their suppliers get back into production following the outbreak of the virus, which put pressure on global supply chains.

Under the programme, importers will be able to take advantage of open account payment arrangements, allowing them time to receive and begin selling goods before payment is due. Meanwhile, suppliers can be paid at the shipment of goods.

Importers can be funded within 48 hours of their application and can invite their suppliers to also get paid quickly using Stenn’s platform.

In a statement, Stenn says its programme offers “special funding rates” to export suppliers in over 100 countries across a wide range of consumer and industrial sectors.

“This global health crisis has put global supply chains under even more strain. Stenn is committed to supporting companies involved in international trade to get back to full production,” says Kerstin Braun, president of Stenn Group.

Speaking to GTR in a previous article, Braun stressed that alternative sources of capital for trade are important, saying it’s unclear whether governments have committed enough support and, if not, “whether banks will step in on their own”.

The news follows a successful funding round by Stenn in June, which saw it secure investments from Barclays, Coface and Crayhill Capital Management.

The money will be used for Stenn’s core trade financing programme, Stenn Assets Funding, which has now been scaled up to US$500mn. The programme was worth US$150mn in July 2019, upsizing to US$300mn in November 2019.

Barclays, Coface and Crayhill joined Stenn’s financing programme alongside existing investors, which include French bank Natixis, the arranger of the programme, and asset managers NN Investment Partners and M&G.