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Industry roundup: 15 October

Emirates Development Bank launch supply chain finance platform in UAE

HPD LendScape, an international secured lending platform vendor, has announced it has partnered with Emirates Development Bank (EDB) to launch UAE’s National Supply Chain Finance (SCF) platform, which is designed to provide UAE businesses with improved access to working capital, particularly as they cope with the added pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial phase of the project, offering a payables finance solution, has now gone live. The next phase is set to provide a suite of buyer and supplier centric SFC variations, including Islamic Finance products. Bringing together buyers, suppliers and banks onto one platform, the National Supply Chain Finance solution aims to help simplify and automate operations, mitigate risk more effectively and make SME finance easily accessible.

“With SME’s facing an unprecedented challenge, accessing efficient finance is vital," said Faisal Aqil Al Bastaki, chief executive officer of EDB. "In our role as the UAE’s development bank, EDB is filling the gap and has launched a first class National Supply Chain Finance Platform, powered by one of the best names in the business, HPD LendScape. Such a sophisticated and digitally enhanced SCF platform is a crucial resource to any well-functioning economy; lenders and buyers should take advantage of it to ensure that SMEs continue to play their part in the UAE’s economic growth, long after Covid-19 has passed.”

 

Greenwich Associates proposes standards for defining electronic trades in corporate bonds

Categorising corporate bond trades based on the method of execution and other factors is no longer a matter of semantics, according to a new report from Greenwich Associates. Based on conversations over the past year with some of the most important market participants in the corporate bond ecosystem, the report examines why segmenting trading is so important, how that importance differs by market participant, both sides of each major open debate and a proposed framework for defining fixed-income trades going forward.

“While it is fair to say that some of this is just semantics that market structure nerds like us love to examine, there are real implications (a.k.a. dollars at stake) for how trades are categorised and counted,” said Kevin McPartland, head of Research in Greenwich Associates Market Structure and Technology group and author of All Electronic Trading is Not Created Equal: Proposing Standards and Exploring Issues with Corporate Bond Reporting. “But why these metrics matter and how much they matter vary for different market participants.”

Greenwich Associates proposes trade reporting standards to provide dealers, buy side traders and equity investors with a universal method of categorising, reporting and comparing corporate bond trades. These standards were developed over months of conversation with CEOs, strategists, traders, investors, and market structure experts from every major trading platform, as well as major bond dealers, nonbank liquidity providers, asset managers, hedge funds, and regulators.

Using these standards as a guideline, nearly every US corporate bond trade can be defined by assigning one value from each of the four categories: counterparty interaction, trade type, electronic and protocol. Such an approach is designed to allow investors to better understand where liquidity exists, dealers to better understand how their clients prefer to trade and equity investors to better understand the growth potential of specific trading workflows.

“We understand this is not the final word on the issue, and there will be areas of overlap and points on which different market participants will disagree,” added McPartland.  “But the market will benefit from a clear set of standards, and we hope these findings will help drive the conversation forward.”

 

Regal Software solution aims to simplify B2B payments 

Regal Software, a MineralTree company, has announced RegalPay One, a cloud-based solution that allows financial institutions to offer white-labeled, integrated payables to corporate customers. The new platform builds on its predecessor, RegalPay, which has been on the market since 2008, with over 160 ERP systems integrated. The firm says the platform is compatible with most major banks in the US.

The application is designed to enable regional and community banks to instantly provide a white-labeled platform for their corporate customers to automate their accounts payable function without a big investment in technology. Business users can simplify their payments processing with the ability to transmit all payment types, including virtual cards powered by Mastercard In Control for Commercial Payments (Mastercard In Control), as well as cheque, Automated Clearing House (ACH), and wire from their accounting system, without double entry. Reconciliation is also included.

"Unlike solutions on the market today that only offer a handful of ERP integrations and require a manual intervention to complete a payment, RegalPay One offers a bank-branded platform that connects directly to their corporate customers' ERP system," said Ed Wertzberger, vice president, Solution Delivery at Regal Software.

By providing banks with the choice to integrate either with cloud solutions or directly into on-premise applications, combined with the security of AWS bank-level encryption, the vendor says it enables banks to compete on product with an efficient and secure platform.

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