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Industry roundup: 29 March

CDP and UniCredit launch the first supply chain basket bond

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and UniCredit have announced they will be launching what they describe as the first supply chain basket bond. The €200m programme is to finance the development plans, both in Italy and abroad, of companies belonging to supply chains that are of strategic importance to the Italian economy. The first issuance, dedicated entirely to the wine sector, has now been finalised. Wine is one of the world's leading Made in Italy products.

The programme is being launched with three Italian companies operating in the wine sector that have individually issued mini-bonds, at a fixed rate and with a duration of 7 years, raising a total of €21m to finance their investment and development plans in the domestic and international markets. CDP and UniCredit, acting as anchor investors in the transaction, have each underwritten 50% of the total amount of these first issuances stemming from the programme.

The three companies involved are Feudi di San Gregorio Società Agricola S.p.A., founded in 1986 and now a leading company in southern Italy and abroad in the "wines from Campania" category; Masi Agricola S.p.A., listed in the AIM section of the Italian Stock Exchange and considered one of the world's leading producers of fine wines; and Pasqua Vigneti & Cantine S.p.A., founded in 1925 and recognised as a global ambassador of Veneto fine wines.

This closing with the emphasis on the wine sector will be the first of other potential issuances that may focus on other strategic sectors of the Italian economy.


BIS Innovation Hub and SWIFT announce winners of ISO 20022 and API hackathon

The BIS Innovation Hub and SWIFT have announced the winners of the ISO 20022 hackathon, which invited teams to build and showcase solutions that enhance cross-border payments, using the ISO 20022 standard for payments messages and application programming interfaces (APIs).  

The winners were chosen by a panel including experts from the Bank of England, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, DBS Bank (Singapore), European Central Bank, Federal Reserve System, Innovate Finance (UK), New Payments Platform (Australia), Payments Canada, SWIFT, and Swish (Sweden). The successful participants are as follows:

  • Atomic Wire, which won for its highly scalable stream processing solution that performs real-time atomic settlement of FX transactions, eliminating settlement risk and removing barriers to adopting payment-versus-payment for cross-border payments. 
  • Mojaloop, which won for its solution for bridging the "last mile," bringing cross-border payments to users in emerging market economies who rely on mobile money transfer systems.
  • The Isonauts (Virtusa & AWS), which won for their solution using machine learning to ensure completeness and correctness of data as a basis for smoothing international payments.

The hackathon highlighted the benefits of ISO 20022, which is being adopted by large parts of the world's payment infrastructures over the next four years. Teams could adapt an existing product to make use of ISO 20022 or build and demonstrate new solutions leveraging the standard and APIs using SWIFT's API sandbox.


PPRO announces strategic investment from JPMorgan Chase 

PPRO, a provider of local payments infrastructure, has announced new investments today from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Eldridge. The latest investment is an extension of the US$180m round from Eurazeo Growth, Sprints Capital, and Wellington Management announced just weeks ago.

“I’m delighted to welcome JPMorgan Chase and Eldridge to our world-class group of investors as we continue to strengthen and expand our local and alternative payment capabilities,” commented Simon Black, CEO of PPRO.

PPRO has experienced rapid growth in the wake of the e-commerce boom, doubling its transaction volumes and increasing its global team by over 60% in 2020. The company’s continued global expansion has led to the development of new strategic partnerships with local payment methods in high-growth markets from Indonesia to Italy.

“Alternative payments adoption is increasing rapidly across the globe. We are proud to become a strategic investor in PPRO as they work on their next phase of growth,” said Sanjay Saraf, managing director, Global Head Integrated Payments Group at JPMorgan Chase.

Financial Technology Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor and Noerr as legal advisor to PPRO in the transaction.

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