Best Trade Finance Bank in Asia

150 Features_12-Trade-Finance-Awards-1Citi

Citi's trade finance business set records across the board in 2011, as all of the pieces seemed to fall in place for the bank. "We were in the right place, doing the right things at the right time, " says John Ahearn, managing director and global head of trade at Citi, who is based in New York.

"Issues in Europe, including sovereign debt concerns and lack of dollar liquidity, allowed us to take advantage of our capabilities and the fact that we are a US bank with plenty of dollars, " Ahearn says.150 Features_12-Trade-Finance-Awards-2 As European banks deleverage, they are withdrawing from the commodity finance business and, as a result of liquidity constraints, those that remain in the business are raising prices, Ahearn says.

Citi provides trade finance services in 86 countries and boasts a global network that enables it to cash in on globalization and shifting trade flows. Mature markets saddled with huge budget and trade deficits are struggling to breathe new life into their export activities, while developing markets have experienced an increase in both economic growth and exports. "More and more of these exports are now driven by South-South, instead of North-South, trading activities, " Ahearn says.150 Features_12-Trade-Finance-Awards-3 In the past decade, emerging markets accounted for 70% of world growth, and they now generate 2012about 37% of global trade volumes, according to Citi.

In the Americas, Citi has trade experts strategically placed across the US, Canada and Latin America. The bank is one of the largest issuers of commercial letters of credit in the US. In Latin America, Citi's trade services network spans 22 countries. The bank has completed the full rollout of its Web-based supply chain finance solution in 14 countries in the region.

"Demand is continuing to increase for supplier financing, and most of the major companies are coming to us with global mandates, " Ahearn says.

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