Infospectrum – Asian Counterparty Credit Risk Forum

On 12th July 2017 Infospectrum held its first Asian Counterparty Credit Risk forum at the Intercontinental hotel, Singapore.  Already well established as an eagerly anticipated annual event in London, credit industry participants had voiced a desire to see a similar gathering in Asia. With a total of six sessions, the forum was curated particularly with Asian shipping concerns in mind.  Ocean Shipping Consultants’ Jason Jiang began proceedings with the tough task of delivering a concise look at the topic-du-jour of China’s One Belt One Road initiative, and the implications for existing trade routes.  This was followed by a shipping market overview by David Jordan, General Manager of Research at Clarksons Platou Asia.  As it is well known that we all would like to have a crystal ball, both sessions were well received. Moving on to a look at the local bunker market, Infospectrum’s own Nikolaos Deonas took the stand.  Having previously held the position of Head of Bunker Trading at Cargill, Nikos delivered an insightful overview of the challenges and trends facing the sector.  Alongside Nikos, Tina Anand, who works from Infospectrum’s London office caught the audience’s attention with her look at how one could mitigate third party risk in the context of anti-bribery and corruption regulation.  As compliance becomes increasingly central to trade and counterparty decision making, clearly the need to protect your company from unintentional, but potentially damaging third party exposure is of great concern. Up next, the UNCITRAL Model Law on cross-border insolvency.  Lauren Tang, Partner at Stevenson Harwood (Singapore) Alliance guided the audience through Singapore’s quest to become the hub for international commercial arbitration, and following on from the theme of insolvency the final session of the morning focused on company failures, with Hanjin as a case study.  Dean Hilton, one of the company’s founding partners, now based in Australia, delivered a sobering account of the demise of one of the biggest shipping companies in the world.  Dean tracked several key factors including the inherent weakness in the structure of the Chaebol system, poor performance and ever more desperate borrowing, with corrective measures taken only when too late.  The case study also served to highlight the importance of counterparty vigilance and the help that a third party, independent specialist service can provide in sounding early warning signals. Finally, Infospectrum’s Managing Director, Panos Panousis, took a few moments to introduce our new Infospectrum Credit Management System which will be rolled out 3Q 2017.  The system will be available complimentary to our annual open-access subscription customers and will provide a comprehensive, compliance-focused counterparty risk management process which will enhance the customer experience alongside Infospectrum’s present database access package. A glance at the audience who took advantage of the opportunity to network at the ensuing lunch with fellow industry participants only served to confirm the breadth and depth of Infospectrum’s presence in the field of counterparty due diligence, with customers representing all fields of shipping, commodities, legal and financial services.  Feedback was very positive and as Panos commented, Infospectrum is very happy to have taken the initiative in Singapore to give something back to the industry.  Infospectrum will host its forum in London in September, and without doubt will build on the success of its inaugural Singapore forum in 2018.

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