SINGAPORE – Some of the world’s biggest banks in commodity trade financing are creating a digital trade finance registry in Singapore to try and mitigate the risk of trade fraud and boost transparency after losing billions of dollars due to a spate of defaults.

Banks have reduced their commodities business this year to cut risk following collapses, including that of Singapore’s Hin Leong Trading (Pte) Ltd, which shocked lenders after instances of financial trouble were laid bare by the coronavirus crisis.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, DBS Group DBSM.SI and Standard Chartered STAN.L said they are leading a group of 12 other banks in Singapore to create and conduct a central database to access trade transactions financed across banks.

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“A digital trade registry strengthens trade financing banks’ ability to avoid duplicate financing, and facilitates more sustained credit flow in trade financing,” said Ho Hern Shin, an assistant managing director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Reuters first reported in July that banks are teaming up to strengthen lending practices and improve transparency in the sector.

Entrance to Standard Chartered Bank in the City of London. Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom with operations in more than seventy countries. It is a universal bank and has ope

The registry’s proof of concept is supported by Enterprise Singapore (ESG), a government agency that promotes trade, and endorsed by the main representative body of banks.

“This mitigates against duplicate financing from different bank lenders for the same trade inventory, leading to greater trust and confidence among banks and traders alike,”

SINGAPORE – Oil prices rose about 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive test for COVID-19 sparked widespread alarm.

Trump’s health update eased political uncertainty in global markets, pushing Brent up to $39.96 a barrel by 0232 GMT, gaining 69 cents or 1.8%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $37.81 a barrel, up 76 cents, or 2.1%.

Prices had slumped more than 4% on Friday amid uncertainty surrounding Trump’s health, adding to concern that rising coronavirus case numbers that could dampen global economic recovery.

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But analysts said Monday’s rebound was driven by an easing of the worst fears about Trump’s health condition, albeit clouded by some mixed signals.

“I think it’s the improving health of the U.S. President … over the weekend there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally he’s improving,” said Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures.

Oil prices rose about 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday. (iStock)

“He could be back to work soon,” Sandu said, adding that investors were worried about the stalled U.S. fiscal stimulus plan which could aid oil demand recovery.

Prices were also supported by an expanding workers’ strike in Norway on Monday that could reduce the country’s production capacity by as much as 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) or 8% of its total output, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

These

By Fergal Smith



calendar: Illustration photo of U.S. and Canada Dollar notes


© Reuters/THOMAS WHITE
Illustration photo of U.S. and Canada Dollar notes

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar is set to gain more than 2% against its U.S. counterpart in a year as an expected recovery in the global economy from the coronavirus crisis improves the outlook for commodity prices, a Reuters poll showed.

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The loonie is expected to strengthen 0.6% to 1.32 per U.S. dollar, or 75.76 U.S. cents, in three months from about 1.3280 on Thursday, the poll of more than 40 currency strategists showed.

It is then expected to climb to 1.30 in one year, matching last month’s forecast.

“We expect oil and other commodity prices to rebound, particularly in the second half of 2021,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York. “That should pull CAD higher as well.”

Oil , one of Canada’s major exports, has slumped about 37% since the start of the year to less than $39 a barrel as global economic activity collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures. But a separate Reuters poll this week predicts very little upside for the price of crude in the near term.

Next year could be a different story. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projected this month that the world economy would expand by 5% in 2021 after an expected 4.5% contraction this year.

Economists expect Canada’s economy to suffer a smaller hit from a resurgence in infections than earlier this year, as provinces strive to avoid broad-based lockdowns and after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to double down on pandemic-related spending.

Ottawa has forecast a budget deficit of C$343 billion ($258 billion) for this fiscal year, which at about 16% of GDP is the largest shortfall since