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Awards / Treasury & Capital Markets
Treasurise Awards 2024: Asean, Australia banks executing best-in-class solutions
DBS, HSBC winners in competitive environment as banks, clients share aspirations
The Asset 10 Apr 2024

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region emerges as a global economic growth engine, so too is a heightened competitive environment in the region that is driving technological innovation among service providers and has a strong focus on automation and digitization, allowing them to keep pace with the changing market infrastructure and practices, regulatory conditions and client treasury requirements.

This comes as CFOs, treasurers and treasury professionals are reviewing their banking strategy to adapt to prevailing cash and trade practices. In doing so, they are rationalizing their banking relationships, for instance, to diversify risk or to have the opportunities to seek best-in-class solutions, products and services to smoothen their treasury operations.

Clients are looking for cost-efficient cash management solutions, such as consolidating cash across multiple entities and enhancing the use – as well as improving the yield – of the surplus funds. As well, corporates are sharpening their liquidity management to maximize the use of intra-group liquidity.

Banks are also implementing comprehensive cash management solutions to enhance visibility, facilitate automation, and optimize transaction processing and automated foreign exchange solutions to cross-currency payments. Likewise, clients are looking for payment process automation and digitization via host-to-host connectivity to streamline payables and receivables management.

In the education sector, solutions are implemented to assist schools and their students – as well as the parents – to transact electronically, enabling schools to improve their receivables management as funds are instantly credited to their account. On the other hand, parents enjoy safe payment methods for school fees via mobile apps, for instance, while students do not have to carry cash to school. This represents an important development as several Asean countries are transitioning to a cashless digital economy and e-payments and mobile wallets are becoming prevalent.

As well, clients are looking for different solutions to address their trade finance requirements, seeking a bespoke bank guarantee facility that provides them with the flexibility to issue any type of trade-related guarantee across various currencies. There is also a demand for a multi-currency bank guarantee facility that can address advanced payment and performance across various currencies.

Supply-chain finance solutions also figured prominently in solving the pain points of clients across the region. Solutions, for instance, were structured into a receivables purchase programme whereby the service provider purchased the insured receivables due from its obligors on a without recourse basis.

Another solution involved purchase invoice financing (PIF) implemented to increase the client’s purchasing power and cover import duties at the same time. Through PIF, more goods can be purchased from suppliers and, with the PIF covering the necessary taxes and duties, goods can be ready for sale faster.

Some supply-chain finance facilities are denominated in local currencies and combine supplier financing and cash with the invoices funded on a non-recourse basis.

As in other regions, banks are committed to sustainability in Asean, supporting the sustainability goals and aspirations of their clients as well. One product offering is sustainable deposit; and, in the case of one client, it included a key performance indicator that was put in place to measure annually the amount of corporate financing contributing to the energy transition and to sectors considered as committing directly to the achievement of the UN Social Development Goals.

Another sustainability-related solution involves a committed multi-currency green bank guarantee facility. The committed nature of the facility supports the client’s objective of expanding its renewable projects in the region, allowing it to issue the necessary bank guarantees for such projects.

Over in Australia, clients are seeking digital solutions that allow them to be able to send and receive funds more efficiently through digital wallets and bank accounts. And corporates are looking to establish a sophisticated liquidity structure for their subsidiaries in the markets in which they operate, allowing clients a greater visibility of the available liquidity.

Amid this backdrop DBS wins the award as Asean’s Best in Treasury and Cash Management while HSBC is Asean's Best in Working Capital and Trade Finance.

For the complete list of winners in Asean/Australia, please click here.

To learn more about these awards, please click here.

To join the in-person annual celebratory dinner on May 14 2024 in Hong Kong, please contact us at celebrate@theasset.com.

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Rebecca Lim
Rebecca Lim
founding partner
Auto ML Capital
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Inga Kudzmaite
Inga Kudzmaite
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