Internet trade finance market ready for launch

Internet trade finance market ready for launch

New York-based Internet Trade Finance Exchange (ITF) says it will open its proposed Internet-based auction market and clearing house for trade debt before the year-end.

ITF has been set up to offer a centralised platform for warehousing, auctioning and clearing of trade debt. By year-end 2000, the ITFex site will be open to members to begin safekeeping and auctioning international trade debt, including receivables. The site will provide for transparent pricing, reduced administrative cost, online clearing and settlement, online financial calculator, industry news, and analytics, says the company.

"ITF’s Web-based trade finance asset management system can best be characterised as a combination of a Euroclear-like automated settlement system and an Ebay-like auction platform," explains CEO Guy Elliott. "It is a more efficient, transparent, and cost-effective system for global trade finance asset origination, portfolio management and trading than the current, paper intensive and highly fragmented trade finance market.”

The auction process will aim to bring together commercial banks, finance houses, government export agencies and a variety of companies engaged in international trade, says Elliott. He says the company will generate revenues from membership fees, as well as transaction commissions.

ITF’s auction process is administered by its own proprietary auction technology. Bankers Trust has been engaged to provide custody, clearing and settlement services for all transactions on the ITFex site.

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