Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) has used Bolero’s ePresentation solution for its first-ever electronic back-to-back documentary credit, hugely reducing the time required to facilitate a large iron ore shipment from Australia to China.
The transaction was arranged jointly with NAB (National Australia Bank) and China Guangfa Bank.
It was also the first time China Guangfa Bank has used an electronic back-to-back documentary credit. The presentation of this important trade instrument is in line with the Hong Kong government’s drive to increase the digitisation of trade documents in order to increase efficiency and boost trade flows.
The transaction concerned a shipment of iron ore from BHP Billiton in Australia to Shougang, one of the largest steel companies in mainland China and resulted in the electronic presentation of documents and electronic bill of lading.
Linhui Teng, General Manager of Transaction Banking Department, BOCHK, said: “BOCHK is a leading listed commercial banking group in Hong Kong and is committed to digital innovation. This very first transaction via the ePresentation platform signifies an important step forward in the development of our electronic banking services. The platform is an alternative to the traditional transaction model which involves overseas couriering and paper processing, ensuring better efficiency, accuracy and security in our services. Its success will herald a greater use of electronic channels for trade documents such as ePresentation, bringing customers more convenient and secure banking services.”
The documentary credit was issued for Shougang by China Guangfa Bank, with the beneficiary being Shougang’s trading arm in Hong Kong. BOCHK then issued the documentary credit to NAB in favour of BHP Billiton. NAB, on behalf of its customer BHP Billiton, also checked an electronic bill of lading (eBL) for compliance with the documentary credit before the documents with eBL went through BOCHK and China Guangfa Bank to Shougang for their electronic surrender of the eBL to the carrier.
Guo Qichen, General Manager, Trade Services Center, China Guangfa Bank said: “We are extremely pleased to use the Bolero application as it is perfectly suited to banks such as China Guangfa Bank that are at the centre of trade finance. ePresentation dramatically shortens the time taken to transfer documents such as bills of lading and provides greater efficiency and safety.”
Mark Borton, Head of Trade and Working Capital, Asia, NAB, said: “We are delighted to have been party to the first back-to-back documentary credit issued electronically by BOCHK and China Guangfa Bank. ePresentation guaranteed the transaction was completely seamless, efficient and trouble-free, enabling us to participate in full confidence. As a partner of Bolero we look forward to many more such transactions after what was an important breakthrough for us in this market.”
Ross Wilkinson, Head of Global Accounts for Bolero, said: “We are delighted to be working with BOCHK and NAB for this pioneering transaction that demonstrates the major contribution Bolero is making to the innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong’s financial services.
“The entire electronic presentation under the back-to-back documentary credit was completed five days before the vessel arrived at port in China, showing how letters of indemnity are now a thing of the past. Bolero will be at the forefront of strengthening Hong Kong’s connections with the world’s trade networks, supporting the government’s drive to increase efficiency through digitisation of trade instruments.”