Commerzbank To Use GlobalTrade’s Multi-bank Trade Finance Platform

German lender Commerzbank AG (CRZBY.PK) Monday announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with GlobalTrade Corp. or GTC, a Canadian application services provider, to further digitize and automate its trade finance business.

The bank plans to utilise GTC’s @GlobalTrade platform to strengthen its digital trade finance product range. The bank’s corporate clients will be able to access the innovative multi-bank trade finance platform.

For Commerzbank, the digitalisation and automation of processes are key priorities. The bank expects the partnership would enable it to meet the trade finance needs of corporate clients across the globe more efficiently and effectively.

In Germany, Commerzbank shares were trading at 7.48 euros, down 2.45 percent.

Alibaba Q4 Profit Surges

Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA) reported that its net income attributable to ordinary shareholders for the fourth-quarter ended March 31, 2019 was RMB 25.83 billion or $3.85 billion, an increase of 242% from RMB 7.56 billion in the same quarter of 2018. Earnings per share was RMB9.84 or $1.47, an increase of 242% from RMB2.88 last year.

Non-GAAP earnings per share was RMB8.57 or $1.28, an increase of 50% from RMB5.73 in the previous year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.96 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

But, income from operations was RMB 8.77 billion or $1.31 billion, a decrease of 5% year-over-year mainly due to $250 million settlement of a U.S. federal class action lawsuit. Excluding the impact, income from operations would have increased by 13%.

Revenue for the quarter was RMB 93.50 billion or $13.93 billion, an increase of 51% from last year’s RMB 61.93 billion, driven by the robust revenue growth of China commerce retail business, the consolidation of Ele.me, as well as strong revenue growth of Alibaba Cloud. Analysts expected revenues of $13.32 billion for the quarter.

Annual active consumers on our China retail marketplaces reached 654 million, an increase of 18 million from the 12-month period ended December 31, 2018.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2020, the company expects revenue to be over RMB 500 billion.

In Wednesday pre-market trade, BABA is trading at $182.00, up $6.93 or 3.96 percent.

GOP senators are in open rebellion against Trump over the trade war

  • Republican senators are openly criticizing President Donald Trump’s escalating trade war with China, warning that farmers in traditionally Republican rural states will bear the brunt. 
  • “I’d say the farm community is right on the edge of having been as supportive as they can be before that begins to turn,” Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told Bloomberg.
  • The president has pledged federal assistance for farmers affected by the trade war. 
  • China imposed tariffs on US agricultural goods in retaliation for Trump’s first round of tariffs last year. 

Republican senators are breaking ranks to criticize President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, with no end in sight for tariffs levied by Beijing against US produce. 

Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, has been among the most vocal GOP critics of the president’s trade policies, which saw the US raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports on Friday.

On Tuesday, Grassley took the rare step of openly accusing the president of not listening to concerns he has expressed about the latest escalation of the confrontation between Beijing and Washington. 

“I’m not sure if you talk to him face to face, he hears everything you say,” said the senator, who is chairman of the Senate’s finance committee, as quoted by the Washington Post Tuesday.

Grassley also said that the trade war would likely have an influence at the polls. 

“It’s going to have some impact on elections, of course,” Grassley said, as quoted by The New York Times. “So far, I haven’t seen farmers abandoning Trump, but it’s going to have some impact.”

Other Republican lawmakers have also warned the president that patience among traditionally Republican-supporting farmers is wearing thin, as senators work with the administration to craft an aid package to farmers.

“I’d say the farm community is right on the edge of having been as supportive as they can be before that begins to turn,” GOP Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told Bloomberg. “But hopefully the president will come to some conclusion here soon.”

“There’s a lot of concern,” Republican Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, told the Associated Press. 

“If this is what it takes to get a good deal, I think people will hang in there, but at some point we’ve got to get it resolved,” Cornyn said. “If this goes on for a long time, everybody realizes it’s playing with a live hand grenade.”

In remarks to the Post, he described Trump’s planned proposals to ease the plight of farmers, for example by cash assistance, as “inadequate.” 

According to reports, few farmers reliant on exports to China expected Trump’s trade war with China to last as long as it has. Trump signalled repeatedly that a trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies was close until negotiations abruptly collapsed last week. 

“We kept hearing that talks were going well, it sure looked like this was all going to be taken care of soon,” John Heisdorffer, an Iowa farmer and chairman of the American Soybean Association told CNN Tuesday. “There’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of emotions right now for farmers.”

Beijing responded last April to Trump’s first round of tariffs with tariffs of its own targeting American agricultural produce. China is the second-largest export market for US farmers for crops including soybeans and wheat.

The tariff package was widely interpreted as designed to hurt a key bloc of the president’s support, as mid-term elections loomed.

In order to mitigate the worst effects of the tariffs on farmers, Trump last year authorized $12 billion in government assistance, and told reporters at the White House Tuesday that money from the latest tariffs hike would be used to fund a new round of support.

“Out of the billions of dollars that we’re taking in [from tariffs], a small portion of that will be going to our farmers,” Trump said.

“We’re going to take the highest year — the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion — and do something reciprocal to our farmers.”

Senators have met twice with Vice President Mike Pence in the last week as the White House sought to ease their concerns, and are working with the administration to hammer out the details of the relief package. 

Though support for the president in rural Republican heartlands has held, Democrats are already eyeing opportunities to take advantage of mounting unease over his trade policies. 

“I think there is an opportunity. We have actually done some focus groups in farm country,” Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, told The Hill.

“Farmers were very loyal to Trump and wanted to give him a chance and thought everybody needed to do their fair share, but I think it’s getting different now.”