Citi appoints head of trade, export and agency finance

Ravi Saxena fills the new regional position at Citi which signals the increasing importance of export and agency financing in Asia's trade finance industry.

Ravi Saxena has been appointed head of Asia-Pacific trade, and export and agency finance (EAF) at Citi, becoming the first person at the bank to have this job. The new position signals the increasing importance of export and agency financing in the Asia-Pacific trade finance industry.

As trade and EAF head, Saxena will create solutions integrating the bank's trade services and EAF product lines. He will continue to serve as Citi's global head of trade services.

"By bringing trade and EAF closer together, we have a platform that not only supports our clients' short-term trade needs but also larger, long-term capital and investment needs," says Asia-Pacific treasury and trade solutions head Nigel Dobson on Saxena's appointment.

Saxena, who reports to Dobson, has already started his new job. He is Citi's first global transaction services head based in Hong Kong.

The financial crisis has increased the importance of EAF to trade finance deals. Governments and multilateral organisations around the world, including the Japanese government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) regionally, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) globally, have been increasing their financing for trade in the region.

At this month's Group of Seven meeting in Rome, Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa (who has since resigned) announced his country will boost its funding to the ADB's trade finance facilitation programme by $150 million to demonstrate its support of trade in these "difficult times".

Last year, J.P. Morgan completed a joint funding initiative with the IFC in Pakistan. The solution provided an additional $55 million to the country's Habib Bank towards expanding pre-export and post-import financing.

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