EuroFinance’s top articles of 2019

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Take a look at the top ten most-read EuroFinance news articles from 2019, ranked by views from our global corporate treasury community.

by Nicholas Dunbar

Published: 7 January 2020

1) Airlines divided on hedge benefits as oil volatility surges

Although published in November 2018, this was the most read article last year. It covers a perennial topic for treasurers: given an external source of volatility, how much hedging should one do? Opinions are often sharply divided. Increased Middle East tensions make the subject more topical than ever.

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2) Treasurers at VW, PayPal and BMW find innovative ways to beat Europe’s negative interest rates

Another widely-read article on a popular topic: with a need to hold cash, how do treasurers earn a decent return at a time when interest rates are low or negative? Solutions include absolute return funds and cross-currency swaps, emphasised in a follow-up article on Johnson & Johnson.

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3) Europe’s negative yield explosion

Central bank quantitative easing policies have transformed the borrowing landscape for treasurers, driving corporate bond yields into negative territory. Since this article was first published in August last year, the amount of such bonds has declined by 50% from a peak of $1.2 trillion.

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4) Perfecting virtual account management with an in-house bank

Bank account rationalisation is one of the big themes for treasurers at present. This popular case study showed how a leading multinational centralised its payments, eliminating the need for local banks.

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5) How Marsh McLennan bought a $7bn no-deal Brexit hedge from Goldman

Mergers & acquisitions have boomed in recent years, but the treasurer’s increasingly strategic role in managing transactions is often understated. This article on the risk management of a particular deal proved to be a popular case study on the subject.

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6) Africa’s top banks: a dominant big three

With the rapid development of emerging markets, managing FX risk, cash and payments in such countries is critical for treasurers and a test of bank relationships. In this editorial survey from March 2019, treasurers from the EuroFinance community ranked the top bank providers.

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7) Global liquidity and cash: keeping the product pipeline flowing

Working capital is a metric closely watched by shareholders, and treasurers play a central role in extracting efficiencies. But as this pharmaceutical industry case study demonstrates, working capital reduction has to be balanced against other business needs.

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8) Pearson cuts borrowings by £100m using AI-based cash forecasting

New technologies such as robotic process automation and artificial intelligence have long been mooted for their potential treasury applications. 2019 was the year that they began to have a real financial impact. This June article, and the Treasury Excellence awards given to Microsoft, Pearson and Wartsila showcase the phenomenon.

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9) Virtual accounts – real benefits?

The idea of replacing physical with virtual accounts chimes with the treasurer’s never-ending need to improve efficiency. But as this article based on a lively Copenhagen panel session shows, virtual account products offered by banks and vendors fall short in many respects.

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10) SCF players call for responsibility, transparency amid rating agency warnings

For years supply chain finance has been promoted as a win-win product for purchasers and suppliers, allowing treasurers to reap working capital benefits. But rating agencies are increasingly concerned that the mechanism is being used as a form or hidden debt.

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