Singapore’s new business data-sharing platform aims to stem fraud

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Office workers go for lunch in the central business district on the first unrestricted day of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Singapore, April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

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SINGAPORE, June 1 (Reuters) – A Singapore business data-sharing platform backed by banks, commodity companies and state-owned enterprises has recruited 70 participants as part of the city-state’s bid to bolster confidence after a series of commodity trade finance frauds in recent years. .

The Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex), whose founders are DBS (DBSM.SI) and Standard Chartered (STAN.L) banks, commodities trader Trafigura and local tech regulator, Infocomm Media Development Authority, has been launched Wednesday after the plans were announced. Last year.

“We try to replicate what happens in the physical world,” Antoine Cadoux, chief executive of SGTraDex Services, told Reuters. “The goal is to go paperless throughout the process from start to finish.”

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“We believe that with the value that we are able to demonstrate, we can achieve scale relatively quickly,” said Cadoux, a former consultant.

Singapore, one of the world’s largest commodity trading and finance hubs and the biggest bunker hub, is aiming to step up scrutiny after recent corporate scandals, such as the collapse of one of Asia’s largest oil traders, Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd.

The liquidation of Hin Leong and other commodity traders has left many banks saddled with billions of dollars in debt and forced lenders to reduce their exposure to commodity financing.

Participants in the platform include bunker suppliers, cargo traders, oil terminals, traders, ocean carriers, Singapore port operator and others.

“We want to create resilience and transparency in the supply chain. This will certainly mitigate the risk of fraud,” Cadoux said.

The platform, which will initially be used to optimize bunkering, container logistics and trade finance fraud detection, is expected to unlock more than $100 million in value by 2026 for participants through efficiency and cost savings, better asset utilization and faster access to funding, says SGTraDex.

Funders hope that features such as the flexibility of data sharing and its neutrality will attract more participants.

Bank UOB (UOBH.SI), one of the founders of SGTraDex, said it aims to bring all of its bunker finance clients to the platform by June 2023.

“Digitalisation is important to create more transparency in the bunkering industry,” said Eric Lian, group commercial banking manager at UOB, who said he was the biggest funder of local suppliers. bunkering, in a press release.

In bunkering, the platform enables storage facility operators, banks and barge operators to go digital, with the aim of improving transparency in an industry that includes many intermediaries and relies on enormous red tape.

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Reporting by Anshuman Daga and Jeslyn Lerh; Editing by Edmund Blair and Hugh Lawson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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