Photo of Chinanard Chitvarakorn, BNP Paribas and Saowapap Sumeksri, Bangchak Corporation PCL.
The long-standing nature of this relationship, which leveraged the bank’s network across regions, enabled the issuance of a standby letter of credit in Norwegian krone in just a week, exceeding the expectations of the company.
Senior Vice President
Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited is a Thai energy company engaging in business alongside social and environmental stewardship. Its core business is oil refining, marketing, bio-products, now expanding to solar farms (a clean, natural energy), oil and gas exploration and production, and downstream innovation. BCP’s goals are to enhance national energy security while stepping into new business ventures for corporate continuity and sustainability.
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Urgent standby letter of credit solution shows true value of strong relationships
In June 2018, Bangchak Corporation PCL (BCP) was seeking to issue a standby letter of credit (SBLC). This SBLC is related to BCP’s investment; BCP had to deliver the SBLC within one week.
Given their long-standing relationship and good track record, BCP reached out to BNP Paribas Thailand and eventually mandated the deal to BNP Paribas as the bank could commit to deliver within the required timeline. As Surachai Kositsareewong, Senior Executive Vice President recalls, “We not only have trust in the services that BNP Paribas can offer but also understand that as a client-centric bank, BNP Paribas always provides the solution in the best way for their clients.”
BNP Paribas immediately expedited the process through its global network as soon as the decision was taken to mandate them. Collaboration from Singapore, Hong Kong and the Norway offices of BNP Paribas were imperative to cater to the urgent nature of this SBLC. As a result of the effort of various stakeholders within BNP Paribas globally, the first SBLC deal between BNP Paribas and BCP took less than three days from receiving the mandate to the date of issuance of the counter-guarantee.
As BNP Paribas was able to leverage its global network and understood BCP’s business and needs, the SBLC was delivered and went beyond BCP’s expectations.
Best practice and innovation
As this deal was not only urgent but also important for BCP’s investment, BNP Paribas Thailand had to come up with the fastest and most efficient way to deliver this SBLC on time and meet BCP’s expectations. The credit approval was obtained in a short period of time, which was due to the approachable management team involved and their understanding of BCP’s business.
Moreover, this SBLC had to be issued by a bank in Norway, where the beneficiary was located. With BNP Paribas’ global footprint, their Oslo office was a key strength in getting the deal executed locally. In addition, BNP Paribas Oslo’s help in localising the technical and operational aspect of this deal, including negotiating the SBLC format with the beneficiary directly, was also pivotal. Thus, a strong trade finance solution is also built upon the global presence of the bank.
In addition, as certain BNP Paribas’ key participants in Singapore were not available, BNP Paribas Thailand secured assistance from BNP Paribas personnel in other locations such as the legal team in Hong Kong.
This deal execution has illustrated that effective and efficient leveraging of BNP Paribas’s network, including its offices in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Norway, was achieved to strengthen the relationship with BCP and go beyond the client’s expectations.
As Surachai Kositsareewong concludes, “The success of this deal portrays the bank’s competitive edge in being a global bank that is client-centric and excellent in client relationship management, not only capable experts in the services they offer, but also a bank with a strong, cooperative human capital.
For these reasons, their “One Bank” approach is reflective of the bank’s values. From the trade finance solution perspective, the urgency of this SBLC also emphasised the significance of having a global network since it would allow both the ease of transactional operation and expertise of local knowledge and environment.”