Treasury Today Asia July/August 2020

Published: Jul 2020



Darwinism – of business

Understandably, many are tired of hearing about what new problem 2020 is heralding. Be it murder hornets, bush fires or trade wars, or the eponymous pandemic, the year has certainly taken its toll.

We’re now seven months into the year, and most of us have spent at least half of that working remotely. It’s certainly not a situation we thought we’d be in a year ago. But the human race continues to evolve and adapt, and the reaction to the global COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Life continues to move forward – albeit at a slower, and often socially distanced pace.

Singapore has headed to the polls for the general election, the build up to which became a global subject of interest. With a pandemic risking a recession, and a dramatic family contest (Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of incumbent prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong joined the opposition party), the election in the world’s fourth-best financial hub (according to the Z/Yen and China Development Institute ‘Global Financial Centres Index’) has proved one to watch.

For treasurers, the turmoil in Asia could prove problematic. The World Bank reported that growth in East Asia and the Pacific is expected to slow to 0.5% in 2020 – the lowest rate since 1976. All major economies are implementing huge stimulus packages – but will they be enough? Treasurers are having to work overtime to ensure their businesses are kept safe from the economic fallout that so many experts say is inevitable.

Key for a treasurer’s preparations is, of course, cash flow forecasting. In this edition we take a look at just how accurate is accurate enough, and we speak to experts and treasurers to find out what businesses could and should be doing to get the most accurate and efficient forecasts.

Keeping with the ever-important cash management focus, our Question…Answered feature quizzes both a treasurer and a banker on what they think can help treasurers to overcome the major challenge of forecasting and liquidity planning and help gain the information needed.

In the spirit of remote working and adapting to technology, our Insight & Analysis delves into the payments space, and how Asia is leading the digital revolution. Meanwhile, the Technology feature looks at APIs, whether or not they’ve truly delivered on what was promised to treasurers – and what the future holds for their use.

Lastly, this edition features an Industry Insight with Zarine Swamy, who recently transitioned out of treasury to pursue her own ventures. She discussed her experiences as a woman in the industry, what she’s learned from treasury and what she will take with her in her next role.

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