ON THE MARKETS corporate banking WHAT'S NewS Issue 7 Juiy 1996 9 ^fcense that we're not just ^^mployed by Rabobank Singapore; we're partofatruly international network where there are opportunities for growth and development. We also have an added advantage.Although we're growing, we're still a relatively small operation in comparison with some other financial institutions. What I keep telling people is that small here does not mean weak. It can be a real advantage - especially in terms of human resources. We have to work closely together because there aren't a whole lot of us. In turn, that means you gain experience in all areas of banking, learn to respond flexibly to market ^feieeds, customer needs.That's the beauty of being small and it also represents a challenge we can offer to our personnel.' not merely limited to opening up new markets. Once the branch has a created a foothold, it then has to follow through with a product range tailored to the specific type of market. And 'type of market' can be anything from the immature, such as Myanmar, through to the increasingly sophisticated Singapore. 'We have to understand each and every one of those markets and ^idapt our efforts and ^^pproach accordingly,' says Hannaart. 'We have to know what to offer and what the market can take. So, in fact, we have to have real competence in the full range of products, everything from project finance, syndications, structured finance, M8cA, structured trade finance, and, of course, treasury. But talk to our specialists about what we're doing in those areas, and to our human resources people, because that is really a hot issue here in Singapore.' Ranging from the maturing to the emerging, Singapore's target markets require very different approaches and very different products. How does the comparatively small 45-person team handle that diversity? We ask Arjan den Heijer, Yong Meng and Koh Ban Aik to explain. TOTAL FOCUS One product that is opening cross-selling doors for the branch is commodity finance. '1 want to compliment Yong Meng and his team for what they have achieved,' says Den Heijer. 'This is a relatively young department but the team has already made an Talk to any Singapore Rabobanker and they will teil you that the key to working immature markets is ongoing risk analysis. 'Clearly, immature markets have a high risk-return ratio,' Den Heijer explains, 'and that dictates a very different marketing policy to what you would apply to the more mature markets. But immature markets also represent enormous opportunities. One of the primary differences between immature and more mature markets is that because of the former's higher risk profile, it is much easier to get customers. The main challenge is to stick to your policy and resist temptation to opportunistic behaviour.' TOP RANK Risk analysis is, of course, also a major factor in identifying customers in more mature Yong Meng Arjan den Heijer markets. But there is a lot more competition for these clients. Yet in spite of tough competition, Singapore branch has managed to establish itself as a top food and agri- specialist in the region. At present, F&A-activities represent some 60 percent of total business and the branch ranks as top bank in, for example, commodity finance. 'I'd say that we have been and still are in a transition phase,' says Den Heijer. 'Like all banks which start up in Singapore, we began with plain vanilla participation in loans. We are now looking more and more at how we can develop more bilateral relationships with clients so we can sell more products like treasury, M&A, syndications and so on. The more products you can sell, the better your return on solvency.' NIEUWE PRODUCTEN Niet alleen nieuwe landen, maar ook nieuwe producten hebben de volle aandacht. Met hulp van kantoor Londen, dat inmiddels een grote expertise op dit gebied heeft opgebouwd, wordt een eigen forfaiting-desk opgezet. Hiermee kunnen een groot aantal risico's verkocht worden, zodat zowel de landenlimieten als de interne risico's binnen de perken blijven. Ook het opzetten van sydicaten is inmiddels aan het productenpakket toegevoegd. Koh Ban Aik en zijn team hebben sinds de start vorig jaar al 12 deals afgesloten. Dit jaar zijn dat er al vier en zitten er nog 3 in de pijplijn.

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blad 'What's news' (EN) | 1996 | | pagina 9