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Bank of America Merrill Lynch Releases Report on Asia Pacific Treasury

  • Study examines issues facing the evolving treasury function

SINGAPORE – The Asia Pacific treasury function continues to evolve according to the Global Transaction Services (GTS) business at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA Merrill). Driven by the need for more sophisticated financial strategies, heightened regulatory requirements, changes in technology and a push to adopt more inclusive business cultures, treasuries are undergoing a transformation across the region. These themes and others are explored in detail in the newly published “Asia Pacific: Treasury in Transition” report by Treasury Management International magazine (TMI).

Authored by GTS executives in Asia Pacific, the report’s seven articles examine the changing landscape for treasury management and the opportunities and challenges faced by treasury management professionals at both domestic and multinational corporations operating in the region. The report complements the 2015 Asia Pacific Treasury Management Barometer, published by BofA Merrill in May this year in collaboration with SunGard, which surveyed 1,300 treasury professionals operating in the region.

“Asia Pacific is a diverse and dynamic market,” said Ivo Distelbrink, head of GTS Asia Pacific at BofA Merrill. “Multiple regulatory environments, currency regimes and economies in different stages of development are some of the complexities faced by treasury professionals operating in this part of the world. We believe this report helps provide insight and ideas that will help our clients navigate the challenges of operating effectively in this region.”

“Asia Pacific: Treasury in Transition” is available to the firm’s clients and through TMI. The report features in-depth discussions on the following themes:

  • The rapidly evolving treasury function in the region.
  • Managing liquidity amid regulatory fragmentation.
  • Operating within a volatile currency environment.
  • Embracing working capital management.
  • The transformational role of technology.
  • Debating gender imbalance in treasury.

Article Briefing

• The lead article “Treasury in Transition: Changes and Opportunities for Asia Pacific Treasurers” frames the report’s unifying theme, that the role of the treasury function is evolving rapidly to one that sits at the core of overall corporate strategy.

• “Taking Advantage of Innovation” analyzes the process of liquidity management in Asia Pacific and specifically addresses the impact of trapped cash. It cites several examples of innovative solutions that help corporations free up cash against a changing regulatory framework.

• In the article “Asia’s FX Landscape – Managing Complexity,” currency volatility and the treasurer’s role in mitigating FX risk are examined in detail, with a focus on managing exposures to emerging market currencies.

• “Supply Chain Finance Comes of Age” looks at how corporations in Asia Pacific are increasingly utilizing working capital management as a competitive advantage and how this mindset will continue to grow in scope.

• “The Power of Gender Diversity” addresses the business arguments for seeking to broaden management perspectives and ideas through greater emphasis on inclusive hiring practices.

• The report concludes with “A Transitional Force in Treasury,” a deeper examination into the role of technology in bridging the geographical, multi-jurisdiction and non-uniform FX challenges unique to Asia Pacific.

“The influence of changing market dynamics and emerging technologies is impacting the treasury landscape in Asia Pacific in a fundamental way,” said Ather Williams, head of GTS at BofA Merrill. “The ideas in this report reinforce our commitment to helping our clients navigate the evolving marketplace to deliver on their strategic ambitions.”

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