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Standard Chartered offers 130 global currencies and real-time quotations through its Straight2Bank platform. Banaras Khan / AFP
Standard Chartered offers 130 global currencies and real-time quotations through its Straight2Bank platform. Banaras Khan / AFP

Deals of the Week: New currency services aim to improve trade ties

Standard Chartered has boosted its online foreign-exchange service to boost relationships with Asia and Africa; Mashreq Bank introduces yuan account service.

Standard Chartered, the UK, Hong Kong and Mumbai-listed lender, has boosted its online foreign-exchange service to help corporate clients enhance their trade relationships with Asia and Africa.

The bank now offers 130 global currencies and real-time quotations through its Straight2Bank platform. The service will save clients time and money by avoiding the risks of fluctuating currency rates when dealing with trade partners outside their economies.

"This value-added service is a demonstration of our commitment to enable the burgeoning trade flow between our clients in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the rest of the world; supporting our clients in their drive to connect with their trading partners in any part of the world," says Ashutosh Kumar, the global head of corporate cash and trade product management at Standard Chartered.

Straight2Bank also offers a "request for quote" feature, which allows customers to avoid calling a bank for currency quotations.

"By selecting their currency and volumes for conversion online, clients receive an almost instantaneous quotation, with the option to accept or decline within minutes," the bank says.

Haytham El Maayergi, the head of transaction banking in the UAE, says the bank's corporate clients in the Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar will have immediate access to the service without incurring set-up costs or installation delays.

Go to www.standardchartered.ae for details.

In more currency news, Mashreq Bank has introduced a yuan account service that will allow Chinese suppliers to invoice and receive settlements from UAE-based buyers.

Dubai's second-biggest lender by market value says it is the first bank in the Emirates to offer a yuan account service.

With about 4,000 Chinese companies operating in the UAE and a 200,000-strong Chinese community, the bank says the service will add value to trade relations between China and the Emirates.

"Trade with China is booming and is expected to hit US$100 billion [Dh367.3bn] by 2015," says Julio De Quesada, the head of Mashreq's corporate investment banking group.

"This service will facilitate the growth, encouraging Middle Eastern companies to settle their transactions in [yuan] with Chinese counterparties, aiding the growing trade with China."

The account also offers foreign-exchange services. For details, go to www.mashreqbank.com.

pf@thenational.ae

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