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BOLERO APPOINTS DANIEL COTTI AS NEW CHAIRMAN

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Daniel Cotti

Experienced former banking executive replaces Bolero veteran Nicholas Barber who becomes Deputy Chairman

Daniel Cotti

Daniel Cotti

Trade finance specialist Bolero International has appointed former J.P. Morgan executive Daniel Cotti as its new chairman, with effect from 1st February.

Cotti will replace Nicholas Barber CBE, who joined the company in 1999 and will move from his current role to become Deputy Chairman.

Cotti first joined the board of Bolero International as a non-executive director in September last year, following a distinguished 30-year banking career with JPMorgan, Citibank, ABN AMRO Bank and RBS.

He has been actively involved with major industry associations including the ICC Banking Commission, SWIFT and The Bankers Association for Finance and Trade (BAFT) and now runs his own boutique consulting company CTT – Cotti Trade & Treasury.

Barber joined Bolero International in 1999 and, as the company’s first independent Chairman, has guided the business through a series of critical events in its history which included securing significant investment from Apax and Barings; Bolero’s spin-out from SWIFT; delivering significant growth; opening offices in Hong Kong and Singapore; achieving cashflow breakeven and profitability and appointing Ian Kerr as CEO in 2014.

Cotti’s deep domain expertise and relationships across the trade finance industry have already proven to be invaluable in helping Bolero to define a number of new product offerings which it is planning to bring to the market in 2016. In his new role as Chairman Cotti will continue to work closely with Kerr and the Bolero team to deliver the company’s ambitious growth plans.

Nick Habgood of Azini Capital said: “We are delighted that Daniel (Cotti) has agreed to become Bolero’s new Chairman. Since joining the board in September (2015) Dani’s insight and input have been extremely useful and, with a number of new products due to come to market in 2016, he is exactly the right person to support Ian (Kerr) and the Bolero team in the coming, exciting and ambitious phase of growth.

“The shareholders are also enormously grateful to Nicholas (Barber) for his long term leadership and guidance of the business – taking Bolero from start-up to what is today a highly successful and profitable international SaaS solutions business. We are delighted that he has agreed to continue supporting the company’s development and growth in the capacity of Deputy Chairman”.

He added:Bolero’s ambition is to enable the seamless settlement of international commercial transactions, providing a single point of access for the multiple participants in trade including the sellers and buyers, the financial community, the shipping agents, the carriers and the various authorities.  Bolero aims to deliver value for all of the parties in the supply chain – reducing time and errors, by improving cash flow and working capital while ensuring efficiency, quality and security.”

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart 1

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.

“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.

“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.

Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.

But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.

“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.

“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”

Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says 3

LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales fell in the year to February as stores cut jobs at a rapid rate, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50. The measure points to falling sales and is below the consensus forecast of -38 in a Reuters poll of economists.

Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.

In another sign of a changing consumer habits during lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.

“With lockdown measures still in place, trading conditions remain extremely difficult for retailers,” said Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI.

“Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.”

Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate, the CBI survey showed.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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