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Does Your Foreign Exchange Advisor Have Global Reach?



Jamie Thorsen

Jamie Thorsen

Your global banking decisions are integral to the success of your business. When it comes to maximizing the impact of your foreign exchange transactions, you need a financial partner who has the expertise, insight and worldly experience to give you thorough advice and flawless execution. BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO) can help.

Our Foreign Exchange group is an award-winning team of nearly 100 professionals based in nine cities around the world from Toronto to Hong Kong. Top-ranked by large global investors and multinationals for institutional liquidity and pricing capacity, we are a 24-hour market maker who deals in all majors and most emerging pairs and their crosses. We offer clients a wide range of capabilities, from Canadian-dollar market making to structured risk-management solutions, including derivatives, swaps and options.

With BMO advisors in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, New York, London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou, our truly global presence allows us to offer our North American client base access to Europe and China; and our global clients access to the North American market.
In structuring large-scale international transactions, you need a partner who knows the local landscape, can help you develop the right hedging strategy early in the planning stages, and execute the deal.

North American Expertise & European Capabilities
BMO Capital Markets is building a reputation as a leader in the North American market. We recently won Global Banking & Finance Review’s Best Forex Provider North America, 2011 and garnered the top 2 rankings for the Canadian-dollar in the FX Week survey for the last two years, as well as Most Improved Overall Market Share in the Euromoney survey for 2010.

Our dominant position in the Canadian-dollar foreign exchange market gives us a superior view of one of the best-known commodity currencies in the world. Our longstanding US presence gives us significant insight into cross-border transactions and opportunities in the ever-changing North American landscape. Our unique position allows us to react quickly to market changes and to concentrate on supporting the evolving needs of the North American market.

There has been a growing interest in the Canadian dollar in Europe and the Middle East since the 2008 economic crisis. Augmenting our significant UK operation with a full service FX desk ahead of the crisis has proven very successful for our London operation. Our presence in Europe has grown quickly and we are gaining more ground there every day.

A Strong, Growing Presence in China
We have a thriving presence in China that is continually recognized inside and outside of the country. BMO recently won Global Banking & Finance Review’s Best Forex Provider in China, 2011, and our work with the regulators on market development and providing market liquidity and support for clients has resulted in BMO being named one of China’s Most Popular Market Makers and Best Non-USD Market Maker by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), for the fourth consecutive year.

And it’s no surprise, considering BMO Financial Group is the only Canadian bank incorporated in China, with branches in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It is the only foreign financial institution headquartered in Beijing. BMO also has a representative office in Taipei, Taiwan and an Investment Banking representative office in Beijing.

In September 2010, BMO officially opened its new incorporated subsidiary, Bank of Montreal (China) Co. Ltd. (BMO ChinaCo), allowing us the flexibility to expand our product and service offerings for North American and Chinese clients. In addition, BMO recently became the first Canadian bank to offer North American commercial clients the ability to make payments directly to Chinese companies in the Chinese Yuan (CNY).

In April 2011, BMO Capital Markets opened a new foreign exchange office in Hong Kong, expanding our existing presence in the Pan Asian market. In addition, BMO expanded its financial products and debt products capabilities in Hong Kong. A team of sales and trading specialists have been put in place, doubling the size of the Hong Kong office.

Most recently, BMO has begun trading FX options in CNY, having received the license approval from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) early in May 2011. This is a significant milestone in our history with China.

“BMO is the first Canadian bank to have the license to trade CNY options in China and one of only two North American banks to have this market access. BMO is also the first Canadian bank to provide cross-border CNY payment service for its North American client base. As a full-suite participant in China’s onshore FX market, BMO is uniquely equipped to provide comprehensive yuan market information to our global client base to help them with their yuan exposures and payment requests,” said Jamie Thorsen, Executive Managing Director & Head of Foreign Exchange and China Capital Markets, BMO Capital Markets.

“We’ve been building relationships in China since 1818, for almost as long as the bank has been in business. Bolstering our service capabilities in the Asian market is a key part of our growth strategy that will deliver significant benefits to our clients over time,” added Ms. Thorsen.

Global Teamwork, Global Solutions
We pride ourselves on partnering with our non-foreign exchange product lines within the bank to offer clients a wide range of capabilities as needed. Our team can help you through complicated investment banking deals and M&A opportunities, no matter where in the world they occur.

Our investor advisory services include active and passive strategies and execution. For our corporate clients we can offer cash flow or project hedging, intra-firm capital transfers, raising capital or borrowing in foreign markets, and cross-border M&A deals.

With an average level of experience of between 15 to 18 years, BMO Capital Markets FX advisors are trusted in corporate and investor circles alike for their expertise in foreign exchange. Our clients range from governments to hedge funds, to multinational corporations, to local corporations and small businesses.

Contact Us
Whatever your business ambitions and wherever they lead you, BMO Capital Markets Foreign Exchange can help you achieve them.

Jamie Thorsen, Executive Managing Director, Foreign Exchange & China Capital Markets

Firas Askari, Managing Director, Foreign Exchange Trading, Canada and UK

C.J. Gavsie, Managing Director, Corporate & Institutional Foreign Exchange, Canadian Sales

Simon Watkins, Managing Director Foreign Exchange, UK

Debbie Rechter, Managing Director, Corporate & Institutional Foreign Exchange, US Sales

John McAuliffe, Managing Director, US Trading & Foreign Exchange Options

Jolway Li, Director, Head, FX Asia



Sterling holds above $1.39, rises vs euro after Sunak’s generous budget



Sterling holds above $1.39, rises vs euro after Sunak's generous budget 1

By Joice Alves

LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling held above $1.39 against the dollar on Thursday and gained versus the euro after British finance minister Rishi Sunak unveiled an expansive annual budget designed to prop up the economy.

Sterling is the best-performing G10 currency this year, with investors expecting Britain’s speedy vaccination programme will help the economy to recover from its worst annual contraction in 300 years.

As the locked-down country prepares to re-open, Sunak delivered what he hopes will be a last big spending splurge to get the economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

The UK economy will return to its pre-pandemic size in mid-2022, six months earlier than previously forecast, Sunak said.

ING analysts said in a note to clients that the “generous budget” was well received and it was seen “to strike the right balance and support the spring recovery.”

Sterling edged 0.2% lower against the dollar to $1.3921 in early London trading,. Versus the euro, it gained 0.1% to 86.41 pence.

“Sterling is performing well …My sense is the budget measures bode well in the eyes of overseas investors,” said Neil Jones, Head of FX Sales at Mizuho Bank.

He said the measures and progress on vaccinations “add weight to the view the UK will stand at the forefront of the global COVID recovery”.

(Reporting by Joice Alves; editing by John Stonestreet)

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FTSE 100 falls as high yields, inflation worries return to fore



FTSE 100 falls as high yields, inflation worries return to fore 2

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday, dragged by miners and bank stocks on concerns about rising bond yields and volatility in U.S. markets, while engineering company Meggitt fell after its annual profit halved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index slid 0.5%, with mining stocks, including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, and BHP, leading the declines.

Resurgent worries about rising U.S. bond yields hit global shares as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address concerns about the risk of a rapid rise in long-term borrowing costs. [MKTS/GLOB]

Meanwhile, Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said there was no good evidence that cutting interest rates below zero would, past a certain point, weaken Britain’s economy rather than boost it.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.5%.

Ladbrokes owner Entain fell 2.0% after it held back declaring a dividend despite reporting a jump in 2020 earnings. It also said it was expecting online volumes to ease when shops re-open after surging during lockdowns.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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World’s biggest wealth fund puts Japan’s Kirin on watch list over Myanmar link



World's biggest wealth fund puts Japan's Kirin on watch list over Myanmar link 3

By Terje Solsvik

OSLO (Reuters) – The Norwegian central bank said on Wednesday it had put Japan’s Kirin Holdings Ltd Co on a watch list for possible exclusion from its $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund over the beverage giant’s business ties to Myanmar’s military.

Kirin on Feb. 5 said it would end its partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHPCL), a company run by Myanmar’s army, after a military coup deposed the democratically elected government.

As part of its decision on whether to maintain its ownership in Kirin, the Norwegian fund will monitor the implementation of the company’s plan to end the ties, Norway’s central bank said in a statement.

Kirin’s decision effectively scraps the Myanmar Brewery joint venture, in which the Japanese firm’s controlling stake was valued at up to $1.7 billion, although Kirin also said it still wanted to keep selling beer in Myanmar.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, held a 1.29% stake in Kirin Holdings at the end of 2020 with a value of $277.1 million.

“We remain focused on urgently implementing the termination of our joint-venture partnership with MEHPCL,” Kirin said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“As part of this, we hope to find a way forward that will allow Kirin to continue to contribute positively to Myanmar. We value opinions and feedback from all of our stakeholders and are open to constructive engagement on this matter,” it added.

The Norwegian sovereign fund, formally called the Government Pension Fund Global and set up in 1996 to save petroleum revenues for future generations, owns about 1.5% of all globally listed shares.

Holding stakes in around 9,100 companies worldwide, it has set the pace on a host of issues in the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) field, and its decisions are often followed by other investors.

The bank separately said it would allow the wealth fund to invest again in Poland’s Atal SA, which had been excluded since 2017 for risk of human rights violations through its use of North Korean workers at Polish construction sites.

“As a result of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council, all North Korean workers have now been sent out of Poland. Therefore, there are no longer grounds for excluding the company,” Norges Bank said.

Atal did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A third firm, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG, will be the subject of an “active ownership” process as the fund’s management seeks to probe the company’s anti-corruption work, Norges bank said.

“Norges Bank has been in dialogue with the company over a long period of time. We therefore have a good foundation for active ownership on the issues to which this matter relates,” the central bank said.

The fund held a 1.3% stake in the German firm at the end of 2020 valued at $147.1 million.

Thyssenkrupp did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

(Editing by Gwladys Fouche, Richard Pullin and Gerry Doyle)

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