Global markets are currently under tremendous pressure. Political unrest, manufacturer consolidation, unprecedentedly high raw material costs, and an increasingly volatile international market are affecting markets as never before.
StoneX, which specializes in cross-border payments to less common currencies, is thus getting many inquiries. "We take care of many payments for companies. But, we're a one-stop-shop for many businesses. For example, we hedge their risks in, say, oil and gas transactions," says Laurens Maartens.
"Over the years, we've gained a lot of agricultural commodities experience. In recent weeks, for instance, grain prices have soared. That will affect other commodities, and the coming period will undoubtedly be very turbulent. This considerable volatility has a knock-on effect on currency markets. So, many corporations are coming knocking."
"The payment systems to Russia and Ukraine in local currencies are currently at a standstill, in effect potential FX investment companies had flee to safe havens. That’s why in the past week, we have seen the value of the dollar, the yen and the Swiss franc rise sharply. This also has an impact on the value of the more exotic currencies, in which we are highly specialised", says Laurens.
"We help many clients hedge so-called soft commodities like grain, milk, and fertilizer. Of course, we can facilitate payment, but we also offer hedging risk solutions for certain commodity transactions. These are services banks often no longer want to provide. That's where we, as Cross-Asset Trading Platform, come in."
StoneX, for example, offers its clients treasury activities for all kinds of things. These can cover financing and investment activities, risk and cash management, and everything concerned with identifying current and future financial risks. If they can and need be, they manage these activities too. "We have a huge network of local banks. That added value lets us build an even stronger relationship with our clients, even in uncertain times," Laurens concludes.