Basel III threatens to throttle trade finance

An unwelcome trade-off


The Asian economy runs on trade: in 2010 its intra-regional commerce figures clocked in at a healthy US$2.5 trillion, according to the World Trade Organization. And the wheels of trade are oiled by finance – letters of credit, bills of lading and straight export finance enable goods to flow in a seamless fashion from the factories of the Pearl Delta to the shops of Manila and Bangkok.

But according to Standard Chartered Bank this vital part of the economy will be hit by Basel III – due to the

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