Cross-Border Financing

It is defined as financing deals that occur beyond the nation's borders

Author: Emily Rustom
Emily Rustom
Emily Rustom
I'm a BBA Finance and Economics student at Texas A&M university from Houston, Texas. On campus, I’m involved in Delta Gamma Sorority, Aggies on Wall Street, Aggie Women in Business, Horizons Finance, and Aggie Investment club on top of my job as a Fashion Marketing Coordinator. Outside of university, I've had experiences participating in the PJT Partners cohort program, WSO internship, UTIMCO Scholars program, and a Financial Officer of Grace in His hands NonProfit. These programs allowed me to develop skills in Excel, time management, organization, PowerPoint, and enhance my industry knowledge. Reach out on my Linkedin or email for more information!
Reviewed By: David Bickerton
David Bickerton
David Bickerton
Asset Management | Financial Analysis

Previously a Portfolio Manager for MDH Investment Management, David has been with the firm for nearly a decade, serving as President since 2015. He has extensive experience in wealth management, investments and portfolio management.

David holds a BS from Miami University in Finance.

Last Updated:November 27, 2023

What is Cross-Border Financing?

It is the most common way of providing funds for business activities outside a nation's borders. Business firms seeking cross-border financing need to compete globally and expand their business beyond their current domestic borders.

It is defined as financing deals that occur beyond the nation's borders. Such financing incorporates financial arrangements, such as letters of credit, border loans, repatriable pay, and banker acknowledgments.

This financing demonstrates acquiring funds outside the country's borders. Various kinds rely upon the requirements of the borrower and lender.

Parties are faced with risks that are associated with lending and global differences. However, borrowers can moderate legal and currency risk through expert advice and derivatives.

It has risen in popularity throughout the years with the assistance of globalization and the rise of emerging economies.

It is a process of obtaining funds outside the home country's border. It is precious for global businesses to conduct international trade without holding a large working capital reserve.

Cross-Border Factoring

In cross-border factoring, a factoring firm is involved in a deal and purchases the business accounts receivable in foreign currency at a discount. 

The risk of bad debt expense (clients not satisfying their accounts receivable) is moved to the factoring firm, which makes a profit between the discounted value they pay to the business minus any debt expenses.

Cross-border factoring is valuable for companies that wish to receive immediate cash flows to pay outstanding debt obligations, operating expenses, and investments for growth.

Factoring Components

Components Factoring

The components of factoring cross-border financing include some of the following activities:

  • From clients to business: Clients purchase goods/services on credit.

  • From business to factoring firm: Business sells account receivables to factoring at a discount.

  • From factoring firms to clients: Factoring collects cash when account receivables mature.

It empowers businesses to get immediate cash flow by selling their receivables to other firms. 

While financial institutions like investment banks provide a significant source of cross-border financing, private equity firms also offer a source of funding for international trade.

It sometimes requires the lenders or suppliers to act as agents between the business, their suppliers, and the end clients.

Cross-Border Financing Risks involved

These are certain risks that a firm will be unable to obtain payment from its clients on its contractual obligations due to various measures taken by the government related to the convertibility and transferability of funds in international currency.

1. Risk to the Borrowers

  • Legal Risk - Borrowers face different laws and tax consequences due to the foreign jurisdiction and laws.

  • Currency Risk - Borrowers are subject to foreign currency exposure due to the fluctuating nature of the transaction rate.

2. Risk to the Lenders

  • Country/Political Risk - For businesses in politically unstable countries, there is uncertainty regarding disruptions in business operations.

  • Default Risk - This is an important aspect to consider for any debt or loan. The business's creditworthiness is crucial in examining whether to lend or not and at what rate.

Cross-border financing inside a firm can be very complex because almost every inter-company loan that crosses a country's borders has tax consequences. This arises even when the loans or credit are extended by a third party, such as a bank.

Enormous international enterprises have teams of accountants, legal counselors, and tax experts that assess the most tax-efficient ways of financing overseas operations. 

Meanwhile, private credit borrowers have supported the arrangement and provision of loans internationally.

Managing Risks

It is normal for borrowers to employ a specialist team of accountants and lawyers to identify ways to minimize taxes and legal risks. In addition, currency risks can be supported with derivatives such as options.

Lenders can decide whether they are willing to acknowledge the risks associated with each case. There are two methods they can manage risks:

  • Increment Returns - Lenders can price in the risks by increasing their interest rates. When in doubt, a higher risk is compensated by higher returns. In the case of factoring, lenders can discount the value paid for the accounts receivable.
  • Decline Risk - Lenders can decline their risks by guarantee or response. With security, the bank can lawfully take the collateralized resource if the loan specialist neglects to make their installments.

In response, the lender can go after other assets of the lender that were not collateralized. On the other hand, lenders can make a purchase of insurance in case the borrower defaults.

Cross-border risks take a chance from events associated with a specific country rather than those associated solely with a particular client. 

If the structure of loan terms is not made by considering the possible risks due to various conditions, then obtaining a favorable rate will become difficult. In addition, some factors, like Upcoming Elections and changing political stances, have the potential to cause the deal to be incomplete or void.

Cross-Border Payments

These payments are financial transactions where the payer and the beneficiaries are based in separate nations. They cover both discount and retail payments, including settlements.

As worldwide trade and individual payments continue to see significant growth, a focus on developing these experiences is more important than ever.

Five years ago, the cross-border space saw imperative market activity encompassing business attempts, public sector initiatives, and private sector collaboration.

The key aspects to understanding the complex payments ecosystem include the following:

  1. Correspondent banking remains the most predominant cross-border payment arrangement. However, transactions can involve multiple hops through intermediaries, which can expand expenses and postpone the accessibility of funds.
  2. Cross-border payments have developed across all use cases because of globalization, growth in global e-commerce, migration, and record levels of worker settlement payments.
  3. Use cases are distinct, but troubleshoots are largely the same among businesses and consumers. Since these payments rarely go directly from sender to receiver, most trouble shots relate to speed, transparency, and price.

Some challenges are difficult to overcome, and they are as follows :

  • Administrative: Different purviews have different administrative necessities, which presents hazards and adds costs for suppliers.

  • Reporter banking: The quantity of journalist banking connections is consistently declining, especially where volumes don't legitimize consistency costs. In locales where exchanges might be high, gambling or consistency is troublesome.

  • Liquidity: Businesses and monetary establishments could confront liquidity challenges with trillions of dollars sitting in Nostro value-based accounts.

Numerous improvement drives are in progress, focusing on specific difficulties with changing or unsure effects. These drives keep getting some decent forward movement and, by and large, location similar trouble spots and problems, including; Settlement, Access and convenience, Cost, and Transparency.

Cross-line installments are costly because of the number of delegates engaged in moving cash from one country to the next, all of which charge expenses for their administrations.

Types of Cross-Border Financing

There are mainly two types of financing activities involved in the cross-border, and they are:

1. Cross-Border Loans: It can be specified as a contract that can be assumed as a resident's commitment to repaying a debt in favor of a non-resident lender such as - Banks, firms, Legal entities, or any individuals abroad or in foreign countries.

2. Letter of Credit: It is specified as a financial agreement between a Bank, a client, and a beneficiary. It is issued by an importer's bank, which assures the beneficiary will be paid once all the conditions of the letter of credit have been satisfied.

  • Cross-border loans work like regular loans - the thing that varies is exposure to two currencies rather than one.

  • Letters of credit are an assurance between the buyer, seller, and bank. When the previously agreed-upon conditions are met (for example, the seller shipping the merchandise), the seller is assured to be paid.

If the borrower defaults on payments, the bank steps in to pay the exceptional sum owed.

These are valuable to mitigate the default risk of counterparties, especially in the international business context, where it is harder to check the reliability of the gatherings to the agreement of the parties.

Cross-border Financing Market

This market has developed surprisingly over the years, with $7 trillion in outstanding loans worldwide. The increment can be attributed to multiple intertwined factors. The improvement of IT and the globalization of businesses have extensively driven demand.

Besides, emerging markets seeking to penetrate the global market require growth capital. Due to the political instability and currency risk of emerging markets, lenders get higher returns, which is attractive to those who prefer higher risk and returns.

Cross Border Listing

Business firms whose shares trade on their home nation's stock exchange and another nation's stock exchange are known as cross-border listings.

It involves firms that trade on the stock exchange of their home country and also on a stock exchange in a different country. A cross-border listing gives rise to the possibility of arbitrage opportunities, as similar assets are trading in two other markets.

Cross-border-listed firms are often based in countries outside the United States that also opt to be listed on a US-based stock exchange.

Example for cross-border listing: A China-based company is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange because that is its home market. When it applies for cross-listing on the NYSE and gets approved, its shares can easily be traded by US investors.

The company must meet the exchange's listing requirements, just like any other company.

Getting listed on the larger world exchanges, such as the London exchange, entails meeting the requirements set for all market members, including information on the number of shareholders and policies.

Several companies claim that their visibility and value have been enhanced through a cross-border listing.

Benefits of the listing

Due to the benefits of being cross-listed, many companies are getting themselves listed on stock exchange markets outside of their home countries. Here are some benefits of such a move.

  • Acquire exposure and access to more capital: Cross-listed companies are able to access more potential investors, which implies access to more capital. Their stock may also acquire huge attention by being traded in more than one part of the world.

  • Help improve a company's corporate administration structure: Cross-listings frequently expect firms to lay out a clear and well-defined set of rules that govern their corporate structure and design.

  • Attract more and better talent: Every firm requires good talent or front-liners to perform well in the stock market and in serving its clients. With the help of cross-border listing, the firm acquires exposure, increasing its chances of attracting top talent. Also, being cross-border listed needs a firm's equity incentive plan to be more rewarding than those of firms that are not. This helps it to create a pool of dedicated and devoted talent.

  • Improves a firm's reputation: Opting for a cross-border listing on the NYSE or other major exchanges enhances a company's public profile. In addition, it can be utilized as an advertising strategy for cross-border listed firms to attract foreign or abroad investors. Significant media enterprises screen the more famous stock markets, like NYSE, London Stock Exchange, and Tokyo Stock Exchange. Getting extra media exposure can boost a firm's image and brand value.

Cross-Border Financing importance

In the new past, many huge firms have proceeded to benefit from cross-border loans rather than debt financing. This move has influenced cross-border financing options, such as covenant-lite loans.

These loans offer borrowers much-needed flexibility in comparison with the regular loan regulations. International firms have opted for cross-border financing, with global funding spread across multiple countries and nations.

Selecting cross-border financing over other financing options will allow firms to maximize their borrowing ability and resources for optimum growth globally.  

Cross-border financing report

International banks have been dynamic in the ECB and offshore financing markets for years. These have traditionally involved European and American banks as also Japanese, Taiwanese, Australian, and, more recently, Chinese banks.

Example: As Indian banks cannot give acquisition financing, various acquisitions have been financed by NCDs subscribed to by FPIs and other domestic investors. 

Since foreign-owned and controlled Indian companies cannot access the Indian rupee (INR) debt market for domestic acquisitions, they have begun investigating the NCD route for financing downstream assets.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cross-Border Financing

Some of the advantages and disadvantages are:

Advantages  are:

  • Many firms go for cross-border financing services with global funding. For example, a Canadian-based firm with one or more subsidiaries situated in select countries in Europe and Asia.

  • Choosing cross-border financing solutions can permit these corporations to increase their borrowing capacity and access the resources required for sustained worldwide competition.

  • Cross-border factoring is a kind of cross-border financing that furnishes business firms with immediate cash flow that can be utilized to support development and tasks.

  •  In this kind of financing, businesses will sell their receivables to different companies.

Disadvantages include:

  • In such financing, currency and political risks are potential drawbacks. Currency risk alludes to the chance that a firm may lose money due to changes in currency rates during international trade

  • When structuring terms of a loan or credit across countries and currencies, Business firms may find it challenging to gain a favorable exchange rate

  • Political risk specifies the risk a firm faces while doing business in a foreign country that experiences political instability. 

  • Shifting to political environments such as elections, social unrest, or coups- could hinder a deal's completion or turn a profitable investment into an unprofitable one.

Hence, a few suppliers of cross-border financing may restrict doing business in certain regions of the world.

Researched and authored by Spoorti Biradar | LinkedIn

Reviewed and edited by Sakshi Uradi | LinkedIn

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