ATEL Summer E-Conference: Post-Pandemic Planning for Treasuries
As a consequence of Covid-19, this summer’s ATEL conference was streamed on the 25ht of June in the office of HSBC Luxembourg. As an e-conference, much of its content inevitably addressed the pandemic and ways it might affect treasury activities not only in terms of the challenges treasurers face, but suggesting solutions and opportunities the post-pandemic environment will offer.
Accounting for Covid
Describing the accounting impact of Covid-19 on treasury activities Philippe Foerster of PwC’s told ATEL’s Summer E-conference, “The economic implications of the virus have a consequential impact on CFO/ treasurer priorities and as well on many aspects of accounting and financial reporting.” He explained to how the pandemic had strengthened the trend on top CFO/ treasurers’ agendas towards liquidity management, funding, working capital, foreign exchange and credit risk management as well as digital innovation. Jörg Wiemer of TIS revealed how weaknesses in corporate payment systems including a lack of transparency, payment security and fraud, could give rise to compliance risks, high workloads and challenges with integration and connectivity.
“The economic implications of the virus have a consequential impact on CFO/ treasurer priorities and as well on many aspects of accounting and financial reporting.”
Yo-yo of RoRo
David Bloom, Global Head of FX Research at HSBC Global Research analysed the yo-yo volatility of RoRo (Risk Off to Risk On) arising from the crisis for foreign exchange markets and their correlation to stock market indices. He described prospects for economic recovery with the slogan “all you need is LUV” each letter representing the shape of the potential recovery curves. “L” suggested a long, slow return of output; “U” a medium speed upturn and “V” a rapid return to a normal growth trajectory. Holger Zeuner, CFA, Head of Thought Leadership EMEA Global Markets Corporate Sales at HSBC examined ways of managing the financial risk of the pandemic. He proposed a “Covid-19 risk scorecard” to assess liquidity, risk capacity and operational flexibility as ways to mitigate internal risk. He concluded that while resilience is currently the key, participants should grasp the opportunities when markets reopen.
Changing an arm’s length
In presenting issues relating to transfer pricing for treasurers, Alain Goebel, a tax law partner and Danny Beeton, Of Counsel on tax law of Arendt anticipate changes to the OECD’s guidance on financial transfer pricing arising from the Covid-19 crisis. Problems they predicted include company profit margins falling below the old arm’s length range and independent companies reducing their prices and margins. Arendt sees potential solutions as changes in current transfer pricing policies despite existing agreements raising questions as to what is possible under current agreements as regard prices and terms including calculation of compensation for early termination and other changes.
Johann Herz (+352) 35 68 77