Beyond the Euro:cross-currency pooling at Grupo Antolin
by Luis Vega, CFO, Grupo Antolin
Back in 2005, we implemented a cross-border pooling solution for Grupo Antolin’s operating companies in the eurozone with our primary bank ABN AMRO, enabling Group Treasury to manage a consolidated euro position. With this solution well-established, we were keen to take the next logical step. Like other companies, once we had centralized our euro positions, we then looked to extend that single currency structure to incorporate other European currencies and, subsequently, US dollars. We can also see this structure expanding to include Asian and South American currencies in the future, reflecting those regions’ emergence on the global trade map. That way, we can optimize balances across several currencies, taking our liquidity management to the next level.
At Grupo Antolin, our vision was of a single, automated liquidity management solution that includes additional European currencies, such as sterling and Czech koruna, as well as our US dollar positions. The inclusion of the dollar cash positions held by our US operating companies - across five states - was particularly significant given the importance of the US auto industry to Grupo Antolin.
There were a number of reasons why we mandated ABN AMRO to develop the new solution, not least due to the success of the existing euro cross-border pooling structure. We were also impressed by its capabilities in liquidity management, its commitment to client service and its extensive global network. Another factor was the strong institutional relationship which already existed as ABN AMRO is Grupo Antolin’s largest international bank, providing a full range of services to our global subsidiaries.
Ensuring the most efficient transaction processing
Using a combination of automated, global cash concentration tools and an innovative cross-currency pooling solution, ABN AMRO extended our existing pooling solution into a fully automated cross-currency structure. Our operating companies throughout Europe and the US continue to manage their payments and receipts in their local countries, ensuring the most efficient and cost-effective transaction processing. The resulting balances on the accounts in Europe and the US are automatically swept to a cross-currency pool - located in the Netherlands - on an end-of-day, same-day-value basis, despite the different time zones involved. The various credit or debit balances across the different currencies are automatically offset without the need for any FX transactions.