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HSBC Singapore’s Project #hash wins SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2022

The company marks the first step towards wider use of smart contracts by launching the first-in-Asia digital public corporate bond issuance on a distributed ledger technology-enabled platform.

HSBC Singapore has received an award under the Blockchain Financial Services category in SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2022. Now in its fourth year, the prestigious awards programme lauds companies who ride the digital disruption wave with technological innovations that have successfully transformed industries and business models, from merely adapting to the changing needs to going beyond expectations.

Fixed income issuance and servicing processes are currently highly manual in nature, requiring multiple data flows, instructions, and reconciliations between parties with about 650 separate steps involved in the issuance process. The highly manual nature of the process results in significant inefficiencies and costs to all market participants, including clients who are investors in fixed income markets.

HSBC, Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Temasek Holdings collaborated in 2020 to create distributed ledger technology (DLT) enabled financial market infrastructure in Singapore.

With an aim to use a modern technology stack to address legacy market infrastructure challenges, they launched “Project #hash” which involved the development of a platform for the issuance and servicing of tokenised fixed income securities.

The digital asset issuance platform is a fully integrated infrastructure that connects ecosystem participants such as issuers, arranger banks, investors, legal counsel, settlement, and custodian banks.

With this, clients are able to benefit from shorter settlement cycles, improved transparency, ease of security creation and a lower percentage of failed trades.

On 1 September 2020, the partnership completed the first digital bond issuance on this platform, successfully replicating a SGD500M public bond issue by Olam International. Amongst several asset digitisations that use DLT in the Asia bond market, this was and Asia first for digital syndicated public corporate bonds.

Since then, the companies completed 10 issuances on the platform for a range of issuers including Singtel and UOB, with a total issuance size of over SGD3b.

More than 50 issuers and investors engaged in this innovative project which enabled multiple ongoing issuances. The creation of this DLT enabled financial market infrastructure is a significant step towards the digitalisation of end-to-end asset life cycles, realising benefits for all market participants including their clients who invest in fixed income markets.

In 2021, HSBC announced a strategic partnership with Marketnode to jointly explore the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts across a range of asset classes. 

HSBC Singapore believes that financial markets are on the verge of the next paradigm of asset representation – digital assets. The capabilities that they have developed as part of this project - issuance and asset servicing of tokenised assets are highly scalable.

The company’s future vision is to have an end-to-end digitalisation of fixed income systems, extend the capabilities across asset classes and build a connected global network that supports its clients’ ambitions in this fast-growing space.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project:

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