Singapore, 2 May 2000 - Plasticscommerce.com, a local business-to-business plastics portal, and First International Bank, today announced that they have agreed to make online financing available to buyers and sellers of products and services in the plastics industry supply chain.
The strategic alliance will facilitate the settlement of transactions between clients of Plasticscommerce.com, as well as meet many other credit needs of plastics-related businesses.
"First International Bank's unique ability to finance small and medium size plastics companies in many countries, and for many purposes, is a valuable addition to the dynamic content and services we offer the plastics industry."
- Quek Mei Hsien
As part of Plasticscommerce.com's effort to build an international e-commerce platform for the plastics industry, First International will make and service 14 types of commercial and cross-border trade loans, together comprising its e-CreditMenu.
The bank will fund loan amounts up to US$5 million per transaction under the agreement - a significantly greater credit availability than the US$100,000 maximum "credit card" levels that typify the online business loan market today.
First International's e-CreditMenu product offerings range from basic payment guarantees, working capital lines and equipment loans to sophisticated international trade, barter and energy financing programs.
First International Bank will underwrite loans and other facilities appearing in the e-CreditMenu in accordance with Riscope, the bank's proprietary commercial credit scoring system. Riscope applies to most types of industrial companies around the world and assures them of an efficient and rapid credit approval process.
First International will integrate the e-CreditMenu with Plasticscommerce.com transactions using ThruCredit, the Bank's technological solution for automating e-business financing.
"Our value proposition is to increase efficiencies throughout the plastics supply chain and provide clients with e-commerce solutions which maximize their global marketshare," said Quek Mei Hsien, CEO of Plasticscommerce.com.
"First International Bank's unique ability to finance small and medium size plastics companies in many countries, and for many purposes, is a valuable addition to the dynamic content and services we offer the plastics industry," she said. "Working with First International, the U.S. Export-Import Bank's top transaction lender for three straight years, is an important step in our company's expansion."
Brett N. Silvers, Chairman and CEO of First International Bank said, "We are pleased to be associated with Plasticscommerce.com, the clear leader among e-commerce portals serving the international plastics industry, especially in major, high growth Asian markets such as China and India. The ability of Plasticscommerce.com to facilitate seamless transactions online, combined with our bank's comprehensive menu of credit products and universal scoring system, will benefit plastics companies throughout the world."
The two companies will exhibit at the National Plastics Exposition (NPE 2000) in Chicago, Illinois from June
19-23, 2000, where their representatives will discuss plastics industry products and services.
Plasticscommerce.com was established in July 1999 and aims to provide plastics companies worldwide with low-cost solutions to market themselves globally, conduct trade, and streamline business processes using a B2B model. Nine months into its launch, the company already has one of the largest databases of suppliers in Asia, with over 13,000 companies worldwide. The company has a network of 9 offices worldwide with a total of 43 staff and 11 agents.
Plasticscommerce.com has received the endorsement of eight plastics industry trade associations from countries such as China, India, Portugal, Belgium, Singapore and Australia. On March 23, 2000, the Company announced the formation of a joint venture, SifyPlasticscommerce.com, to launch a mirror site of its highly successful portal for the plastics industry in India, which has 30,000 plastics-related businesses. Plasticscommerce.com's partner in the new venture is Satyam Infoway Limited (NASDAQ:SIFY), which is the second largest national provider of Internet access and services to consumers and businesses in India, with 138,000 subscribers located in 36 cities as of February 2000.
About First International Bank and First International Bancorp, Inc.
Hartford-based First International Bank and First International Bancorp, Inc. specialize in providing innovative credit, trade and financial solutions to small and medium size industrial companies located in the United States and international emerging markets. The company is one of the nation's most active combined user of loan guarantee programs made available by the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Export-Import Bank. During 1999, the Company originated $551 million in loans primarily within its industrial niche, bringing the managed portfolio including loans on-balance sheet and serviced for investors to $1.076 billion.
The company has SBA preferred lender status in 21 districts, USDA certified lender status in several states, and Export-Import Bank AA delegated authority for export working lines of credit on a national basis. The company operates domestic representative offices in Boston, MA, Cleveland, OH, Detroit, MI, Hartford, CT, Miami, FL, Morristown, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Providence, RI, Springfield, MA, St. Louis, MO, and Washington, DC. The company also has international representatives in Argentina, Brazil, Central America, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, North Africa, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Turkey and West Africa.