Former Investec manager launches trade-tracking business

Thanos Papasavvas, former Fixed Income & Currency strategist at Investec Asset Management, has co-launched Equant Analytics, a fintech and advisory business, with Rebecca Harding .

Harding is a technology entrepreneur, most recently CEO of data provider Delta Economics.

Equant Analytics aims at providing a broad range of clients, including governments, asset managers and hedge funds, with trade data by using the Equant Analytics Divergence Ratio (EADR) which measures the extent of the difference between officially published data and mirrored data.

“Mirrored data means that we do not simply look at one country’s official statistics on trade, but we cross-reference it by looking at the trade flow between two countries and create a weighted average of the two so that import and export values are consistent,” Papasavvas told InvestmentEurope.

“In the information economy, data is often free but intelligence isn’t. There is too much data out there and it is unstructured so analysts find it hard to interpret the market.

“Equant Analytics plugs that gap and delivers the results on an interface that is tailored to the user,” said Harding while explaining the company’s vision.

So far, Papasavvas and Harding’s data investigation has identified $2.1trn of unreported trade and an average 11% discrepancy between each country’s official data and the mirrored data.

The gap stems from under-reporting by the 200 countries and jurisdictions, as well as 12,800 products and sectors, covered by the Equant Analytics’ screening.

The fintech and advisory firm has just released its first report – EquantAnalytics_MindTheGap_03_02_16 – which highlights that Switzerland has the largest numerical discrepancy in 2014 with the top 10 countries making up $873bn of the total $2.1trn global difference.

Such discrepancy has been particularly acute in Switzerland’s case since 2013 and even more 2014, mainly due to the significant increase in oil and gas trade between Russia and Switzerland.

According to the Equant Analytics report, China came second in terms of the largest discrepancy, with some $123.9bn unreported trade, followed by Hong Kong which came third with $123.2bn of unreported data.

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