Managing Director
UMP Trading SA

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

UMP Trading SA is a Swiss company based in Ticino operating in the trading sector. It is specialized in export of products mainly manufactured by “Energomashspetstal”, which is the Ukrainian’s largest forgings and castings manufacturer, with a particular focus on energy, metallurgical and machining industries. UMP provides its suppliers with administrative and financial support – we are in contact with world known banks and we are able to work with all existing bank instruments like L/C, bank guarantees and bid bonds. Thanks to our high skill personnel, we are managing all administrative and legal issues such as delivery contracts, insurances, goods transportation and search of foreign agents.

The major part of our customers are the companies with worldwide known names like GE, Arcelor Mittal, BHEL etc. with offices located all over the world and mainly in Europe, United States of America and Asia. In this period, we are trying to use our knowledge and, with the support of our agents, open the Africa’s, Iranian, Turkish and Brazil markets. Our location in the middle of Europe helps us to work with all our customers and in case of necessity to reach them in a short time.

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

As I said before, due to the specific application of our products, we have different markets where we are introduced. The main and prospective trend is production of alternative energy. The world is trying to increase the quantity of “green energy” and the energy plant does not exist without forging metal parts like rotor shafts and rings, for example. Therefore, we are strictly collaborating with leader companies specialized in Wind and Hydro energetic projects to deliver them our products and sometimes to participate in case studies with our ideas and know how.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

Due to the wide range of manufactured production, we are not going to increase the products range. I think that we have to focus on non-European countries and explore their needs. We have to search for new market opportunities and develop them together with our agents.

What are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

To my opinion Switzerland today is one of the best countries to handle the business because of transparent and clear legislation system and open minded approach of government and administrative structures which are trying to understand you and to help with all issues and not to penalize like in other European countries. In Lugano we have all the necessary administrative structures and consultants we can reach in case of need. We are happy to be a member of LCTA of Lugano, thanks to which we have more possibilities to get right and necessary contacts.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity 

It is difficult to describe LCTA’s activity in one sentence, because you do many things for companies like ours. You help to establish the communications between people, to find right consultant or business partner, you organize round tables around the world and attract new specialists here in Lugano, and you even organize special courses to train the personnel.

Head of sales/origination/trading and
member of the board at Enet Energy SA in Lugano

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

Enet Energy is active in the wholesale natural gas trading sector. The company operates on all major EU markets. In terms of counterparts, trading partners include major oil-gas companies, large municipalities and hedge funds.

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

EU natural gas markets have seen the evolution of a liberalization process started in the early 2000s. Still, today, we see the presence of large former national monopolies that impact heavily the markets. On the demand side, consumption has peaked and production of electricity from natural gas has collapsed due to renewables (mainly Germany). In addition, on the supply side, the EU is a net importer of gas from Norway and Russia. LNG has a limited share. In such environment, we cannot say there is a proper free market logic in place. Nevertheless, the liquidity of the markets has improved and transportation/storage assets are managed at market valuation. This setup opens to opportunities and in the medium-long term we foresee still greater integration and improved liquidity. Given the fact we will not see a shale gas revolution in Europe, our concern is mainly related to the supply side – if a market depends on 2 main suppliers, it is hard to make some evaluations related to fundamentals.

For your trading company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

The benefits of setting a company in Switzerland are related to the extremely positive environment in terms of legislation and services. The country has a great tradition in commodities trading and therefore has a competitive advantage with respect to others, in terms of legislative framework, bank relationships, people and market partners. The new tax system should also bring more competition among cantons and greater concentration of specific trading clusters, therefore improving know how and expertise in smaller geographical areas.

Lugano is historically the third Swiss hub for commodities and due to its proximity to Italy (one of our main markets) is a favorable place to operate from. It enjoys all the above mentioned advantages plus the marketplace is also very open and it is easy to link with others and explore business opportunities.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

LCTA has the very important role to foster communication among players and provide support to all market participants. As an association it represents the interests of commodity players and due to the integration in the Swiss commodity trading association it can bring and support the voice of commodity trading companies. This is probably the most important role. In addition, the association itself should act as filter towards “new” opportunities and new players entering the hub of Lugano.