Societe Generale, the French financial services group, recently got its asset-backed commercial paper program off the ground, just over six months after it had established the conduit. Called Mercure Trade Finance, the program transfers the risks generated on trade assets in over 50 countries by SG's commodities and trade finance business.

At present, the size of Mercure is $200 million, but SG is working to expand this to $500 million, which it expects to do shortly. Initially, the risks transferred are on oil receivables, but as the program expands, the company will include other commodity financing as well.

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