Currency Risk Management

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Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies

Research Paper
Currency Risk Management
Faculty: Prof. SK Vaze

Submission Date: 20th September 2012Submitted by:
Karisma Rawat C-06
Prableen Kaur C-08
Renu Balwada C-26
Rahul Gadh C- 33
Varun toshniwal C-35

CURRENCY RISK MANAGEMENT
INTRODUCTION

Currency or Exchange rate risk management is an integral part in every firm’s decisions about foreign currency exposure. Currency risk hedging strategies entail eliminating or reducing this risk, and require understanding of both the ways that the exchange rate risk could affect the operations of economic agents and techniques to deal with the consequent risk implications.

Selecting the appropriate hedging strategy is often a daunting task due to the complexities involved in measuring accurately current risk exposure and deciding on the appropriate degree of risk exposure that ought to be covered. The need for currency risk management started to arise after the break down of the Bretton Woods system and the end of the U.S. dollar peg to gold in 1973.

The issue of currency risk management for non-financial firms is independent from their core Business and is usually dealt by their corporate treasuries. Most multinational firms have also risk committees to oversee the treasury’s strategy in managing the exchange rate (and interest Rate) risk.

This shows the importance that firms put on risk management issues and techniques. Conversely, international investors usually, but not always, manage their exchange rate risk independently from the underlying assets and/or liabilities. Since their currency exposure is related to translation risks on assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies, they tend to consider currencies as a separate asset class requiring a Currency overlay mandate. It can be argued that prudent management of multinational firms requires currency risk hedging for their foreign transaction, translation and economic operations to avoid potentially adverse currency effects on their profitability and market valuation.

DEFINITION AND TYPES OF CURRENCY RISK

A common definition of currency risk relates to the effect of unexpected exchange rate changes on the value of the firm. In particular, it is defined as the possible direct loss (as a result of an unhedged exposure) or indirect loss in the firm’s cash flows, assets and liabilities, net profit and, in turn, its stock market value from an exchange rate move. To manage the exchange rate risk inherent in multinational firms’ operations, a firm needs to determine the specific type of current risk exposure, the hedging strategy and the available instruments to deal with these currency risks.

Multinational firms are participants in currency markets by virtue of their international operations. To measure the impact of exchange rate movements on a firm that is engaged in foreign-currency denominated transactions, i.e., the implied value-at-risk (VAR) from exchange rate moves, we need to identify the type of risks that the firm is exposed to and the amount of risk encountered. The four main types of currency / exchange rate risk that exist:

1. Translation risk: A firm's translation exposure is the extent to which its financial reporting is affected by exchange rate movements. As all firms generally must prepare consolidated financial statements for reporting purposes, the consolidation process for multinationals entails translating foreign assets and liabilities or the financial statements of foreign subsidiaries from foreign to domestic currency. While translation exposure may not affect a firm's cash flows, it could have a significant impact on a firm's reported earnings and therefore its stock price. Translation exposure is distinguished from transaction risk as a result of income and losses from various types of risk having different accounting treatments. Translation gives special...
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