Increasing Interdependence in the Global Economy
Financial management of a company is a complex process, involving its own methods and procedures. It is made even more complex because of the globalization taking place, which is making the world’s financial and commodity markets more and more integrated. The integration is both across countries as well as markets. Not only the markets, but even the companies are becoming international in their operations and approach. This changing scenario makes it imperative for a student of finance to study international finance.
When a firm operates only in the domestic market, both for procuring inputs as well as selling its output, it needs to deal only in the domestic currency. As companies try to increase their international presence, either by undertaking international trade or by establishing operations in foreign countries, they start dealing with people and firms in various nations. Since different countries have different domestic currencies, the question arises as to which currency should the trade be settled in. The settlement currency may either be the domestic currency of one of the parties to the trade, or may be an internationally accepted currency. This gives rise to the problem of dealing with a number of currencies. The mechanism by which the exchange rate between these currencies (i.e., the value of one currency in terms of another) is determined, along with the level and the variability of the exchange rates can have a profound effect on the sales, costs and profits of a firm. Globalization of the financial markets also results in increased opportunities and risks on account of the possibility of overseas borrowing and investments by the firm. Again, the exchange rates have a great impact on the various financial decisions and their movements can alter the profitability of these decisions.
In this increasingly globalize scenario, companies need to be globally competitive in order to survive....
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