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Management of Transaction Exposure

Chapter Objective:

Chapter Thirteen

This chapter discusses various methods available for the management of transaction exposure facing multinational firms.
Forward Market Hedge, Money Market Hedge, Options Market Hedge Cross-Hedging Minor Currency Exposure Hedging Contingent Exposure Hedging Recurrent Exposure with Swap Contracts Hedging Through Invoice Currency Hedging via Lead and Lag Exposure Netting Should the Firm Hedge? What Risk Management Products do Firms Use? 1

Chapter Outline

Transaction Exposure
The sensitivity - due to unexpected changes in exchange rates of the domestic currency value of a firms contractual cash flows that are denominated in foreign currencies. Unlike economic exposure, transaction exposure is well-defined, transaction-specific and short-term. When transaction exposure exists, the firm faces three major tasks:
Identify its degree of transaction exposure, Decide whether to hedge its exposure, and Choose among the available hedging techniques if it decides on hedging.

Unhedged Position
Future FX Receipt

Future FX Payment

Today: do nothing FX receipt date: sell FX at that days spot rate

Today: do nothing FX payment date: buy FX at that days spot rate

In either case, company assumes FX risk

Forward Market Hedge

If you are going to owe foreign currency in the future, agree to buy the foreign currency now by entering into long position in a forward contract. If you are going to receive foreign currency in the future, agree to sell the foreign currency now by entering into short position in a forward contract. Example: You are a Canadian importer of British woolens and have just ordered next years inventory. Payment of 100M is due in one year. Question: How can you fix the cash outflow in dollars? Answer: One way is to put yourself in a position that delivers 100M in one yeara long forward contract on the pound.

FX Exposure is not hedged

Suppose the forward exchange rate is $1.50/. If he does not hedge the 100m payable, in one year his gain (loss) on the unhedged position is shown in green. The importer will be better off if the pound depreciates: he still buys 100 m but at an exchange rate of only $1.20/ he saves $30 million relative to $1.50/

$30 m $0

$1.20/ $1.50/ $30 m

Value of 1 in $ in one year $1.80/

But he will be worse off if the pound appreciates.

Unhedged payable

Forward Market Hedge

If he agrees to buy 100m in one year at $1.50/ his gain (loss) on the forward are shown in blue.
If you agree to buy 100 million at a price of $1.50 per pound, you will make $30 million if the price of a pound reaches $1.80.

Long forward

$30 m


$1.20/ $1.50/ $1.80/

$30 m

Value of 1 in $ in one year

If you agree to buy 100 million at a price of $1.50 per pound, you will lose $30 million if the price of a pound is only $1.20.

Forward Hedge Summary

Future FX Receipt

Future FX Payment

Today: Sell FX forward @ prevailing forward rate FX receipt date: Receive FX Sell FX from receipt for domestic currency at the contracted forward rate

Today: Buy FX forward @ prevailing forward rate FX payment date:

Purchase FX with domestic currency at the contracted forward rate Receive FX from forward contract to cover FX payment

In either case, company eliminates FX risk


Futures Hedge
Currency Futures contract could also be considered, but would have two disadvantages over a forward contract. 1.


Money Market Hedge

This is the same idea as covered interest arbitrage. To hedge a foreign currency payable, buy a bunch of that foreign currency today and sit on it.

Its more efficient to buy the present value of the foreign currency payable today. Invest that amount at the foreign rate. At maturity your investment will have grown enough to cover your foreign currency payable.

Money Market Hedge

The importer of British woolens can hedge his 100 million payable with a money market hedge. The following rates are given
Spot exchange rate
360-day forward rate Canadian discount rate

S($/) = $1.25/
F360($/) = $1.20/ i$ = 7.10%

British discount rate

i =


1. Borrow $112.05 million in Canada 2. Translate $112.05 million into pounds at the spot rate S($/) = $1.25/ 3. Invest 89.64 million in the UK at i = 11.56% for one year. In one year the investment will have grown to 100 million.

Money Market Hedge

Where do the numbers come from? We owe our supplier 100 million in one yearso we know that we need to have an investment with a future value of 100 million. Since i = 11.56% we need to invest 89.64 million at the start of the year: 100 89.64 = 1.1156 How many dollars will it take to acquire 89.64 million at the start of the year if the spot rate S($/) = $1.25/? $1.25 $112.05 = 89.64 1.00
If we borrow $112.05 today one year later we will owe $120 in one year: $120 = $112.05(1.071) With this money market hedge, we have redenominated our 100 payable into a $120 payable.

Money Market Hedge Summary

Future FX Receipt

Future FX Payment

Today: Borrow PV of FX receipt, exchange for domestic currency @ spot, invest domestically FX receipt date: Repay FX loan with FX receipt, close out domestic investment

Today: Purchase PV of FX payment @ spot using borrowed domestic currency, lend (or invest) the purchased FX FX payment date: Receive FX as repayment of lending (or investment), use it to make FX payment, repay domestic currency loan

In either case, company eliminates FX risk, cost of hedge determined by interest rates

Options Market Hedge

Options provide a flexible hedge against the downside, while preserving the upside potential. To hedge a foreign currency payable buy calls on the currency.

If the currency appreciates, your call option lets you buy the currency at the exercise price of the call.

To hedge a foreign currency receivable buy puts on the currency.

If the currency depreciates, your put option lets you sell the currency for the exercise price.

Options Markets Hedge

Suppose our importer buys a call option on 100m with an exercise price of $1.50 per pound. He pays $.05 per pound for the call. loss


Long call on 100m

$5 m
$1.55 / $1.50/

Value of 1 in $ in one year

Options Markets Hedge

The payoff of the Profit portfolio of a call and a payable is shown in red. He can still profit from decreases in the exchange rate below $1.45/ but has a hedge against unfavorable increases in the exchange rate.

Long call on 100m

$25 m

$5 m
$1.20/ $1.45 / $1.50/ loss

Value of 1 in $ in one year

Unhedged payable

Options Hedge -Summary

Future FX Receipt

Future FX Payment

Today: Buy put option to sell FX at FX receipt date at desired exercise price

Today: Buy call option to buy FX at FX payment date at desired exercise price

FX receipt date: If (S<X) Exercise the put option, sell FX at the exercise price. If (S>X) Do not exercise the put option. Sell FX received at that days spot rate.

FX payment date: If (S<X) Do not exercise the call option. Buy FX at that days spot rate to cover payment. If (S>X) Exercise the call option, buy FX at the exercise price.

Only hedge that allows firm to participate in favorable exchange rate movements, Only effective hedge for a contingent exposure

Cross-Hedging Minor Currency Exposure

It is difficult, expensive, or impossible to use financial contracts to hedge exposure to minor currencies. Cross-Hedging involves hedging a position in one asset by taking a position in another (highly correlated) asset. The effectiveness of cross-hedging depends upon how well the assets are correlated.

Another type of cross-hedging is commodity-currency hedging, e.g. using oil futures contracts to hedge Mexican peso, or soybean or coffee futures to hedge Brazilian real. Works when a commodity futures prices move closely with an ex-rate.

Example: Use a Yen contract to cross-hedge Korean won currency risk (AR in won for a Canadian firm), assuming that the Yen/Won correlation is high.

Example: Brazil exports coffee to U.S. Dollar appreciates, real depreciates, dollar price of coffee futures falls on CME. Use coffee futures to hedge risk of real depreciating.

Hedging Contingent Exposure

If only certain contingencies give rise to exposure, then options can be effective insurance. For example, if a U.S. firm is bidding on a hydroelectric dam project in Canada, it will need to hedge the Canadian-U.S. dollar exchange rate only if its bid wins the contract. The firm can hedge this contingent risk with options.


Hedging Recurrent Exposure with Swap Contracts

Recall that swap contracts can be viewed as a portfolio of forward contracts. Firms that have recurrent exposure can very likely hedge their exchange risk at a lower cost with swaps than with a program of hedging each exposure as it comes along. It is also the case that swaps are available in longerterms than futures and forwards.

Hedging through Invoice Currency

The firm can shift, share, or diversify:

shift exchange rate risk

by invoicing foreign sales in home currency by pro-rating the currency of the invoice between foreign and home currencies

share exchange rate risk

diversify exchange rate risk

by using a market basket index


Hedging via Lead and Lag

If a currency is appreciating, pay those bills denominated in that currency early; let customers in that country pay late as long as they are paying in that currency. If a currency is depreciating, give incentives to customers who owe you in that currency to pay early; pay your obligations denominated in that currency as late as your contracts will allow. This method is best employed for intra-company payments and receipts such as material costs, rents, royalties, interest and dividends among subsidiaries of the same MNC.

Exposure Netting
A multinational firm should not consider deals in isolation, but should focus on hedging the firm as a portfolio of currency positions.
As an example, consider a U.S.-based multinational with Korean won receivables and Japanese yen payables. Since the won and the yen tend to move in similar directions against the U.S. dollar, the firm can just wait until these accounts come due and just buy yen with won. Even if its not a perfect hedge, it may be too expensive or impractical to hedge each currency separately.

Many multinational firms use a reinvoice center. Which is a financial subsidiary that nets out the intrafirm transactions. Once the residual exposure is determined, then the firm implements hedging.

Should the Firm Hedge?

Not everyone agrees that a firm should hedge:

Hedging by the firm may not add to shareholder wealth if the shareholders can manage exposure themselves. In this case FX exposure management at the corporate level is redundant.

What matters in firm valuation is only the systematic risk

Hedging may not reduce the non-diversifiable risk of the firm. Therefore shareholders who hold a diversified portfolio are not helped when management hedges. So corporate exposure management does not necessarily add to the value of the firm.

Should the Firm Hedge?

In the presence of market imperfections, the firm should hedge. 1. Information Asymmetry

The managers may have better information than the shareholders about the firms exposure position. The firm may be able to hedge at better prices than the shareholders. Hedging may reduce the firms cost of capital if it reduces the probability of default. Corporations that face progressive tax rates may find that they pay less in taxes if they can manage earnings by hedging than if they have boom and bust cycles in their earnings stream.

2. Differential Transactions Costs

3. Default Costs

4. Taxes can be a large market imperfection.

What Risk Management Products do Firms Use?

Most U.S. firms meet their exchange risk management needs with forward, swap, and options contracts. The greater the degree of international involvement, the greater the firms use of foreign exchange risk management.