Why Companies Use Currency Derivatives?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By keykeykey
Words 2235
Pages 9
Essay topic: why companies use currency derivatives?
Currency derivative can be defined as a contract or financial agreement to exchange two currencies at a given rate or a contract whose value is derived from the rate of exchange of two currencies on spot (Shoup, 1998). Currency derivatives are developed and adopted to implement a strategy known as hedging, in which an organisation acquires a contract in order to offset an expected drop or rise in value of a position or future cash flow (Belk & Edelshain, 1997). This essay will outline the incentives and rationales behind an organisation that uses currency derivatives.
There are three types of currency derivatives used in hedging, future contracts, forward contracts and options, although swaps are also commonly considered as a currency derivative (Shoup, 2008). These instruments are derived from a spot rate, which is the price of the “underlying currency” (Eiteman, Stonehill & Moffett, 2009). Options are normally more costly than future contracts and forward contracts, because options are rights rather than obligations to buy or sell a currency (gives buyers the right not to exercise the contract if the spot rate movement is not favourable) (Belk & Edelshain, 1997). Research in New Zealand indicates that 70% of currency derivative users used forwards, which are most prevalent currency derivative instrument (Chan, Gan & McGraw, 2003). This is possibly because forwards are easy to manage and understand and can be used in frequent and uncertain transactions. Over-the-counter options are the second most popular instrument by NZ users of currency derivatives (40%), as options give users more flexibility (selling or buying a currency only when the firm can earn profit) (Chan et al, 2003).
There are basically two purposes currency derivatives serve when they are used. The first is to speculate on the favourable…...

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