A look at how FX hedging can help you mitigate foreign currency risk
Global currency markets have been experiencing larger than normal swings of late and with greater frequency, CFOs are citing foreign exchange volatility as a factor when companies miss their earnings targets. Increasingly, business leaders are looking to implement hedging programs to mitigate foreign exchange rate risk and create more certainty and stability within their organizations.
“For global businesses, the hedging of foreign denominated cash flows is vital to avoiding earnings swings,” says William R. Schumaker, vice president and foreign exchange advisor in International Banking at Bridge Bank. “Companies that maintain ineffective hedging programs, or those that do not hedge at all, unnecessarily expose themselves to financial risk.”
Foreign exchange (FX) hedging gives treasurers the ability to protect cash flow and profits by locking in certain rates of exchange. This is done for balance sheet items such as payables and receivables, as well as cash flow items such as forecasted sales and expenses.
Smart Business spoke with Schumaker about some of the key components of a successful hedging program.
Which tools can companies use as part of a hedging program?
Working closely with a trusted banking partner, an organization can easily gain access to the necessary and appropriate hedging tools available in the marketplace to mitigate their currency risk. There are myriad FX hedging instruments which can be employed to lessen foreign exchange rate risk, from basic FX spot transactions to range binary options. But you don’t need a sledgehammer to kill a gnat; future foreign currency exposures can be effectively managed with a simple FX forward contract. It is essentially the same as a standard spot trade, except that instead of the deal settling and funds being made available in two business days, settlement can be pushed forward to a predetermined future date of the customer’s choosing and with an exchange rate locked in.
This will protect company margins from unfavorable variations in the currency exchange rate from inception to settlement date. The price of the forward versus spot is adjusted marginally, accounting for the interest rate differential between the currencies involved given the duration.
With the nominal rate differentials between the U.S. and, for example, Europe, Canada or Great Britain, forward hedging costs in these currencies are relatively flat. A variation of the standard forward is the ‘window forward’ contract. Offering more flexibility, the window forward allows the holder to choose a ‘window’ of time in which to execute a future foreign currency conversion. This tool can be particularly helpful when you have expected cash flows with nonspecific settlement dates.
What hedging strategies are used by global companies?
Many companies choose to execute all of their hedging for the entire year in one fell swoop prior to the beginning of their fiscal year. While this static hedging strategy provides companies the opportunity to set budget rates for the year, it is also limiting. The practice of establishing cash flow hedges at the start of the year lacks flexibility as opportunities to react to FX forecast changes and favorable market entry points are largely lost.
A better method is often the layering of hedges. This dynamic approach realizes the correlation between time and risk; with longer dated exposures carrying a greater degree of uncertainty with respect to exchange rates. As an example, one might consider hedging shorter term commitments, perhaps out to six months, at 100 percent while commitments from six months to one year may have a hedge ratio of 75 percent and exposures beyond a year could be treated with yet a lower hedge ratio.
As time progresses, hedges can be adjusted to fit their appropriate ratio for the new time period. No matter how you implement it, this ‘rolling’ hedge structure should see more stable hedge results and provide a smoothing effect on forward hedge rates over time versus a single hedging event.
These are but a few key hedging concepts. The areas of netting, derivative accounting and effectiveness testing are important topics which demand attention. Nevertheless, it’s certainly worthwhile to consider developing a hedging program to protect against adverse FX movements.
Recent NewsBridge Bank Extends $2MM Credit Facility to Miva, Inc.Bridge Bank Extends Venture Term Loan to Deep Lens, Inc.Bridge Bank Expands Capital Finance Group with New Managing Director Timothy CarstensSan José State University Economic Summit Presented by Bridge Bank Goes VirtualBridge Bank Extends Credit Facility to YES Leasing
Recent InsightsLeaving LIBOR: 4 things to know about changing interest rate benchmarksRegional Intelligence Report Series: California OutlookRegional Intelligence Report Series: South Bay OutlookProtect Your Data: The Cybersecurity WebinarProtect Your Organization Against Data Breaches and Cybercrime Scams
We wish everyone a safe and relaxing #LaborDay holiday weekend. REMINDER: In observance of Labor Day, all Bridge Bank offices will be closed on Monday, September pic.twitter.com/09SIuoO7XGOur Technology Banking Group recently provided MIVA, an #ecommerce #software and service provider, with a credit facility. Read our press release to learn more: westernalliancebancorporation.com/bridge-bank-ho… - 2 weeks 5 days ago #technologybanking pic.twitter.com/OUj49RdD5VOur Life Sciences Group is pleased to announce an upsized term loan for Fennec Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARK™ (a unique formulation of Sodium Thiosulfate) for the prevention of ototoxicity from cisplatin in pediatric patients. pic.twitter.com/zrH2JslA27Stay safe as you celebrate #IndependenceDay. REMINDER: In observance of Independence Day, all Bridge Bank offices will be closed on Friday, July 3.” pic.twitter.com/EFLG0KJ3u5Our Technology Banking Group is pleased to announce that they have recently provided a credit facility to aPriori Technologies, a leading provider of design for manufacturability and cost (#DFM/DTC) solutions. #computersoftware #technology #banking pic.twitter.com/PuTYcnKMttLast chance to join us for what is sure to be one of the most interesting economic discussions in the history of this long-standing event, featuring economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg & SJ Deputy City Manager, Kim Walesh Register now! #sjsueconsummit event.on24.com/wcc/r/2316585/… - about 3 months 4 weeks ago pic.twitter.com/sqxWOiCvsZThis Memorial Day, we honor and remember those who lost their lives while serving our country. REMINDER: In observance of Memorial Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, May 25. pic.twitter.com/Ae97NsXsDaThere’s still time to join us for what is sure to be one of the most interesting economic discussions in the history of this long-standing event, featuring keynote speaker and noted economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg. Register today! #sjsueconsummit event.on24.com/wcc/r/2316585/… - about 4 months 4 days ago pic.twitter.com/TWo0MiGjijJoin us for what is sure to be one of the most interesting economic discussions in the history of this long-standing event, featuring keynote speaker and noted economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg. Register today! #sjsueconsummit event.on24.com/wcc/r/2316585/… - about 4 months 6 days ago pic.twitter.com/pdtYAF2XrDBridge Bank’s #LifeSciences Group is proud to partner with iCAD, a global #medical #technology leader providing #innovative cancer detection and therapy solutions. bridgebank.com/lifesciences - about 4 months 2 weeks ago pic.twitter.com/oPIrnYlOTjCongratulations, @ArcturusRx on your big announcement and the accomplishments you and your team are achieving as you work on a vaccine for COVID-19. #COVID19 #coronavirus #vaccines #LifeSciences ir.arcturusrx.com/news-releases/… - about 5 months 1 week agoOur #LifeSciences team is proud to provide Valencell, a company that transforms the science of wearable #biometrics to enable impactful #health outcomes, with the creative #bankingsolutions they needed. pic.twitter.com/XCmNJpaVuvOrganizations of any size are at risk of data breaches or other types of #cybercrime, but you can defend yourself against #fraud by knowing the dangers and implementing best practices whether you’re #WFH or the office. #fraudawareness #cybersecurity westernalliancebancorporation.com/bridge-bank-ho… - about 5 months 2 weeks ago pic.twitter.com/bzKAaLYRGPLearn more about the several key initiatives we’re focused on right now. #WeAreInThisTogether #covid19 #CoronaVirus westernalliancebancorporation.com/~/media/pdfs/b… - about 5 months 3 weeks ago pic.twitter.com/ssOjI7DGnXCybercriminals are using concerns about COVID-19 to perpetrate scams – learn how to defend your organization against these scams and best practices to keep your business safe. #fraudawareness #cybersecurity #fraud #cybercrime #fraudprevention #WFH westernalliancebancorporation.com/bridge-bank-ho… - about 5 months 3 weeks ago pic.twitter.com/kZo07GPhVvBridge Bank is a proud sponsor of #FVCC2020, Florida’s largest statewide #VentureCapital Conference. pic.twitter.com/9l2lOPceVROur #LifeSciences Group helped @alluriontech create a customized #financialsolution to support their rapid growth. Allurion Technologies is a #medicaldevice company and creator of the Elipse™ Balloon, a breakthrough product in weight-loss technology. pic.twitter.com/OS96djwOA8Our Life Sciences Group welcomes Derek Scalf. Also, find out how to meet with our entire team during #JPM2020 westernalliancebancorporation.com/bridge-bank-ho… - about 8 months 2 weeks agoWe wish you peace, joy, and prosperity in the new year! #happynewyear2020 NOTICE: All Bridge Bank offices will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in observance of New Year's Day. pic.twitter.com/B8efpD0GlQREMINDER: In observance of Christmas Day, all Bridge Bank offices will be closed beginning at 3 pm on Christmas Eve and remain closed through Christmas Day. pic.twitter.com/TIP2gGLliHOur Southern California Capital Finance Group is proud to announce their most recent relationship with H Code Media, Inc., the leading technology platform offering a full suite of integrated marketing and media solutions for the U.S. Hispanic market. pic.twitter.com/n9NyyS7odbBridge Bank extends $4MM credit facility to H Code Media, Inc., the leading technology platform offering a full suite of integrated marketing and media solutions for the U.S. Hispanic market. westernalliancebancorporation.com/bridge-bank-ho… - about 9 months 1 week agoWe honor all of the men and women who have served. Thank you. #VeteransDay pic.twitter.com/EpGp17Q39kThankfully #technology works its magic on our electronic devices. We wish you the best of luck changing the clock on your microwave! #daylightsavings pic.twitter.com/9VVKbEyeYgOur Technology Banking Group is proud to announce their most recent deal with Zipari, a growth-stage #technologycompany that offers the first and only consumer experience platform built specifically for #healthinsurance. pic.twitter.com/ImSLIn2TW5Bridge Bank Extends $10MM Growth Capital Term Loan to Zipari prnewswire.com/news-releases/… - about 10 months 4 weeks agoWe wish everyone a fun and relaxing #LaborDay holiday weekend. REMINDER: In observance of Labor Day, all Bridge Bank offices will be closed on Monday, September 2nd. pic.twitter.com/OscfoI61Q4Our Life Sciences group is pleased to announce that Innovative Health has upsized their credit facility to $9MM. Innovative Health is committed to helping #healthcare realize the potential of medical device #reprocessing, enabling hospitals to provide better care through savings. pic.twitter.com/bMFiLdLyyMHappy birthday, #America! Your friends at Bridge Bank wish everyone a safe and joyous celebration. REMINDER: In observance of #IndependenceDay2019, our offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4. pic.twitter.com/twQjmCVei1We would like to congratulate our client, @KIXEYE , on their recent acquisition by Stillfront. Kixeye is a leading gaming developer that makes games for gamers by gamers. Their hit titles include Battle Pirates, War Commander, and VEGA Conflict. pic.twitter.com/9RpoQ7zL13This Memorial Day, we honor and remember those who lost their lives while serving our country. REMINDER: In observance of Memorial Day, our offices will be closed on Monday, May 27. pic.twitter.com/QNA7r5hpv4We are beaming with pride in recognizing this amazing accomplishment of our client, Jessie Wooley-Wilson, CEO of @DreamBox_Learn. Congratulations, @jessieww, on winning the Big Tech CEO of the Year Award at the 2019 GeekWire Awards! #DreamBox youtu.be/WRHuuyPSAfg - about 1 year 4 months agoOur Technology banking group is pleased to announce their latest banking relationship with Touch of Modern, the leading e-commerce app for men to discover cutting edge products, and named one of the 500 fastest growing companies in America by the Inc. 5000 two years in a row. pic.twitter.com/4HfbJVYJaZOur technology banking group is pleased to announce their latest client relationship with @humanyze, a company that has used breakthroughs in #datascience, #AI, and #machinelearning and built organizational metrics and an analytics software platform for global 1000 companies. pic.twitter.com/zayjjFTcX3