Firmwide Risk Management of Foreign Exchange Exposure by U.S. Multinational Corporations
40 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2001
Date Written: January 8, 2001
This paper investigates the impact of firmwide risk management practices on the foreign exchange exposure of 208 U.S. multinational corporations (MNC) over the period 1994 to 1998. Firmwide risk management is the coordinated use of both financial hedges, such as currency derivatives, and operational hedges, described by the structure of a firm's MNC foreign subsidiary network, to manage currency risk. We find that the use of currency derivatives, particularly forward contracts, is associated with reduced levels of foreign-exchange exposure. Furthermore, MNCs with dispersed operating networks have lower levels of currency exposure. These findings are robust to alternative ways of measuring foreign-exchange exposure. Finally, our results strongly support the view that MNCs hedging in a coordinated manner can significantly reduce exposure to currency risk. These results strongly suggest that operational and financial hedges are complementary risk management strategies.
Keywords: Multinational finance, Risk management, Firmwide risk management, International finance, Hedging
JEL Classification: F30, F31, G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation