Exchange Rate Exposure, Hedging and the Use of Foreign Currency Derivatives
Posted: 28 Jan 2003
This paper examines the use of foreign currency derivatives by S&P 500 nonfinancial firms during 1992-1993 and the potential impact on exchange-rate risk. The extent to which firms use foreign currency derivatives is positively related to the ratios of foreign sales to total sales and total foreign trade to total production. Including these factors substantially reduces the explanatory power of variables previously found to be important in a firm's decision to hedge foreign currency exposure. Firms also use foreign debt as an alternative to or in conjunction with foreign currency derivatives, although to a smaller extent. Similarly, the level of foreign debt use is positively related to the ratio of foreign sales to total sales. Consistent with a risk-reduction motive to use foreign currency derivatives, we find that the use of foreign currency derivatives significantly reduces the exchange-rate risk that corporations face.
JEL Classification: G13, F31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation