How Does Currency Risk Impact Firms? New Evidence from Bank Loan Contracts
35 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2022
Date Written: December 24, 2021
We use unique features of the private credit market to examine whether currency risk is a priced systematic risk at the firm level and, therefore, whether and how it affects firms’ financing. We find that currency exposure has a large impact on loan spreads. Decomposing loan spreads, we find that exposure increases the expected default risk premium and that internationalization, growth opportunities, and relationship intensify exposure’s impact. Further, exposure exacerbates firms’ financing risk by increasing the need for collateral, reducing loan maturity, inducing monitoring and covenant intensity, and influencing syndicate structure. However, exposure does not affect the expected return premium in loan spreads; hence, currency risk is not priced in the classical sense and, therefore, should not affect the “true” cost of debt. Our findings imply that while managers should be concerned about exposure’s impact on their access to, and terms of, bank financing, they should not adjust hurdle rates on account of exposure when assessing investment projects.
Keywords: exchange rate exposure, bank loan contracting, cost of debt, expected return premium, expected default risk premium, private credit market
JEL Classification: G12, G21, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation