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Chapter Fifteen Foreign Exchange Risk


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Chapter Fifteen

Foreign Exchange Risk


Chapter Outline

Introduction

Sources of Foreign Exchange Risk Exposure

  • Foreign Exchange Rate Volatility and FX Exposure

Foreign Currency Trading

Foreign Asset and Liability Positions

  • The Return and Risk of Foreign Investments

  • Risk and Hedging

  • Interest Rate Parity Theorem

  • Multicurrency Foreign Asset-Liability Positions

Summary

Solutions for End-of-Chapter Questions and Problems: Chapter Fifteen

1. What are the four FX risks faced by FIs?


The four risks include (1) trading in foreign securities, (2) making foreign currency loans, (3) issuing foreign currency-denominated debt, and (4) buying foreign currency-issued securities.


  1. What is the spot market for FX? What is the forward market for FX? What is the position of being net long in a currency?

The spot market for foreign exchange involves transactions for immediate delivery of a currency, while the forward market involves agreements to deliver a currency at a later time for a price or exchange rate that is determined at the time the agreement is reached. The net exposure of a foreign currency is the net foreign asset position plus the net foreign currency position. Net long in a currency means that the amount of foreign assets exceeds the amount of foreign liabilities.




  1. X-IM Bank has ¥14 million in assets and ¥23 million in liabilities and has sold ¥8 million in foreign currency trading. What is the net exposure for X-IM? For what type of exchange rate movement does this exposure put the bank at risk?

The net exposure would be ¥14 million – ¥23 million – ¥8 million = -¥17 million. This negative exposure puts the bank at risk of an appreciation of the yen against the dollar. A stronger yen means that repayment of the net position would require more dollars.




  1. What two factors directly affect the profitability of an FI’s position in a foreign currency?

The profitability is a function of the size of the net exposure and the volatility of the foreign exchange ratio or relationship.


5. The following are the foreign currency positions of an FI, expressed in dollars.
Currency Assets Liabilities FX Bought FX Sold

Swiss franc (SF) $125,000 $50,000 $10,000 $15,000

British pound (£) 50,000 22,000 15,000 20,000

Japanese yen (¥) 75,000 30,000 12,000 88,000


a. What is the FI’s net exposure in Swiss francs?
Net exposure in Swiss francs = $70,000.
b. What is the FI’s net exposure in British pounds?
Net exposure in British pounds = $23,000.
c. What is the FI’s net exposure in Japanese yen?

Net exposure in Japanese yen = -$31,000


d. What is the expected loss or gain if the SF exchange rate appreciates by 1 percent?
If assets are greater than liabilities, then an appreciation of the foreign exchange rates will generate a gain = $70,000 x 0.01 = $7,000.
e. What is the expected loss or gain if the £ exchange rate appreciates by 1 percent?
Gain = $23,000 x 0.01 = $230
f. What is the expected loss or gain if the ¥ exchange rate appreciates by 2 percent?
Loss = -$31,000 x 0.02 = -$6,200
6. What are the four FX trading activities undertaken by FIs? How do FIs profit from these activities? What are the reasons for the slow growth in FX profits at major U.S. banks?
The four areas of FX activity undertaken by FIs are either for their customer’s accounts or for their own proprietary trading accounts. They involve the purchase and sale of FX in order to (a) complete international commercial transactions, (b) invest abroad in direct or portfolio investments, (c) hedge outstanding currency exposures, and (d) speculate against movements in currencies. Most banks earn commissions on transactions made on behalf of their customers. If the banks are market makers in currencies, they make their profits on the bid-ask spread.
A major reason for the slow growth in profits has been the decline in volatility of FX rates among major European currencies that has more than offset the increased volatility of FX rates among Asian currencies. The reduced volatility is related to the reduction in inflation rates in the European countries and the relatively fixed exchange rates that have prevailed as the European countries move toward full monetary union.
7. City Bank issued $200 million of one-year CDs in the U.S. at a rate of 6.50 percent. It invested part of this money, $100 million, in the purchase of a one-year bond issued by a U.S. firm at an annual rate of 7 percent. The remaining $100 million was invested in a one-year Brazilian government bond paying an annual interest rate of 8 percent. The exchange rate at the time of the transaction was Brazilian real 1/$.
a. What will be the net return on this $200 million investment in bonds if the exchange rate between the Brazilian real and the U.S. dollar remains the same?
Cost of funds = 0.065 x $200 million = $13 million
Return on U.S. loan = 0.07 x $100 million = $ 7,000,000

Return on Brazilian bond = (.08 x Real 100 m)/1.00 = $ 8,000,000

Total interest earned = $15,000,000

Net return on investment = $15 million - $13 million/$200 million = 1.00 percent.


b. What will be the net return on this $200 million investment if the exchange rate changes to real 1.20/$?
Cost of funds = 0.065 x $200 million = $13,000,000
Return on U.S. loan = 0.07 x $100 million = $ 7,000,000

Return on Brazilian bond = (0.08 x Real 100m)/1.20 = $ 6,666,667

Total interest earned = $13,666,667
Net return on investment = $13,666,667 - $13,000,000/$200,000,000 = 0.67 percent.
Consideration should be given to the fact that the Brazilian bond was for Real100 million. Thus, at maturity the bond will be paid back for Real100 million/1.20 = $83,333,333.33. Therefore, the strengthening dollar will have caused a loss in capital ($16,666,666.67) that far exceeds the interest earned on the Brazilian bond.
c. What will be the net return on this $200 million investment if the exchange rate changes to real 0.80/$?
Cost of funds = 0.065 x $200 million = $13,000,000
Return on U.S. loan = 0.07 x $100 million = $ 7,000,000

Return on Brazilian bond = (.08 x Real 100m)/0.80 = $10,000,000

Total interest earned = $17,000,000
Net return on investment = $17,000,000 - $13,000,000/$200,000,000 = 2.00 percent.
Consideration should be given to the fact that the Brazilian bond was for Real100 million. Thus, at maturity the bond will be paid back for Real100 million/0.80 = $125,000,000. Therefore, the strengthening Real will have caused a gain in capital of $25,000,000 in addition to the interest earned on the Brazilian bond.
8. Sun Bank USA purchased a 16 million one-year Euro loan that pays 12 percent interest annually. The spot rate for Euros is €1.60/$. Sun Bank has funded this loan by accepting a British pound (£)-denominated deposit for the equivalent amount and maturity at an annual rate of 10 percent. The current spot rate of the British pound is $1.60/£.
a. What is the net interest income earned in dollars on this one-year transaction if the spot rates at the end of the year are €1.70/$ and $1.85/£?
. Loan amount = €16 million/1.60 = $10 million

Deposit amount = $10m/1.60 = £6,250,000

Interest income at the end of the year = €16m x 0.12 = €1.92/1.70 = $1,129,411.77

Interest expense at the end of the year = £6,250,000 x 0.10 = £625,000 x 1.85 = $1,156,250

Net interest income = $1,129,411.77 - $1,156,250.00 = -$26,838.23
b. What should be the £ to $ spot rate in order for the bank to earn a net interest margin of 4 percent?
A net interest margin of 4 percent would imply $10,000,000 x 0.04 = $400,000.

The net cost of deposits should be $1,129,411.77 - 400,000 = $729,411.77.

Pound rate = $729,411.77/625,000 = $1.1671/£.

Thus, the pound should be selling at $1.1671/£ in order for the bank to earn 4 percent.


c. Does your answer to part (b) imply that the dollar should appreciate or depreciate against the pound?
The dollar should appreciate against the pound. It takes fewer dollars to buy one pound.


  1. What is the total effect on net interest income and principal of this transaction given the end-of-year spot rates in part (a)?

Interest income and loan principal at year-end = (€16m x 1.12)/1.70 = $10,541,176.47

Interest expense and deposit principal at year-end = (£6.25m x 1.10) x 1.85 = $12,718,750

Total income = $10,541,176.47 - $12,718,750.00 = -$2,177,573.53


9. Bank USA recently made a one-year $10 million loan that pays 10 percent interest annually. The loan was funded with a Swiss franc-denominated one-year deposit at an annual rate of 8 percent. The current spot rate is SF1.60/$.
a. What will be the net interest income in dollars on the one-year loan if the spot rate at the end of the year is SF1.58/$?

Interest income and loan principal at year-end = $10m x 0.10 = $1,000,000.

Interest expense and deposit principal at year-end = (SF16,000,000 x 0.08)/1.58

= SF1,280,000/1.58 = $810,126.58.

Net interest income = $1,000,000 - $810,810.58 = $189,873.42.
b. What will be the net interest return on assets?
Net interest return on assets = $189,873.42/$10,000,000 = 0.0190 or 1.90 percent.
c. How far can the SF appreciate before the transaction will result in a loss for Bank USA?
Exchange rate = SF1,280,000/$1,000,000 = SF1.28/$, appreciation of 20.00 percent.
d. What is the total effect on net interest income and principal of this transaction given the end-of-year spot rates in part (a)?
Interest income and loan principal at year-end = $10m x 1.10 = $11,000,000.

Interest expense and deposit principal at year-end = (SF16,000,000 x 1.08)/1.58

= SF17,280,000/1.58 = $10,936,709.

Total income = $11,000,000 - $10,936,709 = $63,291.


10. What motivates FIs to hedge foreign currency exposures? What are the limitations to hedging foreign currency exposures?
FIs hedge to manage their exposure to currency risks, not to eliminate it. As in the case of interest rate risk exposure, it is not necessarily an optimal strategy to completely hedge away all currency risk exposure. By its very definition, hedging reduces the FI's risk by reducing the volatility of possible future returns. This narrowing of the probability distribution of returns reduces possible losses, but also reduces possible gains (i.e., it shortens both tails of the distribution). A hedge would be undesirable, therefore, if the FI wants to take a speculative position in a currency in order to benefit from some information about future currency rate movements. The hedge would reduce possible gains from the speculative position.
11. What are the two primary methods of hedging FX risk for an FI? What two conditions are necessary to achieve a perfect hedge through on-balance-sheet hedging? What are the advantages and disadvantages of off-balance-sheet hedging in comparison to on-balance-sheet hedging?
The manager of an FI can hedge using on-balance sheet techniques or off-balance sheet techniques. On-balance sheet hedging requires matching currency positions and durations of assets and liabilities. If the duration of foreign-currency-denominated fixed-rate assets is greater than similar currency denominated fixed-rate liabilities, the market value of the assets could decline more than the liabilities when market rates rise and therefore the hedge will not be perfect. Thus, in matching foreign currency assets and liabilities, not only do they have to be of the same currency but also of the same duration in order to have a perfect hedge.
Advantages of off-balance-sheet FX hedging:

The use of off-balance-sheet hedging devices, such as forward contracts, enables an FI to reduce or eliminate its FX risk exposure without forfeiting potentially lucrative transactions. On-balance-sheet transactions result in immediate cash flows, whereas off balance-sheet transactions result in contingent future cash flows. Therefore, the up-front cost of hedging using off-balance-sheet instruments is lower than the cost of on-balance-sheet transactions. Moreover, since on-balance-sheet transactions are fully reflected in financial statements, there may be additional disclosure costs to hedging on the balance sheet.


Off-balance-sheet hedging instruments have been developed for many types of risk exposures. For currency risk, forward contracts are available for the majority of currencies at a variety of delivery dates. Moreover, since the forward contract is negotiated over the counter, the counterparties have maximum flexibility to set terms and conditions.
Disadvantages of off-balance-sheet FX Hedging:

There is some credit risk associated with off-balance-sheet hedging instruments since there is some possibility that the counterparty will default on its obligations. This credit risk exposure is exacerbated in negotiated markets such as the forward market, but mitigated for exchange-traded hedging instruments such as futures contracts.


12. North Bank has been borrowing in the U.S. markets and lending abroad, thus incurring foreign exchange risk. In a recent transaction, it issued a one-year $2 million CD at 6 percent and funded a loan in euros at 8 percent. The spot rate for the euro was €1.45/$ at the time of the transaction.
a. Information received immediately after the transaction closing indicated that the euro will depreciate to €1.47/$ by year-end. If the information is correct, what will be the realized spread on the loan? What should have been the bank interest rate on the loan to maintain the 2 percent spread? Assume adjustments in principal value are included in the spread.
Amount of loan in € = $2 million x 1.45 = €2.9 million.

Interest and principal at year-end = €2.9m x 1.08 = €3.132m/1.47 = $2,130,612.24

Interest and principal of CDs = $2m x 1.06 = $2,120,000

Net interest income = $2,130,612.24 – $2,120,000 = $10,612.24

Net interest margin = $10,612.24/2,000,000 = 0.0053 or 0.53 percent.
In order to maintain a 2 percent spread, the interest and principal earned at €1.47/$ should be: €2.9 (1 + x)/1.47 = 2.16 (Because 2.16 - 2.12/2.00 = 0.02)

Therefore, (1 + x) = (2.16 x 1.47)/ €2.9 = 1.0949, and x = 0.0949 or 9.49 percent


b. The bank had an opportunity to sell one-year forward marks at €1.46. What would have been the spread on the loan if the bank had hedged forward its foreign exchange exposure?
Net interest income if hedged = €2.9 x 1.08 = 3.132/1.46 = 2.1452m - 2.12m

= 0.0252 million, or $25,205.48

Net interest margin = .0252/2 = 0.0126, or 1.26 percent
c. What would have been an appropriate change in loan rates to maintain the 2 percent spread if the bank intended to hedge its exposure using the forward rates?
To maintain a 2 percent spread: €2.9(1 + X)/1.46 = 2.16 => X = 8.74 percent

The bank should increase the rates to 8.74 percent and hedge with the sale of forward €s to maintain a 2 percent spread.


13. A bank purchases a six-month, $1 million Eurodollar deposit at an annual interest rate of 6.5 percent. It invests the funds in a six-month Swedish krone bond paying 7.5 percent per year. The current spot rate is $0.18/SK.
a. The six-month forward rate on the Swedish krone is being quoted at $0.1810/SK. What is the net spread earned on this investment if the bank covers its foreign exchange exposure using the forward market?
Interest plus principal expense on six-month CD = $1m x (1 + 0.065/2) = $1,032,500

Principal of Swedish bond = $1,000,000/0.18 = SK5,555,555.56

Interest and principle = SK5,555,555.56 x (1 + 0.075/2) = SK 5,763,888.89

Interest and principle in dollars if hedged: SK 5,763,888.89 x 0.1810 = $1,043,263.89

Spread = $1,043,263.89-1,032,500 = $10,763.89/1 million = 0.010764, or 2.15 percent p.a.
b. What forward rate will cause the spread to be only 1 percent per year?
Net interest income should be = 0.005 x 1,000,000 = $5,000

Therefore, interest income should be = $1,032,500 + $5,000 = $1,037,500


Forward rate = SK 5,763,888.89/$1,037,500 = $0.18/SK

For the spread to remain at 1% the spot and the forward will have to be the same.


c. Explain how forward and spot rates will both change in response to the increased spread?
If FIs are able to earn higher spreads in other countries and guarantee these returns by using the forward markets, these are equivalent to risk-free investments (except for default risk). As a result, in part (a), there will be an increase in demand for the Swedish krone in the spot market and an increase in sale of the forward Swedish krone as more banks engage in this kind of lending. This results in an appreciation of the spot krone and a depreciation of the forward krone until the spread is zero for securities of equal risk.
d. Why will a bank still be able to earn a spread of one percent knowing that interest rate parity usually eliminates arbitrage opportunities created by differential rates?
In part (b), the FI is still able to earn a spread of one percent because the risk of the securities is not equal. The FI earns an extra one percent because it is lending to an AA-rated firm. The dollar-denominated deposits in the Eurocurrency markets are rated higher because these deposits usually are issued by large institutions. Thus, the one percent spread reflects credit or default risk. If the FI were to invest in securities of equal risk in Sweden, arbitrage would ensure that the spread is zero.
14. Explain the concept of interest rate parity? What does this concept imply about the long-run profit opportunities from investing in international markets? What market conditions must prevail for the concept to be valid?
Interest rate parity argues that the discounted spread between domestic and foreign interest rates is equal to the percentage spread between forward and spot exchange rates. If interest rate parity holds, then it is not possible for FIs to borrow and lend in different currencies to take advantage of the differences in interest rates between countries. This is because the spot and forward rates will adjust to ensure that no arbitrage can take place through cross-border investments. If a disparity exists, the sale and purchase of spot and forward currencies by arbitragers will ensure that in equilibrium interest rate parity is maintained.
15. Assume that annual interest rates are 8 percent in the United States and 4 percent in Japan. An FI can borrow (by issuing CDs) or lend (by purchasing CDs) at these rates. The spot rate is $0.60/¥.
a. If the forward rate is $0.64/¥, how could the bank arbitrage using a sum of $1million? What is the expected spread?
Borrow $1,000,000 in U.S. by issuing CDs

 Interest and principal at year-end = $1,000,000 x 1.08 = $1,080,000


Make a loan in Japan

 Interest and principal = $1,000,000/0.60 = ¥1,666.667 x 1.04 = ¥1,733,333


Purchase U.S. dollars at the forward rate of $0.64 x 1,733,333 = $1,109,333.33

Spread = $1,109,333.33 - $1,080,000 = $29,333.33/1,000,000 = 2.93%


b. What forward rate will prevent an arbitrage opportunity?
The forward rate that will prevent any arbitrage is given by solving the following equation:

Ft = [(1 + 0.08) * 0.60]/(1.04) = $0.6231/¥


  1. How does the lack of perfect correlation of economic returns between international financial markets affect the risk-return opportunities for FIs holding multicurrency assets and liabilities? Referring to Table 15-4, which country pairings seem to have the highest correlation of returns on long-term government bonds?

If financial markets are not perfectly correlated, they provide opportunities to diversify and reduce risk from mismatches in assets and liabilities in individual currencies. The benefits of diversification depend on the extent of the correlations. The less is the correlation, the more are the benefits. However, FIs that only hold one or two foreign assets and liabilities cannot take advantage of these benefits and have to hedge their individual portfolio exposures.


In order of rank, the country pairs with the highest correlations are Netherlands-Germany, United Kingdom-United States, Netherlands-United Kingdom, Germany-United Kingdom, Netherlands-United States, and Germany-United States.


  1. What is the relationship between the real interest rate, the expected inflation rate, and the nominal interest rate on fixed-income securities in any particular country? Refer to Table 15-4. What factors may possibly be the reasons for the relatively low correlation coefficients?

The nominal interest rate is equal to the real interest rate plus the expected inflation rate on assets where default risk is not an issue. The strength of correlations among countries whose economies are considered to be the leaders of the industrialized nations is evidence that the world capital markets among these markets are reasonably well-integrated.




  1. What is economic integration? What impact does the extent of economic integration of international markets have on the investment opportunities for FIs?

If markets are not perfectly correlated, some barriers for free trade exist between the markets and, therefore they are not fully integrated. When markets are fully integrated, opportunities for diversification are reduced. Also, real returns across countries are equal. Thus, diversification benefits occur only when nominal and real rates differ between countries. This happens when some formal or informal barriers exist to prevent the free flow of capital across countries.


19. An FI has $100,000 of net positions outstanding in British pounds (£) and -$30,000 in Swiss francs (SF). The standard deviation of the net positions as a result of exchange rate changes is 1 percent for the £ and 1.3 percent for the SF. The correlation coefficient between the changes in exchange rates of the £ and the SF is 0.80.
a. What is the risk exposure to the FI of fluctuations in the £/$ rate?
Since the FI has a positive £ position, an appreciation of the £ will increase the value of its £-denominated assets more than its liabilities, providing a net gain. The opposite will occur if the £ depreciates.
b. What is the risk exposure to the FI of fluctuations in the SF/$ rate?
Since the FI has a negative net position in SFs, the value of its French-denominated assets will increase in value but not as greatly as the value of its liabilities. Hence, an appreciation of the SF will lead to a net loss. The opposite will occur if the currency depreciates.
c. What is the risk exposure if both the £ and the SF positions are aggregated?
Use the formula:

= $72,671
The FI’s net position is actually $72,671. Without including correlation, the exposure is estimated at $100,000 - $30,000 = $70,000.


20. A money market mutual fund manager is looking for some profitable investment opportunities and observes the following one-year interest rates on government securities and exchange rates: rUS = 12%, rUK = 9%, S = $1.50/£, f = $1.6/£, where S is the spot exchange rate and f is the forward exchange rate. Which of the two types of government securities would constitute a better investment?
The U.K. securities would yield a higher return. Compared to the 12 percent return in the U.S., a U.S. investor could convert $1,000,000 to £666,667 and invest it at 9 percent. In one year the expected return of principal and interest is £726,667. If these pounds are sold forward at $1.6/£, the investor will lock in $1,162,667 for a 16.2 percent return.






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