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Limiting Foreign Exchange Exposure through Hedging: The Australian Experience

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  • Chris Becker

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Daniel Fabbro

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

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    Abstract

    The Australian economy has proven resilient to sizable exchange rate fluctuations over the post-float period. In part this can be attributed to financial institutions and non-financial firms learning to adapt to swings in the Australian dollar. This has included the increased use of financial derivative contracts to hedge their foreign exchange exposures. This paper examines the available evidence on the nature and extent of this hedging behaviour. Related to this, Australia’s net foreign liability position is often cited as a vulnerability of the Australian economy to exchange rate depreciation. We show this not to be the case because much of the liability position is denominated in local currency terms. In fact, the amount of liabilities denominated in foreign currency is less than the amount of foreign currency assets held by residents.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2006-09.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2006-09

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    Keywords: hedging; foreign currency exposure; derivatives;

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    References

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    1. Henk Berkman & Michael E. Bradbury & Phil Hancock & Clare Innes, 2002. "Derivative financial instrument use in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 42(2), pages 97-109.
    2. Nguyen, Hoa & Faff, Robert, 2003. "Can the use of foreign currency derivatives explain variations in foreign exchange exposure?: Evidence from Australian companies," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 193-215, July.
    3. Bartov, Eli & Bodnar, Gordon M. & Kaul, Aditya, 1996. "Exchange rate variability and the riskiness of U.S. multinational firms: Evidence from the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 105-132, September.
    4. Geczy, Christopher & Minton, Bernadette A & Schrand, Catherine, 1997. " Why Firms Use Currency Derivatives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1323-54, September.
    5. Gordon M. Bodnar & Gunther Gebhardt, 1998. "Derivatives Usage in Risk Management by US and German Non-Financial Firms: A Comparative Survey," NBER Working Papers 6705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Dominguez, Kathryn M.E. & Tesar, Linda L., 2006. "Exchange rate exposure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 188-218, January.
    7. Jonathan Batten & Robert Mellor & Victor Wan, 1993. "Foreign Exchange Risk Management Practices and Products Used by Australian Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(3), pages 557-573, September.
    8. Loderer, Claudio & Pichler, Karl, 2000. "Firms, do you know your currency risk exposure? Survey results," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3-4), pages 317-344, November.
    9. David Hargreaves & Andy Brookes & Carrick Lucas & Bruce White, 2000. "Can hedging insulate firms from exchange rate risk," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 63, March.
    10. Saikat Nandi & Daniel F. Waggoner, 2000. "Issues in hedging options positions," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 24-39.
    11. Phil Briggs, 2004. "Currency hedging by exporters and importers," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 67, December.
    12. Pramborg, Bengt, 2005. "Foreign exchange risk management by Swedish and Korean nonfinancial firms: A comparative survey," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 343-366, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Philip R Lane & Jay C Shambaugh, 2007. "Financial exchange rates and international currency exposures," CGFS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Research on global financial stability: the use of BIS international financial statistics, volume 29, pages 90-127 Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Kenneth W Clements & Yihui Lan & John Roberts, 2007. "Exchange-Rate Economics for the Resources Sector," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 07-13, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    3. Katalin Bodnár, 2009. "Exchange rate exposure of Hungarian enterprises – results of a survey," MNB Occasional Papers 2009/80, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).

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