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Currency Total Return Swaps: Valuation and Risk Factor Analysis

  • Romain Cuchet
  • Pascal François
  • Georges Hübner

Currency total return swaps (CTRS) are hybrid derivatives instruments that allow to simultaneously hedge against credit and currency risks. We develop a structural credit risk model to evaluate CTRS premia. Empirical test on a sample of 23,005 price observations from 59 underlying issuers yields an average percentage error of around 10%. This indicates that, beyond interest rate risk, firm-specific factors are major drivers of the variations in the valuation of these instruments. Regression analysis of residuals shows that exchange rate determinants account for up to 40% of model pricing errors – indicating that a currency risk premium affects the CTRS price significantly but only marginally, which confirms the prevalence of credit risk in the pricing of CTRS.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1128.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1128
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  1. Jin-Chuan Duan & Jean-Guy Simonato, 1995. "Estimating and Testing Exponential Affine Term Structure Models by Kalman Filter," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-44, CIRANO.
  2. Maria Vassalou & Yuhang Xing, 2004. "Default Risk in Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 831-868, 04.
  3. Frank Skinner & Antonio Diaz, 2002. "An Empirical Study of Credit Default Swaps," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2003-04, Henley Business School, Reading University, revised Jan 2003.
  4. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  5. Gaiyan Zhang & Jot Yau & Hung-Gay Fung, 2010. "Do credit default swaps predict currency values?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(6), pages 439-458.
  6. Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
  7. Amin, Kaushik I. & Jarrow, Robert A., 1991. "Pricing foreign currency options under stochastic interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 310-329, September.
  8. Fan, Joseph P. H. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2012. "An International Comparison of Capital Structure and Debt Maturity Choices," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 23-56, April.
  9. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
  10. Ericsson, Jan & Jacobs, Kris & Oviedo-Helfenberger, Rodolfo, 2004. "The Determinants of Credit Default Swap Premia," SIFR Research Report Series 32, Institute for Financial Research.
  11. Briys, Eric & de Varenne, François, 1997. "Valuing Risky Fixed Rate Debt: An Extension," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 239-248, June.
  12. Skinner, Frank S. & Townend, Timothy G., 2002. "An empirical analysis of credit default swaps," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 297-309.
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