Forex Trading And Risk Assessment: Legal Strategies From Toronto Attorneys – Financial markets are more volatile than they have been in years. The US dollar is at a 20-year high and there is great political and economic uncertainty. In response, US companies of all sizes should re-evaluate their foreign exchange (forex) risk and hedging policies. These hedging policies must be consistent with business objectives by keeping financial volatility within a predictable, tolerable range so that companies can conduct their businesses with operational certainty.

Despite the urgency of the action, this review must be done methodically. Before creating a closing strategy, some important homework and self-assessment should be done regarding the company’s goals and risk tolerance. Otherwise, the hedging plan will not work properly. To monitor this evaluation process, consider using a four-part summary: Define Corporate Goals & Objectives, Identify & Assess FX Exposures, Design & Implementation of Hedging Strategy, and Assess & Monitor the Hedge Program (see figure 1). Once in place, this structure should lead to an iterative, continuous process of continually refining the head plan.

Forex Trading And Risk Assessment: Legal Strategies From Toronto Attorneys

Forex Trading And Risk Assessment: Legal Strategies From Toronto Attorneys

The primary objectives of companies when they hedge forecasted movements may be the same, such as smoothing the impact of FX rates over time on financial performance, helping top management to predict financial performance, maintaining budgeted plans, improving the cost of goods/services, and control. FX risks related to major projects.

What Is Forex (fx) Trading: How Does It Work?

But when setting some goals for the company, you must first identify the company’s priorities and consider the various tradeoffs between those priorities. The priorities and tradeoffs may depend on how and where the company does its business. If the majority of a company’s sales occur overseas, a strong dollar affects its revenue as bringing that money offshore results in fewer dollars. On the other hand, companies that sell in the US but buy supplies overseas benefit from a stronger dollar since these supplies are less expensive to buy in dollars. In any case, forex risk exposes companies to ongoing operational risks, but their different business processes and exposures can result in different risk management strategies.

You also need to decide which financial performance measures you want to focus on. For example, some companies focus on how forex risk will affect the bar. Currency fluctuations directly affect recorded assets and liabilities, payables and receivables, income, etc. These tangible things must be explained to the shareholders. Therefore, blocking to reduce changes in the belt is often the goal. Another reason for a hedge is to reduce the risks associated with forecasted income and expectations. In this case, management wants to maintain the efficiency of its business plan and reduce quarter-over-quarter, and year-over-year volatility. A variety of hedging strategies can be used to manage portfolio risk and FX risk related to forecasted currencies.

To achieve their goals, companies must adopt a risk-based approach to hedging as opposed to a market-based approach. The objective of the risk approach is to reduce operational risk by keeping the currency fluctuations within certain tolerances. This approach requires a holistic view for all of the company’s different types of risk and an understanding of how they fit together (ie, how they can increase risk or affect each other).

By comparison, the market-based approach is an attempt to time the financial markets. The problem with this approach is that if the company closes when it predicts bad FX movements, it is exposed to significant FX risk at times. For example, a large U.S. company has significant overseas sales hedged each fall using the market approach. In 2021, it decided not to protect the foreign currency, thinking that the dollar was overvalued. But the dollar continued to strengthen causing the company great financial pain that could have been avoided. By taking this market approach, the company did not properly account for other risks within the business or consider how much forex risk is acceptable.

Risk Management In Forex Trading

A company with limited international operations may have good information about its cash flow. But when a company begins to expand operations abroad — building out its supply chain for example — problems quickly snowball, making it more difficult to understand the extent of risk and mitigate it. However, it is important to conduct a data-driven analysis on a regular basis to understand how certain cash flows over the next 6 months, 12, and even 24 months will affect the company’s presentation, cash flow, or other activity as planned. to find out. The key question for managers is what negative consequences can the company tolerate?

As noted, taking a risk-focused approach requires a holistic view to understand how all of the company’s risks are interconnected. For example, a company’s risk exposures can overlap slightly which can affect each other and create “natural” hedges. Consider the following hypothetical example of a U.S. company. has significant sales worldwide (see figure 2). If you add exposure to the risk of individual currencies (Australian dollar, -12.6 MM; Canadian dollar, -14.9 MM; Euro, -6.4 MM; and Mexican peso, -34.9 MM), as well as natural gas (-88.4 MM) and interest. the level of risk (-0.8 MM) is shown, the sum indicates that the total cost may be $ 160 million below the forecast (with 95 percent confidence). But these different risks don’t move in coverage, so simply adding them up doesn’t give you a true understanding of the company’s exposure and hedging needs. Based on the historical relationship in this example, the diversification benefit reduces risk by $60 million, so the company’s exposure to the portfolio is estimated to be $96 million.

After doing your homework to understand your goals and analyze your financial performance, it’s time to create a hedging strategy. So, in figure 2, a well-designed FX hedging strategy may not include a 100% hedge on each of the four currencies, as that would make one of the natural hedges between currency and gas risk. Better to create a hedging strategy that maximizes any free diversification gains; in the above example, all the trading units of each currency should be closed. The art and science of creating a hedging strategy is determining the minimum amount of hedging required to achieve the target risk, while keeping costs low and reducing operational complexity, and understanding the trade-off between the target risk level and the cost and complexity of hedging. . Identifying effective strategies in terms of risk and cost/complexity, which is known as the “efficient hedge frontier,” is often not obvious without detailed analysis.

Forex Trading And Risk Assessment: Legal Strategies From Toronto Attorneys

All this hard work to define objectives, analyze financial exposure and develop a strategy for protection will not work if the company does not implement an FX hedge program systematically over the long term. This means writing down the hedge policy, detailing how the company will do it going forward, including making new hedges every month and every quarter.

Risk Management For Forex Traders

A company should not be entrenched or conflicted by the forex hedges it puts in place. It’s not appropriate to say, “we were out of money on this hedge, so we shouldn’t have done it.” Instead, the company must manage the hedging system to ensure that it has maintained liquidity within an expected, tolerable period for doing business within six, twelve, or twenty-four months.

Companies should regularly review their FX exposure and the results of their hedging plans, incorporating new data whenever possible in a timely manner.

With currency markets more volatile than they have been in years, it is important for companies to re-evaluate their forex hedging plans in the current environment. This is a difficult task, but a four-part design can help companies deal with strategic challenges and ensure that the project continues to work for years to come.

Eric Merlis, Managing Director and Co-Head of the Global Markets group, is responsible for the Interest Rate Derivatives, Foreign Exchange and Commodity Sales and Trade groups. He has an MBA in finance from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a BA in Philosophy from Siena College.

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Forex Trading And Risk Assessment: Legal Strategies From Toronto Attorneys

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