Currency Risk Definition. Currency Risk, sometimes referred to as exchange rate risk, is the possibility that currency depreciation will negatively affect the value of one’s assets, investments, and their related interest and dividend payment streams, especially those securities denominated in foreign currency. Corporations with operations in overseas markets are also exposed to currency risk since their foreign financial results must be consolidated into the company’s home currency. Corporate treasurers and investment managers, particularly with larger multi-national firms where the risk is material, attempt to manage this risk with various hedging techniques where appropriate. Typically, a Treasury Policy exists that states that currency risk must be mitigated where economically justified by using a specified list of financial instruments that may be employed for the purpose. Generally, a combination of forex forwards and options allow the company to fix country risk within acceptable levels as along as premiums are reasonable. These hedging techniques are not consistently effective, but diversification into many major currencies can help limit this risk.
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