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Journal of Empirical Finance 7 Ž2000. 317–344 www.elsevier.comrlocatereconbase

Firms, do you know your currency risk exposure? Survey results
Claudio Loderer ) , Karl Pichler a a Institut fur Finanzmanagement, UniÕersitat Bern, Engehaldenstrasse 4, Bern 3012, Switzerland ¨ ¨

Abstract This paper surveys the currency risk management practices of Swiss industrial corporations. We find that industrials are unable to quantify their currency risk exposure and investigate possible reasons. One possibility is that firms do not think that they need to know because they use on-balance-sheet instruments to protect themselves before and after currency rates reach troublesome levels. This is puzzling because performing a rough estimate of at least the exposure of cash flows is not prohibitive and could be valuable. Another puzzling finding is that firms use currency derivatives to hedgerinsure individual short-term transactions, without apparently trying to estimate aggregate transaction exposure. q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
JEL classification: G15; G30 Keywords: Currency risk exposure; Swiss industrial corporation; On-balance-sheet instruments

1. Introduction This paper surveys the currency risk management practices of Swiss industrial corporations. Many of them sell most of their output abroad and would therefore seem to be heavily exposed to currency risk. In fact, currency risk can be substantial. Between 1978 and 1996, the Swiss franc experienced dramatic swings in relation to major currencies such as the U.S. dollar, the Italian lira, and the

)

Corresponding author.

0927-5398r00r$ - see front matter q 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. PII: S 0 9 2 7 - 5 3 9 8 Ž 0 0 . 0 0 0 1 4 - 1

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C. Loderer, K. Pichlerr Journal of Empirical Finance 7 (2000) 317–344

British pound. Comparing highest and lowest exchange…...

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