CFO Perspectives: 3 ways CFOs can use currencies to boost their business’s value

05-07-2022 | treasuryXL | Kantox | LinkedIn |

As a CFO, you are aware of the benefits of FX hedging for treasury. However, are you also aware of the macro-level advantages for your company and its value?

A new CurrencyCast series has just been introduced by Kantox. They examine five ways that efficient currency management may benefit your entire business in the first episode of their CFO Edition miniseries, including how to incorporate it into your strategy and how to decrease cash flow fluctuation. Watch below the video or read the corresponding blog.

Credits: Kantox
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In the first edition of CFO Perspectives, we’ll draw from our work with CFOs to explore three ways senior finance executives can make currency management a winning growth and cost-saving strategy for their business.

Looking at the concerns expressed by CFOs in most risk management surveys, a number of familiar themes seem to reoccur: the importance of cash flow forecasting and monitoring, the centrality of FX risk management and the ongoing digitisation of treasury processes

Yet, this picture is far from complete. 

Ultimately, among the tasks assigned to CFOs, there is the need to make a contribution toward enhancing the value of the business. But what is the role —if any— played by currency management in that regard? Answering this question allows us to single out three strategic contributions of currency management that CFOs should prioritise.

Value and FX hedging: time for a reassessment

Does currency management create value? The traditional view has been ambivalent: a ‘glass half full, half empty’ kind of appraisal. While the benefits of hedging FX have never been in dispute, the problem lies with the perceived high costs of currency management.

This is precisely where things are changing—and quite fast. Digital, API-based technology is putting to rest the notion that currency management is always a costly, resource-intensive task. Meanwhile, Multi-Dealer Platforms (MDPs) such as 360T, embedded in these solutions, sharply reduce trading costs.

CFOs: three strategic contributions of currency management

(1) Create opportunities for growth

Feeling concerned about exchange rate risk, managers may neglect the growth opportunities that come from ‘embracing currencies’. Buying and selling in more currencies allow firms to capture FX markups on the selling side while avoiding markups on the contracting side. Two examples will suffice:

(a) On the selling side: In e-commerce setups, currencies can be leveraged to increase direct, high-margin sales on company websites with many payment methods. Multi-currency pricing is the secret weapon for reducing cart abandonment, which still stands at about 77% globally.

(b) On the buying side: Buying in the currency of their suppliers allows firms to (1) Avoid inflated prices charged by suppliers who seek to manage their own FX risk; (2) Widen the range of potential suppliers by putting them in competition; (3) Obtain extended paying terms.

By taking FX risk out of the picture, currency management enables firms to reap these and other margin-boosting benefits of using more currencies in their day-to-day business operations. Ultimately, it is about removing the disincentives that prevent firms from ‘embracing currencies.

(2) Provide more informative financial statements

Informative financial statements allow investors to assess the quality of management by removing noise from the process. To the extent that the variability in net income is perceived as a measure of management quality, effective currency hedging creates a sense of discipline in the eyes of investors.

The good news for CFOs is that technology is making great strides in cost-effectively managing the accounting-related aspects of currency management. Here are two examples:

  1. Balance sheet hedging. Automated micro-hedging programs for balance sheet items take the impact of FX gains and losses out of the picture, as invoices are hedged with great precision.
  2. Traceability and Hedge Accounting. The perfect end-to-end traceability made possible by automated solutions eases the costly and time-consuming process of compiling the required documentation for Hedge Accounting.

(3) Lower the cost of capital

Companies can reduce cash flow variability thanks to a family of automated hedging programs and combinations of hedging programs, including layered hedging programs that make it possible to maintain steady prices in the face of adverse currency fluctuations.

In challenging times, when the availability of external financing at a reasonable cost is scarce —an all too common occurrence in years of pandemics and wars—reduced cash flow variability makes it possible for companies to execute their business plans and meet all cash commitments.

An impaired capacity to raise financing has implications in terms of valuation, especially for smaller businesses. This ‘cost’ has been variously measured, with some estimations ranging from 20% to 40% of firm value. Currency management enhances the capacity to raise finance and, by extension, lowers the cost of capital and boosts firm valuation.

A wide range of opportunities to create value

We have singled out three major contributions of currency management in terms of creating value for the business: (1) stimulating growth while protecting and enhancing profit margins; (2) lowering the variability of cash flows; (3) presenting more informative financial statements. We can mention even more benefits:

  • Taxation is optimised as smoother earnings reduce the tax burden when higher levels of profits are taxed at a higher rate.
  • Capital efficiency is raised when pricing with the FX rate improves the firm’s competitive position without hurting budgeted profit margins.

While most of these advantages have been known by CFOs for many years, there is a new factor to consider: they can be implemented with Currency Management Automation solutions that remove most of the resource-consuming, repetitive and low-value tasks performed by the finance team, eliminating unnecessary operational risks along the way.

With an added bonus: by leveraging currencies, CFOs have the opportunity to take decisive steps in terms of digitisation. According to a recent HSBC surveydigitisation is seen as the most positive factor by 84% of CFOs overall, as they expect investments in digital technology to have a “positive impact on their business”, with more than half of them expecting it to give the business model “a large boost”.

The time to act is … now!


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Treasury & Banking in India

20-06-2022 | treasuryXL | ComplexCountries | LinkedIn |

This call took place against the background of the war in Ukraine – but it was a useful chance to catch up on the ever-improving situation in India.

India has always been complex, with many regulations and poor clarity. This is clear from the comments below, where participants often have different experiences on the same topic. But, overall, the economy is working well, people are making profits (this was not always the case), and regulations are becoming more user-friendly, even if they remain challenging.

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Business structure: most participants have one legal entity which faces customers, and a different one which acts as an international shared service centre, invoicing other companies in the group on a cost plus basis. This can lead to inefficiencies in cash management: everyone struggles with domestic cash pooling and intercompany loans, while the shared service centre has guaranteed profits and cash generation. One participant has all activities in the same legal entity, which makes life easier.

Intercompany loans within India create transfer pricing and tax challenges: there is a required or recommended interest rate of 8%, compared to deposit rates of 4% to 4.5%.

Cross border cash pooling and intercompany loans are generally very difficult: many approvals are required. Dividends are subjected to withholding tax of 15%, which is sufficient to deter some, but not all, participants from paying dividends. However, this is an improvement on the previous 22% dividend tax, which was often not creditable against tax in the receiving country.

Netting of intercompany invoices is not allowed. However, one participant is using an Indian entity to centralise all invoices within the country using a POBO/ROBO process, and limiting the transactions to a single, large, gross in/gross out settlement. They are also looking at a non resident INR account.

Participants mostly use deposits for investing their excess cash. One is using the TIDE deposit: the bank automatically sweeps fixed amounts of cash above a defined threshold into deposits. These receive a higher rate if they remain for more than two weeks, but can be released if needed, with a lower interest rate being paid.

Most participants use international banks, mainly Citi and BNPP. Most complained that Citi are reluctant to use automated FX platforms, and are behind on the electronic transmission of import documentation – but one participant had a more positive experience. JPMorgan again received positive comments for their approach.

The participants who use local banks generally had positive comments about them, and found they were a big help with pricing, especially on loans and letters of credit.

Tax remains complex and challenging.

 

Bottom line: the – excellent – report below reflects the significant complexity of doing business and managing treasury in India. But it is an important market, and one which is improving. So it is definitely worth the effort!

To access this report:

Access to the full report is available to Premium Subscribers.
Please contact us to find out about our subscription packages.


4 ways to optimise currency management in times of crisis

14-06-2022 | treasuryXL | Kantox | LinkedIn |

Did you know that CurrencyCast season 2 of Kantox is now available? In the first episode of the season, we look at four must-have tools to help you optimise your currency management and protect your business from risk in times of crisis. To see all episodes of CurrencyCast, click this link.

Credits: Kantox
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This week’s CurrencyCast looked at the four Currency Management Automation tools you need to navigate 2022’s predictable unpredictability. Here are our key takeaways:

(1) Put cash and currency management on the same page

The tool? The first Currency Management Automation tool is automated swap execution.

Why? Because, in times of pandemic and war, “Cash is King “. A recent risk treasury survey by HSBC finds that as many as 82% of CFOs say that cash management has been the most crucial issue during the last three years—and that is unlikely to change any time soon. The point is that cash management and FX risk management need to go hand in hand, especially in the current context.

How? By automatically executing the swap transactions that are necessary to adjust hedging positions to the settlement of the underlying commercial transactions, as cash flow moments do not always coincide. Failing to automate these cash adjustments properly hinders the whole risk management process. Yet, in FX risk management, cash management related tasks need as much attention —and as much automation— as other tasks of the FX workflow, like pricing with an FX rate, collecting and processing exposure information, or executing hedges.

(2) Optimise the impact of shifting interest rates 

The tool? The second Currency Management Automation tool is a robust FX rate feeder that enables commercial teams to price with the appropriate exchange rate, whether it’s the spot or the six-month forward rate, with all the required pricing markups per client segment and currency pair.

Why? Because interest rates are shifting in many places as we speak. As interest rates change, so does the difference between exchange rates with different value dates, also known as forward points. On the one hand, if your company is based in a strong currency area like Europe or North America and you are selling into Emerging Markets, your commercial teams may need to price with the forward rate to avoid unnecessary losses on the carry. On the other hand, you can take advantage of ‘favourable’ forward points to price more competitively without hurting your budgeted profit margins.

How? Most Treasury Management Systems (TMS) are not equipped with what we call at Kantox a ‘strong FX rate feeder’ that would enable commercial teams to quote with the appropriate exchange rate, in this case, the forward rate. For that, you need a software solution that, working alongside your existing systems, provides your commercial teams with all the FX rates they need for pricing purposes.

(3) Prepare for disrupted supply chains 

The tool? The third Currency Management Automation tool is an FX hedging program that allows you to delay —as much as possible, and according to your own tolerance of risk— the execution of hedges.

Why? Right now, as we speak, global supply chains are in turmoil. Commodity prices are seeing wild swings, and the economic outlook remains uncertain. This may lead to lower visibility regarding your cash flow forecasts and your forecasted exposure to currency risk.

How? One of the most fascinating tools that we have developed at Kantox —about which we will devote a future episode of CurrencyCast— allows treasurers to create a buffer from a ‘worst-case scenario’ FX rate that you wish to protect, if your aim is to keep steady prices during an entire campaign/budget period, and you can reprice at the onset of a new period.

This buffer, created by means of conditional FX orders, provides the flexibility to leverage information from incoming firm sales/purchase orders that are hedged. Forecast accuracy is usually correlated with time. As the campaign progresses, that flexibility allows you to gain more visibility into what is typically considered the less visible part of your exposure.

Delaying hedge execution also will enable you to:

(1) Create savings on the carry if forward points are not in your favour

(2) Set aside less cash than would otherwise be the case in terms of margin and collateral requirements

(4) Protect your profit margins and cash flows

The tool? Last but not least, the fourth Currency Management Automation tool needed to tackle 2022’s predictable unpredictability is —quite obviously— a strong FX hedging program.

Why? Because you need to protect your budgeted operating profit margins and company cash flows from currency risk. You may also desire to reduce the variability of your performance as measured in your financial statements. By allowing your firm to confidently buy and sell in the currency of your suppliers and customers, you take advantage of the margin-enhancing benefits of ‘embracing currencies’.

There is an additional benefit that may prove particularly relevant these days. In the event of a sharp devaluation of your customer’s currency, if you only sell in a handful of currencies such as EUR or USD, your customer may be tempted to unilaterally wait for a better exchange rate to settle their bills. You don’t want to be in that position — and you do it by selling in local currencies in the first place.

How? With the help of a family of automated hedging programs and combinations of hedging programs designed to systematically protect your firm from currency risk. These can be personalised whatever the pricing patterns of your business — whether you face dynamic prices or you desire to keep steady prices during an entire campaign period, or you wish to keep prices as stable as possible during a set of campaign periods linked together.


Treasury in transition – explore the agenda for EuroFinance International Treasury Management

13-06-2022 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

 

Featuring keynote speakers, Guy Verhofstadt and Göran Carstedt…

The 31st annual EuroFinance International Treasury Management returns in-person this September 21st-23rd in Vienna. With treasury changing like never before, join more than 2000 attendees, including 150 world-class speakers for transformative insights and the year’s best networking.



  • Inspirational headline speakers– including member of European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt and and one of the world’s top business minds, former head of IKEA, Göran Carstedt
  • Practical insights from case studies across 5 streams– explore the latest innovations driving change and how to apply them to your treasury
  • The new Future of Money Stage– a dynamic experience for disruptive ground-breaking ideas from crypto to the token economy
  • Meet with more than 100 banking and tech partnerson the exhibition floor and  join forces to innovate and shape the future

Learn from the experiences of more than 150 best-in-class treasurers including:
– Abraham Geldenhuys, VP and group treasurer, Kongsberg Automotive
– Yang Xu, SVP, corporate development and global treasurer, Kraft Heinz
– Alex Ashby, Head of treasury – Markets, Tesco
– Debbie Kaya, Senior director of treasury, Cisco Systems, Inc.
– Daniel Melski, VP finance and treasurer, Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
– Angel Cheung, Assistant treasurer, John Lewis Partnership

For more information and to register, visit: https://www.eurofinance.com/international

 

TreasuryXL contacts can claim a 10% discount with code: MKTG/TXL10 on top of the early-bird price which expires on July 29th – a combined saving of over €2000.  Register here today.

We hope to welcome you in Vienna.

The EuroFinance Team


About EuroFinance

EuroFinance, part of The Economist Group, is a leading global provider of treasury, cash management and risk events, research and training. With over 30 years of experience, our mission is to bring together the brightest minds and most influential voices in treasury. Through in-depth research with 1,000 corporate treasury professionals every year, we have a unique insight into the trends and developments within the profession and an unrivalled global viewpoint.

Contacts

Marianne Ford
Senior Marketing Manager
EuroFinance

Economist Impact
[email protected]


Winding Down Russia: Treasury Challenges

23-05-2022 | treasuryXL | ComplexCountries | LinkedIn |

 

This was our third call on the situation in Russia. It focused on the practical challenges people are facing: nearly all participants are either running down their businesses or continuing on humanitarian grounds for products which are exempted from sanctions, particularly in the healthcare sector. However, as one participant put it, winding down is easier said than done.

This report was compiled by Monie Lindsey. based on a Treasury Peer Call chaired by Damian Glendinning.

We are happy to share a copy of the full report FREE, please contact us and mention ‘Russia Report’ in your message.

Source



Chair’s Overview

This was our third call on the situation in Russia. It focused on the practical challenges people are facing: nearly all participants are either running down their businesses or continuing on humanitarian grounds for products that are exempted from sanctions, particularly in the healthcare sector. However, as one participant put it, winding down is easier said than done.

  • Many businesses operate through franchises in foreign countries. Terminating the franchise agreement may not be enough to stop them from continuing the business and using the brand name – some high-profile companies which have stopped operations still have franchisees who are continuing to trade, using the name.
  • In some cases, the name remains on the business. This makes it difficult for the brand owner to walk away, as the reputational risk remains.
  • People in the healthcare sector feel a need to carry on for humanitarian reasons. For them, there are significant logistical challenges getting new shipments into the country: no flights, very little sea freight, so heavy dependency on road transport, with limited willing suppliers. They are encountering an additional issue: sanctions apply based on customs codes, and some health care products have not been appropriately coded.
  • In other sectors, companies continue to sell down their existing inventory – but even this can be complicated, as fresh inputs can be required to make goods saleable.
  • Still, other participants have operations that are purely local, and do not require imports. These will typically continue to function, though moves are being made to make them fully independent.
  • Despite all the above, most participants continue to be able to pay down intercompany debt, pay dividends and settle outstanding intercompany invoices.
  • Cash operations are complicated by the need to segregate payments emanating from sanctioned banks. Again, this seems to work, and customers are usually willing to transfer their payments to non sanctioned banks.
  • Many Russian entities have taken steps to disguise their real ownership as a means of evading sanctions: some participants are using a database to identify the true beneficial owners to see whether sanctions apply.
  • Most international banks continue to function, but SocGen recently announced it is selling Rosbank. This raises the concern it may be sanctioned in the future.
  • Most international banks are refusing to open new accounts, and none is interested in taking deposits. This is a concern for participants who are building up cash balances as they sell down inventory. Raiffeisen seems to be the major exception to this.
  • It continues to be possible to convert RUB into hard currency – as long as you are not using a sanctioned bank. Hedging is also possible, but liquidity is limited and deliverable forwards are not available. NDFs seem to work.
  • Several participants have had to remove their Russian subsidiaries from their centralised treasury structures and in-house banks. This has resulted in the hiring of new local staff to manage the newly independent operations.
  • One participant raised the concern that Russia may be branded as a state sponsor of terrorism. This would complicate matters even further.

Bottom line: despite the length of this summary, there are still further details in the report below. Please read it. The overwhelming feedback from the call was that everyone is trying to comply with the sanctions, and business is either being scaled back, or completely localised. People have stopped looking for ways round sanctions – but compliance is complicated.

The full report on Winding Down Russia: Treasury Challenges is available to subscribers. Please get in touch for details. Enquire


Subscribe and receive your 41 pages ‘easy-to-read’ eBook, What is Treasury?

16-05-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

Treasury, Corporate Finance, Cash Management, Risk Management, Working Capital Management and Blockchain. What are the purposes of these treasury functions?

treasuryXL created this eBook based on the most relevant best practices that Treasury experts provided over the last years. We bundled the most important information for you and created easy to read and understand articles about the main subjects within the World of Treasury.

We took a deeper dive into each of the above-mentioned treasury functions and highlight:

  • The purpose of each named Treasury function (What is?)
  • What specialists do
  • Examples of Activities
  • Summary of Frequently Asked Questions and answers
  • Conclusion

How to receive this eBook for Free?

We simply giveaway two presents for you! By signing up for our newsletter you will automatically receive the following in your inbox:

  1. On Fridays, our Coffee Break weekly newsletter will land in your inbox. In this weekly newsletter, we will highlight the whole week full of the latest treasury news within our community.
  2. The 41 pages eBook, What is Treasury?

 

Subscribe, Join, Download and Relax.

Welcome to our community and have fun reading!

 

 

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

 

 

 

 

The world’s largest treasury event is returning to Vienna in September | 10% discount via treasuryXL

09-05-2022 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

 

EuroFinance International Treasury Management, the world’s largest and most influential treasury event, will take place in Vienna from September 21st-23rd 2022. Returning in-person after 3 years with more than 2000 attendees including 150 world-class speakers, the event offers unparalleled networking and insights from the world’s most senior corporate treasurers. treasuryXL is proud media partner of the 31st edition of the EuroFinance event.



Why attend?

  • Be inspired by headline speakers as they interrogate a changed world including Guy Verhofstadt, member of the European Parliament and Göran Carstedt, former corporate executive of Volvo and IKEA
  • Get practical solutions to treasury challenges with new case studies and immersive discovery labs
  • Hear from the disruptors at the new The Future of Money Stage
  • Delve into the latest innovations and new technology driving change, and how to apply them to your treasury
  • Meet with more than 100 banking and tech partners and join forces to innovate and shape the future

 

For the full agenda and to register, please click here

TreasuryXL contacts can claim a 10% discount with code: MKTG/TXL10

 

HR Challenges of Global Treasury

26-04-2022 | treasuryXL | ComplexCountries | LinkedIn |

 

The twin challenges of being a people manager and handling essential cross-function communications have always added to the technical and strategic demands of being a treasurer – and these have become more difficult with COVID and remote working. This report explores the approaches of five senior treasurers from Europe.

The peer group discussion was chaired by Damian Glendinning.

This report was compiled by Monie Lindsey.

We are happy to share a copy of the full report FREE, please contact us and mention ‘HR Report’ in your message.

Source



Chair’s Overview

This session was suggested by a member and produced a thoughtful discussion. The twin challenges of being a people manager and handling essential cross-function communications have always added to the technical and strategic demands of being a treasurer – and these have become more difficult with COVID and remote working.

The shared input from all participants was that we have put a lot more effort into communications. When you don’t see people in the office all the time, you have to make the effort to pick up the phone and talk to them. The result has been an even greater emphasis on communications skills – and it is even harder to motivate and support employees who are working in different countries, as it is very hard to go and visit them. These skills are required, not only within the team, but when dealing with other functions such as Sales, and external providers, like banks.

A lot of emphases was put on the ability to keep things simple, and avoid confusing partners with technical jargon.

Initially, the impact of the pandemic was to reduce staff mobility, and cause people to stay in their jobs for longer. This is now giving way to increased mobility, and the need to hire and train people without physically meeting them. This has placed an even greater emphasis on the quality of procedures and process documentation. It has also led to an increase in remote learning, and, potentially, increased the available talent pool, since geographic proximity may no longer be required.

Finally, there was a lot of discussion about areas where the pandemic has simply accelerated trends that were already present – notably an increase in automation, and a reduction in the amount of manual transaction processing work. Again, this has resulted in an even greater emphasis on analytic and communications skills, with a reduced focus on operational ability. As an aside, there was a discussion about whether treasury staff still need to actually understand how the underlying systems work.

Bottom line: the pandemic has accelerated trends that already existed: more remote working and learning, more automation. This has put even more emphasis on the need to communicate well, especially as the phone and video conferencing, while they have undoubtedly saved us, make communications more difficult. The result is a need to put in more effort, and spend more time on it. Paradoxically, this may even prove to be beneficial.


Attend the 33rd Finance Symposium | 18-20 May 2022 | Mannheim

20-04-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

The treasury and finance community finally meets in person again. treasuryXL is proud media partner of the 33rd Finance Symposium.

 

 

For more than 30 years, the Finance Symposium has developed into the most important industry gathering for treasurers and finance managers in the German-speaking world. Every year, around 2,300 finance experts meet to discuss together, make contacts and receive new impetus. The outstanding congress program offers visitors a broad spectrum of professionally challenging topics from finance and treasury management in three days. In over 170 forums, workshops and expert panels, participants will learn about the latest developments in finance and treasury.

 

 

The speakers are high-ranking finance managers from major companies and prominent guests from politics and business. For example, in 2022 Martin Schulz, former President of the European Parliament , and Verena Pausder, entrepreneur and expert in digital education, could be won for exciting presentations and discussions. The most important banks, system providers and financial service providers in the industry will present themselves on 1,000 m2 of exhibition space.

For more information and tickets, visit: www.finanzsymposium.com

 

 

 

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

 

 

 

 

Your free eBook, What is Treasury?

13-04-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

Receive your eBook What is Treasury? after subscribing to the free treasuryXL weekly newsletter.

The world of Treasury is a complex topic. Many people will think about pirates and big see ships that sank deep into the bottom of the ocean including their ‘treasure’. A mystery treasure map will lead the finder to a treasure worth a lot of money. In some way Treasury and Treasure have similarities, it is about money and other valuables.

Are you having a hard time how to explain what treasury is to family, friends and colleagues? Or are you interested to learn more about the World of Treasury?

 

treasuryXL created a 41 pages eBook for the corporate treasurers and the world of finance addict.

This eBook is designed to answer layman questions about the function of Treasury. treasuryXL bundled the most important information for you and created an easy to read and understand articles about the main subjects within the World of Treasury:

This ebook will answer your questions about Treasury topics.

treasuryXL explains the purpose of each Treasury function; what specialists do, examples of activities, FAQs, and a summary.

This ebook is based on the most relevant best practices that Treasury experts provided over the last years. On the website of treasuryXL you can explore additional information on the latest in Corporate Treasury.

 

HAVE FUN READING!

 

 

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL