How to mitigate credit risk
09-02-2023 | treasuryXL | Kantox | LinkedIn |
When managing foreign currencies there is an underlying FX risk that Treasurers may not see, the credit risk. In this week’s episode of CurrencyCast, Agustin Mackinlay explains how to mitigate this risk.
Disclaimer: This information is being shared for informational purposes only and was originally published by Kantox (Source)
Embrace currencies to protect your capital, maintain your cash flow, secure your earnings and access better financing! Let’s find out how to mitigate the consequences of the underlying FX risk, the credit risk.
When working with foreign currencies, CFOs and treasurers have the mission to try to reduce the FX risk as much as they can. But there is an underlying currency risk that they could be missing, credit risk.
In this week’s episode of CurrencyCast, we shared the secrets to mitigating credit risk by embracing currencies. Now, we will explain in detail what are the key actions that involve eliminating this risk.
Understanding credit risk in currency management
There is an underlying currency risk that you are probably not seeing and could eliminate easily just by following a simple rule in your currency management strategy, embracing currencies.
This is the credit risk or, more precisely, the risk in account receivables when customers need to settle their bills in a different currency than their own.
Why embracing currencies is the secret to tackle credit risk
What do we mean by embracing currencies? There are many benefits that treasurers and CFOs can gain from implementing a multi currency approach to their FX strategy.
Some of them include the ability to price more competitively or boost your company’s profit margins just by operating with multiple currencies. But there is one which is helping companies drastically reduce currency risk, by uncovering the underlying credit risk.
We’ll reveal the advantages of taking ownership of the underlying FX risk so that you can expand your business with full confidence.
Uncovering the underlying credit risk
If you are selling in Emerging Markets like Brazil or Turkey but using only one currency like EUR or USD, you might be tempted to think that you have solved the currency risk problem.
But that’s an illusion: the underlying currency risk is still very much there. By urging customers to use a currency that is foreign to them, you are in effect transferring that risk onto their shoulders.
In the event of a sharp devaluation of the local currency, they might feel inclined to wait for a better exchange before settling their bills. In other words, your customers would speculate in FX markets with your firm’s money.
We’ve seen that phenomenon at play after the pandemic, both in Latin America and Eastern Europe. As a treasurer or CFO, you don’t want to be in that position.
Taking ownership of the underlying FX risk
In order to avoid your client’s FX risk from turning into your own credit risk, the solution is to sell in the currency of your customers while taking care of the underlying FX risk. Needless to say, this presupposes a strong, automated currency cash flow hedging program.
Such programs include: hedging firm sales/purchase orders as they materialise, hedging forecasted exposures for one or more campaign/budget periods, or a combination of these, with tools that provide visibility over the exposure throughout.
Advantages of owning the currency risk
Now you know the importance of seeing there is another added layer to your currency risk that you could be missing. It is time to consider the advantages that would flow from taking full ownership of the underlying currency risk:
- Capitalprotection. You are protecting your firm’s capital against catastrophic loss while managing reputational risk at the same time
- Cost of capital. You are reducing the cost of trade credit insurance if you use it, slashing lousy debt reserves and freeing up capital
- Performance. You are securing company earnings while maintaining cash flow
- Commercialexpansion. You are in a position to expand sales with confidence, gaining market share and/or targeting new customers
Finding a solution to mitigate the risk efficiently
After uncovering the underlying FX risk, you need a solution to mitigate the credit risk.
A currency management automation solution could be the answer for companies that want to embrace currencies. This type of tool can streamline your currency management strategy and automate your entire FX workflow to reduce FX risk, including the ‘hidden’ credit risk.
As we mentioned before in this episode of CurrencyCast, we live in a multi-currency world where businesses can take advantage of the profit margin-enhancing benefits of selling in many currencies, like monetising existing FX markups or driving high-margin sales to company websites.
Thanks to automation, these advantages far outweigh the perceived inconveniences and costs of managing the underlying FX risk. And, in the current scenario of uncertainty, you get an additional and very attractive bonus: less credit risk in your commercial operations. That’s quite a lot!