Currency Risk - Types of Exposure - Transaction Exposure

A firm has transaction exposure whenever it has contractual cash flows (receivables and payables) whose values are subject to unanticipated changes in exchange rates due to a contract being denominated in a foreign currency. To realize the domestic value of its foreign-denominated cash flows, the firm must exchange foreign currency for domestic currency. As firms negotiate contracts with set prices and delivery dates in the face of a volatile foreign exchange market with exchange rates constantly fluctuating, the firms face a risk of changes in the exchange rate between the foreign and domestic currency. Firms generally become exposed as a direct result of activities such as importing and exporting or borrowing and investing. Exchange rates may move by up to 10% within any single year, which can significantly affect a firm's cash flows, meaning a 10% decline in the value of a receivable or a 10% rise in the value of a payable. Such outcomes could be troublesome as export profits could be negated entirely or import costs could rise substantially.

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