Navigating the complexities of foreign exchange hedging and risk management with technology: Corpay

Navigating the complexities of foreign exchange hedging and risk management with technology: Corpay

Developing effective hedging and risk management strategies can be crucial for funds and portfolio managers. However, the success of these strategies can largely depend on having a comprehensive understanding of the tools available as well as fostering strong relationships with providers.

With the potential to improve working capital management and reduce cash flow risk, hedging is an essential part of any risk management strategy. However, misconceptions about foreign exchange (FX) hedging and risk may lead to missed opportunities.

Simon Bishop (pictured), Director and Head of Singapore, Corpay Cross-Border Solutions, said, “Traditionally, reliable real-time data for FX hedging was only accessible through traditional banking institutions. However, with the emergence of new technology in the space, the landscape is dramatically changing.

“These new technologies and platforms are democratising access to FX expertise, providing traders, businesses, and brokers of all sizes with a more detailed view of the global marketplace. As a result, they are becoming better educated and more informed, helping them to make better FX hedging decisions.”

Making FX hedging more inclusive and attainable 

When it comes to implementing an FX hedging strategy, it’s important to start by understanding the company’s exposure to FX risk. This includes identifying which currencies the company deals with and the potential impact of exchange rate fluctuations on financial statements. Also, keeping track of economic and political events that may affect the FX market can be crucial to making informed hedging decisions.

Simon Bishop said, “One way to hedge against FX risk is by using a Forward Exchange Contract (FEC) to lock in a specific exchange rate for a future payable or receivable. This can provide complete certainty in an uncertain FX market. Options contracts, on the other hand, offer more flexibility in hedging and can protect against FX volatility while still letting you benefit from favourable exchange rate movements and/or provide enhancement to the existing FEC.

“Removing currency exposures can also help reduce overall FX risk. This can be done by transacting in the same currency (i.e.: paying and receiving in USD for instance). However, keep in mind that it’s important to understand the impact on your own clients as this effectively passes the FX risk on to them, which could have an impact on sales. Consider the pros and cons of each hedging instrument before deciding and consult with a cross-border specialist if needed.”

Understanding the various hedging instruments available and diversifying currency exposures can certainly help reduce overall FX risk. However, to make the most of these strategies, traders, businesses, and brokers can leverage the power of technology.

One major benefit of technology is its ability to analyse real-time data on currency movements and market volatility quickly and accurately. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), organisatons’ finance teams can quickly identify patterns and make more informed hedging decisions. This can increase predictability and help companies make data-driven decisions instead of relying solely on intuition.

Another benefit is the ability to seek out alternative solutions beyond traditional banking institutions. This can empower funds and portfolio managers and Corporates to explore new technology platforms to execute their hedging strategies. Scenario planning technologies can also be used to harness information, which organisations can use to create effective hedging strategies. From there, they can come to a cross-border payment and current risk management specialist to execute that strategy.

Unlocking the possible benefits of FX hedging strategies 

Managing FX risk can be volatile and complex, but it doesn’t need to be. This complexity may cause funds and portfolio managers to hesitate when it comes to hedging strategies. However, using appropriate tools and platforms available in the market can be invaluable for FX hedging in order to improve transparency, which may in turn combat hesitation and turn market volatility to an advantage.

Bishop added, “FX hedging can be a powerful tool for managing currency risk; however, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every business has unique characteristics, and the decision to hedge should be made on a case-by-case basis. For those who choose to leverage FX hedging as a viable capital management strategy, technology can be a game changer.

“By using disruptive fintech platforms, scenario planning technologies, and AI-powered tools, corporates, funds and portfolio managers can streamline FX processes, including hedging and risk managing. The result can be greater predictability, faster decision-making, and better outcomes for clients. As the FX hedging space continues to evolve, those that embrace technology are well-positioned to succeed into the future.”