Exchange Rates, Optimal Debt Composition, And Hedging In Small Open Economies
Source: Federal Reserve Board
This paper develops a model of the firm's choice between debt denominated in local currency and that denominated in foreign currency in a small open economy characterized by exchange rate risk and hedging possibilities. The model shows that the currency composition of debt and the level of hedging are endogenously determined as optimal firms' responses to a tradeoff between the lower cost of borrowing in foreign debt and the higher risk of such borrowing due to exchange rate uncertainty. Both the composition of debt and the level of hedging depend on common factors such as foreign exchange rate risk and the probability of financial default, interest rates, the size of firms' net worth, and the costs of managing exchange rate risk.