Circus Swap

Definition of 'Circus Swap'


A combination of an interest rate swap and a currency swap in which a fixed-rate loan in one currency is swapped for a floating-rate loan in another currency. A circus swap therefore converts not just the basis of the interest rate liability, but also the currency of this liability. The floating rate in a circus swap is generally indexed to U.S. dollar LIBOR. The term is derived from the acronym CIRCUS, which stands for Combined Interest Rate and Currency Swap. Also known as a “cross-currency swap” or “currency coupon swap".

Investopedia explains 'Circus Swap'


Companies and institutions use circus swaps to hedge currency and interest rate risk, and to match cash flows from assets and liabilities. They are ideal for hedging loan transactions since the swap terms can be tailored to perfectly match the underlying loan parameters.

As an example, consider Euromax, a European company that has a US$100 million loan with a floating interest rate (LIBOR + 2%) on its books. The company is concerned that U.S. interest rates may begin to rise, which would lead to a stronger U.S. dollar against the euro, making it more expensive to make future interest and principal repayments. Euromax would therefore like to swap into a fixed-rate loan in Japanese yen, because interest rates in Japan are low and it believes the yen may depreciate against the euro. It therefore enters into a circus swap with a counterparty that converts its U.S. dollar floating-rate debt into a fixed-rate loan in Japanese yen. If the company’s views on future interest rates and currencies are correct, it can save a few million dollars on servicing its debt obligations over the loan's term.  
 



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  2. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  3. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  4. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  5. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  6. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
Trading Center