Economic Exposure

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Economic Exposure'

A type of foreign exchange exposure caused by the effect of unexpected currency fluctuations on a company’s future cash flows. Also known as operating exposure, economic exposure can have a substantial impact on a company’s market value, since it has far-reaching effects and is long-term in nature.

Unlike transaction exposure and translation exposure (the two other types of currency exposure), economic exposure is difficult to measure precisely and hence challenging to hedge. Economic exposure is also relatively difficult to hedge because it deals with unexpected changes in foreign exchange rates, unlike expected changes in currency rates, which form the basis for corporate budgetary forecasts.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Economic Exposure'

For example, assume that a large U.S. company that gets about 50% of its revenues from overseas markets has factored in a gradual decline of the U.S. dollar against major global currencies – say 2% per annum – into its operating forecasts for the next few years. If the U.S. dollar appreciates instead of declining gradually in the years ahead, this would represent economic exposure for the company. The dollar’s strength means that the 50% of revenues and cash flows the company receives from overseas will be lower when converted back into dollars, which will have a negative effect on its profitability and valuation.

Increasing globalization has made economic exposure a source of greater risk for companies. The degree of economic exposure is directly proportional to currency volatility. Economic exposure increases as foreign exchange volatility rises, and decreases as it falls.

Economic exposure is obviously greater for multinational companies that have numerous subsidiaries overseas and a huge number of transactions involving foreign currencies. However, economic exposure can arise for any company regardless of its size and even if it only operates in domestic markets.

For example, small European manufacturers that only sell in their local markets and do not export their products would be adversely affected by a stronger euro, since it would make imports from other jurisdictions such as Asia and North America cheaper and increase competition in European markets.

Economic exposure can be mitigated either through operational strategies or currency risk mitigation strategies. Operational strategies involve diversification – of production facilities, end-product markets and financing sources, since currency effects may offset each other to some extent if a number of different currencies are involved. Currency risk-mitigation strategies involve matching currency flows, risk-sharing agreements and currency swaps.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange Rate

    The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. ...
  2. Overnight Limit

    The number of currency positions a trader can carry over from ...
  3. Hedge

    Making an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements ...
  4. Import

    A good or service brought into one country from another. Along ...
  5. Forex - FX

    The market in which currencies are traded. The forex market is ...
  6. Export

    A function of international trade whereby goods produced in one ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How are foreign exchange rates affected by commodity price fluctuations?

    In the foreign exchange (forex) market, currency valuations move up and down as a result of many factors, including interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What kinds of costs are included in Free on Board (FOB) shipping?

    Free on board (FOB) shipping is a trade term published by the International Chamber of Commerce or ICC, that indicates which ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What regulations exist to protect infant industries?

    There are far more protections of once-infant and now-dominant industries in the United States than regulations designed ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. In what manner will a recession likely affect the marginal-propensity-to-save rate ...

    The marginal propensity to save, or MPS, rises in most, though not all, recessions. This makes perfect sense on an individual ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why would a country's gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income (GNI) ...

    A country’s gross domestic product, or GDP, and gross national income, or GNI, are likely to differ considerably because ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. While closely related, how do gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income ...

    Gross domestic product, or GDP, and gross national income, or GNI, are the two most important economic indicators that measure ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    A Primer On The Forex Market

    Moving from equities to currencies requires you to adjust how you interpret quotes, margin, spreads and rollovers.
  2. Forex Education

    Getting Started In Foreign Exchange Futures

    Learn how these futures are used for hedging and speculating, and how they are different from traditional futures.
  3. Options & Futures

    Getting Started In Forex

    Before entering this market, you should define what you need from your broker and from your strategy.
  4. Bonds & Fixed Income

    6 Factors That Influence Exchange Rates

    Find out how a currency's relative value reflects a country's economic health and impacts your investment returns.
  5. Economics

    What is Neoliberalism?

    Neoliberalism is a little-used term to describe an economy where the government has few, if any, controls on economic factors.
  6. Economics

    Understanding Natural Unemployment

    Natural unemployment is often defined as the lowest rate of unemployment an economy will reach.
  7. Economics

    Is Texas The Future Of America?

    The top three fastest-growing cities are located in Texas and 20% of jobs created between 2009 and 2014 were in the Lone Star State.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Demographics

    Demographics is the study and categorization of people based on factors such as income level, education, gender, race, age, and employment.
  9. Economics

    The Most Likely Outcome For Greece

    After more than five years of a Greek drama, most of us have become fatigued with hearing about Greece’s debt problems, the one issue that won’t go away.
  10. Economics

    How Does a Company Use Raw Materials?

    Raw materials are the basic components of a finished product.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Multicurrency Note Facility

    A credit facility that finances short- to medium-term Euro notes. Multicurrency note facilities are denominated in many currencies. ...
  2. National Currency

    The currency or legal tender issued by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. The national currency of a nation is ...
  3. Treasury Yield

    The return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the debt obligations of the U.S. government. Treasuries are considered ...
  4. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
  5. European Central Bank - ECB

    The central bank responsible for the monetary system of the European Union (EU) and the euro currency. The bank was formed ...
  6. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!