Forward Rate Agreement - FRA

Loading the player...

DEFINITION of 'Forward Rate Agreement - FRA'

An over-the-counter contract between parties that determines the rate of interest, or the currency exchange rate, to be paid or received on an obligation beginning at a future start date. The contract will determine the rates to be used along with the termination date and notional value. On this type of agreement, it is only the differential that is paid on the notional amount of the contract.

Also known as a "future rate agreement".

BREAKING DOWN 'Forward Rate Agreement - FRA'

Typically, for agreements dealing with interest rates, the parties to the contract will exchange a fixed rate for a variable one. The party paying the fixed rate is usually referred to as the borrower, while the party receiving the fixed rate is referred to as the lender.

For a basic example, assume Company A enters into an FRA with Company B in which Company A will receive a fixed rate of 5% for one year on a principal of $1 million in three years. In return, Company B will receive the one-year LIBOR rate, determined in three years' time, on the principal amount. The agreement will be settled in cash in three years.

If, after three years' time, the LIBOR is at 5.5%, the settlement to the agreement will require that Company A pay Company B. This is because the LIBOR is higher than the fixed rate. Mathematically, $1 million at 5% generates $50,000 of interest for Company A while $1 million at 5.5% generates $55,000 in interest for Company B. Ignoring present values, the net difference between the two amounts is $5,000, which is paid to Company B.

RELATED TERMS
  1. LIBOR

    LIBOR or ICE LIBOR (previously BBA LIBOR) is a benchmark rate ...
  2. Exchange Rate

    The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. ...
  3. Forward Contract

    A customized contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset ...
  4. Variable Prepaid Forward Contracts

    An agreement to give a predetermined number of shares to a brokerage ...
  5. Forward Rate

    A rate applicable to a financial transaction that will take place ...
  6. Interest Rate

    The amount charged, expressed as a percentage of principal, by ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Explaining Forward Rate Agreements

    Forward rate agreement (FRA) refers to an interest rate or foreign exchange hedging strategy.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Options & Futures

    Getting Started In Forex

    Before entering this market, you should define what you need from your broker and from your strategy.
  5. Options & Futures

    Options On Futures: A World Of Potential Profit

    There's one simple hurdle in the transition from stock to futures options: learning about product specifications.
  6. Insurance

    Futures Fundamentals

    For those who are new to futures but want a solid understanding of them, this tutorial explains what futures contracts are, how they work and why investors use them.
  7. Options & Futures

    What Does Quadruple Witching Mean?

    In a financial context, quadruple witching refers to the day on which contracts for stock index futures, index options, and single stock futures expire.
  8. Options & Futures

    4 Equity Derivatives And How They Work

    Equity derivatives offer retail investors opportunities to benefit from an underlying security without owning the security itself.
  9. Options & Futures

    Five Advantages of Futures Over Options

    Futures have a number of advantages over options such as fixed upfront trading costs, lack of time decay and liquidity.
  10. Options & Futures

    Contango Versus Normal Backwardation

    It’s important for both hedgers and speculators to know whether the commodity futures markets are in contango or normal backwardation.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a derivative?

    A derivative is a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying financial asset, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures? (RYMBX, GATEX)

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a forward contract differ from a call option? (AAPL)

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  4. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  5. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
Trading Center