What are Fixed-For-Fixed Swaps

A fixed-for-fixed swap is an arrangement between two parties (known as counterparties) in which both parties exchange currencies and pay each other a fixed interest rate on the principal amount. It can be used to take advantage of situations where interest rates in other countries are cheaper.

BREAKING DOWN Fixed-For-Fixed Swaps

To understand how investors benefit from these types of arrangements, consider a situation in which each party has a comparative advantage to take out a loan at a certain rate and currency. For example, an American firm can take out a loan in the United States at a 7% interest rate, but requires a loan in yen to finance an expansion project in Japan, where the interest rate is 10%. At the same time, a Japanese firm wishes to finance an expansion project in the U.S., but the interest rate is 12%, compared to the 9% interest rate in Japan.

Each party can benefit from the other's interest rate through a fixed-for-fixed currency swap. In this case, the U.S. firm can borrow U.S. dollars for 7%, then lend the funds to the Japanese firm at 7%. The Japanese firm can borrow Japanese yen at 9%, then lend the funds to the U.S. firm for the same amount.