Multi-Currency Note Facility

Multi-Currency Note Facility

Investopedia / Laura Porter

What Is a Multi-Currency Note Facility?

A multi-currency note facility is a credit facility that provides short- and medium-term euro note loans to borrowers. Loans may have various structures and include denominations in many different national currencies. These facilities may also provide payment services for companies who work within multiple currencies.

Borrowers of multi-currency notes are typically large corporations that have offices and facilities in many countries. These issues enable the corporation to fund special projects that impact their diverse operations using a single loan as opposed to multiple loans. A multi-currency loan is also sometimes called a dual currency issue.

Key Takeaways

  • A multi-currency note facility is a lender that provides short- and medium-term euro note loans to borrowers.
  • Borrowers of multi-currency notes are typically large multinational corporations (MNCs) that have facilities and operations located in various countries around the world.
  • Multi-currency note facilities hold funds in the currency of various nations and enable borrowers to receive the loan funds in more than one currency.
  • By receiving loan funds in various currencies, the parent company can fund the operations or special projects of their diverse locations through the use of one financial product (as opposed to obtaining multiple loans for each location).
  • A disadvantage for borrowers is that they may incur foreign exchange risk, which refers to the losses they may experience due to currency fluctuations.

How a Multi-Currency Note Facility Works

The multi-currency credit facility finances short- to medium-term euro notes. Banks hold funds in the currency of various nations, known as eurocurrency, which they utilize for lending outside of the country of issue. 

Despite its name, eurocurrency transactions do not have to involve European countries. Eurocurrency is any currency held for deposit in a bank or financial institution not located in the same country as the country issuing the currency. For example, South Korean won (KRW) deposited at a bank in the United States is considered eurocurrency.

A multi-currency note facility can provide service for a multi-currency loan, which lets a borrower receive the loan funds in more than one currency or in several currencies. Multi-currency loans can help corporations who operate in more than one nation or those who operate in nations with limitations on currency availability.

These notes allow a parent company to fund the operations of connected businesses in diverse locations through one umbrella financial product. Examples of use include the purchase of real estate, the endorsement of promissory notes, and the funding of bills of exchange.

Euro Medium-Term Note (EMTN)

The loans from these facilities usually reprice about every six months, so the borrower has to accept the terms of the current market foreign currency rate. As an example, a euro medium-term note (EMTN) is a flexible debt instrument that requires fixed payments and has a maturity of less than five-years. EMTNs allow an issuer to enter foreign markets more easily to obtain capital. The terms of the agreement will detail the lender requirements for the type of repayment currency and the rate. 

The borrower can choose the currency they wish to use in each rollover refinancing period. The rollover refinancing of the loan moves the delivery date for the currency to a later date and usually incurs a fee from the difference in the interest rates between the two currencies. Borrowers benefit from the ability to initiate drawdowns with varying maturity dates and to tailor the loan to meet their specialized needs.

Although the term multi-currency note facility might conjure up the image of actual, physical banknotes, most operate through online, digital transactions and don’t produce in-person notes anymore.

A multi-currency note facility functions in a similarly to a note issuance facility (NIF). The NIF will generally accept the notes from the borrowers and resell them in the eurocurrency markets.

Limitations of a Multi-Currency Note Facility

The most significant barrier of a multi-currency note facility is that producing multiple currencies for a loan carries a considerable amount of risk for the borrowers. The borrower assumes all the foreign exchange risk in the transaction while the lender decides which currency they will receive repayment in, and typically at a predetermined exchange rate.

Foreign exchange risk comes from unexpected and unforeseeable changes in the interest rates between the two, or the several, currencies. However, breaking the loan into the specific currencies of each country can help reduce some associated fees.