Definition of 'Currency Swap'
There are two main types of currency swaps:
* **Cross-currency swaps:** In a cross-currency swap, the two parties exchange principal amounts in different currencies. The principal amounts are exchanged at the beginning of the swap and then repaid at the end of the swap.
* **Interest rate swaps:** In an interest rate swap, the two parties exchange interest payments in different currencies. The interest payments are exchanged on a periodic basis, such as every month or every quarter.
Currency swaps can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
* Hedging against exchange rate risk: A company that has foreign currency-denominated assets or liabilities can use a currency swap to hedge against the risk that the exchange rate will change and cause the value of its assets or liabilities to decrease.
* Speculating on future exchange rate movements: A speculator can use a currency swap to speculate on future exchange rate movements. If the speculator believes that the exchange rate will increase, they can enter into a currency swap in which they receive a fixed rate of interest in one currency and pay a floating rate of interest in another currency. If the exchange rate does increase, the speculator will make a profit on the swap.
* Reducing borrowing costs: A company that can borrow money at a lower interest rate in one currency than in another currency can use a currency swap to reduce its borrowing costs. For example, a U.S. company that can borrow money at a lower interest rate in euros than in dollars can enter into a currency swap in which it pays a fixed rate of interest in euros and receives a floating rate of interest in dollars. This will reduce the company's overall borrowing costs.
Currency swaps are a complex financial instrument and should only be used by experienced investors who understand the risks involved.
Do you have a trading or investing definition for our dictionary? Click the Create Definition link to add your own definition. You will earn 150 bonus reputation points for each definition that is accepted.
Is this definition wrong? Let us know by posting to the forum and we will correct it.