What is a Quanto Swap?
A quanto swap is a type of derivative that is cash-settled and a cross-currency interest rate swap. It is an attractive product for speculators and investors with exposure to a foreign asset but without the equivalent exchange rate risk.
- A quanto swap is a type of derivative that is cash-settled and a cross-currency interest rate swap.
- Parameters for a quanto swap include 1) notional amount is in the first currency, the underlying currency, 2) floating or fixed rate index of the first currency, 3) floating or fixed rate index of the second currency, and 4) maturity.
- An investor will use a quanto swap when they predict that their asset will perform well in a country but speculate that its currency will drop in value.
Types of Quanto Swaps
- Quanto credit default swap – When default protection worth a specific amount is purchased in a specific currency, but the regular protection is bought in a different currency.
- Quanto futures contract – Includes a futures contract on an Indian stock market index that is settled in U.S. dollars.
- Quanto option – When the option deal’s strike price is made in one currency, but the payout is in a different currency. For example, an option on the Bombay Stock Exchange held by a Canadian investor would have a strike price in INR, but the investor will obtain CAD based on the fixed exchange rate.
Parameters for a Quanto Swap
- Notional amount in the first currency, the underlying currency
- Floating or fixed rate index of the first currency
- Floating or fixed rate index of the second currency
Purpose of Using a Quanto Swap
A quanto swap is used by investors when they anticipate that their assets in a country will appreciate in value but also expect a fall in the value of the country’s currency. When such a situation presents, the investor will make a deal with another investor to exchange interest rates while not changing currency. It allows an investor to differentiate between exchange rate and interest rate risk to reduce either exposure’s negative effects.
An example of a quanto swap would include an Indian investor paying a six-month London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in U.S. dollars for a USD 2.5-million loan, and in return, receiving payments in U.S. dollars at the seven-month Euro Interbank Offer Rate (EURIBOR) + 55 base points.
Advantages of a Quanto Swap
The advantage of using a quanto swap is a hedge against currency pairs that aggressively increase or decrease in value. For example, the Indian rupee is the national currency of India, and all the Indian rupee pairs move in a similar direction to Indian economic news.
A quanto swap can be used to minimize the risk of the Indian rupee moving aggressively towards a certain direction. Quanto swaps and other hedge strategies are the main trading tools in the B-booking activities, which is when the broker takes the opposite side of their customer’s trades.
An additional advantage of a quanto swap is that they have multiple methods of implementation. For a brokerage house to manage risk, a quanto swap can be used when a transaction is initiated. On the maturity date, the market could reverse, saving the brokerage houses transaction.
Disadvantages of a Quanto Swap
A disadvantage of a quanto swap is at the time of maturity, the floating interest rate could become a higher cost than the whole purpose of the swap.
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