Title: Currency Hedging for Multinationals under Liquidity Constraints
Reference Number: 1163
Publication Date: January 2007
JEL Classifcation: D81, F23, F31

Rujing Meng
The University of Hong Kong

Kit Pong Wong
The University of Hong Kong

This paper examines the impact of liquidity risk on the behavior of a risk-averse multinational firm (MNF) under exchange rate uncertainty in a two-period dynamic setting. The MNF has operations domiciled in the home country and in a foreign country, each of which produces a single homogeneous good to be sold in the home and foreign markets. To hedge the exchange rate risk, the MNF has access to one-period currency futures and option contracts in each period. The MNF is liquidity constrained in that it is obliged to terminate its risk management program in the second period whenever the net loss due to its first-period hedge position exceeds a predetermined threshold level. We show that the MNF optimally sells less (more) and produces more (less) in the foreign (home) country in response to the imposition of the liquidity constraint. We show further that the liquidity constrained MNF optimally uses the currency option contracts in the first period for hedging purposes in general, and opts for a long option position if its utility function is quadratic in particular.

Key words: Currency hedging, Liquidity constraints, Multinationals

Last modified: 01/12/2007