Minggu, 09 Juni 2013

Arti – Definisi – Pengertian Hedge

Reducing your risks. Hedging involves deliberately taking on a new RISK that offsets an existing one, such as your exposure to an adverse change in an EXCHANGE RATE, INTEREST RATE or COMMODITY PRICE. Imagine, for example, that you are British and you are to be paid $1m in three months' time. You are worried that the dollar may have fallen in value by then, thus reducing the number of pounds you will be able to convert the $1m into. You can hedge away that currency risk by buying $1m of pounds at the current exchange rate (in effect) in the futures market. Hedging is most often done by commodity producers and traders, financial institutions and, increasingly, by ­non-financial FIRMS. It used to be fashionable for firms to hedge by following a policy of DIVERSIFICATION. More recently, firms have hedged using financial instruments and DERIVATIVES. Another popular strategy is to use 'natural' hedges wherever possible. For example, if a company is setting up a factory in a particular country, it might finance it by borrowing in the currency of that country. An extension of this idea is operational hedging, for example, relocating production facilities to get a better match of costs in a given currency to revenue. Hedging sounds prudent, but some economists reckon that firms should not do it because it reduces their value to shareholders. In the 1950s, two economists, Merton Miller (1923-2000) and Franco Modigliani, argued that firms make MONEY only if they make good investments, the kind that increase their operating cashflow. Whether these investments are financed through DEBT, EQUITY or retained earnings is irrelevant. Different methods of financing simply determine how a firm's value is divided between its various sorts of investors (for example, shareholders or bondholders), not the value itself. This surprising insight helped win each of them a Nobel prize. If they are right, there are big implications for hedging. If methods of financing and the character of financial risks do not matter, managing them is pointless. It cannot add to the firm's value; on the contrary, as hedging does not come free, doing it might actually lower that value. Moreover, argued Messrs Miller and Modigliani, if investors want to avoid the financial risks attached to holding SHARES in a firm, they can diversify their portfolio of shareholdings. Firms need not manage their financial risks; investors can do it for themselves. Few managers agree.

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