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Fix your rate and future proof your plans with a forward contract

Lock in an exchange rate that suits your business needs, protecting budgets from adverse currency fluctuations and helping to mitigate risk.

What's a forward contract?

A forward contract is a hedging product that allows you to secure an exchange rate over a set period of time on a predetermined volume of currency.

With WorldFirst, a forward contract can be entered to facilitate payments for identifiable goods, services or direct investment (making a capital investment in an enterprise to obtain a lasting interest in it).

You will be able to lock in an exchange rate for up to 24 months.

Why hedge using a forward contract?

Locking in an exchange rate with a forward contract means you know exactly what exchange rate you’re getting, for a set time. This helps you predict cash flow so you can be smarter, more accurate and more competitive with your forward planning.

What can happen if I don’t hedge?

Without locking in a fixed rate (hedging), adverse market fluctuations could lead to losses for your business and result in increased prices for your products and services.

Five things to consider when hedging

  1. During a forward contract, if the market rates move against you, you won’t lose out because your rate is secured. However, if rates move significantly against you, you may need to pay a margin call.

  2. You won’t benefit if a currency moves in your favour during your forward contract, though you may be able to take advantage of market movement with a spot contract.

  3. You must consider your risk appetite and evaluate your budget when pre-booking foreign currency. It may be worthwhile considering other strategies if you’re unsure of your requirements.

  4. You can enter a forward contract exchange with WorldFirst in order to pay an upcoming invoice in a foreign currency, or in preparation of an upcoming purchase in a foreign currency, but won’t be able to trade forwards for speculative purposes.

  5. There’s an initial deposit requirement associated with forward contracts ranging from three to 10 per cent depending on the length of your contract. Please reach out to our team who can look to see whether you’re eligible for a credit facility to help cover this.

How do forward contracts work at WorldFirst?

Forward contracts help protect businesses against currency fluctuations without having to buy currency upfront on the spot market. You’ll have a fixed rate, taking away uncertainties.

The spot price is the current market price at which a currency pair is bought or sold for immediate payment and delivery.

Types of forward contracts

The main types of forward contracts WorldFirst offers are fixed, window and flexible forward contracts. These are outlined below:

Fixed forward contracts

Buy or sell an exchange on a determined notional amount for a particular value date in the future – known as the value date or maturity date.

Flexible forward contracts

Draw down funds in one go or make multiple payments over the tenure (course) of your contract, ensuring the total agreed amount is settled by the value date or maturity date.

Window forward contracts

Buy specific amounts of foreign currency within a range of settlement dates – known as windows – at predetermined rates. The windows can be used to offer more flexibility in securing currency rates than outright forward contracts.

How to book a forward contract

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