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Canadian Export Credit Agency Enters Swap

Export Development Corp., a state-owned company that provides insurance, financing and guarantees to Canadian exporters, recently entered into a CAD500 million (USD300 million) cross-currency interest-rate swap on the back of a bond issue of the same size. Chad Buffel, portfolio manager, said the maturity on the swap is 10 years, matching the maturity on the bond. In the swap EDC pays a sub six-month U.S. dollar-LIBOR rate and receives a rate equal to the 5.75% coupon on the bond. EDC opted to borrow in Canadian dollars because a Canadian investor wanted paper denominated in that currency. It entered a swap to hedge the foreign exchange risk because 90% of its assets are in U.S. dollars. The move also allowed EDC to fund the deal at a price that was more attractive than borrowing in U.S. dollars. EDC is paying a floating rate as a way to match the floating assets with liabilities. The counterparty in the swap was an undisclosed Canadian investment bank. Buffel noted, however, that EDC only deals with counterparties with a rating above double A.

EDC is Canada's official export credit agency. It has CAD21 billion in assets. Buffel said it has used foreign exchange or interest-rate derivatives to hedge approximately 80% of the firm's assets.

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