Exchange rate risk in Automobile Industry: An Empirical Study on Swedish, French and German Multinational Companies.
Recently, both company executives as well as national media have claimed that short currency exchange rate fluctuations are negatively affecting the stock returns of certain firms. However, most previous studies focusing on companies in the US and Asia have been unable to find empirical support for a statistically significant linkage between firm value and exchange rate risk. By using a quantitative method with a deductive approach,the present research investigates if currency exchange rate movements impact the stock return of European based car companies with market interests in the US. By selecting French Renault and Peugeot, German Audi and BMW and Swedish Saab and Volvo, we were able to analyze three currencies exchange rates in our study: SEK/USD, SEK/Euro and Euro/USD. In addition, we included three macroeconomic factors: GDP, stock market index and Oil price to perform a multiple regression analysis. In consistency with the earlier studies, our results indicate that for five out of the six investigated companies, short movements in the three exchange rates do not significantly affect the stock returns of the companies investigated. By analyzing the annual report of the investigated companies, we found that derivatives instruments such as currency option, foreign exchange forwards, currency futures and currency swaps were used to hedge exchange risk. This might be one of the reasons why it was difficult to capture exchange rate risk. The fact that BMW was the only company showing a significant effect could indicate that the company is not applying the accurate hedging strategy. Another reason might be that the company is more exposed to exchange risk due to its large exporting activity compared to the other investigated companies.
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