Monetary and Economic Studies Vol.9, No.2 / September 1991

Exchange Rate Movements and Capital-Asset Ratio of Banks: On the Conept of Structural Positions

Mitsuhiro Fukao

For risk control purposes, the foreign exchange position of banks is often divided into two: the dealing position and the structural position. This paper analyzes the reasons for such a separation and demonstrates that the claims and obligations that are treated as structural have different risk characteristics than those pertaining to the dealing positions. Moreover, for banks with large foreign currency assets, we show that it is advantageous to hold certain open long positions in the same currency in order to insulate capital-asset ratios against a depreciation of the domestic currency, which provides a theoretical explanation to the traditional treatment of foreign investment as a structural item.

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 1991 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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