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Modelling foreign exchange rate exposure : An industry level study using panel econometric methods from Egyptian insurance data

Islam Amer (Bradford University School of Management, Bradford University, Bradford, UK and Cairo University Business School, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to fill a gap in the foreign exchange rate exposure management literature as the existing literature has focused only on developed economics, and also the current literature on foreign exchange rate exposure of cedant insurance companies is very limited. As Egyptian insurance companies deal directly with foreign exchange rates, they face exposure to exchange rates through their international reinsurance operations.

Design/methodology/approach

Martin and Mauer (2003, 2005) three-stage model is used to estimate foreign exchange rate transaction exposure for the sample of 23 Egyptian insurance companies over the period 2002-2009. However, the author has two innovations to this method. The author's first innovation is that instead of looking at the unanticipated operating income for each cedant company (as in both previous papers), this paper looks at the unanticipated operating income on an aggregate level. The author's second innovation is that instead of the model used in previous papers the author uses a model from the actuarial field that was proposed by Blum et al. (2001) for modelling foreign exchange rates with their relevant constituents (inflation and interest rate).

Findings

The central finding of the study is that the foreign exchange rate exposure across the Egyptian insurance industry is not significant (at the 10 per cent level) and investigates this result.

Research limitations/implications

This study has made considerable contributions to the existing academic literature, but the findings also illustrate the limitations of the research undertaken. These limitations, however, provide important directions for future research. This thesis focused exclusively on the transaction exposure that Egyptian insurance companies experience to fluctuations in the US dollar exchange rate in relation to their international reinsurance operations. As a result, investigating both translation and economic exposure was beyond the scope and purpose of this study.

Practical implications

The findings of this research provide meaningful implications for industry practitioners. As Egyptian insurance companies are not immune from exchange rate risks, efforts must be made by each insurer to approximate and quantify their individual foreign exchange rate transaction exposure. Additionally, as Egyptian insurance companies increasingly operate worldwide (through the international reinsurance industry), this research and its results are significant for practitioners not only in Egypt, but also further afield. Finally, it is believed that this research will highlight greater implications for international financial players active in Egyptian financial and non-financial sectors, including banks not exposed singularly to US dollars, but to multiple currencies. One recent Egyptian example is Egypt Air, which lost an estimated US$600 million in 2013 due to foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

Originality/value

Since Egyptian insurance operates worldwide, the results of this paper are of significant not only for Egyptian insurance managers but also to practitioners beyond Egypt.

Keywords

Citation

Amer, I. (2014), "Modelling foreign exchange rate exposure : An industry level study using panel econometric methods from Egyptian insurance data", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 96-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-03-2013-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited