Currency Hedging for International Stock Portfolios: A General Approach

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This paper tests whether hedging currency risk improves the performance of international stock portfolios. We use a generalized performance measure which allows for investor-dependencies such as different utility functions and the presence of nontraded risks. In addition we show that an auxiliary regression, similar to the Jensen regression, provides a wealth of information about the optimal portfolio holdings for investors for the non mean-variance case. This is analogous to the information provided by the Jensen regression about optimal portfolio holdings for the mean-variance case. Our empirical results show that static hedging with currency forwards does not lead to improvements in portfolio performance for a US investor that holds a stock portfolio from the G5 countries. On the other hand, hedges that are conditional on the current interest rate spread do lead to significant performance improvements. Also, when an investor has a substantial exogenous exposure to one of the currencies, currency hedging clearly improves his portfolio performance. While these results hold for investors with power utility as well as with mean-variance utility functions, the optimal hedge ratios for these investors are different.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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NameCentER Discussion Paper


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