Asset swap

Asset swap
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Methods and techniques

Asset swap is used to transform cash flow characteristics of the asset to hedge or create investment with more suitable CF characteristics. In practice, the buyer buys a bond at dirty price (including accrued interest). Then buyer agrees to pay fixed coupons to swap seller. In return buyer receives variable rate payments based on LIBOR[1]. Most often swap contracts are used to manage assets. They give you the option of managing payment streams that are created according to your preferences. For example, a company that in its assets would prefer to see paper that brings fixed interest and who managed to acquire bonds with a delightful and satisfactory interest rate is able to create the correct payment structure by means of a swap contract.

The asset swap is very important to derivatives market, as it relates cost of credit to LIBOR.

The swap transactions[edit]

The swap transaction is primarily a contract between two partners. They depend on a given market parameter, including interest rate or exchange rate. These transactions describe the principles of mutual payments. The main type of this activity is the concluded agreement, in which one of the parties covers the consequences of changes in the second parameter. In conclusion, he covers the difference resulting from the growth of certain factors. Let's give it when someone pays the sum of the interest increase of a given loan, resulting from the increase in interest rates. When a situation occurs in which a given parameter falls, a given amount is assumed, appropriate to the situation that the market initiated by the partner. For example, these may be gains that are associated with a decrease in the interest rate. The height of transfers between pages can be transformed, as well as the direction depending on the scale of the parameter changes and the direction[2].

Swaps were created in the late seventies, so you can easily guess that this is a fairly new financial instrument. The swap market is defined as the OTC market (Over the counter market), the market is characterized by high dynamics of turnover growth. His dynamics turned out to be so big that he exerted considerable influence on other markets.

The essence of the transaction[edit]

As a result of the contract, one of the parties may treat one of the market parameters as if it were permanent. Thanks to this, we can make a more accurate economic calculation, which will allow the risk of loss to be absorbed, which may result from an adverse change in the interest rate or exchange rate. The other side earns when the market has formed a given parameter at a more favorable level.

At the time when the interest rate is lower than the one set, the party that is connected with the fixed interest rate has no profits because it must balance the difference between the contracted interest rate and the existing one multiplied by the contract size.

However, if the market rate is higher, there is a chance that a fixed rate page can make a profit. Then the other partner is obliged to convey the difference between the rates. In swap transactions, another financial institution (swap dealer) mediates. The dealer has the option of entering into a contract with one of the parties and then searching for the other party. The purpose of exchanging payments is to achieve a profit by both parties and financial intimacy, which is an intermediary.

SWAP and banking operations[edit]

  • Swap transactions are exchanging sums of money between two periods, in the same currency, for example, buying euro with immediate delivery and selling them for 2 months with delivery.
  • The central bank concludes such transactions with commercial banks to manage the banking sector's liquidity.
  • Swap agreements also mean transactions that are exchangeable, for example, between two borrowers who exchange loan servicing with each other.

Generations and types[edit]

At the beginning, the swap transactions were conducted by the Central Bank in the event of tensions in the money market. Currently, they are used by commercial banks. They are divided into two generations. The most classic ones are called the first generation and include:

  • Foreign swap (FX swap, currency swap) - transfer of receivables and liabilities in different currencies, combined with a percentage transaction.
  • Interest rate swap (IRS) - contract of two parties on the exchange of periodic interest payments in a given period.
  • Cross currency interest rate swap (CIRS) - a two-currency interest rate swap transaction, i.e. exchange of equity, will combine pages in two currencies, interest payment exchanges on nominal amounts and exchange of capitals at the immediate exchange rate from the swap start date.


LIBOR is the main indicator by which we can get information on the progress of credit situation in the global market. It expresses the price at which the London banks (in the form of an interest rate) take with them, which count towards the first category. The level of the indicator is generated every day at 11 GMT by Thomson Rruters. LIBOR is determined for loans in ten currencies and the repayment date varies. Thanks to LIBOR, we can find use in many international and international phanic operations.

This is treated as an independent sum of money: the interest rate on credit operations can be variable over time and should represent the sum of the LIBOR size and the premium received in exchange for the risk related to the transactions. When LIBOR is at a low level it means the availability of cheap money on the financial market.

The size of the LIBOR interest rate is constantly changing depending on economic constraints.



  1. Duffie, D. (1999)
  2. David X. Li, S. (1999)

Author: Magdalena Worłowska