Treasury Risk Management
Treasury risk management essentially covers the following financial risks inherent in CITIC Limited’s businesses:
- Interest rate risk
- Currency risk
- Counterparty risk for financial products
- Commodity risk
- Market price risk
CITIC Limited manages the above risks by using appropriate financial derivatives or other means, and priority will be given to simple, cost-efficient and effective hedge instruments which meet the HKAS 39 in performing treasury risk management responsibilities. To the extent possible, gains and losses of the derivatives offset the losses and gains of the assets, liabilities or transactions being hedged.
CITIC Limited is committed to establishing a comprehensive and uniform treasury risk management system. Within the group-wide treasury risk management framework, member companies are required to, according to their respective business characteristics and regulatory requirements, implement suitable treasury risk management strategies and procedures and submit reports on a regular and ad hoc basis.
1. Interest rate risk
CITIC Limited regularly monitors current and projected interest rate changes, with each of the operating entities of the Group implementing its own interest rate risk management system covering identification, measurement, monitoring and control of market risks. Interest rate risk is managed by taking into account market conditions and controlled at a reasonable level.
For our financial subsidiaries, repricing risk and benchmark risk are the main sources of interest rate risk. Observing the principle of prudent risk appetite, they closely track changes in the macroeconomic situation and internal business structure, continue to optimise the maturity structure of deposits, make timely adjustments to the loan repricing lifecycle, and take the initiative to manage sensitive gaps in interest rates for the overall objective of achieving steady growth both in net interest income and economic value within a tolerable level of interest rate risk.
For our head office and non-financial subsidiaries, the interest rate risk arises primarily from debt. Borrowings at floating rates expose CITIC Limited to cash flow interest rate risk, while borrowings at fixed rates expose CITIC Limited to fair value interest rate risk. Based on its balance sheet and market conditions, CITIC Limited and its non-financial subsidiaries will conduct analysis and sensitivity testing on interest rate risk, adopt a flexible approach in choosing financing instruments at floating and fixed rates, or choose to employ, at the suitable time, the interest rate swaps and other derivative instruments approved for use by the ALCO to manage interest rate risk.
Details of interest rate risk management are set out in Note 47(c) to the consolidated financial statements.
2. Currency risk
CITIC Limited has major operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Australia, with Renminbi (“RMB”), Hong Kong dollar (“HKD”) and United States dollar (“USD”) as functional currencies respectively. The Group’s member companies are exposed to currency risk from gaps between financial assets and liabilities, future commercial transactions and net investments in foreign operations that are denominated in a currency that is not the member company’s functional currency. The reporting currency of the consolidated financial statements of CITIC Limited is HKD. Translation exposures from the consolidation of subsidiaries, whose functional currency is not HKD, are not hedged by using derivative instruments as no cash exposures are involved.
CITIC Limited measures its currency risk mainly by currency gap analysis. Where it is appropriate, the Group seeks to lower its currency risk by matching its foreign currency denominated assets with corresponding liabilities in the same currency or using forward contracts and cross currency swaps, provided that hedging is only considered for firm commitments and highly probable forecast transactions.
Details of currency risk management are set out in Note 47(d) to the consolidated financial statements.
3. Counterparty risk for financial products
CITIC Limited has business with various financial institutions, including deposits, interbank lending, financial investment products and derivative financial instruments. To mitigate the risk of non-recovery of deposited funds or financial instrument gains, member companies of CITIC Limited approve and adjust the list of counterparties and credit limits of approved financial institutions through internal credit extension processes. Regular report is required.
4. Commodity risk
Some businesses of CITIC Limited involve the production, procurement, and trading of commodities, and they face exposure to price risks of commodities such as iron ore, crude oil, gas and coal.
To manage some of its raw material exposures such as supply shortages and price volatility, CITIC Limited has entered into long-term supply contracts for certain inputs or used plain vanilla futures or forward contracts for hedging. While CITIC Limited views that natural offsetting is being achieved to a certain extent across its different business sectors, it performs continual risk management review to ensure commodity risks are well understood and controlled within its business strategies.
5. Market price risk
CITIC Limited holds investments in financial assets classified as available-for-sale financial assets or financial assets at fair value through profit or loss in the consolidated balance sheet. To control price risks arising from such investments, the Group actively monitors the price changes and diversifies the relevant investment risks through appropriate asset allocation.