Original Articles

The corporate use of derivatives: a survey of South Africa’s large listed non-financial firms

Published in: South African Journal of Accounting Research
Volume 26, issue 1, 2012 , pages: 67–94
DOI: 10.1080/10291954.2012.11435164
Author(s): C CorreiaCollege of Accounting,, G HolmanDepartment of Finance and Tax,, A JahreskogCollege of Accounting,


This paper presents the results of a comparative questionnaire survey of derivative use by South African companies. The objective was to determine the extent of derivative use and to examine how and why companies use derivatives. Derivative use by South African companies compares favourably to the level of derivative use in developed countries. The risk most often hedged is currency exposure followed by interest rate risk. Commodity producers tend to hedge commodity price risk. Companies mainly use forwards to hedge exchange rate risk whilst swaps dominate in the hedging of interest rate risk. Companies mainly use derivatives to hedge contractual obligations and rarely use derivatives to take a view on market movements. Concerns relate to transaction costs, investor perceptions, and credit and liquidity risks. Companies indicated that they would, if permitted, hedge expected as compared to actual future currency exposure.

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