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2001 Documento de Trabajo #99

Un análisis del mercado de cobertura de riesgo en Chile y el mundo (A market analysis of hedging in Chile and worldwide)

Between the 1970`s and the 1980`s, the market of derivatives flourished. Forwards, futures and options began to be regularly traded. According to information gathered by The Bank of International Settlements, between January and April 1998, the value of over-the-counter (OTC) positions outstanding was over US$72 thousand billion, while the value of positions outstanding in organized exchanges was approximately US$14 thousand billion. In Latin America, the transactions in derivatives take place essentially in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. To date, Chile`s market of derivatives is the least developed among these four countries`. Most domestic transactions are OTC, and consist of currency forwards (US dollar-Chilean peso). Other derivatives, such as options on stocks and futures on stock indices, have not gained popularity. It is argued that the slow growth of the market of derivatives in Chile is the consequence of a very illiquid and undeveloped financial market. Therefore, in the short-run, the market of exchange-rate derivatives continues to be the most likely to grow. It is interesting to analyze the impact of the elimination of the flotation band of the US dollar against the Chilean peso on the volume of transactions in exchange-rate forwards. Our analysis shows that this has not been noticeable. The reason is that, on average, the exchange rate has not been more volatile than it was when the flotation band was at work.

Viviana Fernández