The VaR of a portfolio is the worst loss expected to be suffered over a given period of time with a given probability. The time period is known as the holding period, and the probability is known as the confidence interval. VaR is not an estimate of the worst possible loss, but the largest likely loss. For example, a firm might estimate its VaR over 10 days to be $100 million, with a confidence interval of 95%. This would mean there is a one-in-20 (5%) chance of a loss larger than $100 million in the next 10 days.
In order to calculate VaR, a firm must model both the way the relevant market factors will change over the holding period and the way, if any, these changes are correlated between market factors. It must then evaluate the potential effects of these changes on its portfolio at the desired level of consolidation (by asset class, group or business line, for example).
* see credit value-at-risk
Commodity trading and risk management is a subject that is necessarily complicated, and is becoming more so. The Energy Risk Glossary seeks to disentangle and clarify the jargon by providing definitions of commonly used energy and commodity market terms.
These include definitions related to a variety of underlying energy products, as well as technical terms about the many instruments and benchmarks used by energy market participants.
Many of the most recent terms to have been added to our glossary stem from the actions of regulators since the 2008 global financial crisis. The onset of rules, such as the US Dodd-Frank Act and European Market Infrastructure Regulation, has markedly increased the cost and complexity associated with commodity trading. Perhaps they have also increased the need for a handy reference guide such as this.
The glossary is extensively cross-referenced, making for easy and thorough searches. We hope you find the latest edition of the Energy Risk Glossary to be a useful resource.
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