Majority of major corporates using derivatives - Isda

The survey, which spanned companies in 26 countries, found that 92% use derivatives to manage and hedge their risks more effectively. Of these companies, 92% use derivatives to manage interest rate risk, 85% use them to hedge foreign exchange risk, 25% hedge commodity risk and 12% use derivatives to manage equity price risk.

UK-based corporates have the highest usage, with all 35 surveyed companies using derivatives. In the US, 94% of the 196 companies questioned said they use derivatives, the same percentage as German corporates. French and Japanese companies followed closely behind, with 92% and 91% respectively using derivatives.

"We weren’t very surprised by the results," said Keith Bailey, managing director of Merrill Lynch and chairman of Isda. "It is a very compelling endorsement of the product by the largest companies in the world, and shows it is very important to use derivatives in a competitive environment."

The survey will be released on an annual basis, and may include further information in future, including volumes outstanding and product breakdown.

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