Effects of Foreign-Currency Debt on Non-Financial Latin American Firms: Evidence from the 2000s

Dec 2016
This paper empirically tests the effects of foreign currency debt on economic performance and investment behavior in non-financial firms in six Latin America and Caribbean countries. It is found find that domestic-currency depreciations may surprisingly increase the exchange-rate induced profits of particularly highly foreign currency-indebted firms (especially those that are foreign owned and others with foreign links). Such depreciations have only a mild correlation with gross profits. Foreign-currency debt seems to have ambiguous effects on fixed investment purchases behavior, possibly attributable to non-financial firms' behavior as financial intermediaries. This effect tends to vanish when financial derivatives are considered.