A CUSTOMIZED HEDGING program to help small and mid-sized companies reduce the foreign exchange risks of international trade was announced by MTB Banking Corp., New York.
"Small companies are handicapped in international trade because transactions of less than $1 million do not qualify for quality foreign exchange services from large banking institutions," said Bruce Groberg, an MTB Banking vice president and its director of capital markets.MTB is expanding its trade finance services "to help growth companies ensure the widest profit margin on their international trade deals," he said.
Mr. Groberg said MTB will help its clients to understand what changes in currency prices can do to profits and will suggest the most advantageous way to cover risks.
The bank will advise growth companies on managing sales and purchases in foreign currencies through customized hedging programs. Companies that want to be assured of the price they will receive or pay for a product can hedge their position by buying and selling currencies in the futures market.
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ARTHUR ANDERSEN, a global accounting and consulting firm, opened an office in St. Petersburg, Russia, noting that the city "is making great strides in creating a favorable business climate and is in the process of creating a legal framework that is setting the stage for growth."
St. Petersburg, a free economic zone, is creating tax, customs and other privileges for foreign and local investors, the accounting firm said.
Arthur Andersen has received a bank auditing license from Russia's central bank and is assisting in privatization efforts in Russia. It also has been asked to recommend solutions for the problem of bread distribution in Moscow.
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U.S. INVESTORS RUSHED to buy foreign stocks last year, snapping up a record $34.9 billion more than they sold overseas in 1991. The previous record was only $13.1 billion, set in 1989, said David G. Strongin, director of international finance at the Securities Industry Association, New York.
Why did this happen? "There wasn't any single factor which caused the burst of foreign investment in 1991," Mr. Stongin said. He cited a series of factors, ranging from portfolio diversification by U.S. money managers to the fact that many foreign stock markets lagged advances in the U.S. market, luring bargain hunters.
U.S. net purchases of Japanese stocks totaled $14 billion last year, a record for any single country. This came at a time when many Japanese institutional investors were net sellers of Japanese stocks.
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IRAQ OPENED A STOCK EXCHANGE for the first time since 1938, but the Baghdad bourse got off to a less-than-auspicious start.
There was a smattering of trading when the exchange opened amid much fanfare last Wednesday, but when the exchange opened for a second day of trading Monday, nobody bought any stock.
Iraqi officials had portrayed the stock market as a major step in transforming the economy from state ownership to private enterprise and said they hoped it would help finance reconstruction from last year's Gulf War.
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THE CARIBBEAN BUSINESS EXCHANGE to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 19-24 will focus on how regional stock exchanges can be a source of financing for investment and trade.
A stock exchange was opened recently in the Dominican Republic, joining existing Caribbean exchanges in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
The conference is sponsored by the National Minority Business Council Inc., New York. Representatives of the Puerto Rico Economic Development Administration, the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the Inter- American Investment Corp. have been invited to explain their programs for small businesses.