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Credit Enhancement Through Targeted Risk Managment: Freeport-McMoRan's Gold-Dominated Depository Shares

Authors: Chidambaran, N. K.
Fernando, Chitru S.
Spindt, Paul A.
Keywords: Risk management;Gold-linked;Hybrid Securities
Issue Date: Nov-1998
Series/Report no.: FIN-98-087
Abstract: In 1993 and early 1994, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold (FCX), a mining company, issued two series of gold-denominated depositary shares to raise 430 million dollars for expansion of their mining capacity in Indonesia. We price the depositary shares using a term structure model for the forward rates implied by gold futures and we show that FCX successfully enhanced the credit quality of the issue. This credit enhancement is achieved because the effect of linking the payoff of the depositary shares to gold reduces default risk and is similar to conventional risk management. The building of financing and risk management, however, allows the firm to target hedging benefits only to the newly issued securities. The design of the security overcomes the asset substitution problem and credibly commits the firm to hedging. The depositary shares issued by FCX illustrate how firms can enhance credit quality through financial engineering without changing the existing priority ordering of their capital structure.
Appears in Collections:Finance Working Papers

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