DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2019
|DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES|
|DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES||
16. DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND HEDGING ACTIVITIES
We are exposed to market risks, such as changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and commodity prices. From time to time, we enter into transactions, including transactions involving derivative instruments, to manage certain of these exposures. We also hedge our net investment in certain European operations. Changes in the fair value of the hedge in the net investment of certain European operations are recorded in accumulated other comprehensive loss.
In connection with the December 3, 2018 sale of Venator ordinary shares to Bank of America N.A., we recorded a forward swap. See “Note 4. Discontinued Operations and Business Dispositions—Separation and Deconsolidation of Venator” and “Note 17. Fair Value.”
Interest Rate Risk
Through our borrowing activities, we are exposed to interest rate risk. Such risk arises due to the structure of our debt portfolio, including the mix of fixed and floating interest rates. Actions taken to reduce interest rate risk include managing the mix and rate characteristics of various interest-bearing liabilities, as well as entering into interest rate derivative instruments.
From time to time, we may purchase interest rate swaps and/or other derivative instruments to reduce the impact of changes in interest rates on our floating-rate exposures. Under interest rate swaps, we agree with other parties to exchange, at specified intervals, the difference between fixed-rate and floating-rate interest amounts calculated by reference to an agreed notional principal amount. On January 9, 2019, we entered into a six-year $17 million notional value interest rate hedge with a fixed rate of 2.66%. This swap was designated as a cash flow hedge and the effective portion of the changes in the fair value of the swap was recorded in other comprehensive (loss) income. In November 2019, we terminated this swap and paid $1 million to our counterparties. This $1 million settlement will be amortized from accumulated other comprehensive loss to earnings.
During 2019, there were no other reclassifications from accumulated other comprehensive loss to earnings. The actual amount that will be reclassified to earnings over the next twelve months may vary from this amount due to changing market conditions. We would be exposed to credit losses in the event of nonperformance by a counterparty to our derivative financial instruments. We anticipate, however, that the counterparties will be able to fully satisfy their obligations under the contracts. Market risk arises from changes in interest rates.
Foreign Exchange Rate Risk
Our cash flows and earnings are subject to fluctuations due to exchange rate variation. Our revenues and expenses are denominated in various currencies. We enter into foreign currency derivative instruments to minimize the short-term impact of movements in foreign currency rates. Where practicable, we generally net multicurrency cash balances among our subsidiaries to help reduce exposure to foreign currency exchange rates. Certain other exposures may be managed from time to time through financial market transactions, principally through the purchase of spot or forward foreign exchange contracts (generally with maturities of three months or less). We do not hedge our currency exposures in a manner that would eliminate the effect of changes in exchange rates on our cash flows and earnings. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had approximately $135 million and $151 million, respectively, notional amount (in U.S. dollar equivalents) outstanding in foreign currency contracts with a term of approximately one month.
In November 2014, we entered into two five-year cross-currency interest rate contracts and one eight-year cross-currency interest rate contract to swap an aggregate notional $200 million for an aggregate notional €161 million. The swap was designated as a hedge of net investment for financial reporting purposes. In August 2017, we terminated these cross-currency interest rate contracts and received $7 million from the counterparties.
A portion of our debt is denominated in euros. We also finance certain of our non-U.S. subsidiaries with intercompany loans that are, in many cases, denominated in currencies other than the entities’ functional currency. We manage the net foreign currency exposure created by this debt through various means, including cross-currency swaps, the designation of certain intercompany loans as permanent loans because they are not expected to be repaid in the foreseeable future and the designation of certain debt and swaps as net investment hedges.
Foreign currency transaction gains and losses on intercompany loans that are not designated as permanent loans are recorded in earnings. Foreign currency transaction gains and losses on intercompany loans that are designated as permanent loans are recorded in other comprehensive (loss) income. From time to time, we review such designation of intercompany loans.
We review our non-U.S. dollar denominated debt and derivative instruments to determine the appropriate amounts designated as hedges. As of December 31, 2019, we have designated approximately €435 million (approximately $485 million) of euro-denominated debt as a hedge of our net investment. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017, the amounts recognized on the hedge of our net investment were a gain of $14 million, a gain of $35 million and a loss of $96 million, respectively, and were recorded in other comprehensive (loss) income.
Commodity Prices Risk
Inherent in our business is exposure to price changes for several commodities. However, our exposure to changing commodity prices is somewhat limited since the majority of our raw materials are acquired at posted or market related prices, and sales prices for many of our finished products are at market related prices which are largely set on a monthly or quarterly basis in line with industry practice. Consequently, we do not generally hedge our commodity exposures.
The entire disclosure for derivative instruments and hedging activities including, but not limited to, risk management strategies, non-hedging derivative instruments, assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, and methodologies and assumptions used in determining the amounts.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef