forward exchange contract
Forward Currency Contract
An agreement between two parties to exchange two currencies at a given exchange rate at some point in the future, usually 30, 60, or 90 days hence. A forward currency contract mitigates foreign exchange risk for the parties and is most useful when both parties have operations or some other interest in a country using a given currency. Forward currency contracts are over-the-counter contracts.
Forward Foreign Exchange Rate
The agreed-upon exchange rate for a forward contract on a currency. When a forward contract is made, the parties agree to buy/sell the underlying currency at a certain point in the future at a certain exchange rate. The rate is negotiated directly between the parties, unlike a futures contract, which trades on an exchange. Partly because there is little secondary market for forward contracts, determining the forward foreign exchange rate is a zero-sum game: one party will gain on the contract and one will lose, depending on the movements of the relevant currencies between the formation of the contract and its maturity.