These insights also help us structure transactions in a way that supports customers, for example structuring facilities offshore, or adding additional insurance.
This holistic approach is something which McKinsey have also advocated when it comes to managing one of the most notable risks associated with operating in a country – currency risk. As it noted, while companies are susceptible to a range of currency risks, not all of them are one which companies can or should try to manage.
They recommend a focus on the particular currency risks that could lead to financial disruption or distress.
It’s rare for Germany not to figure prominently in the football world cup, but predicting the business conditions across countries can be more difficult.
When assessing this risk, an institution needs to understand the extent to which a currency can protect the openness of its capital markets for example through exchange rate flexibility and hard-currency reserve buffers.
How can you tell if this risk exists? Well just as a coach might run the rule over his players’ fitness, ability to play in different positions, resilience to pressure and tournament experience, ANZ also assesses a range of indicators.
These include the overall credit quality of the government the breadth of fiscal or foreign exchange buffers, reliance on foreign capital to fund the economy, the overall development and health of the financial system.
Turmoil on the Korean peninsula is just one example of the potential for political stability to raise country or sovereign risk
In the current political climate however, some of these factors are harder to quantify and predict but nevertheless are equally important: political stability, quality of policy decisions and political willingness to use capital controls.
While the risk of political or financial instability can be more difficult to predict, as Management Consultant Oliver Wyman has noted it’s important to ensure that organisations work to develop solid risk management frameworks and the associated skills to help them have a clearer internal view of their material foreign exposures.
This is why at ANZ there’s a key focus on infrastructure, policy, process improvement and risk culture, as well as training and development. Like any good manager, it’s only when the team has the right skills and structure that they can best perform.
For the record - as someone who appreciates unpredictability- I’m backing France to pick up their second World Cup. But as we’ve seen, there may be more surprises in store.
Didier Magloire is ANZ’s Global Head of Financial Institutions, Sovereign and Country Risk Management