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Continental AG : Two German Auto Suppliers Mainly Rely on Production Abroad to Hedge Forex Risk

02/01/2013 | 12:58pm US/Eastern
  By Nico Schmidt 

Two German automobile industry suppliers said Friday they rely primarily on production in customers' markets to create a natural hedge against currency volatility.

As a supplier, production in customers' regions protects Continental AG (CON.XE) from currency fluctuations, "therefore the currency risks are relatively low," Continental spokeswoman Antje Lewe told Dow Jones Newswires.

German automotive technologies group Robert Bosch GmbH also says natural hedges play a key role.

"Our basic strategy for the hedging against currency risks is at first to reach a maximal natural hedge," Bosch spokesman Ingo Rapold told Dow Jones.

"We usually look at three-year periods and try to hedge up to 40% for the next 12 months--for the second and third year, the ratios are lower," Mr. Rapold said.

The euro's appreciation is primarily due to brighter economic prospects in the euro zone, and it is at about the middle of the range it has traded in since the financial crisis started, Mr. Rapold said.

"The current appreciation of the euro isn't unexpected, but the speed and magnitude of it are," Mr. Rapold said.

Mr. Rapold added the company expects the euro's recent strength to abate since the debt crisis hasn't been wholly resolved. At 1713 GMT, the euro was trading at $1.368 in Frankfurt.

Write to Nico Schmidt at nico.schmidt@dowjones.com

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