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Liquidity Gap Analysis And Schedule Finance Essay

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The main technique used to measure liquidity position is liquidity gap analysis. Liquidity gaps are differences between assets and liabilities at present time and in the future (Thomas Barnes 15 Jan 2010). Gaps generate liquidity risk; deficits will require funding and excess will result in interest rate risk. Gaps can either be static or dynamic. Static gaps will consider all assets and liabilities which are actually present in the balance sheet. In such case the analysis shows a reduction of the assets and liabilities as they mature. Dynamic gaps are simply the consideration of actual plus projected inflows and outflows; these depend on business uncertainties (Hampel et al 1999).

A liquidity gap schedule provides an analytical framework for measuring future funding needs by comparing the amount of assets and liabilities maturing over specific time intervals (Thomas Barnes 15 Jan 2010). Table 3 presents a sample liquidity gap schedule.

Table 3: Liquidity gap schedule

Less than 10 days

Over 10 days but less than 3 months

Over 3 months but less 6 months

Over 6 months less than one year

1 to 5 years

Over 5 years and capital

Total

Assets

10

10

10

5

65

0

100

Liabilities and Equity

50

30

15

0

0

5

100

Net outflow(Assets minus Liabilities)

(40)

(20)

(5)

5

65

(5)

0

Cumulative net outflow

(40)

(60)

(65)

(60)

5

0

0

Source: Office of Thrift Supervision Jan 15 (2010) Sec 530 page 29

In the liquidity gap schedule, the company ranges assets and liabilities into different time intervals taking into account their remaining time to maturity. Generally, the company ranges assets and liabilities according to their effective maturities rather than their contractual maturities. For instance, a company will treat non maturity deposits as long-term liabilities rather than short-term liabilities.

Negative gapping at the shorter end of the schedule increases the risk that the company will be unable to rollover maturing liabilities as they come due. While such a position is in favour to liquidity, it tends to enhance profitability over the long-term, provided the company keeps the gaps within manageable limit. However, a limitation of the liquidity gap schedule is that it does not capture projected balance sheet changes such as future loan and deposit growth. While it is important to understand the liquidity of a company's existing balance sheet, it is also essential to forecast the growth of key balance sheet components, such as deposits and loans, over time. (Thomas Barnes 15 Jan 2010)

2.8.3 Risk Management

Liquidity risk management should be vigorous with analysis and metrics that reflects a company's liquidity position and assess its options under different market conditions, such as economic stress, crisis, and collapse (Thomas Barnes 15 Jan 2010). Liquidity risk needs to be managed once it has been identified and measured. Risk is more integral to business for insurance that it is perhaps for any other industry (Capgemini 2006). Long-run profitability will suffer when companies hold too much low-earning liquidity assets. Holding too little liquidity can lead to severe financial problems. Managing liquidity risk is not only to eliminate the risk but rather find the equilibrium between return and risk (Decker, A, P 2000). Selling some assets rapidly seems to be an easy solution, but still insurers will have to face "forced sales risk". For some insurers, their projects to improve risk management evolved into the establishment or expansion of their risk management department (Henry Essert march 2010). The aim in managing liquidity is to minimize cost. The cheapest approach is to try to restructure the balance sheet in such a way to reduce gap and that the appropriate level of risk is reached (Decker, A, P 2000).

2.8.3.1 Metrics used for liquidity risk management

Most financial firms such as insurance companies use various metrics to control their liquidity risk. This consists of three basic approaches which can be categorized as: the liquid assets approach, the cash flow approach, and a combination of both. (Sharma paul et al 2006)

Under the liquid assets approach, the company needs to maintain liquid instruments on their balance sheet which can be consulted whenever required. (Ratios are the relevant metrics in this approach)

Under the cash flow matching approach, the company tries to match cash outflows against contractual cash inflows across a range of near-term maturity buckets. This approach is mostly used by insurance companies.

The mixed approach is a combination of both cash flow approach and the liquid assets approach. The company attempts to match cash outflows each time bucket against a combination of contractual cash inflows. Insurance companies place more emphasis on the cash flow matching approach. When gaps in maturity buckets are unfavorable, insurance companies would utilize the mixed approach to help ensure that they will be able to meet their obligations to provide cash to counterparties. (Sharma et al 2006)

2.8.3.2 Assets Liability Management

Assets Liability Management (ALM) can be termed as a risk management technique designed to earn an adequate return while maintaining a reasonable surplus of assets beyond liabilities. It considers interest rates, earning power and degree of willingness to take on debt and hence is also known as Surplus Management (Sayonton Roy 2010).

Management of liquidity consists of raising fund and invests where excess of fund is available. The managers will buy, hold and sell assets and liabilities in order to maintain a predetermined level of liquidity (Matti Peltonen 2010). This technique forms part of the Asset liability Management and thus facilitates in Funding, Investing and Hedging issues to achieve predetermined strike between risk and return. The objective is to increase profitability, while monitoring risk, as well as complying with the constraints of companies (Arzu Tektas et al 2005).

2. 9 Study in the same field

2.9.1 Estimation of Liquidity Risk

Patrick Tobin and Alan Brown 2003 designed a method to model liquidity using a 'bottom-up' approach.

They calculated average size of withdrawals as,

Yt=ZtNt

Where, Zt is the total withdrawals for time t

Nt is the number of withdrawals for time t

A period of 35 weeks was considered

The average values were,

N=t=1TNt, Y=t=1TYt, Z=t=1TZt

Then they rescaled data as follows,

Mt=NtN , Ct=YtY , Bt=ZtZ

Where, Mt is the mob, Ct is the clip, Bt is the bag

The basic model was found and applied to product p

BLt=p=1KWpBpt,

Where, BLt= Business Line at time t

Bpt= Bag for each product p at time t

Wp= Weight for product p

This gives rise to a weekly factor. The dispersion of this weekly factor was the subject of further analysis. This model tries to estimate the weekly cash outflow.

2.9.2 Measuring liquidity risk in Insurance companies

In an article namely 'Measuring Liquidity risk in Banking Management Framework' Giampaolo Gabbi (2000, p.44-58) proposed a model to implement liquidity risk within the risk management mostly used, the Value at Risk (VaR). This model also applies for the Insurance sectors since they have similar operations such as fixed deposits, loan facilities and other banking activities. Value at Risk is "the largest likely lost from market risk that an asset or portfolio will suffer over a time interval and with a degree of certainty selected by the decision maker" Titus Lewis, 1997.

In a general circumstance five factors are considered before calculating VaR, this are:

volatility of prices, interest and exchange rates

probability distribution of likely return

time horizon

confidence interval

correlation among different positions

Once these elements are known, risk manager can calculate VaR in the worst case scenario for the single position (pos)

VaR pos= pos.n.³€ t where, ³€ t is volatility for frequency t

n is the scaling factor needed to obtain the desired confidence level under the assumption of a normal distribution of market returns

Modeling liquidity in a VaR framework is given by:

VaR= n {³…›„€¨ L) 1€¯2 + ƒ(­ - ³€²€ €©€ ƒ. ³›„€¨ L€© + ³› log c €¨L€©½

Where n depends on the underlying distribution, …›„€¨ L)  is the expected execution log in selling the L shares, ­ is the mean quality discount, ³€ is the volatility of the discount and c €¨L€© is the quantity discount

Unfortunately all these information are difficult to access or calculate, so indicators were used to simplify the equation, leading to the following outcome'

COL = 12 › Pt €¨S + ¡³€ spread€©

Where COL is the cost of liquidity, Pt is today's mid price for the assets or instrument, S is the average relative defined as ›bid ask€¯ mid price, ¡ is the scaling factor and ³€ spread is the volatility of relative spread.

2.10 Overview of liquidity Risk Management in Mauritius

2.10.1 Liquidity in the Insurance Act 2005

Insurance Companies in Mauritius are governed by the Insurance act 2005 which is regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The FSC has the responsibility to ensure that Insurance companies are taking appropriate measures to manage all the risks to protect the interest of the clients and the public at large. The consequences of liquidity risk on a country's financial system make its management become a very important issue.

Section 23 of the Insurance Act 2005 considers liquidity and solvency issues. It also lists the different assets which are to be considered as liquid assets, for example; cash balances, fixed interest, equities. According to Section 24 (1)(a) of the insurance act an insurer shall in respect of its insurance business at all times have and maintain its level of liquidity as may be prescribed. It imposes Insurance to maintain an adequate and appropriate form of liquidity. At any time the Financial services Commission may order an Insurer to increase its level of liquidity, depending on risks in the Insurance operation, maturing liabilities, quality of assets and other financial resources. Failure to comply with the above will result in that Insurance not been permitted to assume any new risks of any kind, or underwrite or renew any insurance policy; unless it increases its level of liquidity to the indicated amount.

2.10.2 Guideline on Liquidity

The Financial Services Commission has issued a Guideline on Liquidity in February 2008. This Guide is issued under section7 (1) (a) of the Financial Services Act 2007 and Section 130 of the Insurance Act 2005. The Guideline on Liquidity gives an exact indication of what the Financial Services Commission is expecting from the Insurers in their management of liquidity. In order to help insurance companies to foster professional standards the Commission expects all insurers to have regard to these Guidelines. These guidelines also require insurers to provide reports on its liquidity position every three months for the first year and at the end of each year afterwards.

Guideline on liquidity also concerns contingency planning. A good contingency plan should be realistic, unambiguous, designed to be flexible and should indicate the responsibility and priority of the Insurance and their management team. This will enable an insurance company to withstand a liquidity crisis.

Stress test is another aspect of the Guidelines on liquidity. The stress test requirement is the minimum amount of assets that an insurer should hold in excess of its liabilities. The stress test requirement is important in managing liquidity risk. Special attention should be given to assets, liabilities and off balance sheet, consider maturity of policies and their future prospects.

The guideline is not intended to be prescriptive on how insurance should measure and control its funding requirement, but however, certain approaches in the theoretical review are recommended. Finally an Insurance company should manage access to fund and consider its diversification. Concentrating in few types of assets, liabilities or market may be risky. Therefore, internal limits on maximum fund engage in one type of activity should be set. The guideline also encourage Insurance to look for new arrangement and developing financial assets and market to have access to fund while reducing liquidity risk.

2.10.3 Solvency II consideration of liquidity

Since the introduction of the Solvency I in the early 1970s, there has been continuous development of sophisticated risk management systems leading to its replacement by Solvency II. Solvency II has introduced a wide framework for risk management which helps in implementing procedures to identify, measure, and manage levels of risk. It is the most recent set of regulatory requirements for insurance companies and is scheduled to start on 1 January 2013.

New funding sources and liquidity management techniques have been brought forward by financial and technological advances. Therefore, Insurance companies are expected to understand the liquidity levels and the behavior of cash flows in different circumstances and thus enabling them to react accordingly. Solvency II identifies the principles for a proper liquidity management.

Those principles fall under the following main headings;

reducing the risk that an insurer cannot meet its claims;

To reduce the losses encountered by policyholders ;

To enable supervisors to act spontaneously if capital goes below the level required;

Increase confidence in the financial stability of insurance sector.

The Solvency II framework has three major parts for the insurance sector:

Quantitative requirements.

Governance and risk management requirements.

Disclosure and transparency requirements

The Guideline on Liquidity issued by the Financial Services Commission reflects mostly the following principles; to develop a structure for the management of liquidity, to measure and monitor net funding requirements, to manage market access, contingency planning, and internal controls for liquidity risk management in improving Liquidity.


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