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Currency fluctuation cited as top business risk

Currency fluctuation is one of the top major risks facing businesses across the world, new research shows.

According to a survey from banking group Lloyds, volatility in the currency markets is cited as one of the top five most serious risks businesses in all of the world's major regions apart from North America have to contend with.

When the survey was conducted in 2009, currency fluctuation was cited as the second most important risk facing businesses across the globe, highlighting the importance of thorough currency comparison.

Lloyd's research revealed that export-led countries such as China and India, which have industries particularly reliant on importing raw materials and exporting finished products, were especially fearful of exchange rate fluctuation and viewed it as a barrier to sustainability and economic growth.

The report pointed out that China is increasingly investing in its own infrastructure and trying to stimulate more domestic consumer spending in the face of a slowdown in orders from North America and Europe.

China now has the highest savings in the world and it will use some of its current account surplus - which stands at more than $350 billion (£222 billion) - to encourage Chinese manufacturing companies to prioritise supplying domestic markets.

Lloyds' report also reveals that the falling values of the euro and the dollar in Europe and the US resulted in a flight to the Swiss franc, forcing the Swiss National Bank to peg its value to that of the euro in September 2011.

Corporate investors and governments are also increasingly showing a preference for secure investment options such as low yields in safe havens as they are faced with uncertainty in the global markets.

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