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Outright Forward


An Outright Forward is a binding obligation for a physical exchange of funds at a future date at an agreed on price. This financial instrument is used by parties looking to hedge or speculate on the movement of currency exchange rates. The terms of this contract are fixed and cannot be changed once the agreement is made.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Outright Forward” is: /ˈaʊtˌraɪt/ /fɔːrˈwɜːrd/

Key Takeaways

Main takeaways about Outright Forward

  1. Outright Forward is a financial term primarily used in Foreign Exchange (FOREX) trading, indicating an agreement to buy or sell a set amount of a foreign currency at a specified price for settlement at a predetermined future date.
  2. These transactions are beneficial for managing future risk, especially when companies expect major disparities in currency exchange rates as well as purchasers and sellers involving international transactions. It creates security in volatile markets by locking in an exchange rate.
  3. While Outright Forward is an effective hedging technique against currency risk, it offers less flexibility as once agreed, the contract cannot be adjusted or exited until the specified future date without incurring a potentially significant cost.


Outright Forward is a significant term in business and finance as it denotes a binding obligation slated to purchase or sell a foreign currency at a previously agreed exchange rate on a specified future date. These transactions play a vital role in global trade and finance since they render predictability, enabling various businesses or financiers to hedge against future currency volatility. Consequently, they can plan their financial activities with greater certainty, safeguard themselves from undesirable foreign exchange fluctuations, and make informed decisions to achieve their business and financial goals. Additionally, these transactions also aid in shaping the global foreign exchange market dynamics and pricing atmosphere.


The outright forward is a crucial financial instrument that is utilized in the realm of foreign exchange (Forex) trading, particularly for hedging against potential future movements in currency exchange rates. Businesses that either earn or expend money in a foreign currency often have to deal with the uncertainty surrounding the future changes in the values of those currencies. To tackle this issue, they can enter into an outright forward contract, which locks in the exchange rate for a specific date in the future, essentially insulating them against potential dollar losses due to adverse currency movements.The utility of outright forward contracts isn’t limited to just risk minimisation. They also offer predictability, which is valuable for budgeting and financial planning. For instance, if a US company knows that it has to pay a UK supplier £100,000 in six months, it can enter into an outright forward contract to buy those pounds at a fixed rate. This way, regardless of what happens to the exchange rate in the ensuing six months, the company will know exactly how much in dollars it will have to set aside for this expenditure. Thus, outright forward contracts can aid businesses in establishing cost certainty for their overseas commitments, thereby serving as a valuable tool in financial planning and budget management.


An Outright Forward is a type of foreign exchange forward agreement where one party agrees to buy and another agrees to sell a certain quantity of a currency at a set price at a future date. It is used by businesses to hedge against possible exchange rate fluctuations. Below are three real world examples:1. Global Product Purchase: A US-based company, let’s say Apple, decides to purchase raw materials from a supplier in Germany. The contract is worth 1 million euros, payable in three months’ time. To avoid the risk of the euro appreciating, Apple enters into an outright forward contract, effectively locking in the current exchange rate.2. Service Agreement: A UK-based consulting agency signs a one-year contract to provide services to a US company. The UK agency will be paid in dollars at the end of the contract. To protect against potential dollar depreciation, the UK company enters an outright forward contract to sell dollars for pounds at a set rate in one year’s time.3. Investment Protection: An Indian investor plans to purchase a property in the US within the next six months. The investor is concerned about potential rupee depreciation and its effect on the property’s cost. To hedge against this risk, the investor enters into an outright forward contract to buy dollars at a predetermined rate, protecting his capital from exchange rate fluctuations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Outright Forward?

An Outright Forward is a binding agreement in which a business can buy or sell a certain amount of a specific currency on a future date, at a predetermined exchange rate.

How does an Outright Forward work?

In an Outright Forward contract, the terms are agreed upon at the start, including the amount, the exchange rate, and the delivery date. The transaction is settled on the specified future date.

How can an Outright Forward help businesses manage currency risk?

Outright Forwards allow businesses to lock in a specific exchange rate for a future date, thereby mitigating the risk of fluctuating currency rates. This can be beneficial for a company anticipating a large foreign currency payment or income.

Where can one trade Outright Forwards?

Outright Forwards are typically arranged privately between two counterparties, usually banks or financial institutions, and are not traded on an exchange.

What currencies can be traded using Outright Forwards?

Any currency can be traded through an Outright Forward contract, so long as both parties involved agree to the terms and there’s no restriction from regulators.

How does an Outright Forward differ from a Foreign Exchange Spot transaction?

A Foreign Exchange Spot transaction is settled immediately, meaning the exchange of currencies occurs on the spot. By contrast, an Outright Forward transaction involves an agreement to exchange currencies at a future date.

How are the exchange rates for Outright Forward contracts determined?

Exchange rates for Outright Forward contracts are typically determined by the current spot exchange rate, the length of the contract, as well as the interest rate differentials between the two involved currencies.

What happens if I want to cancel an Outright Forward contract?

Depending on the terms agreed between the involved parties, you may be able to terminate the contract early, however, this could also potentially involve a cancellation fee or other financial implications.

Do I need to physically deliver the currency on the delivery date in an Outright Forward contract?

The specifics of delivery in an Outright Forward contract can vary depending on the agreement. Some may require physical delivery, while others might be netted out by a cash payment.

Is an Outright Forward a standardized contract?

No, Outright Forward contracts are not standardized as they can be customized according to the needs of the two parties involved. This allows for flexibility in terms of delivery dates, volumes, and currencies involved.

Related Finance Terms

  • FX Forward Contract: This is a contract between two parties to buy or sell a specific amount of a currency at a predetermined price on a specific future date. It’s related to Outright Forward as it’s a type of outright forward contract in foreign exchange.
  • Settlement Date: It’s the date when the currencies are delivered or exchanged in an outright forward contract.
  • Exchange Rate: The value of one currency for the conversion to another. In the context of outright forward contracts, it refers to the agreed-upon rate.
  • Spot Rate: The current market price of a currency that is available for immediate delivery. It differs from the forward rate, which is used in outright forward contracts.
  • Hedging: It’s the act of reducing the risk of unfavorable currency movements. Businesses often use outright forward contracts as a hedging tool against foreign exchange risk.

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