Financial markets related risks

As part of its financing and cash management activities, the Group uses derivative instruments to manage its exposure to changes in interest rates and foreign exchange rates. These instruments are mainly interest rate and currency swaps. The Group may also occasionally use futures contracts and options. These operations and their accounting treatment are detailed in Notes 1 paragraph M, 20, 28 and 29 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Risks relative to cash management operations and to interest rate and foreign exchange financial instruments are managed according to rules set by the Group’s senior management, which provide for regular pooling of available cash balances, open positions and management of the financial instruments by the Treasury Department.

Excess cash of the Group is deposited mainly in government institutions, deposit banks, or major companies through deposits, reverse repurchase agreements and purchase of commercial paper. Liquidity positions and the management of financial instruments are centralized by the Treasury Department, where they are managed by a team specialized in foreign exchange and interest rate market transactions.

The Cash Monitoring-Management Unit within the Treasury Department monitors limits and positions per bank on a daily basis and results of the Front Office. This unit also prepares marked-to-market valuations of used financial instruments and, when necessary, performs sensitivity analysis.