20) Foreign exchange and counterparty risk

The commercial foreign exchange positions are systematically covered by the purchase or sale of the corresponding currencies, mainly with cash transactions and sometimes on forward markets. Regarding long-term assets in foreign currencies, the Company tries to reduce the corresponding exchange risk by associating them, as far as possible, with financing in the same currency.
An independent department from the dealing room monitors the status of the financial instruments, especially through marked-to-market valuations and sensitivity estimations. Counterparty risk is monitored on a regular basis against limits set by the Group’s senior management.