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Interest Rate Swap


Definition of "Interest rate swap"

Contractual agreement between two parties in which they agree to exchange a stream of interest payments on either a fixed rate for a floating rate or a floating rate for a fixed rate. The insurance company is most likely to select a floating rate for a fixed rate because it needs to know exactly what it will be paying in future interest. In this way, the insurance company can hedge its interest rate exposure (risk that interest rates will rise or fall at some stipulated time), reflected by changes in the value of its assets on the balance sheet.



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