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Currency moves cost small biz dear

Time to hedge

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Small business owners in the UK blame currency movements for threatening their ability to export goods - or at least to export goods profitably.

A survey of 365 business owners by the Forum of Private Business found 63 per cent said currency movements are a restriction on overseas trade. Just 31 per cent complained about increased shipping costs as a barrier.

Movements in exchange rates have hit profits at 44 per cent of companies questioned, although 26 per cent said profits have been improved by a shift in currencies.

Despite these figures less than half of small firms do anything to reduce the risks by hedging their currency purchasing.

Stewart Blake of Global Reach Partners, which paid for the research, said it was time currency management became a central part of normal risk management. Blake said web-based tools meant business owners could now manage currency risks quickly and easily. ®

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