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Concept# Interest rate derivative

Summary

In finance, an interest rate derivative (IRD) is a derivative whose payments are determined through calculation techniques where the underlying benchmark product is an interest rate, or set of different interest rates. There are a multitude of different interest rate indices that can be used in this definition.
IRDs are popular with all financial market participants given the need for almost any area of finance to either hedge or speculate on the movement of interest rates.
Modeling of interest rate derivatives is usually done on a time-dependent multi-dimensional Lattice ("tree") or using specialized simulation models. Both are calibrated to the underlying risk drivers, usually domestic or foreign short rates and foreign exchange market rates, and incorporate delivery- and day count conventions. The Heath–Jarrow–Morton framework is often used instead of short rates.
The most basic subclassification of interest rate derivatives (IRDs) is to define linear and non-linear.
Further classification of the above is then made to define vanilla (or standard) IRDs and exotic IRDs; see exotic derivative.
Linear IRDs are those whose net present values (PVs) are overwhelmingly (although not necessarily entirely) dictated by and undergo changes approximately proportional to the one-to-one movement of the underlying interest rate index. Examples of linear IRDs are; interest rate swaps (IRSs), forward rate agreements (FRAs), zero coupon swaps (ZCSs), cross-currency basis swaps (XCSs) and single currency basis swaps (SBSs).
Non-linear IRDs form the set of remaining products. Those whose PVs are commonly dictated by more than the one-to-one movement of the underlying interest rate index. Examples of non-linear IRDs are; swaptions, interest rate caps and floors and constant maturity swaps (CMSs). These products' PVs are reliant upon volatility so their pricing is often more complex as is the nature of their risk management.
The categorisation of linear and non-linear and vanilla and exotic is not universally acknowledged and a number of products might exist that can be arguably assigned to different categories.

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In finance, a forward rate agreement (FRA) is an interest rate derivative (IRD). In particular it is a linear IRD with strong associations with interest rate swaps (IRSs). A forward rate agreement's (FRA's) effective description is a cash for difference derivative contract, between two parties, benchmarked against an interest rate index. That index is commonly an interbank offered rate (-IBOR) of specific tenor in different currencies, for example LIBOR in USD, GBP, EURIBOR in EUR or STIBOR in SEK.

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