Fortum is exposed to counterparty risk whenever there is a contractual arrangement with a customer, supplier, financing partner or trading counterparty. During 2013 Fortum enhanced the country entry and partner risk assessment processes when entering new markets and/or partnerships.
Credit risk exposures relating to financial derivative instruments are often volatile. Although the majority of commodity derivatives are cleared through exchanges, derivatives contracts are also entered into directly with
external counterparties. Such contracts are limited to high-credit-quality counterparties active on the financial or commodity markets.
Due to the financing needs and management of liquidity, Fortum has counterparty exposure to a number of banks and financial institutions. This includes exposure to the Russian financial sector in terms of deposits with financial institutions as well as to banks that provide guarantees for suppliers and contracting parties. Limits with banks and financial institutions are followed closely so that exposures can be adjusted as ratings or the financial situation changes.
Credit risk exposures relating to customers and suppliers are spread across a wide range of industrial counterparties, small businesses and private individuals over a range of geographic regions. The majority of exposure is to the Nordic market, but there is also significant exposure in Russia and Poland as a
result of increased operations. The risk of non-payment in the electricity and heat sales business in Russia is higher than in the Nordic market.
In order to minimise counterparty risk, Fortum has well established routines and processes to identify, assess and control counterparty exposure. No contractual obligations are entered into without proper, reasonable and viable credit checks, and creditworthiness is continuously monitored through the use of internal and external sources to ensure that actions can be taken immediately if changes occur.
Corporate Credit Control is responsible for assuring stringent controls for all larger individual counterparty exposures. Annual credit reviews are performed manually for all larger approved limits. Each division or corporate unit is responsible for ensuring that exposures remain within approved limits. Mitigation of counterparty risk includes the use of collateral,
such as guarantees, managing payment terms and contract length, and netting agreements. Corporate Credit Control continuously monitors and reports counterparty exposures against the approved limits.