Supplementary statement

Public Accounts of Canada 2016 Volume I—Top of the page Navigation

Exchange Fund Account

Table summary

The table presents, in millions of Canadian dollars, a two-year comparative of the Statement of financial position as at 31 March. It consists of three columns: a detailed listing of components; current year; previous year. The first series of rows presents the financial assets. It is divided in sub-sections with related subtotals and the total for the series. The second series of rows presents the liabilities. A final row presents the total due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Statement of financial position (unaudited)
as at 31 March

(in millions of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2015
Financial assets
Cash and cash equivalents (Note 2, Note 3) 5,902 695
Investments (Note 2, Note 3)
Marketable securities 85,046 81,442
Special drawing rights 10,431 9,818
Gold 6
Total investments 95,477 91,266
Total financial assets 101,379 91,961
Liabilities
Due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (Note 4) 101,379 91,961

Paul Rochon
Deputy Minister
Department of Finance

Christopher Meyers, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Department of Finance

Table summary

The table presents, in millions of Canadian dollars, a two-year comparative of the Statement of operations for the year ended 31 March. It consists of three columns: a detailed listing of components; current year; previous year. The first series of rows presents the net revenues from investments. It is divided in sub-sections with the total for the series. The second series of rows presents other such as the net foreign exchange gain (loss). A final row presents the net revenue for the year.

Statement of operations (unaudited)
for the year ended 31 March

(in millions of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2015
Net revenue from investments
Marketable securities
Interest 1,235 1,152
Net gains on sales of marketable securities 793 238
Transaction costs and other (negative 2) (negative 4)
Interest on cash and cash equivalents 7
Interest on special drawing rights 5 6
Gains on sales of gold 140
Total net revenue from investments 2,178 1,392
Other
Net foreign exchange gain (loss) 9 (negative 552)
Net revenue for the year (Note 2) 2,187 840

Notes to the financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2016 (unaudited)

1. Authority and objectives

The Exchange Fund Account (the Account) is governed by Part II of the Currency Act. The Account is in the name of the Minister of Finance and is administered by the Bank of Canada as fiscal agent. The Financial Administration Act does not apply to the Account.

The legislative mandate of the Account is to aid in the control and protection of the external value of the Canadian dollar. The Minister of Finance empowers the Account to acquire or sell assets deemed appropriate for this purpose, in accordance with the Account's Statement of Investment Policy.

Assets held in the Account are managed to provide foreign-currency liquidity to the government and to promote orderly conditions for the Canadian dollar in foreign exchange markets, if required. Canada's current policy is to intervene in foreign exchange markets on a discretionary, rather than a systematic, basis and only in the most exceptional of circumstances. Since September 1998, no transactions have been aimed at moderating movements in the value of Canadian dollar.

In accordance with the Currency Act, the net revenue for the year is paid to or charged to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Government of Canada within three months after the end of the fiscal year, and the Minister of Finance reports to Parliament on the operations of the Account within the first 60 days on which Parliament is sitting after the end of the fiscal year. These statements have been prepared by the Department of Finance.

2. Significant accounting policies

As stipulated in the Currency Act, the financial statements of the Account are prepared in a manner consistent with the accounting policies used by the Government of Canada to prepare its financial statements.

(a) Revenue recognition

Revenue from investments is recognized on an accrual basis and includes interest earned (including the amortization of premiums and discounts), gains or losses on sales of securities and on sales of gold, and revenues from securities lending activities. Interest is accrued on short-term deposits, deposits held under repurchase agreements, marketable securities, and special drawing rights (SDRs).

(b) Expense recognition

The Account's administrative, custodial, and fiscal agency services are provided and paid for by the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance. These costs have not been recognized in the Statements.

In addition, the notional cost of the funding of the Account's assets and advances from the CRF is not recognized in the Statements.

(c) Financial assets
Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents consists of cash on hand and short-term deposits. Short-term deposits are measured at cost and are generally held to maturity. The resulting revenue is included in interest on cash and cash equivalents.

Deposits held under repurchase agreements

Deposits held under repurchase agreements are measured at cost. The resulting revenue is included in Net revenue from marketable securities. As of 31 March 2016 and 31 March 2015 the Account did not hold any deposits held under repurchase agreements.

Marketable securities

Purchases and sales of securities are recognized at the settlement dates. Marketable securities are measured at cost and are adjusted for amortization of purchase discounts and premiums on a straight-line basis over the term to maturity of the security. The carrying value of marketable securities includes accrued interest.

On de-recognition of a financial asset measured at amortized cost, the difference between the asset's carrying amount and the sum of the consideration received and receivable is recognized in net revenue.

For short-term deposits, deposits held under repurchase agreements and marketable securities, the Bank assesses at the end of each reporting period whether there is an other-than-temporary impairment in value. Once impaired, these assets remeasured at their recoverable amount with the amount of the impairment recognized in Total net revenue from investments in the statement of operations.

Securities lending program

Under the securities lending program, the Account has agency agreements with two major financial institutions. Loans of securities are effected on behalf of the Account by these agents, who guarantee the loans and obtain collateral of equal or greater value from approved counterparties. These transactions can range from 1 to 31 days in duration. The securities loaned continue to be accounted for as investment assets. Income on securities lending transactions is included in Total net revenue from investments in the statement of operations.

Special drawing rights

The SDR serves as the unit of account for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its value is based on a "basket" of four major currencies: the Euro, the US dollar, the British pound sterling and the Japanese yen. On 30 November 2015 the Executive Board of the IMF decided to include the Chinese renminbi in the SDR basket effective 1 October 2016.

SDRs are initially recognized at cost and are subsequently remeasured at each reporting date into Canadian dollars at market exchange rates.

Gold

Gold is carried in the Account at a value of 35 SDRs per fine ounce.

Translation of foreign currencies and special drawing rights

Assets denominated in foreign currencies and SDRs are translated into Canadian-dollar equivalents at the rates prevailing as of March 31, which were as follows:

Table summary

The table presents a two-year comparative of the translation of foreign currencies and special drawing rights into Canadian dollar equivalents. It consists of three columns: a detailed listing of components; current year; previous year.

  2016 2015
US dollar 1.2987 1.2666
Euro 1.4777 1.3615
Japanese yen 0.0115 0.0106
British pound sterling 1.8654 1.8792
SDR 1.8296 1.7473

Gains or losses resulting from the translation of assets and advances from the CRF denominated in foreign currencies and SDRs, as well as from transactions throughout the fiscal year, are recognized as net foreign exchange gains or losses and are included in the statement of operations.

Investment revenue in foreign currencies and SDRs is translated into Canadian-dollars at the foreign exchange rates prevailing on the date the revenue is earned.

(d) Use of estimates and measurement uncertainty

The preparation of the Statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions based on information available as of the date of the Statements. Significant estimates are primarily in the area of the fair values of financial instruments, including any impairment (Note 3).

3. Financial instruments

Table summary

The table presents, in millions of Canadian dollars, a two-year comparative of the fair value of financial assets. It consists of three columns: a detailed listing of components; 31 March of the current year; 31 March of the previous year. The current and previous years' columns are divided into two columns, respectively—Carrying amount and Fair value. The first series of rows presents the cash and cash equivalents with different foreign currencies and the total for the series. The second series of rows presents the investments by marketable securities with different foreign currencies, SDR and gold, followed by the total for the series. A final row presents the total financial assets.

Fair value of financial assets
(in millions of Canadian dollars)

  31 March 2016 31 March 2015
Carrying amount Fair value Carrying amount Fair value
Cash and cash equivalents
US dollar 5,303 5,303 441 441
Euro 304 304 189 189
Japanese yen 181 181 17 17
British pound sterling 114 114 48 48
Total cash and cash equivalents 5,902 5,902 695 695
Investments
Marketable securities
US dollar 56,638 57,685 60,558 61,895
Euro 20,161 21,132 17,685 19,088
Japanese yen 712 720 794 797
British pound sterling 7,535 7,810 2,405 2,461
Total marketable securities 85,046 87,347 81,442 84,241
SDR 10,431 10,431 9,818 9,818
Gold 6 144
Total investments 95,477 97,778 91,266 94,203
Total financial assets 101,379 103,680 91,961 94,898

The estimated fair value of cash and cash equivalents approximates their carrying value, given their short term to maturity.

The estimated fair values of marketable securities are based on quoted market prices and include accrued interest. If such prices are not available, the fair value is determined by discounting future cash flows using an appropriate yield curve. During the year, and in the prior year, no marketable securities were written down to reflect an other-than-temporary impairment in value.

Since SDRs are translated into Canadian-dollar equivalents at the rates prevailing at the Statements date, the carrying value approximates fair value on the reporting date.

The portfolio of gold holdings was sold during the year for a gain of $140 million. The estimated fair value of gold at 31 March 2015 was based on the London gold fixing of $1,503.45 per fine ounce.

Credit risk

Credit risk is the risk that a counterparty to a financial contract will cause a loss to the Account by failing to discharge its obligations in accordance with agreed upon terms.

To ensure that the Account's asset portfolio is prudently diversified with respect to credit risk, the Statement of Investment Policy prescribed by the Minister of Finance specifies limits on holdings by class of issuer (sovereign, agency, supranational, corporation or commercial financial institution), by any one issuer or counterparty, and by type of instruments.

The Statement of Investment Policy also specifies the treatment of holdings that do not meet eligibility criteria or limits due to exceptional circumstances such as ratings downgrades.

With respect to the Statement of Investment Policy, the Account may hold fixed income securities of highly rated sovereigns, central banks, government-supported entities and supranational organizations. To be eligible for investment, an entity must have a credit rating in the top seven categories from two of four designated rating agencies (Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Fitch, and Dominion Bond Rating Service). The Account may also make deposits and execute other transactions, up to prescribed limits, with commercial financial institutions that meet the same rating criteria.

As stipulated in the Currency Act, the Minister of Finance may appoint agents to perform services concerning the Account. Through the securities-lending program, agents can lend securities only up to a prescribed maximum amount and only to a list of approved counterparties. Each borrower must enter into a Securities Loan Agreement with at least one of the agents. Borrowers are also required to provide collateral for securities borrowed, according to a specific list approved by the Government. Collateral is limited to specific security types, terms to maturity, and credit ratings.

The agents also provide an indemnity in the event of default by the borrower. The Account enters into securities lending transactions in order to increase its return on investments.

Market risk

Market risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate due to changes in market prices. Market risk comprises three types of risk: interest rate risk, currency risk, and other price risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate due to changes in market interest rates. Currency risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate because of changes in foreign exchange rates. Other price risk is the risk that the fair value or future cash flows of a financial instrument will fluctuate because of changes in market prices, other than those arising from interest rate risk or currency risk. The Account is not exposed to significant other price risk.

Interest rate and currency risks are managed, with due consideration of the risk to the Government of Canada, through the asset-liability management policy. This policy utilizes a strategy of matching the duration structure and the currency of the Account's assets with the foreign currency borrowings of the Government of Canada that notionally finance the Account's assets. Other price risks are mitigated by holding high quality liquid assets.

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that an entity will encounter difficulty in meeting its obligations associated with financial liabilities. Liquidity risk is minimized by limiting the portion of the Government of Canada's foreign liabilities that needs to be renewed within a one year period. In addition, liquidity risk is mitigated by holding short-term investments that are matched to the Government of Canada's maturing liabilities in foreign currencies.

Securities lending

As at 31 March 2016, the Account's investments included securities held by its agents in connection with the securities-lending program. Investments with a fair market value of $385 million ($387 million at 31 March 2015) and an amortized cost of $387 million ($380 million at 31 March 2015) were being used in the securities-lending program.

No securities were lent to eligible borrowers at the reporting date (nil at 31 March 2015).

4. Due to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF)

The Account is funded by the Government of Canada through interest-free advances from the CRF. Advances to the Account from the CRF are authorized by the Minister of Finance under the terms and conditions prescribed by the Minister of Finance. Pursuant to Section 19 of the Currency Act, these advances are limited to US $150 billion by order of the Minister of Finance effective 26 March 2015.

The CRF advances the proceeds of the Government of Canada's borrowings in foreign currencies and allocations of SDRs by IMF to the Account. Subsequent repayments of foreign currency debt are made using the assets of the Account and result in reductions of foreign currency advances from the CRF.

The Account requires Canadian-dollar advances to settle its purchases of foreign currencies. Canadian dollars received from sales of foreign currencies are remitted to the CRF. This, together with foreign currency payments made on behalf of the Government of Canada, causes reductions in the level of outstanding Canadian-dollar advances and can result in overall net deposits of Canadian dollars by the Account with the CRF.

At 31 March, advances from the CRF were comprised of the following currencies:

Table summary

The table presents, in millions of Canadian dollars, a two-year comparative of the currency composition of the advances from the CRF. It consists of three columns: a detailed listing of components; current year; previous year. The first series of rows presents the foreign currencies and SDR, followed by a subtotal for the series. The following rows present Canadian dollar and Net revenue. A final row presents the total for this table.

Currency composition of advances from the CRF
(in millions of Canadian dollars)

  2016 2015
US dollar 64,406 63,301
Euro 19,415 16,822
Japanese yen 871 2,440
British pound sterling 7,653 797
SDR 6,285 8,035
Subtotal—Foreign currencies 98,630 91,395
Canadian dollar 562 (negative 274)
Net revenue 2,187 840
Total 101,379 91,961

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