Given Global Financing’s primary mission of supporting IBM’s hardware, software and services businesses, originations for both the client and commercial financing businesses will be dependent upon the overall demand for IT hardware, software and services, as well as client participation rates.
Interest rates and the overall economy (including currency fluctuations) will have an effect on both revenue and gross profit. The company’s interest rate risk management policy, however, combined with the Global Financing funding strategy (see Debt Discussion), should mitigate gross margin erosion due to changes in interest rates. The company’s policy of matching asset and liability positions in foreign currencies will limit the impacts of currency fluctuations.
The economy could impact the credit quality of the Global Financing receivables portfolio and therefore the level of provision for bad debts. Global Financing will continue to apply rigorous credit policies in both the origination of new business and the evaluation of the existing portfolio.
As discussed in Residual Value, Global Financing has historically been able to manage residual value risk both through insight into the product cycles, as well as through its remarketing business.
Global Financing has policies in place to manage each of the key risks involved in financing. These policies, combined with product and client knowledge, should allow for the prudent management of the business going forward, even during periods of uncertainty with respect to the economy.