Management Report & Annexes | Report on Economic Position
16.7 Financial Management of the Group
The financial management of the Bayer Group is conducted by the strategic management holding company Bayer AG. Capital is a global resource, generally procured centrally and distributed within the Group. The foremost objectives of our financial management are to help bring about a sustained increase in corporate value and to ensure the Group’s liquidity and creditworthiness. This involves optimizing the capital structure and effectively managing risks. The management of currency, interest rate, raw material price and default risks helps to reduce the volatility of our earnings.
The contracted rating agencies assess Bayer as follows:
| Rating [Table 3.16.11]
|Standard & Poor’s
These credit ratings reflect the company’s high solvency and ensure access to a broad investor base for financing purposes. It remains our goal to achieve and maintain financial ratios that support an “a” category rating in order to maintain our financial flexibility.
We pursue a prudent debt management strategy to ensure flexibility, drawing on a balanced financing portfolio. This is based on bonds – predominantly a multi-currency European Medium Term Notes program –, syndicated credit facilities, bilateral loan agreements and a global commercial paper program.
We use financial derivatives to hedge against risks arising from business operations or financial transactions, but do not employ contracts in the absence of an underlying transaction. It is our policy to diminish default risks by selecting trading partners with a high credit standing. We closely monitor the execution of all transactions, which are conducted in accordance with Group directives.
Further details of our risk management objectives and the ways in which we account for all the major types of hedged transactions – along with price, credit and liquidity risks as they relate to the use of financial instruments – are given in Chapter 20.3 “Opportunities and Risks Report.”