Rischi finanziari

Financial risks

The Group’s approach to risk management includes identifying, evaluating and managing the financial risk using a top-down approach.

Financial risk management

Financial risks are managed in respect of the guidelines issued by the Board of Directors of Eni SpA in its role of directing and setting the risk limits, targeting to align and centrally coordinate Group companies’ policies on financial risks (“Guidelines on financial risks management and control”). The “Guidelines” define for each financial risk the key components of the management and control process, such as the target of the risk management, the valuation methodology, the structure of limits, the relationship model and the hedging and mitigation instruments. Eni’s top risks are presented with regard to the Company’s targets.

The following is the description of financial risks and their management and control. With reference to the issues related to credit risk, the parameters adopted for the determination of expected losses and, in particular, the estimates of the probability of default and the loss given default have been updated to take into account the impacts of COVID-19 and its related effects on the economic context. As of December 31, 2021, the Company retains liquidity reserves that management deems enough to meet the financial obligations due in the next eighteen months. No significant effects were reported on hedging transactions connected to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economic context.

Risks in connection with the war in Ukraine

The crisis in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine that in February 2022 gave rise to the Russian military invasion and an open conflict on a large scale with violent armed clashes and tragic loss of human lives, constitutes a macroeconomic risk. Possible outcomes of this situation might include a prolonged armed conflict, a possible escalation in the military action, risks of enlargement of the ongoing geopolitical crisis and a further tightening up of the economic sanctions against Russia. These factors could result in a scenario that could eventually sap consumers’ confidence, deter investment decisions by operators and cripple industrial activities derailing the global recovery or, in the worst of the outcomes, triggering a new worldwide recession, while the economy has been still recovering from the fallout of the COVID-19 downturn. This scenario would drove a reduction in hydrocarbons demands and of commodity prices and would adversely and significantly affect our results of operations and cash flow, as well as business prospects, with a possible lower remuneration of our shareholders.

 

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Management report | Consolidated financial statements | Annex “pg 125

 

 

Market risk

Market risk is the possibility that changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates or commodity prices will adversely affect the value of the Group’s financial assets, liabilities or expected future cash flows.

The Company actively manages market risk in accordance with a set of policies and guidelines that provide a centralized model of handling finance, treasury and risk management transactions based on the Company’s departments of operational finance: the parent company’s (Eni SpA) finance department, Eni Finance International SA, Eni Finance USA Inc and Banque Eni SA, which is subject to certain bank regulatory restrictions preventing the Group’s exposure to concentrations of credit risk, and Eni Trading & Shipping that is in charge to execute certain activities relating to commodity derivatives.

In particular, Eni Corporate finance department, Eni Finance International SA and Eni Finance USA Inc manage subsidiaries’ financing requirements in and outside Italy and in the United States of America, respectively, covering funding requirements and using available surpluses.

 

Exchange rate

Exchange rate risk derives from the fact that Eni’s operations are conducted in currencies other than euro (mainly US dollar).

Revenues and expenses denominated in foreign currencies may be significantly affected by exchange rate fluctuations due to conversion differences on single transactions arising from the time lag existing between execution and definition of relevant contractual terms (economic risk) and conversion of foreign currency-denominated trade and financing payables and receivables (transactional risk).

Exchange rate fluctuations affect the Group’s reported results and net equity as financial statements of subsidiaries denominated in currencies other than euro are translated from their functional currency into euro. Generally, an appreciation of US dollar versus euro has a positive impact on Eni’s  results of operations, and vice versa.

Eni’s foreign exchange risk management policy is to minimize transactional exposures arising from foreign currency movements and to optimize exposures arising from commodity risk. Eni does not undertake any hedging activity for risks deriving from the translation of foreign currency denominated profits or assets and liabilities of subsidiaries, which prepare financial statements in a currency other than euro, except for single transactions to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Effective management of exchange rate risk is performed within Eni’s finance departments, which pool Group companies’ positions, hedging the Group net exposure by using certain derivatives, such as currency swaps, forwards and options.

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Market risk - Exchange Rate” pg 289.

 

Interest rate

Changes in interest rates affect the market value of financial assets and liabilities of the Company and the level of finance charges. Eni’s interest rate risk management policy is to minimize risk with the aim to achieve financial structure objectives defined and approved in management’s finance plans. 

The Group’s finance departments pool borrowing requirements of the Group companies in order to manage net positions and fund portfolio developments consistent with management plans, thereby maintaining a level of risk exposure within prescribed limits. 

Eni enters into interest rate derivative transactions, in particular interest rate swaps, to manage effectively the balance between fixed and floating rate debt. Such derivatives are evaluated at fair value based on market prices provided from specialized sources. VaR deriving from interest rate exposure is measured daily based on a variance/covariance model, with a 99% confidence level and a 20-day holding period.

 

Commodity

Price risk of commodities is identified as the possibility that fluctuations in the price of materials and basic products produce significant changes in Eni’s operating margins, determining an impact on the economic result such as to compromise the targets defined in the four-year plan and in the budget. The commodity price risk arises in connection with the following exposures: 

  • strategic exposure: exposures directly identified by the Board of Directors as a result of strategic investment decisions or outside the planning horizon of risk management. These exposures include, for example, exposures associated with the program for the production of Oil & Gas reserves, long-term gas supply contracts for the portion not balanced by sales contracts (already stipulated or expected), the margin deriving from the chemical transformation process, the refining margin and long-term storage functional to the logistic-industrial activities; 
  • commercial exposure: concerns the exposures related to components underlying the contractual arrangements of industrial and commercial (contracted exposure) activities normally related to the time horizon of the four-year plan and budget, components not yet under contract but which will be with reasonable certainty (commitment exposure) and the relevant activities of risk management. Commercial exposures are characterized by a systematic risk management activity conducted based on risk/return assumptions by implementing one or more strategies and subjected to specific risk limits (VaR, revision strategy limits and stop loss).
  • proprietary trading exposure: transactions carried out autonomously for speculative purposes in the short term and normally not aimed at delivery with the intention of exploiting favorable price movements, spreads and/or volatility implemented autonomously and carried out regardless of the exposures of the commercial portfolio or physical and contractual assets.

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Market risk - Commodity” pg 290.

 

Strategic Liquidity

Market risk deriving from liquidity management is identified as the possibility that changes in prices of financial instruments (bonds, money market instruments and mutual funds) would affect the value of these instruments when valued at fair value.
The setting up and maintenance of the liquidity reserve is mainly aimed to guarantee a proper financial flexibility. Liquidity should allow Eni to fund any extraordinary need (such as difficulty in access to credit, exogenous shock, macroeconomic environment, as well as merger and acquisitions) and must be dimensioned to provide a coverage of short-term debts and a coverage of medium and long-term finance debts due within a time horizon of 24 months. In order to manage the investment activity of the strategic liquidity, Eni defined a specific investment policy with aims and constraints in terms of financial activities and operational boundaries, as well as Governance guidelines regulating management and control systems. In particular, strategic liquidity management is regulated in terms of VaR (measured based on a parametrical methodology with a one-day holding period and a 99% confidence level), stop loss and other operating limits in terms of concentration, issuing entity, business segment, Country of emission, duration, ratings and type of investing instruments in portfolio, aimed to minimize market and liquidity risks.

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Market risk – Strategic Liquidity” pg 290.

 

Credit risk

Credit risk is the potential exposure of the Group to losses in case counterparties fail to perform or pay amounts due. Eni defined credit risk management policies consistent with the nature and characteristics of the counterparties of commercial and financial transactions with regard to the centralized finance model.

The Company adopted a model to quantify and control the credit risk based on the evaluation of the expected loss which represents the probability of default and the capacity to recover credits in default that is estimated through the so-called Loss Given Default.

In the credit risk management and control model, credit exposures are distinguished by commercial nature, in relation to the structured contracts on commodities related to Eni's core business, and by financial nature, in relation to the financial instruments substantially used by Eni, such as deposits, derivatives and securities.

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Market risk –Credit Risk” pg 291.

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that suitable sources of funding for the Group may not be available, or the Group is unable to sell its assets in the marketplace in order to meet short-term finance requirements and to settle obligations. Such a situation would negatively affect Group results, as it would result in the Company incurring higher borrowing expenses to meet its obligations or under the worst of conditions the inability of the Company to continue as a going concern. Eni's risk management targets include the maintaining of an adequate level of liquidity readily available to deal with external shocks (drastic changes in the scenario, restrictions on access to capital markets, etc.) or to ensure an adequate level of operational flexibility for the development programs of the Company. The strategic liquidity reserve is employed in short-term marketable financial assets, favoring investments with very low risk profile.

At present, the Group believes to have access to sufficient funding to meet the current foreseeable borrowing requirements as a consequence of the availability of financial assets and lines of credit and the access to a wide range of funding at competitive costs through the credit system and capital markets.

For further details, please refer to Annual Report 2021 Section “Market risk – Liquidity Risk” pg 292.

Annual Report 2021

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