SAO PAULO, March 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian companies took on $30.2 billion worth of contracts to protect themselves against currency swings in February, when there were fewer business days, data from clearing house and market data provider Cetip SA Mercados Organizados showed on Wednesday.
The value of so-called currency term contracts that companies used to buy or sell currency to cushion their balance sheets from volatility in the Brazilian real fell 6 percent and 4.5 percent on an annual and monthly basis, respectively, Cetip said.
Companies bought $16.3 billion worth of currency term contracts in February compared with $17.8 billion in January, while they sold $13.9 billion last month, the data showed. The real, Brazil’s currency, shed 5.8 percent against the U.S. dollar last month.
This month so far, the real is down 13 percent against the dollar.
February had 18 business days, three fewer than January, because of the Carnival holidays. Last year, Carnival took place in March.
São Paulo-based Cetip is Latin America’s largest securities depositary and clearing house. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by James Dalgleish)