Repurchase Agreement Repo Haircut

If you`re dealing in the world of finance, it`s important to understand the terms involved in various transactions. One such transaction is the repurchase agreement, also known as a “repo”. It`s a financial instrument that helps investors borrow money for a short period, usually overnight, by using securities as collateral. As an aspect of repo, the “repo haircut” can play an important role in determining the value of the transaction.

A repo haircut is essentially the discount percentage applied to the market value of the security that is being used as collateral. It acts as a buffer to protect the lender`s investment in case the borrower defaults on the loan. The higher the risk, the higher the haircut.

How does the Repo Haircut Work?

The repo market involves two parties: the borrower and the lender. The borrower offers securities as collateral to the lender, while the lender provides cash to the borrower. The borrower agrees to repurchase the securities at a later date, usually the next day, and pays back the borrowed money with interest. The haircut is then applied to the value of the securities to protect the lender in case the borrower defaults or the value of the securities drops below the agreed-upon price.

For example, if a borrower offers $100,000 in securities as collateral for a repo agreement, and the lender applies a haircut of 5%, the lender would lend $95,000. This means that if the borrower defaults on the loan or the value of the securities drops, the lender is protected from potential losses. The borrower can then repurchase the securities at the agreed-upon price plus interest to regain ownership.

Why is the Repo Haircut Important?

The repo haircut is important in the repo market as it helps lenders protect their investments from potential losses. As a borrower, understanding the concept of the repo haircut can help you calculate the costs involved in repurchasing securities and the interest that you need to pay. Moreover, it can also help you determine the potential risks involved in the transaction and how much collateral you need to offer to secure the loan.


A repo agreement is a key part of the financial market, and understanding the repo haircut is crucial to ensuring a successful transaction. By applying a haircut, lenders protect their investments from potential losses, while borrowers can secure financing by offering securities as collateral. Knowing how to calculate the repo haircut can help both parties make informed decisions about the terms of the agreement.

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