Negative CAD balance in IB account -- am I getting charged margin for it?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by SideShowBob, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. My IB account shows a negative CAD balance of about $164 (from a loss trading canadian bond futures). Does this mean I'm being charged margin on this? If I am, do I just use IDEAL to buy $164 CAD to get out of margin?
  2. dpt


    Yes, that's my understanding. When you take a loss in an asset denominated in
    a currency other than the account base currency, you naturally end up with a
    debit balance in the foreign currency.

    IB calculates interest separately on the commodity and security accounts, and
    on the market value of short stock in each separate currency. So you'll
    end up with a tiny interest charge on your -164 CAD.

    You can buy it back in on IDEAL: there's no minimum size. But it will cost you
    the greater of 1 basis point * trade value, or a minimum commission of $2.50.

    So it might be better to pay the interest if you're going to keep
    trading the Canadian bonds :)
  3. I will probably continue to trade the bonds so I'll just let the CAD debit sit there for awhile. Thanks for the info, I think it's been there for awhile but I never noticed it before. Now if I can only turn it positive.....
  4. But I assume that you collect interest on the US balance which has an additional $150 US or so.
  5. Good point....almost like my own personal carry trade.....:D
  6. also, *if* u think the CAD is going to devalue vs. the dollar (iow that you are bullish USDCAD), then it would make sense to keep the negative CAD balance, since you can then buy it back cheaper later on (with less $ per cad dollar)