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What is the Swiss Average Rate Overnight (SARON)?

SARON, the Swiss Average Rate Overnight, is a key interest rate used in the Swiss financial system. It is administered and published by SIX Swiss Exchange, a financial infrastructure provider in Switzerland. The rate represents the average interest rate at which Swiss franc-denominated overnight interbank loans are transacted.

How SARON is Calculated

SARON is calculated based on transaction data from the Swiss franc money market. The calculation is performed by SIX Swiss Exchange using a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) methodology. It includes all transactions conducted between 7:00 am and 6:15 pm Central European Time (CET).

Importance of SARON

SARON plays a crucial role in the Swiss financial system as it serves as a key reference rate for various financial instruments and contracts. It provides a reliable benchmark for determining interest rates on loans, mortgages, derivatives, and other financial products. SARON is widely used by banks, financial institutions, corporations, and individuals to price and manage interest rate risk.

Use of SARON in Financial Markets

SARON is used in a wide range of financial markets and products. It is commonly employed as a reference rate for floating-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages, and interest rate swaps. Financial institutions also utilize SARON to price and value bonds, futures contracts, and other derivatives. The rate is often referenced in debt issuance, risk management, and investment decisions.

Advantages of SARON over LIBOR

SARON has gained prominence as an alternative to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The transition from LIBOR to SARON has been driven by concerns over the integrity and sustainability of LIBOR. SARON offers several advantages over LIBOR, including a robust methodology based on actual transactions, increased transparency, and a closer alignment with the underlying money market.

Transition from LIBOR to SARON

In response to the challenges associated with LIBOR, global regulators have encouraged the transition to alternative reference rates, including SARON. The transition involves significant changes in financial contracts and systems that currently rely on LIBOR. Market participants, including banks, borrowers, and derivative traders, are working towards adopting SARON as the preferred benchmark.

Impact of SARON on Borrowers and Lenders

The transition from LIBOR to SARON has implications for borrowers and lenders. Borrowers with loans tied to LIBOR may experience changes in interest rates as they switch to SARON-based rates. Lenders will need to adjust their pricing models and risk management strategies to accommodate the transition. It is essential for market participants to understand the impact of the change and prepare accordingly.

Risk Management

SARON offers enhanced risk management capabilities compared to LIBOR. As SARON is based on actual transaction data, it provides a more accurate reflection of market conditions and reduces the risk of manipulation. Financial institutions can utilize SARON to assess and mitigate interest rate risk more effectively, resulting in improved risk management practices.

Derivatives Markets

The introduction of SARON has led to changes in the derivatives markets. Derivatives contracts linked to SARON have emerged, allowing market participants to hedge against interest rate fluctuations using this new benchmark. These contracts provide more accurate pricing and risk management tools, aligning with the transition away from LIBOR.

Regulation and Oversight

SARON is subject to regulatory oversight and governance to ensure its accuracy, reliability, and integrity. SIX Swiss Exchange, as the administrator, adheres to robust governance principles and complies with international standards for benchmark calculation and administration. Regulatory authorities supervise the operation of SARON to maintain market confidence and integrity.

Future Outlook for SARON

The future of SARON looks promising as it establishes itself as the preferred benchmark rate in the Swiss financial market. The transition from LIBOR to SARON is gaining momentum, with market participants actively adopting SARON-based contracts and instruments. As SARON continues to evolve and mature, its importance and influence are expected to grow further.


Swiss Average Rate Overnight (SARON) is a vital benchmark interest rate used in Switzerland. It provides an accurate representation of the prevailing interest rates in the Swiss franc money market. SARON offers several advantages over LIBOR, including transparency, reliability, and a robust methodology based on actual transactions.

The transition from LIBOR to SARON is underway, and market participants are adjusting their systems and contracts accordingly. SARON is set to play a significant role in the Swiss financial system, contributing to improved risk management and financial stability.

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