Interest rate derivative Definition
An interest rate derivate is a derivative security where the underlying asset is the right to pay or receive a (usually notional) amount of money at a given interest rate.
Interest rate derivatives are the largest derivatives market in the world. Market observers estimate that $60 trillion dollars by notional value of interest rate derivatives contract had been exchanged by May 2004.
According to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, 80% of the world's top 500 companies at April 2003 used interest rate derivatives to control their cashflow. This compares with 75% for foreign exchange options, 25% for commodity options and 10% for equity options.