Chapter 6 notes 2012 08 07


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Chapter 6 notes 2012 08 07

  1. 1. finlogIQ Knowledge for financial IQ STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIALChapter 6Strategies for Futures MarketsAugust 2012
  2. 2. Chapter summary and outlineThis chapter explains the strategies and techniques used bydifferent participants in the futures markets, including hedgers,speculators / traders, arbitrageurs and portfolio managers.Examples are provided to illustrate the various scenarios andinstruments used to achieve the different objectives of thesemarket participants.Chapter outline:• Participants in futures markets• Speculating and trading• Hedging and portfolio management• ArbitragingfinlogIQ 2
  3. 3. Participants In Futures MarketsTypes of Participants• Speculators• Hedgers• Arbitrageurs• Portfolio managersfinlogIQ 3
  4. 4. Speculators• Three types of speculators – Position traders • hold positions over periods of days, weeks, or months for bigger movements – Day traders • the position is only held during the course of the day and covered before the exchange is closed. – Scalpers • professional traders (often locals) who trade for minimal fluctuations. • Their volume is normally high and they rarely hold overnight positions• Speculators – have certain expectations of the market and will take directional bets accordingly. – Trade for institutions like banks, hedge funds or corporates – By taking on the opposite side as the hedgers, speculators indirectly help to improve liquidity in futures markets• E.g. a money market trader expects interest rates to rise – Borrow money from the market • Once interest rates increase he can relend the fund at higher rates – Sell interest rates futures contracts • As interest rates rise, the futures price will decline and he can then cover his short by buying back at a lower pricefinlogIQ 4
  5. 5. Hedgers• Normally seek to reduce or eliminate risks by doing the opposite trade in the futures market. – Offsetting trade in the futures market to reduce the losses suffered in the cash market or vice versa.• Where hedge vehicle used (futures contract) has underlying instrument identical to the cash instrument to be hedged – the hedging will be effective.• If hedge vehicle used does not reflect the actual movement – Basis risks involvedfinlogIQ 5
  6. 6. Arbitrageurs• Seek to make riskless profits from the disequilibrium between the cash and futures markets• Arbitrageurs will exploit the difference between the implied value and the market value. – Do not take directional bets on the market – Take advantage of mispricings between two related markets• Normally work for institutions• Rely on computer systems to help them identify and capitalize on the arbitrage opportunities. – Disequilibrium can exist due to the mismatching of demand and supply in one market. – Such windows of opportunities generally close up very fast as the computers can help to identify such opportunities fast and any disequilibrium is immediately arbitraged away.• Presence of arbitrageurs help to improve liquidity in the futures market – Market is efficient and pricing relationship between the futures contract and its underlying instrument is consistent.finlogIQ 6
  7. 7. Portfolio Managers• Investment professionals who manage a portfolio of investments, normally of stocks or bonds.• Identify investment that will optimize returns for investors• Work for banks, hedge funds, and asset management companies• Responsibilities of portfolio managers will include cashflow management, currency hedging and stock picking.• Use futures market for cash flow management, hedging as well as trading – Lower transaction costs – More liquid marketExample:• A portfolio manager is long a basket of index stocks• Believes prices will decline soon due to a decline in overseas stock markets − Liquidate all the stocks and look to buy them back at lower prices − Sell stock index futures to hedge his stock holdingsfinlogIQ 7
  8. 8. Speculating and TradingTypes of Traders• Profit from speculating in the price movements of futures contracts.• Scalper trades for small gains – establishing and liquidating a position quickly, usually within a small price range and within the same day.• A day trader is one who establishes and closes a security, option or futures position during the same trading session.• A position trader takes a long-term approach in maintaining positions in the market and does not close out these positions until the profit objective or loss limit is reached or until close to the delivery date.• Margin in futures trading enables leverage – Advantageous for the traders who want to trade their positions without having to commit the full notional amount of the contract. – Leverage can also cause huge losses because the size of the contract is much larger, sometimes more than 10 times the original amount of margin that is placed with the exchange.• Trading decisions should be based on fundamental and technical analysesfinlogIQ 8
  9. 9. Speculating and Trading - 2Outright Trades• To express directional view of the market, ie buy or sell futuresSpread Trades• Express a view of the relative price movements in the two contracts – Buy one contract and sell another simultaneously – Aims to profit from change in price differential between two contracts• Types of spread trades – Inter-delivery spread trades • Spread is done on the same exchange, in the same commodity but for different delivery months • As known as intra-market or calendar spread – Inter-market spread trades • Same commodity, same delivery month but on different exchanges – Inter-commodity spread trades • Two different commodities having the same delivery month on the same exchangefinlogIQ 9
  10. 10. Speculating and Trading - 3Spread Trades (cont)Examples:• Calendar Spread – If a trader sees a steepening in the yield curve, i.e. the far end rates will rise more than short end rates, he buys the near contract and sells the far contract. – He sells the near contract and buys the far contract if he thinks the yield curve is flattening or inverting.• Butterfly Spread – A butterfly spread is bought if the nearby (wing) is expected to strengthen relative to the distant spread• Condor Spread – This is a combination of 2 spreads, namely a bull spread and a bear spread, with no common middle contract.• TED Spread – This is a spread between T-bill futures and Eurodollar futures and is normally bought during flight-to-quality. It can also serve as an indicator of stock market sentiment.finlogIQ 10
  11. 11. Speculating and Trading - 4Choosing Among Cash, Futures and Options• Speculating and trading require fundamental and technical analyses• Need to decide whether to use the cash instrument or its derivatives, depending on – Equivalent price of that instrument prevailing at the point of execution – the total costs involved – trading and credit limits – other factors which may be peculiar to the person/institution looking to put on the trade.finlogIQ 11
  12. 12. Hedging and Portfolio ManagementIdentifying and Measuring Risk• Objective of hedging is to reduce risk – Adverse price move occurs, losses will be contained or profits will be protected – If price moves favorabl,y the profit will be capped• Hedging does not eliminate price risks, but converts price risks to basis risk between the underlying instrument and the hedging instrument. – Confines final price to a determinable range – Hedging smoothens cashflow, simplifies financial planning, reduces working capital requirement – Allows more efficient product pricing and efficient inventory management.finlogIQ 12
  13. 13. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 2Developing an Effective Hedge Program• Evaluate the risk exposure in assets and liabilities by group, by maturity or profit centre.• Set hedge objective in reduction of risks.• Determine hedgeability using price correlation analysis and if necessary cross hedges.• Determine the hedge vehicle – The hedge vehicle should have a high degree of correlation with the target security. – If the target security is different from the underlying security of the futures contract, the yield relationship and the spread relationship between the two securities must be studied and measured using regression analysis – Typical hedging instruments are futures and options. – In general, there are some limitations to the use of futures and exchange-traded options for hedging • Round number of contracts • Margin maintenance • Time horizon and expiry dates • No exact hedge vehiclefinlogIQ 13
  14. 14. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 3Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)• Determine the rate or price that the user should lock in with the hedge – Minimum variance hedges that are held to the futures delivery date provide an example of the hedge that locks in the futures interest rate. – If the hedge is to be lifted before delivery, the hedger can no longer be assured of locking in a rate, spot or future due to the changes in basis i.e. the difference between spot and futures rates.• The value of the hedged position at time t is equal to the price of the underlying security at time t plus the gain or loss on the futures contract. Target Rate for hedge = Futures Rate + Target Rate Basis• Target basis concept: hedge that is held till expiry locks in the futures rate. However a hedge that is lifted before expiry merely substitutes price risk for basis risk.• A user can define the target rate, work backwards to find the hedge ratio that gives the desired target. He has to take on greater risk than he would if he chose a hedge ratio that equates the target price to the futures price• Actual outcome of the hedge depends on whether the basis will decline linearly over time as well as whether there is any great fluctuations in the basis in the mean timefinlogIQ 14
  15. 15. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 4Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)• Hedges can be constructed for currently held positions or anticipated ones• Hedges can be in place for a known or uncertain period of time.• For a currently held cash position: – Weak form cash hedge (Inventory hedge) • Time horizon for which the portfolio will be held is indefinite • Minimizes the price variance of the existing asset portfolio – Strong form cash hedge (immunization) • Time horizon for which the portfolio will be held is known • Hedging goal is to minimize the variance in the expected total return on the portfolio for a given investment period• For an anticipated cash position: – Weak form of anticipatory hedge • to minimize the variance in an acquisition price (a rate of return for a specified holding period) on asset flows to be received at an unknown date. – Strong form of anticipatory hedge • apply whenever a known amount of cash will be received at a certain date. • to minimize the variance of the acquisition price for the cash securities or one that most closely realizes market-forecasted price.finlogIQ 15
  16. 16. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 6Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)Hedge Ratio• Hedge ratio (h) defines the expected movement in value of the cash instrument to be hedged given a particular movement in the value of the futures contract, which is to serve as a hedge vehicle.• The hedge ratio is defined as the ratio of options or futures to a spot position (or vice versa) that achieves an objective such as minimizing or eliminating risk.• Equal dollar exposure in the futures contracts may not create the optimum or delta-neutral hedge.• Hedge ratio is the actual weighting of the hedge vehicle to the target security. – Equal dollar match, where h = -1 – Theoretical, where h = Change in security price / Change in futures price = - ∆S/ ∆FfinlogIQ 16
  17. 17. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 7Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)Types of Hedges• The nearby contract is preferred due to its liquidity and statistically high correlation to the movement of the underlying instrument.• When time horizon and expiry date mismatch, basis risk occurs.• If hedging horizon extends beyond the expiration of the nearby contract, can – use the nearby contract and rollover into a deferred one, OR – use a deferred contract from the beginning. – both options have basis risk at the time of termination of the hedge• Where no exact futures contract for hedging an exposure – the correlation between the hedge vehicle and the instrument to be hedged must be properly studied to achieve the desired results.• When the maturity date of the underlying instrument does not coincide with the expiry dates of the hedge instrument, the two types of hedges: – Interpolative hedge is used when time horizon straddles two expiry dates. – Extrapolative hedge is used when time horizon stretches beyond the tenor of the last traded contract.finlogIQ 17
  18. 18. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 8Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)Types of Hedges (cont)• STRIPS involve the use of successive futures contract months to match delivery dates on the futures contracts with the rollover dates or tenor on a cash loan.• STACKS use the deferred contract months to match the rollover dates or tenor on a cash loan.Hedging of Long Term Interest Rate Risk• Interest rates futures for hedging is straightforward• Using bond futures to hedge a bond portfolio, there are a few complications. − Conversion factor for deliverable bonds may require that the underlying security be hedged by a number of futures contracts that is not a round number. − Convergence is less perfectfinlogIQ 18
  19. 19. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 9Developing an Effective Hedge Program (cont)Hedging Equity Risks• Two types of risks in equity portfolios – Market/ systematic risks – Specific/ non-market risks• Stock index futures only hedge against market risks (ie market exposure) – selling futures contracts when long in the stock market (short hedge) – buying futures contracts when short in the stock market (long hedge)• Beta – the factor that is used to measure the portfolio risk or volatility compared to the index. – Decides whether the portfolio is more or less volatile than the index. – Determined using regression analysis with regards to historical betas of the respective stocks.• Modified portfolio value (MPV) – Value of actual portfolio multiplied by the weighted beta of stock portfolio. – Weighted beta is the sum of product of the beta of each stock and percentage share of the stock within the portfolio. – This is used to determine the base hedge ratiofinlogIQ 19
  20. 20. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 10Managing the Hedge• Effectiveness of the hedge is the risk of a hedged position relative to an unhedged position. – If hedged position is determined to be 90% effective, over the long run the hedged position will have only 10% of the risk of an unhedged position.• Absolute risk of the hedge is expressed as a standard deviation. – E.g. Hedged positions has a standard deviation of 10 basis point – Assuming a normal distribution of hedging errors, the user will then obtain the target rate plus or minus 10 basis points 67% of the time.• Necessary to consider any hidden costs in hedging and to manage them• Most hedges require very little active monitoring during their life. – Changes in volatilities and yield spread relationships, for instance, may necessitate changing the hedge ratio.• When hedge is lifted, it is then evaluated to determine the sources of error – to gain insights that can be used to the hedger’s advantage in subsequent hedges. – Normally, main sources of error are due to the projected value of the basis at the lift date and the parameters estimated for cross hedges.finlogIQ 20
  21. 21. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 11Portfolio Management Techniques• Determines investment mix and policy, matching investments to objectives, asset allocation for individuals and institutions, and balancing risk versus performance.• Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of debt versus equity, domestic versus international, growth versus safety – Attempt to maximize return at a given appetite for risk• Constantly readjust the balance of assets requires the ability to perform this adjustment efficiently and cost effectively.• Using futures to allocate assets is more effective and less expensive. – Where the portfolio consists of different country exposure. – Brokerage for futures transactions is cheaper. – Transaction time is shorter – Less impact on the market since the futures market is more liquid and the transaction is less transparent. – Less disruptive to the whole portfolio management process. – Margining process, the amount of cash involved is smaller in sum and the transactions can be tailored to the user’s cash flow need.finlogIQ 21
  22. 22. Hedging and Portfolio Management - 12Portfolio Management Techniques• Futures are useful in loss control – To unwind a bad position in the cash market may aggravate the losses due to illiquidity or other reasons. – To limit the losses, the user can hedge the risks via futures. – When prices are more favorable, can unload the positions and uplift the futures contracts at the same time.• Where the accounting system permits, futures are also used to delay loss realization. – During financial reporting period, securities that are carried at cost can be hedged against further losses using futures. – After the reporting has completed, the losses are realised and the futures contracts unwound• Hedging equity risk – market or systematic risk can be hedged with stock index options – specific or non-market risk can be hedged with individual stock options – The advantages here are flexibility in terms of timing and amount and asymmetrical return profile.finlogIQ 22
  23. 23. Arbitraging• Arbitrageur is one who profits from the differences in price when the same, or extremely similar, security, currency, or commodity is traded on two or more markets. – Profits by simultaneously purchasing and selling these securities to take advantage of pricing differentials (spreads) created by market conditions. – Aim to make risk-free profits by exploiting the disequilibrium between the futures and cash markets. – Use of computers is essential.• Begins with the calculation of strips, followed by a comparison of market prices of the underlying securities or related instruments – Whenever there is a discrepancy between the strips and the market prices, there is a possibility for arbitrage.• The transaction costs associated with an arbitrage (brokerage, financing, initial and variation margin) is necessary to ascertain if the returns are justifiable, and whether there are any residual risks (like basis risks), are needed.• An investment/ trading strategy that exploits divergences between actual and theoretical futures pricesfinlogIQ 23
  24. 24. Arbitrage Using Interest Rate FuturesArbitrage Between Cash and Futures• Theoretically, futures are derivatives of the underlying cash markets – arbitrage process would keep the prices in line in the two markets. – The main constraints faced by many banks in this area are the balance sheet constraints and return on assets. – This is the reason why pockets of opportunities sometimes persist for a while.• Example: – Spot date = July 27 – July 27 till Sep 15 = 50 days – Sep 15 till Dec 15 = 91 days – Spot 50 days interest rates = 1.00% bid 1.0625% offer – Spot 141 days interest rates = 1.25% bid 1.3125% offer – Sep ED = 98.72finlogIQ 24
  25. 25. Arbitrage Using Interest Rate Futures - 2Arbitrage Between Cash and Futures (cont) – Step 1 : Calculate the theoretical value for Sep ED. • Lend 141 days at 1.25% • Borrow 50 days at 1.0625% – The discrepancy between the implied and market price of Sep ED show that there is an arbitrage opportunity. – Step 2 : Execute the arbitrage operation. • Lend 141 days at 1.25% • Borrow 50 days at 1.0625% • Sell Sep ED at 98.72 – The arbitrage profit = (9872-9865) X 25 X Number of contractsfinlogIQ 25
  26. 26. Arbitrage Using Interest rate Futures - 3Arbitrage Between Forward Rate Agreements (FRA) and Futures• Forward rate agreement (FRA) is the OTC equivalent of futures. – FRA can be tailored to the exact needs of the users in terms of the maturity date and contract amount.• Futures and FRA arbitrage risk-free only when the value dates correspond – In cases where arbitraging is between futures and FRA with different value dates, these will always be residual basis risks or fixing risks• Using futures needs more careful liquidity management due to margin calls.• A direct quotation will have a spread of 1 to 3 basis points spread while the futures normally have a spread of 1 basis point. – Price-maker an opportunity to arbitrage between futures and FRAfinlogIQ 26
  27. 27. Arbitrage Using Interest rate Futures - 4Arbitrage Between Forward Rate Agreements (FRA) and Futures (cont)• Minimize risks: care should be taken to ensure that there are no technicalities (such as the financial year-end, share settlement date, etc.) or important releases (such as unemployment figures, consumer price index, etc.) taking place between the two dates.• Disequilibrium in these markets may be due to institutional constraints – Limits to deal in only one market and internal restrictions on hedging between these instruments. – Certain buying or selling activities in one market driving the prices in one direction – not hampered by restrictions would be able to capitalize on these arbitrage opportunities.finlogIQ 27
  28. 28. Arbitrage Using Interest rate Futures - 5Arbitrage Between Futures and Interest rate Swaps (IRS)• An interest rate swap is a transaction in which two parties agree to make each other periodic payments calculated on the basis of specified interest rates and a hypothetical (or notional) principal amount.• Typically, the payment to be made by one party is calculated using a floating rate of interest (such as LIBOR), while the payment to be made by the other party is determined on the basis of a fixed rate of interest or a different floating rate.• The most popular IRS is that traded over the IMM (International Money Market) dates with quarterly fixing of the floating rate.• Arbitraging is possible whenever the market price differs from the strips – Arbitrageurs can buy or sell the IRS and sell or buy the futures contracts that are used to calculate the stripsfinlogIQ 28
  29. 29. Arbitrage Using Options• Take advantage of temporary discrepancies in the option pricing structures• Premiums trade out-of-line with the price of the underlying instrument or with the price of other options.• Strategies used by option arbitrageurs − Conversion (constant return to expiration date) • A conversion consists of the sale of a call, and the purchase of a put, which shares a common strike and expiration date with the call and the purchase of the underlying instrument for which those options may be exercised. • The combination of long put and long futures is equivalent to a synthetic long call position. • The synthetic long call when combined with a short call yields a fixed return – Reversal (constant return to expiration date) • Reversal represents the purchase of a call, the sale of a put which shares a common strike and expiration fate with the call, and the sale of the underlying instrument • Purchase of a call and sale of the underlying instrument is equivalent to a synthetic long put position • Combined with short put position, will create a fixed returnfinlogIQ 29
  30. 30. Arbitrage Using Options - 2• Strategies used by option arbitrageurs (cont) – Box spread • Involves options exclusively (no need for underlying) • Easier to execute by arbitrageurs who do not have ready access to the underlying market • involves the purchase and sale of a put and call at one strike price coupled with the purchase and sale of a call and put at a different strike price. • All four legs of the box share a common expiration date.finlogIQ 30