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FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES AND MARKET RISK
MANAGEMENT
PART I
JIŘÍ WITZANY
2011
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This textbook has been supported by the Operational Program Prague – Adaptability,
project "Financial Engineering", and by the Czech Science Foundation grant no. 402/09/0732
"Market Risk and Financial Derivatives".
Reviewers:
Mgr. Jaroslav Baran
Mgr. Jakub Černý
© Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze, Nakladatelství Oeconomica  Praha 2011
(University of Economics in Prague,Oeconomica Publishing House, 2011)
ISBN 9788024518114
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Content
Part I
Preface ........................................................................................................................................ 5
1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 6
1.1. Global Derivatives Markets and Derivatives Classification ........................................ 7
1.2. Derivatives Classification .......................................................................................... 10
1.3. Valuation of Derivatives ............................................................................................ 15
1.4. Hedging, Speculation, and Arbitrage with Derivatives ............................................. 17
2. Forwards and Futures ........................................................................................................ 22
2.1. Pricing of Forwards ................................................................................................... 22
2.2. Futures ....................................................................................................................... 32
3. Interest Rate Derivatives ................................................................................................... 50
3.1. Interest Rates ............................................................................................................. 50
3.2. Interest Rate Forwards and Futures ........................................................................... 59
3.3. Swaps ......................................................................................................................... 73
4. Option Markets, Valuation, and Hedging ......................................................................... 87
4.1. Options Mechanics and Elementary Properties ......................................................... 87
4.2. Valuation of Options ............................................................................................... 103
4.3. Greek Letters and Hedging of Options .................................................................... 150
Literature ................................................................................................................................ 163
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Part II
5. Market Risk Measurement and Management
6. Interest Rate Options
7. Interest Rate Modeling
8. Exotic Options and Alternative Stochastic Models
Appendix: Elementary Stochastic Calculus
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Preface
The goal of these lecture notes is to provide English written and accessible, introductory and
advanced text on derivatives and market risk management for the Financial Engineering
Master’s degree program students, and for other students attending derivatives courses at the
University of Economics in Prague. The first part of the lecture notes follows the content of
the Financial Derivatives (1BP 426) course. After an overview of basic derivatives types and
their classification, it explains in detail trading mechanics and pricing of forwards, futures,
and swaps. The last chapter gives an introduction to financial stochastic modeling applied to
BlackScholes option pricing, and risk management of options. The approach is based on the
concept of binomial trees extended to the continuous time modeling using the notion of
infinitesimals. The theoretical concepts are accompanied with many examples and figures that
aim to emphasize practical issues of derivatives trading. The second, separate, part of the
lecture notes, related to the course Financial Derivatives II (1BP 451), will cover more
advanced topics. It will start with a chapter focusing on market risk measurement and
management techniques. The second key topic will be stochastic interest rate modeling and
extensions of the BlackScholes model to interest rate derivatives pricing. Finally, we will
analyze shortcomings of the geometric Brownian motion model assuming normal returns and
study various more advanced models like the jumpdiffusion, or stochastic volatility, and
other models that aim to be more faithful with respect to observable financial data.
The readers are encouraged to read other global derivatives textbooks that provide more focus
and details on various topics like Hull (2011), Wilmott (2006), an mathematically more
advanced Shreve (2004,2005). Czech students are also recommended Dvořák (2011).
I would like to express my gratitude to Mgr. Jaroslav Baran and Mgr. Jakub Černý, whose
comments helped to improve the quality of the text significantly. Although the materials
presented here have been thoroughly checked, some mistakes may remain, and I will
welcome any further remarks or recommendations sent to my email address
jiri.witzany@vse.cz.
Jiří Witzany Prague, October 2011
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1. Introduction
Derivatives are financial instruments that are built on (derived from) more basic underlying
assets. They are designed to transfer easily risk between counterparties. The instruments like
forwards, futures, swaps, or options are nowadays normally used by banks, asset managers, or
corporate reassures for hedging or speculation. Trading with derivatives has become
increasingly important in the last 30 years throughout the world. It has been made easier due
to electronic communication and settlement systems and has grown exponentially in recent
years. On the other hand derivatives are closely related to many bank failures and even many
financial crises including the most recent one. The goal of those lecture notes is not to make
derivatives more popular, in fact our point of view will be rather critical. In order to
understand modern financial markets it has become necessary to know how derivatives work,
how they can be used, and how they are priced. These lecture notes aim to give an overview
of the basic (plain vanilla) derivatives as well of the more complex (exotic) ones. We will not
focus only on the mechanics of trading and settlement, but also on the most difficult issues of
valuation and hedging. In order to understand the valuation and hedging techniques we have
to develop and apply necessary mathematical and statistical tools.
Derivatives are financial instruments whose values depend on the market prices of one or
more basic underlying instruments. Settlement of derivatives always takes time in the future
and their gain or loss (payoff) can be usually relatively easily calculated at that time.
However, it is generally more difficult to value derivatives before settlement because the
payoff, depending on prices in the future, is not known. Valuing derivatives, we necessarily
have to deal with uncertainty of future prices of the underlying assets. Derivatives also allow
eliminating physical settlement. This is, in particular, an advantage of the commodity
derivatives. Investors may invest, hedge, or speculate on oil, wheat, or cows without
physically dealing with any of those assets. The contracts can be, and in fact majority is
settled financially, without physical settlement of the underlying commodities. This is why we
may classify, in a broader sense, even commodity derivatives as financial ones. The first
commodity derivative exchanges (The Chicago Board of Trade, CBOT, and later the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange, CME) dealing with futures and options have been established already
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in the 19
th
and early 20
th
century. The commodity derivative markets are in fact often more
liquid than the spot markets and the price relationship is partially reversed: the spot prices are
derived from the derivative futures prices rather than vice versa. Derivatives are also typically
used to increase leverage. For example, it is possible using equity index futures to “invest”
100 million USD into stocks having just a fraction of the amount in cash and without owning
the stocks at all.
1.1. Global Derivatives Markets and Derivatives Classification
The first derivativelike contracts could be found already in the old ages (Babylon, Ancient
Greece, or Rome), but commodity derivatives have been actively traded on organized
exchanges only since the 19
th
century. Equity derivatives could be traced back to the late 19
th
century. Trading with currency and interest rate derivatives came in the second half of the 20
th
century, later we can see an advance of credit, energy, or weather derivatives. Figure 1.1
shows that the real boom in derivatives trading came in the late nineties and during the last
decade. The exponential growth has been, however, interrupted by the global financial crisis
in 2008 followed by stagnating volumes. Alternatively, the overheated financial derivatives
markets could in fact be partially blamed for the financial crisis.

100 000
200 000
300 000
400 000
500 000
600 000
700 000
800 000
B
i
l
l
i
o
n
U
S
D
Global Derivatives Outstanding Notional
OTC Derivatives
Exchange Traded
Figure 1.1 OTC derivatives and exchange traded global derivatives outstanding notional development
(excluding commodity derivatives; covers only G10 and Switzerland; source: www.bis.org)
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Figure 1.1 shows aggregate outstanding notional of OTC traded derivatives and exchange
traded derivatives. The numbers are taken from the Bank for International Settlement (BIS)
that collects statistics on international financial markets and coordinates global financial
regulation.
OTC (OvertheCounter) contracts are entered into directly between any two market
participants with a large degree of flexibility. The contracts are usually settled by mutual
payments or contracted transfer of assets, and only exceptionally closed out (canceled with
a profit/loss settlement) before maturity. The opposite is true for exchange traded derivatives
where the majority of contracts are closed before maturity. The derivative contracts are
entered into through a centralized counterparty (organized exchange or its clearinghouse) and
opposite transaction can be easily canceled out (with a financial P/L settlement).
Consequently the numbers in Figure 1.1 do not mean that the exchange derivative markets are
less important than the OTC markets. Figure 1.2 with the development of annual exchange
traded turnover exceeding 2 000 trillion USD gives us a different picture.

500 000
1 000 000
1 500 000
2 000 000
2 500 000
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
B
i
l
l
i
o
n
U
S
D
Exchange Traded Derivatives Annual Turnover
Figure 1.2. Annual turnover of global exchange traded derivatives (excluding commodity derivatives;
covers only G10 and Switzerland; source: www.bis.org)
Note, however, that it is difficult to compare the outstanding notional (defined as the sum of
notional amounts of nonsettled transactions at a given moment) and the turnover (defined as
the sum of notional amounts of transactions entered into during a given period). OTC
derivatives with long maturity, typically interest rates swaps, stay on the books for many
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years and cumulate the aggregate statistics if the market is active. Consequently the
outstanding notional statistics is much more inertial and does not suddenly drop to low
numbers even if the activity on the derivatives market goes to zero. The turnover, on the other
hand, depends on the observed period and reflects directly the actual activity on the markets.
This is illustrated when we compare Figure 1.1 and Figure 1.2. Note that the turnover
statistics might be magnified by derivatives with short maturity, or contracts that are closed
out shortly after origination being traded back and force by the market participants. Thus it is
difficult to compare the two statistics precisely.
Among the new derivative products, the credit derivatives introduced in late nineties are, in
particular, Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that experienced a fast growth until the financial crisis
(Figure 1.3).

10 000
20 000
30 000
40 000
50 000
60 000
70 000
B
i
l
l
i
o
n
U
S
D
Global CDS Outstanding Notional
CDS Notional
Figure 1.3. Development of the CDS outstanding notional on the global OTC markets (covers only G10
and Switzerland; source: www.bis.org)
The postcrisis decline in the CDS outstanding notional is much more significant compared to
the other derivative products, since credit derivatives have been, in a sense, in the core of the
financial crisis itself. It is worth noticing that, in general, the derivative notional volumes are
multiples of the GDP, estimated around 60 Trillion USD globally or just the United States
GDP around 14 Trillion USD. For example the 2007 CDS outstanding notional have reached
almost five times the US GDP. This looks dramatically, but it should be pointed out that the
notional amounts are not (for most derivatives) the real payment obligations between the
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counterparties, but are only used to calculate certain fractional payments, e.g. interest
payments. Hence, the settled cash flows are in practice much smaller compared to the notional
amounts. This is also the case of credit derivatives under normal market conditions. But under
stressed conditions, i.e. in a financial crisis, the credit derivatives due payments caused by
many reference entities defaults are equal or comparable to the notional amounts, and so the
mutual counterparty obligations may easily become huge. In that situation default of a group
of important financial market players causes defaults of many others in a kind of domino
effect. That is why, in addition to other issues, the growth in credit derivatives increased
tremendously the systemic risk and interconnectedness of the financial markets contributing
to the depth of the crisis. Many disadvantages of the OTC derivatives, in particular the
counterparty risk, are eliminated by the exchange traded derivatives where settlement goes
through a centralized counterparty. This may explain the relatively fast postcrisis recovery in
exchange traded derivatives activity that can be observed in Figure 1.2.
1.2. Derivatives Classification
Derivatives can be classified by different criteria: according to their market as OTC or as
exchange traded, according to their underlying assets, or according to the derivative product
type.
The structure of OTC markets can be seen in Table 1.1. The most important categories are
foreign exchange (FX) and interest rate contracts, where the most frequently traded
instruments are FX forwards, swaps, and options, currency swaps, forward rate agreements
(FRA), interest rate swaps (IRS), and interest rate options. FX derivatives are predominantly
traded on the OTC markets, while the volumes of FX futures and FX options on organized
exchanges are relatively low as indicated in Table 1.2 (the statistics shows numbers of
contracts – note that one contract corresponds to a volume around $250 000). Interest rate
derivatives are traded actively on both markets. On the other hand, equity and commodity
derivatives are traded mostly on the organized markets. Finally credit derivatives have so far
been traded essentially only on the OTC markets, but there are initiatives to introduce the
contracts to the organized exchanges, or at least to facilitate centralized settlement in order to
reduce the systemic risk.
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There are only two standard derivative instruments on the organized exchanges: futures and
options. Regarding more exotic underlying assets traded on organized exchanges and not
shown in Table 1.2 we should mention energy, in particular electricity, weather, or real estate.
The OTC markets, on the other hand, offer much richer variety of derivative contracts. We
will see that there is a variety of options and swaps, starting from the most basic, typically
called “plain vanilla”, to extremely complex in terms of definition and valuation, often called
“exotic”.
Table 1.1. Amounts outstanding of overthecounter (OTC) derivatives by risk category and instrument
(in billions of US dollars, source: www.bis.org)
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Table 1.2. Derivative financial instruments traded on organized exchanges (number of contracts in
millions, source: www.bis.org)
Forward and Futures Contracts
The simplest derivative is a forward contract to buy or sell an underlying asset at a fixed
(unit) forward price K at a future time (maturity) T. The forward settlement date normally
goes beyond the ordinary spot settlement time, typically the trade date plus two or three
business days, T+2, T+3, or more, for currencies and equity trading due to technical reasons.
The forward counterparty buying the asset is in a long position while the other counterparty
selling the asset is in a short position. The forwards are usually settled physically, but can be
also settled in cash where the short counterparty pays the difference between the asset spot
price and the forward price S
T
– K, calculated at time T, to the long position counterparty. If
the difference is negative then, of course, the long position counterparty pays the difference to
the short position counterparty. In case of physically settled forwards the difference S
T
– K
defines the forward payoff, the long position counterparty could immediately sell the asset for
S
T
and receive the net profit S
T
– K. Note that the payoff is not known at the time the contract
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is entered into, nor at any time until maturity. We can only express the payoff as a function of
the unknown price of the underlying asset at maturity (Figure 1.4).
Figure 1.4. Long forward payoff
Futures are contracts traded on organized exchanges similar to forwards. However, there are
a number of differences that will be discussed in the next chapter.
Options
Forwards can be classified as unconditional derivatives, while options as conditional. An
option is like forward a contract to buy or sell an asset at a specified price K in the future, but
the settlement is conditional upon decision of one of the counterparties. The counterparty that
has the option is in an advantage over the other counterparty and thus pays an option
premium. Note that there is no initial payment between forward counterparties. From the
perspective of an option buyer we distinguish a call option to buy the underlying asset and
a put option to sell the asset. The fixed price K is called the exercise price or strike price
rather than the forward price. If the option holder decides to buy or sell the asset, we say that
the option is exercised, or realized. Otherwise the option expires. An option is of European
type if it can be exercised only during the expiration day T. If it can be exercised at any time
until the day T then it is called American. OTC options are usually European type while
exchange traded options are mostly of American type (originally introduced traded on the US
exchanges). As in case of forwards the contract value can be exactly defined by a payoff
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function. For example in case of a European call option the payoff function (Figure 1.7) is
given by:
(1.1) Payoff = max(S
T
 K,0).
The formula assumes a rational option holder that will exercise the option only if the actual
value of the asset S
T
is larger or equal than the exercise price.
Figure 1.5. European call option payoff
Swaps
Swaps are OTC contracts that take many different specific forms. Generally swaps can be
characterized as contracts to exchange a series of cash flows (or other assets) between the two
counterparties. The cash flows may be known in advance, but some of them are always
contingent on certain future rates or prices. Table 1.1 shows the largest outstanding notional
for interest rate swaps that belong to the category of “plain vanilla” derivatives. Under an
interest rate swap (IRS) contract, one counterparty periodically pays a fixed interest rate and
the other counterparty pays a floating interest rate (defined as Libor, Euribor, etc.). The rates
are calculated on a contracted notional amount and paid till the agreed maturity. Figure 1.6
gives an example of a threeyear interest rate swap (3Y IRS) cash flow from the perspective
of the float payer. The annual fixed interest rate payment corresponds to European OTC
markets (while semiannual payments would be standard on the US market). The standard
float payments periodicity is 6 months. The float interest rate is always set as the appropriate
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reference rate, e.g. Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate), for the next six months period.
Note that the first float payment is known (the full line) while the subsequent floats (the
dotted lines) are not known at the beginning of the contract.
Figure 1.6. Threeyear interest rate swap cash flow
1.3. Valuation of Derivatives
Notice that Table 1.1 shows the “Gross markets values” of the outstanding OTC instruments
while Table 1.2 does not show anything like that. An OTC derivative contract, generally
defined as a set of fixed or contingent cash flows and other mutual obligations, has, at any
time, a value for each of the counterparties. The value is not just an arbitrary subjective value,
but the real value that is reflected in financial accounting. Sometimes, the real value can be
defined as the market value directly quoted on the financial markets. More often, the market
with a particular derivative instrument is not liquid, yet the value can be calculated, or
estimated from values of other quoted instruments. Derivatives valuation given other prices
and information is in fact the most difficult part of the matter. While prices of commodities or
stocks reflect their fundamental value determined by the market supply and demand, the
prices of derivatives can be moreorless exactly calculated from other prices and factors.
Valuation of derivatives is, to a large extent, an exact mathematical science.
Let us consider the beginning of an OTC derivative contract when it is negotiated and entered
into between two counterparties. If there is no initial payment, which is usually the case of
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forwards and swaps, and if the contract is entered into under market conditions, then there
should be equilibrium between the two parties, i.e. the market value should be close to zero
for both counterparties. In case of forwards the price K that makes the initial market value
equal to zero is called the theoretical market (or fundamental) forward price. It should be
close to the quoted market forward prices. The forward price should not be confused with the
forward contract market value, initially zero and later positive or negative depending on the
market development (Figure 1.7). In case of interest rate swaps the fixed rate (besides
notional and maturity) is the only negotiable parameter that makes the initial market value
zero. Again, it should be close to the quoted IRS rates.
Figure 1.7. Possible development of an FX forward market value
In case of OTC options there is an initial option premium payment that makes the overall cash
flow value equal to zero, i.e. the premium should be equal to market value of the future option
payoff. If there is no outright premium quotation the question is how the market premium
should be determined. While valuation of forwards and plain vanilla swaps remains relatively
elementary, based on the principle of discounted cash flows, valuation of options requires
introduction of a stochastic model for the underlying price dynamics.
The statistics from organized exchanges (Table 1.2) does not show any gross market values.
The exchange traded derivative contracts certainly also have market values and the market
participants need to know the fundamental prices in order to price the contracts correctly, but
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the daily profits/losses are settled through a daily settlement and margin mechanism and so
there is essentially no market value at the end of each business day. Thus, there is no need to
show the numbers in the statistics.
1.4. Hedging, Speculation, and Arbitrage with Derivatives
As for other basic assets, traders on the financial markets can be classified as marketmakers
and marketusers. Market makers buy and sell the instruments in order to make profit on the
difference between the buying and selling prices. Their existence is important for liquidity of
the markets. Market users, on the other hand, just use the market time to time in order to
hedge, speculate, or to make an arbitrage. By hedging we understand entering into a new
contract that will reduce our risk in one or more underlying assets. Conversely, a speculative
transaction will create or increase the risk. Finally, an arbitrage would be a combination of
two or more transactions that will generate a profit without any risk. Let us illustrate the
concepts on a few examples.
Example 1.1. A CZK based company will receive EUR 1 million in 1 year, it will need to
exchange the amount into CZK, and would like to hedge against possible depreciation of
EUR. Assume that the current 1Y EUR/CZK quoted forward price is 25. The exchange rate
risk could be simply hedged by entering into the 1Y forward to sell 1 million EUR for
25 million of CZK. One year later the company will exchange the EUR income in the fixed
exchange rate independently on the spot exchange rate. For example if the exchange rate goes
down to 23.50 the forward can be viewed as profitable, on the other hand if EUR appreciated
to 27 CZK then the result of the hedging operation appears negative. The forward hedging
was nevertheless correct, the future spot exchange rate is not known one year ahead.
Example 1.2. Let consider the same situation as above, i.e. the company needs to sell EUR
1 million for CZK in 1 year, and assume that the financial manager wants to hedge the
downside risk, but in addition wants to keep the upside potential. These two goals can be
easily achieved using an option. Assume that the prices of atthemoney 1Y EUR/CZK call
and put options (i.e. with the exercise price equal to current forward price 25) are 0.50 CZK
per option on 1 EUR. The simple solution is to buy the 1Y EUR/CZK put option on 1 million
of EUR. The total premium of 0.5 million CZK is an initial cost that has to be paid by the
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company. If the exchange rate S
1
in one year is lower than 25 than the put option will have
a positive payoff and will be exercised, otherwise it does not make sense to use it.
Consequently, taking the initial hedging cost into account, the effective selling price will be
max(S
1
– 0.5, 24.5) per one EUR. In this approach, the financial manager keeps the upside
potential (appreciation of EUR) but the minimum exchange rate is 24.5, not 25 as in the
forward hedging approach with no initial cost.
Example 1.3. A trader expects EUR to appreciate against CZK during the next month. She
would like to speculate on the appreciation taking a long position in 10 million of EUR, but
she is not allowed to take a cash position (i.e. buying EUR on the spot market and keeping an
amount for one month) due to liquidity restrictions. The same result could be, however,
achieved by a long 1M EUR/CZK forward on 10 million of EUR. Entering into the position
usually does not require any cash. Sometimes, depending on the institution’s credibility, the
counterparty might require a margin deposit that would be nevertheless just a small fraction of
the full notional. The position would be normally closed by a spot transaction selling the
10 million EUR settled the same day as the forward contract. If the fixed forward rate is
K and the settlement spot exchange rate S
1
then the final gain/loss is indeed (S
1
– K)⋅10
million CZK.
Example 1.4. Although options seem to be designed purely for hedging they can be used for
a wild speculation as well. Let us assume that the trader from Example 1.3 is allowed to
invest up to 20 million of CZK. If one 1M EUR/CZK call option with the strike 25 costs 0.25
CZK then he trader can speculatively buy the call on 80 million EUR. If S
1
is the rate in one
month then the total net gain/loss will be
max(20 million CZK, (S
1
– 25)⋅80 million – 20 million CZK),
see Figure 1.8. Thus, the trader may easily lose the full invested amount of 20 million CZK.
On the other hand, the potential gains are high. For example, if the EUR appreciated to 26
then the net gain would be 60 million CZK.
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Figure 1.8. The gain/loss on a long option position as a function of the settlement spot price
Finally let us give an arbitrage example. Generally, arbitrage is a combination of transactions
that leads to a profit without any possibility of loss. The simplest example of an arbitrage is
buying as asset on one market and immediately selling for a higher price on another market.
Arbitrage is like a free lunch. If there is an arbitrage opportunity, everybody tries to use it, and
so it cannot last long. That is why prices of identical assets on different markets should be
(almost) equal. Certain difference might exist due to different transaction costs, taxes, etc.
Pricing of derivatives is, generally, based on arbitrage arguments. Possible arbitrage strategies
between the underlying asset market and the derivative market force the derivative prices to
be in line with the underlying prices. We are going to give a basic derivative arbitrage
example related to FX spot and forward quoted prices.
Example 1.5. Let us assume that quoted EUR/CZK spot exchange rate is 24.5 and the one
year forward is 25. It appears that the forward price is relatively high compared to the spot
price. An arbitrageur can try to borrow CZK, buy EUR on the spot market, deposit EUR, and
sell them on the forward market. At this, point we need to take interest rates into account.
Assume that the CZK 1Y interest rate is 1.5% and the EUR 1Y interest rate 1%. So, he can
borrow 24.5 million CZK at 1.5%, buy 1 million EUR on the spot market, and deposit the
amount for one year at 1%. At the same time he can enter into a forward contract selling
1.01 million EUR in one year for 1.01⋅25 = 25.25 million CZK. He also has to repay the CZK
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loan, i.e. 24.5⋅1.015 = 24.8675 million of CZK. Finally the remaining arbitrage profit is nice
382 500, CZK.
Notice that the possibility to take a speculative position using derivatives relatively easily
without any cash creates at the same time a new significant operational risk. Since the
speculative forward or option positions do not require (almost) any initial cash payment, they
can be easily overlooked or even intentionally hidden from the trading room head, financial
control unit, or risk management. The trader might take too large speculative position being
tempted by the moral hazard consideration: losses will be paid for by the institutions but
profits will bring fat bonuses for the trader. Unfortunately this scenario occurred in the past in
many different variations with serious consequences for the institutions.
For example, Nick Leeson, an employee of the Barrings Bank lost over $1 billion in 1995
speculating on Nikkei 225 futures. Originally, he was supposed to make arbitrage operations
between different markets, but later he has become a speculator without the bank’s
authorization. He was located in the bank’s Singapore office. Moreover he was responsible
not only for trading but also for backoffice operations, i.e. settlement and accounting. Thus it
was easier for him to hide the money losing operations from his supervisors that did not fully
understand the derivative dangers. When the losses were discovered, it was too late and the
bank had to be closed down after 200 years in existence.
Hedge funds have become major users of derivatives. Similarly to mutual funds, hedge funds
invest funds on behalf of their clients. Contrary to their name, hedge funds do not hedge but
rather speculate, or seek arbitrage opportunities using derivatives. Long Term Capital
Management (LTCM) has been a successful and popular hedge fund in the early nineties. Its
investment strategy was known as convergence arbitrage based on the idea that bonds issued
by the same issuer but traded on different markets would eventually converge to the same
value. However, the fund managers underestimated the liquidity risk. During the Russian
crisis, in 1998, the fund was forced to unwind its huge positions and suffered losses over
$4 billion. The fund was considered toolargetofail and most of the losses were covered by
the Federal Reserve, i.e. paid for by the taxpayers at the end.
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In a recent case, Société Générale trader, Jérôme Kerviel, had lost over 5 billion EUR
speculating on the future direction of equity indices in 2008. He had been able to hide his
losing operations due to nonstandard access rights to the information system.
Most recently, in September 2011, Swiss bank UBS trader Kweku Adoboli lost $2.3 billion in
unauthorized trading. The rogue trader placed bets on EuroStoxx, DAX, and S&P 500 index
futures. To cover the lossmaking positions, the trader created fictitious hedging operations
that hid the actual loss. The trader was arrested under suspicion of fraud and the scandal lead
to the resignation of the UBS CEO.
It appears that large losses on derivatives are often closely related not only to the pure market
risk but rather to the fraud or operational risk. We will discuss the risk management issues in
more detail in Chapter 5. Derivatives are useful and extremely successful tools for hedging,
speculation, or arbitrage, but they can be also compared to electricity that can cause large
damages, if not used properly. Consequently, it is important to understand derivatives
mechanics, valuation, and risk management.
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2. Forwards and Futures
2.1. Pricing of Forwards
Forwards are in general OTC contracts to buy or sell a specified asset at a specified price K, at
a future time T, settled later than normal spot operations. The arbitrage idea applied in
Example 1.5 can be generalized to obtain a precise relationship between the spot and forward
prices that must hold on an arbitrage free and perfectly liquid market.
FX Forwards
Let us firstly analyze FX forwards, i.e. forward contracts to exchange one currency for
another, in more detail. The arbitrage strategy can be in general performed as indicated in
Figure 2.1. – borrow certain amount N⋅S
0
of the domestic currency, exchange it on the FX
spot market at the rate S
0
, deposit the corresponding foreign currency amount N, and sell the
amount plus accrued interest on the forward market at the rate F
0
negotiated today.
Figure 2.1. A possible arbitrage strategy between the FX spot and FX forward markets
The arbitrage yields a positive profit if
0 0
· · 1 · · 1
360 360
C FC D
N
d
r N
d
S r F
   
+ < +
 
\ ¹ \ ¹
,
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where r
DC
is the domestic currency and r
FC
the foreign currency interest rate in the standard
money market convention (Act/360). If the market is arbitragefree, i.e. market participants
take advantage of arbitrage opportunities as they occur, then the opposite inequality must
hold. This gives as an upper bound on the forward price given the spot price and the two
interest rates:
0 0
360 1
1 3 0
·
6
DC
FC
r
F S
r
d
d
+
≤
+
.
In order to get the opposite inequality we need to reverse the order of the arbitrage operations:
borrow certain amount N of the foreign currency, exchange it at the FX spot market at the rate
S
0
, deposit the corresponding domestic currency amount N⋅S
0
, and finally use the amount plus
the accrued interest on the forward market to buy foreign currency at the rate F
0
, and repay
the loan. If this can be done then we conclude that
(2.1)
0 0
360 1
1 3 0
·
6
DC
FC
r
F S
r
d
d
+
=
+
.
The combination of the two deposits and the spot operation in fact replicates the forward
operation, and the replication works in both directions. Hence, the replication price must be
equal to the quoted forward price. It is useful to summarize the implicit assumptions used in
this argument:
1. There are no transaction costs and taxes.
2. The market participants can borrow and lend money at the same riskfree interest rate
(for both domestic and foreign currencies).
3. There are no arbitrage opportunities.
In practice the assumptions above hold only partially. There are transaction costs and taxes, in
particular bid ask spreads, there is a difference between the borrowing and lending interst rate,
and arbitrage opportunities may temporarily exist. The arbitrage can be still realized in both
direction but there is a different buy/sell spot price, different bid/ask interest rates, and so the
equation (2.1) will be rather an inequality giving an upper and lower bound for F
0
. Figure 2.2
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shows an example of USD/CZK forward quotes. While the spot exchange rate is fixed
(17.098/17.113) the forward bid/offer quotes for different maturities are in practice given as
the difference between the forward and the spot (forward points), e.g. 1Y bid forward given
by the forward point quotation is 17.098 + 0.0562 = 17.1542.
Figure 2.2. An example of USD/CZK forward quotes (Source: Reuters, 11.7.2011)
The arbitrage argument can be generalized for other underlying assets as well, but we need to
distinguish assets that can be borrowed (shorted), investment and consumption assets, storable
and nonstorable assets. In order to simplify the formulas we are going to use the continuous
compounding where the interest factor from time t to T has the exponential form
( ) r T t
e
−
. Thus,
the formula above can be simply written as
(2.2)
( )( )
0 0
·
DC FC
r r T t
F S e
− −
= .
Investment Assets
Let us firstly consider an investment asset held for investment purposes by a significant
number of investors. We also assume that the asset pays a known income. Even if the
investors are not willing to lend the asset to someone else they can use it for short term
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speculations or arbitrages, or alternatively, allow their asset managers to perform short term
speculations, or arbitrage with the assets that have to be returned back to the managed
portfolio after certain time. Let I denote the present value of the known income (on one unit
of the asset) over the period from t to T. Thus, if we hold the asset over the period we collect
I, if we borrow it over the period we have to pay back I as a cost of borrowing. Under those
assumptions the arbitrage strategy outlined in Figure 2.1 can be easily generalized to get the
following relationship:
(2.3) ( )
( )
0 0
·
r T t
F S I e
−
= − .
Let us illustrate the argument on a stock that pays a known dividend.
Example 2.1. Consider a stock that is sold for 50 EUR on the spot market. Six month forward
contract on the stock is quoted at 48 EUR. It is known that the stock will pay 2 EUR dividend
in 3 months. Let us assume that the interest rate for 3 as well as for 6 months is 4% p.a. in
continuous compounding. One possible arbitrage strategy is to borrow 50 EUR, buy one
stock, after 3 months collect the dividend, invest it to for the remaining 3 months, sell the
stock on the forward market for the price of 48 EUR negotiated today, and finally repay the
loan. The final balance of this operation
0.01 0.02
48 2 50 0.99 e e + − = − EUR is unfortunately
negative. But it can be reversed with the opposite result: borrow 1 stock, sell it for 50 EUR on
the spot market, deposit
0.01
50 2e
−
− EUR for 6 months and
0.01
2e
−
for 3 months, repay the
2 EUR dividend to the stock owner after 3 months, finally buy back one stock at the forward
price 48 EUR negotiated today, and return it to the owner. In this case our result will be
( )
0.01 0.02
2 0 9 5 48 0.9 e e
−
− − = EUR, i.e. positive arbitrage profit that can be arbitrarily
multiplied realizing the strategy with a larger number of stocks. Note that the arbitrage
opportunity indeed disappears if and only if the forward price equals to
( ) ( )
0 ( ) 0.01
0
.02
0
· 5 · 48. 9 0 9 2
DC
r T t
F S I e e e
− −
= − − = = .
Other examples of investment assets are bonds, stock index portfolios, or precious metals
(gold, silver, etc.). For bonds I would be the present value of coupons paid over the period,
S
0
and F
0
the spot and forward cash prices. In case of a large stock index portfolio (usually
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traded as futures without physical settlement) we accept a simplifying assumption of
continuously paid dividend at an average continuously compounded rate q per annum. I.e. if
S
0
was the current value of the portfolio then qS
0
dt would be paid over the time interval of
length dt. The dividend payment can be immediately reinvested to buy an additional fraction
qdt of the portfolio (assuming arbitrary divisibility of the stocks). It can be shown that over
a time period from t to T the initial portfolio will nominally grow
( ) q T t
e
−
 times. Hence if we
borrow S
0
, buy 1 index portfolio, reinvest dividends from t to T, and sell
( ) q T t
e
−
units of the
portfolio at F
0
negotiated today to repay the loan, or vice versa, then the arbitrageless market
condition is
( ) ( )
0 0
r T t q T t
S e F e
− −
= , i.e.
(2.4)
( )( )
0 0
·
r q T t
F S e
− −
= .
The similar formula holds for investment precious metals. The rate q is in this case called the
gold or silver lease rates. Since precious metal producers need to hedge against future
movements of the prices, and financial institutions providing the hedging contracts need to
hedge their position by shorting the metals there is a demand to lease the metals, in particular
from central banks and investors holding large amounts of the metals. However, in case of
silver there would be rather a storage cost paid for safekeeping the asset. If U is the present
value of the storage cost (for example paid at the beginning of the period) then, considering
the general arbitrage scheme shown in Figure 2.3 and assuming zero lease rate, we get the
modified formula
(2.5) ( )
( )
0 0
·
r T t
F S U e
−
+ = .
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Figure 2.3. General arbitrage scheme between the spot and forward markets
Alternatively if u was an average continuously paid storage cost (this would be rather
theoretical assumption) and q continuously paid income
1
then we get a nice formula that
allows us to analyze easily the relationship between the spot and forward prices:
(2.6)
( )( )
0 0
·
r u q T t
F S e
+ − −
= .
If the cost of carry, 0 r u q + − > , is positive then the forward prices should be higher than the
spot price and increase with maturity (the market is normal) and if 0 r u q + − < the forward
prices are below the spot price decreasing with maturity (the market is inverted).
Example 2.2. The spot price of 1 ounce of gold is $1530.35 and one year forward (or futures)
price is quoted at $1540.50. Assume that the oneyear interest rate (in continuous
compounding) is 3% and the gold lease rate is 2%. Find out if there is an arbitrage
opportunity.
Let us firstly calculate the arbitragefree price according to (2.4)
(2.7)
0.03 0.02
0
1530.35 1545.73 · F e
−
= = .
1
The storage cost and income are usually exclusive – if gold or silver is leased than there is no storage cost and
if it is stored in a safe then we do not collect any lease income.
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Since the theoretical arbitragefree forward price is higher than the quoted forward price,
there is an arbitrage opportunity and the potential arbitrage profit is $1545.73 – $1540.50 =
$5.23 per one ounce. Recall, that the price (2.7) is achieved by a replication using the spot
market price of gold according to the general scheme shown in Figure 2.3. In this case we
need to buy gold on the forward market and sell on the spot market. In detail: lease N ounces
of gold at 2% for one year (we have to repay
0.02
Ne ounces of gold), sell the gold on the spot
market and deposit N·1530.35 at 3%, finally buy
0.02
Ne at the price $1540.50/oz. and return
the gold. The remaining profit is indeed positive
( )
0.02 0.01 0.02
1530.35 1540.50 ·5.23 Ne e Ne − = ,
i.e. $5.23 per one ounce of gold settled in one year. The absolute arbitrage profit depends only
on our capacity to borrow gold.
Consumption Assets
Consumption assets are commodities that, by definition, are held predominantly for
consumption. In the context of pricing we need to distinguish storable assets and the other
consumption assets that cannot be or are difficult to store. For example oil, gas, raw materials,
and certain agricultural products are storable, at least for a limited time. On the other
electricity, live cattle, etc. are difficult to store. For storable assets the arbitrage strategy can
be done only in one direction (buy the consumption asset on the spot market and store it) but
not in the other direction (the consumption assets cannot be or are difficult to borrow and/or
short). We can assert only that
(2.8) ( )
( ) ( )( )
0 0 0 0
· or ·
r T t r u T t
F S U e F S e
− + −
≤ + ≤ .
If the inequality is strict then there is a unique positive rate y (just solving the corresponding
equation) so that
(2.9)
( )( )
0 0
r u y T t
F S e
+ − −
= .
The rate y is called the convenience yield and it has, in fact, a natural economic interpretation.
Producers prefer to keep some consumption assets physically on stock rather than through
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29
a forward contract to be delivered in the future. For example, an oil refiner may use its stock
of crude oil to increase production in periods of gasoline shortage and higher prices. This
would not be possible if the refiner was just long in crude through a forward contract. In
particular, the oil forward market is usually inverted due to a high convenience
yield y r u > + .
In case of nonstorable consumption assets like electricity or live cattle the arbitrage argument
cannot be applied in any of the directions. The forward prices cannot be mechanically derived
from the spot prices and might be, in general, based on seasonal expected supply and demand
equilibrium and on other factors.
Normal Backwardation and Contango
According to (2.6) or (2.9) the forward prices may be, starting from the spot price, increasing
or decreasing with maturity (Figure 2.4)
Figure 2.4. Normal and inverted term structure of forward prices
The simple concept of normal and inverted forward prices should not be confused with the
notions of Contango and Normal Backwardation. One could naively argue that at the
maturity T forward price F
0
should be equal to the expected future spot price E[S
T
].
If F
0
< E[S
T
] then speculators would get long in the forward expecting a positive profit S
T
 F
0
.
If F
0
< E[S
T
] then speculators could get short expecting the profit F
0
 S
T
. The point is that the
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speculation involves a risk of negative payoff if S
T
< F
0
(or S
T
> F
0
taking the short position)
and investors require a premium for taking a risk. The premium should be modeled in line
with the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). According to the CAPM the expected return
of a stock (including dividends) can be decomposed into the riskfree return and a positive
premium depending on the stock’s beta and the market risk premium:
(2.10)
0
[ · ]
i M
E R R RP β = +
So if S denotes the price of stock paying dividends at a rate q then, in the exponential notation
,we can write
(2.11)
( )( )
0
[ ]
r q p T t
T
E S e S
− + −
= ,
where the annualized risk premium p depends on the systematic risk measure beta and on the
market risk premium RP
M
. If the spot price S
0
is expressed from (2.11) and substituted to (2.4)
then we obtain
( )
0
[ ]
p T t
T
e F E S
− −
= .
If the factor beta is positive, then p is positive and the forward price lies below the expected
spot price. This relationship is called the Normal Backwardation since systematic risk is
positive for most investment assets. There are a few exceptions like, for example, gold or oil.
The opposite relationship, when p < 0 and forward prices are larger than the expected spot
prices, is called Contango (Figure 2.5). Note, that in Figure 2.4 we fix the current time t and
look at forward prices for varying maturities T, while in Figure 2.5 we fix the maturity T and
let the time t go to T.
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Figure 2.5. Contango and Normal Backwardation
Valuation of Forwards
So far we have discussed determination of equilibrium forward prices. At the trade date t = 0
the value of such a forward contract is zero – there is a market equilibrium. As time goes on,
the spot price, interest rates, and other factors change, and the value becomes positive or
negative as illustrated in Figure 1.7. Let us assume that we are in a long position buying one
unit of the underlying asset for K at the maturity T. If F
t
is the current forward price then the
position can be closed entering into a short contract on the same amount of the asset and at the
same maturity. It means that at maturity we buy and sell the asset and end up with the
difference F
t
– K per one unit of the asset. Note that the closing transaction has value zero,
since it is entered into under actual market conditions. Hence, in order to value the original
position we just need to value the combined position. But this is a fixed cash flow, which can
be valued by discounting to the time t, i.e. the value of the long forward contract on one unit
of the underlying asset is
(2.12)
( )
( )
r T t
t
f F K e
− −
= − .
The forward price F
t
can be replaced by an appropriate forward price formula obtained above.
For example for FX forwards applying (2.2) we get
(2.13)
( ) ( )
FC DC
r T t r T t
t
f S e Ke
− − − −
= − .
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2.2. Futures
Futures are financial equivalents of forward contracts traded on organized exchanges all over
the world. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME, www.cme.com) that has recently
merged with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), and New York Mercantile Exchange
(NYMEX) is the largest derivatives exchange in the United States and in the world. Trading
with futures in the United States has a long tradition going to the 19
th
century and is well
developed. The largest exchange in Europe is Euronext (www.euronext.com) which has
merged with the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), and
with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Group forming EuroAmerican NYSE Euronext
Group. The third largest world’s derivatives exchange is Eurex (www.eurexchange.com)
belonging to the Deutsche Börse Group. Other large derivative exchanges are the Tokyo
Financial Exchange (www.tfx.or.jp), Singapore Exchange (www.sgx.com), or the Australian
Exchange (www.asx.com). In less developed markets, like the Czech Republic one, trading
with derivatives takes place mostly OTC and there is almost no trading with futures or options
on organized markets.
The main differences between forwards and futures are standardization, existence of
a centralized counterparty, daily settlement and margin mechanisms. Figure 2.6 shows an
example of CME gold futures quotes. The exchange must necessarily specify a limited set of
maturities for which the futures are listed and traded. A futures maturity is denoted by
a month, but the exchange must exactly specify during which period the settlement takes
place and what are the rules. In case of financial futures the delivery takes place during one
specific day, for example third Friday of the month, for commodity futures the delivery can
take place often during the whole month. The counterparty in the short position has the option
to decide when the asset is delivered. It files a notice of intention to deliver with exchange.
The notice also specifies the grade of asset to be delivered and delivery location selected from
a list given by the exchange. In case of financial assets, like foreign currencies or stocks, there
is no ambiguity regarding the asset to be delivered, but in case of commodities the quality and
grade must be specified. For example in case of the Gold Futures the contract specification
says that the gold “shall assay to a minimum of 995 fineness, …” One futures contract has
always a specified size, for example in case of the gold futures it is 100 troy ounces. Usually,
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the size of one futures contract corresponds to an equivalent of $100$500 000. It is not
possible to buy or sell a smaller amount through futures unless there is a minifutures contract
where the underlying volume could be smaller. The contract specification also stipulates the
quoting convention, for example for the Gold Futures it is in Dollars per one troy ounce.
Figure 2.6. Gold Futures quotations (Source: www.cme.com)
Investors place orders to buy and sell futures to brokers, who execute the trades on the
exchange. When the two orders are matched, there are in fact, legally, two contracts with the
exchange clearinghouse stepping in between the two counterparties as an intermediary
(Figure 2.7). The two contracts with the clearinghouse are on the same number of contracts
and with the same price. Even if the counterparties A and B do not close the positions before
maturity the settlement does not necessarily takes place between them. At maturity, the
clearinghouse will randomly match counterparties in long and short position. The
counterparties in short positions are then obliged to deliver to the assigned counterparties in
long positions. The clearinghouse guarantees that the settlement takes place. One of the
advantages of this scheme is that positions can be easily closed out. For example if the
counterparty A later decides to close the long position selling N futures (the same asset and
maturity) to another counterparty C, the clearinghouse will net out the long and short position,
of course settling the price differences, and A will not have any position any more, i.e. A will
not have any obligation to deliver or accept delivery of the asset. This is why the outstanding
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number of short or long futures contracts with respect to the clearinghouse, the open interest
or “volume” may go up and down as new positions are opened or closed.
Figure 2.7. Futures exchange clearinghouse stands between the market participants as a centralized
counterparty
In order to minimize the counterparty risk, i.e. the possibility that a counterparty defaults and
does not settle its position, the clearinghouse requires a collateral in the form of a margin
account deposit. The margin balance is relatively low, usually around 5% of the underlying
value, in order to cover potential daily, not cumulative, losses since the gains/losses are
settled daily. This is a significant difference compared to forwards where the gains and losses
are settled only at maturity. Moreover, the daily futures gain/loss is calculated only based on
price differences disregarding of the time value of money, i.e. without discounting.
Specifically, considering a long position, if F
0
is the actual (previous day) futures price and F
1
today’s closing settlement price, then F
1
– F
0
is the gain/loss per one unit of the asset that is
settled against the margin account. Hence, if the difference is positive, it is credited to the
margin account, if it is negative, then it is debited. By settling the differences, the last day
futures price F
0
is effectively reset to the new settlement F
1
(consequently, if physical
delivery takes place then the last settlement, not the initial contracted, price is used). In order
to keep the collateral amount sufficient, the clearinghouse sets not only an initial margin that
has to be deposited when the position is opened, but also a maintenance margin, usually
around 75% of the initial margin. If the balance drops below the maintenance margin then
there is a margin call and the investor must deposit additional funds to the margin account in
order to be at least at the initial margin again. If the investor fails to topup the margin
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account then the clearinghouse automatically closesout the position at the prevailing market
price. The remaining margin account balance should be sufficient to cover remaining losses,
if any. On the other hand, if the futures position is profitable the investor may withdraw any
amount above the initial margin from the margin account.
Example 2.3. Prices of gold after the financial crisis went up dramatically. We expect the
prices to go down during the next few weeks and are ready to risk own cash funds up to
$30 000 in a speculation. The initial margin for Gold Futures is $2 000 and the maintenance
margin is $1 500 per one contract. We decide to short 10 gold futures corresponding to a short
position in 500 oz. of gold with current value around $750 000. The total initial margin is
$20 000 and we still have $10 000 as a reserve in case of margin calls. It is July 2011 and we
decide to use December 2011 contracts entered at $1 534.10. We plan to close out the position
by November. The futures price development during the first 10 trading days is shown in
Table 2.1. On day one the closing settlement price (officially set by the exchange – see
column “Prior settle” in Figure 2.6) moves down $1525.30. The first day looks good since the
gain of 10⋅100⋅(1534.10 – 1525.30) = $8 800.00 is credited to our margin account. The
amount could be withdrawn, but we keep it as a reserve (variation) margin. The positive
development continues until the day three, when the cumulative gain exceeds $35 000. We
could close the position but since we expect the gold to go down much more (being greedy
speculators) we hold onto the position. Unfortunately during the following three days we lose
over $42 000 and there is a margin call to topup $7 100. When the amount is deposited we
hope to recover the lost profits, unfortunately the day after additional $15 600 is lost. There is
another margin call of $15 600 that we cannot meet since our remaining cash is only $ 2900.
The position will be automatically closed and we end with a total loss over $27 000.
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Day Futures Price ($) Daily Gain/loss ($)
Cum. Gain/Loss
($)
Margin acc. bal.
($)
Margin call ($)
0 1 534.10 20 000.00
1 1 525.30 8 800.00 8 800.00 28 800.00
2 1 519.90 5 400.00 14 200.00 34 200.00
3 1 498.50 21 400.00 35 600.00 55 600.00
4 1 523.70 25 200.00  10 400.00 30 400.00
5 1 537.10 13 400.00  3 000.00  17 000.00
6 1 541.20 4 100.00  7 100.00  12 900.00 7 100.00
7 1 556.80 15 600.00  22 700.00  4 400.00 15 600.00
8 1 543.50 13 300.00 9 400.00  Pos. Closed
9 1 510.00 33 500.00 24 100.00
10 1 493.50 16 500.00 40 600.00
Table 2.1. Margin account development for a short position in 10 gold futures
Unfortunately we were not able to hold the position for a long time. From the very beginning
we could realize that an increase of the price by $1 causes a loss of $1 000, hence if the price
of gold goes above $1 549.10 we are out. Such a swing would be quite possible even if our
medium term expectation of a significant price of gold decrease was correct. Our speculative
position was too aggressive, we should have taken a short position in a fewer gold futures.
Stock Index Futures
A popular and easy way to speculate on the stock or to hedge an equity portfolio is to use
stock index futures. A stock index can be, in general, defined as the value of an underlying
stock index portfolio.
For example, the traditional Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is defined as the sum of
prices of 30 U.S. bluechip stocks divided by a divisor, i.e. its value equals to the value of
portfolio of 30 stocks with certain equal weights. The divisor was originally set to 30 (it used
to be an “average”), but since 1928 the divisor is adjusted any time there is a stock split or
large dividend payout in order to eliminate discontinuity. The relative return of DJIA can be
shown to be equal to the price weighted average of the individual returns of the 30 stock.
Thus, the index is called priceweighted.
On the other hand Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) is based on market capitalization
of selected 500 U.S. stocks. Its value is defined as a scaling constant times the sum of market
capitalizations of the stocks, i.e.
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500
1
( )
i
t i i
t I w p
=
=
∑
.
The weights w
i
(the number of stocks issued times a scaling constant) do not change over
time, unless there is a stock removed and new stock added to the portfolio, split of stocks etc.
The weights are fractional numbers, mostly less than 1 due to the large number of stocks in
the portfolio (initial value of S&P 500 was in set to 1000). The return of the index turns out to
be the market capitalization weighted average of the individual stock returns. In its standard
form it is published as the price return index, but it exists also in the total return and net total
return version when dividends and/or taxes are accounted for. Most of the world’s stock
indices used by the markets are price return market capitalization weighted. Other well known
indices are DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Nikkei 225, British FTSE 100, or German DAX.
A stock index futures contract is, in principle, a forward contract to buy or sell a multiple of
the underlying stock index portfolio. It is, in general, very difficult or impossible to achieve
all weights being integers. Moreover, physical settlement of a broad index (like S&P 500)
would bear relatively high transaction costs. So, index futures contracts are settled only in
cash: at the settlement day there is an official index fixing and the difference between the
fixed futures price and the index value, times the futures multiplier, is paid; i.e.
M · (I
closing
– K)
would be the payoff for the counterparty in the long position. The multiplier is an integer in
a magnitude set in order to get a desired basic one futures contract volume. The DJIA Future
multiplier is $10, S&P 500 standard futures multiplier is $250, S&P 500 minifutures is $50,
and Euro Stoxx 50 Eurex traded futures multiplier is €10. Normally, the settlement amount
(and the multiplier) is denominated in the index market domestic currency, but the calculation
also allows using of a different currency. For example, Figure 2.8 shows Nikkei 225 (dollar)
Futures quoted on CME where the multiplier is in Dollars, although the Nikkei stocks are
traded in Yen. This is convenient for U.S. investors, but we will see later that this feature
brings a complication in precise valuation of the contracts (that belong to the class of quanto
derivatives).
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Figure 2.8. Nikkei 225 (Dollar) and Emini S&P 500 Futures quotes (source: www.cme.com,
11.7.2011)
Stock indices can be used as an alternative to classical stock investments. The gain/loss on
a long position combined with a corresponding cash position (invested for example to risk
free bonds) is (almost) equivalent to the gain/loss on the corresponding stock index portfolio
investment.
Example 2.4. We have up to $600 000 to invest in US stocks. We expect the market to grow
over the next year and do not want to pick any particular stocks or pay unnecessary fees to
a professional asset manager. The solution would be to invest into a representative stock
index like S&P 500. This could be easily done by buying 9 June 2012 Emini S&P Futures
contracts currently quoted at F
0
= 1320 (Figure 2.8), as 9 · $50 · 1320 = $594 000, and
keeping the long position until maturity. Only a fraction of our funds has to be deposited to
the margin account (where it normally accrues the market interest) and the remaining part
could be invested into a money market account. In June 2012 we collect the accrued interest
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and the difference between the closing index value I
closing
and the initial futures price F
0
(multiplied by 9 · $50). If we invested the same amount directly into the S&P 500 index
portfolio (9 · $50 multiple), quoted today at I
0
, then in June 2012 we would collect the stock
dividends paid over the year and the difference between I
closing
and the initial index value I
0
. It
turns out, as the initial futures price F
0
is not equal to the index value, that the difference
between the prices offsets the difference between the expected interest and dividends, see
(2.4), and so the two investment strategies are virtually equivalent. However, the direct
investment into the index portfolio entails much larger transaction costs compared to the
index futures strategy.
Pricing of Futures
Since futures are financially essentially equivalent to forwards, it can be, in general, assumed
that the futures and forward prices are equal (for contracts with the same underlying assets
and maturities). Consequently, the relationship between the spot and prices for investment
assets given by (2.6) and for consumption assets (2.9) holds for futures as well. However, it
should be noted that the equivalence between the forward and futures prices is only
approximate. We will prove it below provided the interest rates are constant, the argument can
be generalized if the interest rates were deterministic, but the futures prices start to depart
from the forward prices when the interest rates are stochastic and correlated with the
underlying asset prices. This is, in particular, the case of long term maturity interest rate
futures where the traders must calculate with so called convexity adjustments (see Chapter 3).
Proof of futures and forward price equivalence provided the interest rates are constant:
The key difference between futures and forwards lies in the daily settlement mechanism. The
price differences are not settled at the maturity of the contract, as in case of forwards, but
daily during the life of contracts without any discounting, i.e. in a sense prematurely.
Assuming constant interest rates, the following strategy has been proposed by Cox, Ingersoll,
and Ross (1981). Suppose that a futures contract lasts n days and F
i
is the closing price at the
end of day i = 0,…,n. Let G
0
be the market forward price for the same asset and maturity. We
want to prove that F
0
= G
0
. Let δ = r/360 be the daily interest rate and assume no holidays.
Consider the following strategy:
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1. Take a long futures position of e
δ
(units of the asset assuming perfect futures contract
divisibility) at the end of day 0.
2. Increase the position to e
2δ
at the end of day 1.
3. Increase the long position to e
3δ
at the end of day 2, and so on.
At the beginning of day i the position is e
iδ
and so the day i gain/loss will be
1
) (
i
i i
e F F
δ
−
− .
This amount will accrue interest (negative or positive) for the following (ni) days and so at
the end of day n it will be
( )
1 1
) ) ( (
n i i n
i i i i
e e F F e F F
δ δ δ −
− −
− = − .
Finally the cumulative gain/loss plus the interest accrued on the margin account will be
(2.14)
1 0
1
0
( ( ( ) ) )
n n n
i i n
n
T
i
e F F e F F S e F
δ δ δ
=
−
= − = − −
∑
,
where F
n
= S
T
is the futures closing price that is equal to the asset spot price at maturity. On
the other hand, the payoff of the long forward on e
nδ
units of the assets maturing after n days
and with the market forward price G
0
, entered into at the end of day 0, is
(2.15)
0
( )
n
T
e S G
δ
− .
There is no initial cost taking the futures and forward positions, so we can take the long
futures position and short forward and achieve, deducting (2.15) from (2.14), the fixed result
0 0
) (
n
e G F
δ
− , or we can take the opposite short futures position and long forward position
obtaining
0 0
) (
n
e F G
δ
− . Thus, if there is no arbitrage opportunity, the two prices must be
necessarily equal, and so we have proved that F
0
= G
0
, as needed.
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Hedging with Futures and Forwards
Hedging uncertain price of an asset with forward or futures contracts is straightforward if the
contracts are available exactly for the asset we need to hedge and for the maturity when the
asset is to be bought or sold. However, this is not always the case  futures are available only
for a limited set of assets and maturities. Forwards are more flexible, but the OTC forward
markets are not often as liquid as the futures markets, or do not exist at all.
Often, we can only use a hedging futures contract with maturity T
2
that goes beyond the
desired hedging date T
1
< T
2
. Then there is the time basis risk illustrated by Figure 2.9.
Assume that we need to sell an asset at a fixed price at time T
1
and enter at the time 0 into
a short futures contract with the initial price F
0
and maturity T
2
. We plan to close out the
futures position at time T
1
. When the sell the asset at the spot price S
1
the total income will be
1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1
) ( ( ) S F S F F b F F + + − = + − = .
Unfortunately the basis value
1 1 1
b S F = − does not generally equal to zero. Since at T
1
there is
still some time to maturity, the value b
1
is uncertain, see (2.9), although the risk is usually
quite negligible.
Figure 2.9. Variation of the basis (spot and futures price difference) over time
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Example 2.5. A farmer plans to sell his cattle (approximately 400 000 pounds) on a local
market nine months from now, let us say in May 2012. The future market price of live cattle
is quite uncertain, so the farmer decides to use ten live cattle futures contracts to fix his selling
price. Figure 2.10 shows an example of quoted live cattle futures (one futures trade unit is
40 000 pounds and the price is in U.S. cents per pound). Let us propose an effective hedging
strategy for the farmer.
Figure 2.10. Live Cattle Futures quotes (source: www.cme.com, 13.7.2011)
The trader could simply enter into 10 = 400 000 / 40 000 short June 2012 contracts. The
position should be closed in May 2012 when the trader sells his cattle on the local market for
a price S
1
per pound. The closing price of the short futures position will be F
1
and the total
income from the sale and the hedging operation
1 1 1 1
·( )) $45 400 000 ($1.13 400 000 ) 2 000 ·( S F F S = − + + − .
The Jun 2012 futures price quoted in May 2012 are expected to be close to the spot price, but
there could be a small difference caused by, for example, seasonal effects, temporary shortage
or excess supply, etc. Recall that live cattle are not investment, nor storable, asset, and so the
price does not follow the ordinary futures pricing rule (2.9). The basis risk can be hardly
eliminated, unless the farmer finds a buyer that will enter into a direct forward contract with
May 2012 maturity.
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The basis risk becomes more serious when the underlying asset of the futures contract is not
identical, but only similar to the hedged asset. This could be the case even in the example
above – the farmer’s cattle could be of some different kind and quality compared to the
standardized “CME cattle.” In this case it is also the basis value
*
2 2 2
b S S = − , the difference
between spot prices of the two assets at the futures maturity time T
2
that generally differs
from zero and is uncertain. If the difference between the two spot prices cannot be neglected
and we can only assume a positive correlation, then we should use rather the minimum
variance or crosshedging approach.
Let us assume having a long position in N units of an asset. Today’s value of the portfolio is
V
0
= N·S
0
and we would like to fix its value at a future time T. Without hedging, the value
would be just V
T
= N·S
T
and we might be afraid of the spot price going down. If exact hedging
is not available, i.e. there are no futures or forward contracts on the same asset maturing
exactly at T, our goal should be at least to minimize the uncertainty (risk) of the hedged
portfolio value at time T. Since there is a correlation between the spot prices change
0 T
S S S ∆ = − and the futures prices change
0 T
F F F ∆ = − , we consider a short futures position
corresponding to h·N units of the underlying asset with an unknown coefficient h called the
hedging ratio. The change of the value of the hedged portfolio loss between today and the
value at time T is
( )
0
H
T
V F N S V V h − = ∆ = ∆ − ∆ .
The risk can be, as usual, measured by the variance
2
V
σ of V ∆ viewed as a random variable.
The variance can be expressed in terms the variance
2
S
σ of S ∆ , the variance
2
F
σ of F ∆ , and
their correlation ρ :
(2.16)
( )
2 2 2 2
2
V S S F F
N h h σ σ ρσ σ σ = − + .
The variance of the hedged portfolio depends only on the unknown hedging ratio h. Since
(2.16) is a quadratic function in h with a positive coefficient of h
2
it is sufficient to take the
first derivative and find the coefficient h that makes the first derivative equal zero, i.e.
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( ) ( )
2 2
2 2 0
V S F F
N h
h
σ ρσ σ σ
∂
= − + =
∂
,
(2.17)
S
F
h
σ
ρ
σ
= .
The coefficient given by (2.17) minimizing the variance of the hedged position is called the
optimal hedging ratio. It can be seen that it is also, by definition, equal to the slope coefficient
of the OLS (ordinary least squares) regression equation S h F α ∆ = + ∆ +ε .
The variances and the correlation can be estimated from historical data by different statistical
methods (see Chapter 5). Let
0
,...,
n
x x be a series of prices over certain regular periods (days,
weeks, months, etc.) and
1
1
1,.. , , .
i i
i
i
x x
r
x
i n
−
−
=
−
= the relative returns with the sample
mean
1
ˆ
n
i
i
r n µ
=
=
∑
. The simplest volatility estimate is then given by the sample standard
deviation
( )
2
1
ˆ ˆ
1
1
n
i
i
r
n
σ µ
=
= −
−
∑
.
That is, we assume that the returns in the future have the same standard deviation as the
returns observed in the past estimated by ˆ σ . If the considered hedging horizon consists
of K elementary periods used for the past returns calculation (e.g. K days or weeks) then the
simple square root of time rule can be applied, i.e. we estimate the cumulative K period
return standard deviation as ˆ K σ . This follows (approximately) from the assumption of
independence between returns over nonoverlapping time periods (which means that the
variances over the K periods can be added up). Finally, we have to keep in mind that the
standard deviations in (2.17) are not return volatilities but absolute price change deviations.
Nevertheless if ˆ
S
K σ is our estimate of the return
0
/ S S ∆ standard deviation then
0
ˆ
S
KS σ is
an estimate of the standard deviation of S ∆ (note that S
0
is fixed); similarly
0
ˆ
F
KF σ is the
standard deviation of F ∆ , and the sample correlation ˆ ρ estimated from elementary period
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45
returns
2
could be also applied for the K periods as the absolute price changes correlation.
Finally, plugging in the estimates to (2.17) we obtain
(2.18)
0 0
0 0
ˆ ˆ
ˆ ˆ
ˆ ˆ
S S
F F
KS
KF
S
h
F
σ σ
ρ ρ
σ σ
= =
Example 2.6. Let us reconsider the hedging strategy from Example 2.5 in case the farmer’s
cattle differ significantly from the standard “CME cattle.” Last two years data can be used to
estimate weekly return sample standard deviations and the sample correlation of the farmer’s
breed of cattle local spot prices and CME live cattle with maturity around 6 months. The
estimates are ˆ 1.9%
S
σ = , ˆ 1.3%
F
σ = , and ˆ 0.8 ρ = . The initial spot price of the farmer’s cattle
breed is S
0
= $1.35 per pound, while the futures price is F
0
= $1.13. According to (2.18) the
optimal hedging ratio is
0.019 1.35
0.8 1.397
0.013 1.13
h = ≐ .
Thus, the optimal number of short Live Cattle Futures to hedge the farmer’s position
·400000 / 40000 1 1 3 .3 7 1 9 .97 4 = ≐
differs significantly from the naive approach where we would use only 10 short futures. The
difference is caused by a higher volatility and price level of the farmer’s cattle breed
compared to the CME breed. The difference is only partially offset by the 80% correlation
which reduces the hedging ratio.
2
If
0
,...,
n
x x and
0
,...,
n
y y are two observed price series then the estimated return correlation would be
( )( ) ( )
, ,
1
ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ˆ ( 1)
n
x i x y i x y y
i
r r n ρ µ µ σ σ
=
= − − −
∑
.
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46
Stock Portfolio Hedging
The cross hedging technique can be easily applied to hedge a stock portfolio against the
systematic market risk. It is enough to know the β of the portfolio. According to the CAPM
(2.10)the portfolio return satisfies the regression equation
(2.19)
0
( ) · 1
M P
R R R β β = − + +ε ,
where R
0
is the riskfree return, R
M
the market portfolio return, and R
P
our portfolio return
over a given time period. Since the return can be viewed as the price change of one (currency)
unit of the initial portfolio, the beta is exactly the optimum hedging ratio. Thus if V
0
is the
initial stock portfolio value, F
0
the initial index futures value, and M the index multiplier, then
the optimum number of short futures positions is calculated as
(2.20)
0
0
N
M
V
F
β
=
rounded to the nearest integer.
Example 2.7. An asset manager has set up aggressive portfolio of US stocks with high 1.6
beta and current market value $7.5 million. There is a market turmoil and the manager is
afraid of large losses on the portfolio. He does not want to liquidate the portfolio but only to
hedge it against the potential systematic risk over the next 3 months. It is July 2011 and he
can use, for example, the Dec 2011 Emini S&P 500 Futures quoted at 1312.50 in Figure 2.8.
The optimum number of short futures contracts according to (2.20) would be
6
1.6 / (1312. ·7.5·10 ·50) 182.8 8 5 6 1 3 = ≐ .
Let us assume that the market index indeed goes down 10%, then according to (2.19) the loss
on the portfolio without hedging would be approximately 16%, i.e. 0.16·$7.5 million = $1.2
million. The short futures position on the other hand corresponds to 1.6 times the portfolio
value 1831312.550 · · $12 ≐ million, and so the 10% drop means a profit of $1.2 million almost
exactly offsetting the loss. The results would be similar for all other scenarios of the stock
index development. The calculation above is a little bit too rough, to be more precise, we have
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47
to take into account the risk free rate and dividends paid by the stocks in the index portfolio.
For example if R
0
= 2% and the dividend rate q = 1%, then the expected return of the portfolio
would be
( )
1
1 1.6 1.6 0.1 0.01
1
[ 0.159
4
] 0.02
4
P
E R
 
− + − + = −

\ ¹
= .
More importantly, we must not forget that (2.19) is just a statistical relationship with mean
zero random error ε representing the specific risk of the portfolio. The specific risk depends
on the correlation ρ between the portfolio returns and the stock index returns
3
. If the
correlation is low then the actual portfolio return might deviate significantly from the
expected return given by (2.19).
The asset manager from the example above might only want to reduce beta to certain lower
value
*
β . Generalizing slightly the argument above we come to the optimum number of short
stock index contracts given by the equation
( )
*
0
0
V
N
F M
β β
=
−
.
The strategy can be used not only to hedge temporarily a stock portfolio, but also to bet on
a stock, or a portfolio of stocks, against the market. If we believe that a stock with certain beta
will perform better than the market, we can hedge the beta, and effectively speculate on the
epsilon from (2.19) being positive. If we are right then the strategy will be profitable even if
the market declines.
Rolling the Hedge Forward
Another problem hedgers often face is that the available forward and futures maturities are
too short compared to the desired hedging horizon. International stock or bond mutual fund
portfolio managers typically need to hedge against FX risk in an indefinite horizon.
3
In fact
2
ρ equals exactly to Rsquared of the regression equation (2.19).
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The portfolio needs to be hedged, but the horizon depends on the investors’ decision to sell
back the shares. The solution is to roll the forward or futures hedge forward.
Let us hedge a long position in one unit of an asset with initial spot price S
0
over a horizon
that needs to be divided into shorter periods T
0
, T
1
,…,T
k
for which futures contracts are
available. We want to offset the difference S
k
– S
0
by an opposite gain/loss from the hedging
strategy. By entering into a short futures contract from T
0
to T
1
we obtain a profit loss
approximately offsetting the difference S
1
– S
0
, the subsequent short position will offset the
difference S
2
– S
1
, etc. Since
(2.21)
1
0 1
) (
k
i
i
k i
S S S S
−
=
− = −
∑
the total rolling forward hedging strategy gain/loss will approximately offset the difference
0 k
S S − . The hedge gain/loss will not be exactly equal to the price difference (2.21) due to the
cost off carry that cumulates from T
0
to T
k
. If the futures prices follow the equation (2.9) then
the first hedging result
0 1
F F − can be (approximately) expressed
as ( ) ( ) ( )
0 0 1 0 1
S S r u y T T S − + + − − , the second as ( ) ( )( )
1 2 2 1 0
S S r u y T T S − + + − − , etc. The
total hedging result could be approximately written as ( ) ( )( )
0 0 0 k k
S S r u y T T S − + + − − .Since
the interest rate r, storage cost u, and convenience yield y may change over time, there is still
a residual risk.
Example 2.8. Let us consider a €10 million portfolio of German government bonds paying
a 4% coupon yield managed on behalf of US based investors. The portfolio manager decides
to roll over oneyear EUR/USD futures in order to hedge the FX risk. The advantage of
futures is that the position can be closed at any time when investors decide to liquidate the
portfolio. This would be difficult in case of OTC EUR/USD forwards. Today’s spot price is
S
0
= 1.40, oneyear interest rate in USD and EUR are r
USD
= 1% and r
EUR
= 2%. The standard
EUR/USD futures underlying amount is €125 000, so the manager should initially enter into
82 ≅ 10 400 000 / 125 000 short oneyear futures (i.e. selling EUR) at the price that should be
around · (1 (0.01 0.02)) 1.38 1. 6 40 + − ≐ . The first year hedge is closed at the spot price S
1
, then
the rolled over short futures position is entered approximately at
1
(1 ( ))
USD EUR
S r r + − ,
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and so on. Table 2.2 shows two possible scenarios of the EUR/USD exchange rate
development over the three years, with the exchange rate going up or down. The bond
portfolio values in USD including the hedging gain/loss are almost the same. The 4%
portfolio yield calculated in EUR is partially reduced the negative interest rate differential 
1% = 1%  2%, i.e. negative cost of carry. Possible changes of EUR and USD interest rates
during the next three years however mean that the total cost of carry cannot be exactly
predicted. Moreover, the simulation neglects changing bond portfolio value due to changing
market value of the bonds. The rolling hedge strategy however allows regularly adjusting the
number of futures contracts accordingly at the end of every year.
Month 0 12 24 36
Value in EUR 10 000 000,00 10 400 000,00 10 816 000,00 11 248 640,00
Value in USD 14 000 000,00 14 040 000,00 14 060 800,00 14 060 800,00
EUR/USD Spot 1,400 1,350 1,300 1,250
EUR/USD 12 MFut 1,386 1,337 1,287 1,238
Cum.Hedg. P/L (mil USD) 374 400,00 776 672,00 1 192 871,68
Hedged port. in USD 14 000 000,00 14 414 400,00 14 837 472,00 15 253 671,68
Month 0 12 24 36
Value in EUR 10 000 000,00 10 400 000,00 10 816 000,00 11 248 640,00
Value in USD 14 000 000,00 15 392 000,00 16 764 800,00 17 097 932,80
EUR/USD Spot 1,400 1,480 1,550 1,520
EUR/USD 12 MFut 1,386 1,465 1,535 1,505
Cum.Hedg. P/L (mil USD) 977 600,00  1 904 572,80  1 760 513,25 
Hedged port. in USD 14 000 000,00 14 414 400,00 14 860 227,20 15 337 419,55
Table 2.2. An example of rolling oneyear EUR/CZK futures hedge – two scenarios
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3. Interest Rate Derivatives
3.1. Interest Rates
Time value of money is a key concept of all financial instruments’ valuation. The value of $1
received one year from now is not the same as the value of $1 received today, $1 deposited
today earns an interest received in one year and is financially equivalent to $1 plus accrued
interest. Zerocoupon bonds are bonds that pay no coupons, only the face value at maturity T.
The bonds are traded at time t at a discounted market value quoted as a percentage of the face
value. It is denoted P(t,T) and used as a discount factor from T to t. The discounted zero
coupon bond value certainly depends on currency, and so we will also sometimes use the
notation P
XYZ
(t,T) for the currency XYZ discount factors to avoid ambiguity when we work
with more currencies.
Present Value
If a financial instrument is defined as a fixed cash flow C
1
,…,C
n
paid at times T
1
,…,T
n
, then
its market value must be equal, by a straightforward arbitrage argument, to the value of the
portfolio of C
1
face value zerocoupon bond maturing at T
1
, C
2
face value zerocoupon bond
maturing at T
2
,…, and C
n
face value zerocoupon bonds maturing at T
n
. Consequently the
instrument’s market (or present) value from the perspective of time t must be
(3.1)
1
( , ) ·
i i
n
i
PV C P t T
=
=
∑
In this valuation we either assume no counterparty credit risk or we admit that there is a more
significant credit risk and the value must be in addition explicitly adjusted by a Credit Value
Adjustment (CVA). In both cases we need discount factors P(t,T) corresponding to riskfree
zerocoupon bonds, i.e. to bonds issued by issuers with no possibility of default at maturity.
This sounds simple, but in reality presents a difficult problem. Government or toprated
banks’ bonds have been traditionally considered riskfree. However, in today’s financial
markets even bonds issued by relatively financially sound governments have a measurable
credit risk perceived by the markets. Nevertheless, as a starting point we assume that
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government bonds and interbank loans have no credit risk, later we will look on other
possibilities and refinements, for example the discount curve defined from interest rate swap
prices, etc.
Zerocoupon bond prices are obviously available only for a limited set of maturities, but in
order to price general instruments we need the discount factors P(t,T) for all maturities
T t > up to a reasonable time horizon (sometimes up to 30 or even 50 years). Fortunately the
discounted value can be calculated or extrapolated from other market instruments’ prices. For
example, if R
3M
is the quote of an interbank money market 90day deposit then the
corresponding discount factor will be
(3.2)
1
3
90
( , 90 ) 1
360
S S M
P t t D R
−
 
+ = +

\ ¹
.
Formula (3.2) uses t
S
for the settlement day, usually T+2, i.e. two business days from the trade
date, and the standard money market day convention Act/360. Those details may seem
tedious, but we have to keep in mind that even a basis point (0.01%) difference may cause
large absolute differences in valuation results when the rates are applied to notional amounts
in billions of Dollars or Euros.
Interest Compounding
Interest rates for different maturities are usually expressed on the annual basis (p.a. – per
annum), but the calculation of the total interest amount accrued by maturity might differ.
Bank deposits have different compounding frequencies; the interest may be accrued for
example monthly, quarterly, or just annually. If the interest rate R is accrued m>1 times a year
then the endofyear value of $1 investment will be higher than in the case of the same rate R
simple annual compounding
1 1
m
R
R
m
 
+ > +

\ ¹
.
So, a monthly accrued deposit account with the rate R is more valuable than an account with
the same annually accrued interest rate R. In order to have a canonical and mathematically
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well behaved interest rate convention, financial engineers use continuous compounding
convention. In this convention interest is accrued over every infinitesimal time period. The
infinity frequency compounding is not certainly used in practice, but it allows us to translate
different interest conventions into a nice common basis. In fact, we have already used this
convention in Section 2.1. It follows from elementary calculus that
lim 1
m
R
m
R
e
m
→∞
 
+ =

\ ¹
,
and so the value of $1 continuously accrued with interest rate R over a period from t to T can
be expressed simply as
( ) R T t
e
−
. Alternatively the time t value financially equivalent to $1
received at time T, i.e. the discount factor, is
( )
( , )
R T t
P t T e
− −
= . The time here is calculated on
the actual basis, i.e. actual number of calendar days divided by the actual number of days in
a year, or alternatively as actual number of seconds divided by the total number of seconds in
a year, etc.
Day Count Conventions
Money market deposits of different maturities use a simple compounding whren the interest is
calculated and paid only at maturity, but we have to take into account the daycount
convention. The standard convention is Act/360 used for money market instruments. In
general, the interest paid for a d calendar day rate R deposit is calculated as R·d/360. Note that
the time adjusted interest paid on a one year deposit R·365/360 is larger than the nominal
interest R.
On the other hand fixed coupon bond markets use the 30/360 or Act/Act day count
conventions to calculate accrued interest (AI) over a certain period. The accrued interest is
settled by counterparties when bonds are traded between the coupon payment days. The full
(cash) bond price Q = P + AI is calculated as the sum of the quoted net price and the accrued
interest. In the 30/360 convention each month has 30 days disregarding of the actual number
of days. For example, if 6% is the coupon paid annually, then the accrued interest for the first
three months would simply be 6%·90 / 360 = 1.5%. The 30/360 day convention is used for
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53
US corporate and municipal bonds and generally on European markets; US Treasury bonds
use the Act/Act day convention.
Zero Coupon Curve Construction
Let us assume that the current time is t = 0, calculate the discount factors P(0,T), and
corresponding interest rates
(3.3)
1
( ) ln (0, ) r T P T
T
= −
in the continuous compounding convention. The function r = r(T) assigning zero coupon
interest rates to different maturities is called the zero coupon curve. It shows the term
structure of interest rates which can be flat, increasing, decreasing, or may have any other
shape.
Since money market deposits are usually settled two business days from the trade date we
should firstly look at Overnight (O/N) interest rate R
O/N
on deposits between Today and
Tomorrow (Today + 1 business day) and TomorrowNext (T/N) interest rate R
T/N
on deposits
between Tomorrow and the day after Tomorrow (Next = Tomorrow + 1 business day = Spot
maturity). We also have to count calendar days d
1
between Today and Tomorrow, and d
2
between Tomorrow and the Next. If R is the dday deposit rate between the Next and
Next + d (= time T) calendar days then the precise discount factor should be calculated as
(3.4)
1 1 1
1
/ /
2
(0, ) 1 1 1
360 360 360
O N T N
d d d
P T R R R
− − −
     
= + + +
  
\ ¹ \ ¹ \ ¹
.
The money market rates might be actually publicly quoted offer (bid or mid) interest rates, or
reference rates like Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate), Euribor, Pribor, etc. The rates are
daily published by a financial authority as averages from quotes provided by contributing
banks.
Discount factors can be calculated according to (3.4) for a set of maturities up to one year. To
extend the zerocoupon curve to longer maturities we need to use capital market instrument
where government bonds are the first choice. Before we continue constructing the curve it is
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useful to interpolate the interest rates and discount factors between any two points where the
rates have been already calculated. The discount factors are firstly translated to interest rates
in continuous compounding and then the interest rates can be interpolated linearly (see Figure
3.1); or using more advanced interpolation techniques (e.g. spline interpolation). Finally for
any maturity T where the interest rate r(T) have been obtained set
(3.5)
( )
(0, )
r T T
P T e
−
= .
Note that it would not be correct to interpolate directly the discount factors where the
behavior should be, in line with (3.5), exponential.
Given government bond market prices the method of bootstrapping can be used. Let Q be the
full market price (settled at t
S
, typically Today + 3 or 4 business days) of a government bond
with a fixed coupon C payable at T
1
,…,T
n1
, and at maturity T
n
together with the nominal
amount A. Then according to (3.1) we must have
(3.6)
1
1
( · , ) ( ) ( , )
S i S n
n
i
Q C P t T C A P t T
−
=
= + +
∑
.
The idea of bootstrapping is that once we know the discount factors up to the maturity T
n1
then we can use (3.6) to express the discount factor with maturity T
n
as
(3.7)
1
1
( , )
( , )
·
i
n
n
i
S
S
Q C P t T
P t T
C A
−
=
−
=
+
∑
.
Thus, starting from the money market zerocoupon curve constructed up to one year we can
use a twoyear government annual frequency coupon bond with quotation to get the two year
rate by (3.7) and (3.3). The rates between one year and two year maturity are interpolated and
we go on calculating (approximately) three year maturity rate and so on. The shape of the
curve may look as in Figure 3.1.
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55
Figure 3.1. Linearly interpolated zero coupon curve
The zerocoupon curve obtained according to the described procedure certainly depends on
the benchmark instruments used in the calculation. For short maturities (up to one year) we
may use not only money market deposits and government zero coupon bonds but also the
repo rates. Repo or repurchase agreements are basically deposits collateralized by high
quality securities (technically sale and repurchase of a security). Since repo operations have
very little credit risk, the zero rates obtained from the repo rates would be more “riskfree”
than the zero rates based on the interbank rates. Similarly, forward rate agreements, interest
rate futures, and interest rate swaps (IRS) described in Sections 3.2 and 3.3 bear significantly
lower counterparty credit risk, and so might be preferred in zerocoupon curve construction.
Figure 3.2 shows EUR zero coupon curve automatically generated by the Reuters system
from the money market and IRS rates.
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YC; QEURZ=RRealtime
50Y; 2,915
Yield
1,2
1,4
1,6
1,8
2
2,2
2,4
2,6
2,8
3
Cash 7D 3M 6M 9M 9Y 6M 15Y 20Y 25Y 30Y 40Y 50Y
Figure 3.2. EUR zero coupon curve generated by Reuters (Date: 15.9.2011)
Forward Interest Rates
Forward interest rates are the future short term rates implied by the current term structure of
interest rates. If the market was arbitrage free (with no transaction cost and bid/ask spreads)
then the forward interest rate from the time T
1
to T
2
(also denoted as T
1
x T
2
)
would be the
market rate on a loan or a deposit that could be contracted today, starting at T
1
, and maturing
at T
2
. The forward interest rate r(T
1
,T
2
) in continuous compounding can be easily calculated
from the zero rates r(T
1
) and r(T
2
). If there is a market for forward deposits from T
1
to T
2
the
ordinary money market loan or deposit maturing at T
2
and negotiated today at r(T
2
) can be
replicated by a combination of a loan/deposit maturing at T
1
with the rate r(T
1
) and a forward
loan/deposit from T
1
to T
2
at the rate r(T
1
,T
2
), see Figure 3.3.
Figure 3.3. Potential arbitrage scheme using regular and forward money market loans and deposits
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57
In other words, the regular deposit maturing at T
1
can be financed by the compounded loan
and vice versa the compounded deposit can be financed by the regular loan. Consequently, if
there is no arbitrage, the following identity must hold:
1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 2 1 2
( ) ( ) ( )( ( ) ( ( , ) , ) )
·
T T r T T r T T r T T r T T r T T T T
e e e e
− + −
= = .
Since the exponents on the left hand side and right hand side must be equal, we can easily
solve the equation for r(T
1
,T
2
) and get
(3.8)
2 2 1 1
1 2
2 1
(
, )
(
(
) ) r T T
T
T
r T
T r
T
T
=
−
−
.
In the following section we shall discuss interest rate derivatives where forward rates are
indeed contracted. The interest rate convention for the market rates is the ordinary money
market convention. The forward rates calculated according to (3.8) can be transformed back
from the continuous compounding convention to money market simple compounding, but it
would be more straightforward to use the market convention only. If R
1
and R
2
are the market
rates for d
1
calendar days and d
2
calendar days deposit then the d
2
 d
1
forward rate R
F
starting
d
1
calendar days from the spot maturity repeating the argument equals to:
(3.9)
2 2 1 1
2 1 1 1
1
1 / 360
F
R R
R
d R d
d d
d
−
−
=
+
.
Example 3.1. Let us assume that 6 month (183 days) deposits are currently quoted at 2%,
1 year (365 days) deposits are 2.5%, and 2 year government bonds with 3% coupon are
quoted at 99% of their face value. The O/N (1 day) and T/N (1 day) rates are 1%. The zero
coupon rates for the maturities T
1
= 185/365 and T
2
= 367/365 can be calculated according to
(3.4) and (3.3):
2
1
365 1 183
( ) ln 1 0.01 1 0.02 1.978%
185 360 360
r T
 
   
= + + 
 

\ ¹ \ ¹
\ ¹
≐ and
2
2
365 1 365
( ) ln 1 0.01 1 0.025 2.461%
367 360 360
r T
 
   
= + + 
 

\ ¹ \ ¹
\ ¹
≐ .
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The two year (T
3
= 1 + T
2
) interest rate can obtained applying the bootstrapping formula (3.7)
and (3.3):
1 1
)
2
3
(
2
1 1 0.99 0.03
( ) ln 1 0.01 3.474%
360 1.03
r T T
e
r T
T
−
 
  − −  
= + = 
 

\ ¹
\ ¹
\ ¹
.
The forward interest rates in continuous compounding are calculated according to (3.8) are
r(T
1
,T
2
) = 2.950% and r(T
2
,T
3
) = 4.493%. The 6 x 12 months forward interest rate can be
recalculated to the money market convention by
( )
1 2 2 1
( , )( )
2 1
360
1 2.936%
r T T T T
F
R e
d d
−
= − =
−
.
The rate coincides with the result of (3.9), but the direct computation would be generally
more precise due to numerical rounding in the indirect calculation.
Expectation and Liquidity Preference Theory
Forward interest rates allow analyzing better the term structure of interest rates. It is usually
upward sloping, sometimes flat, timetotime downward sloping, and exceptionally bumpy.
The 6 x 12 months forward rate calculated in Example 3.1 is approximately 1% higher than
the 6 months interest rate, and the 12 months rate is approximately an average between the
two rates. The expectation theory says that the longterm interest rates are determined by
expected short term interest rates. It means that the implied forward rates are, according the
theory, the expected rates. So, if 6 months rate is considered to be the short term rate, then the
1 year rate would be determined by 6 month rate and expected 6x12 rate. Similarly 2year
interest rate would be determined by the 6 month rate, expected 6x12, 12x18, and 18x24 rate,
etc.
The empirical fact that the term structure of interest rates is more often upward than
downward sloping speaks against the pure expectation theory. Upward sloping curve implies
that the forward interest rates are higher than the current short term interest rates. However,
the short term interest rates fluctuate around a long term average. It means that the forward
interest rates are definitely biased estimates of the “real” expected future interest rates (at least
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59
looking backward). The phenomenon is well explained by the liquidity preference theory
according to which investors prefer to invest funds for shorter periods of time in order to
preserve their liquidity. Borrowers, on the other hand, prefer to borrow at fixed rates for
longer maturities. The standard argument of supply and demand implies that borrowers must
pay a liquidity premium over the expected short interest rates if they want to attract funds
over longer periods of time. Hence, according to the liquidity preference theory forward rates
implied by the long term market interest rates should be above the expected short term rates.
3.2. Interest Rate Forwards and Futures
Uncertain future interest rates present a serious financial risk for banks, corporations, and
investors as well. The main purpose of interest rate derivatives like OTC Forward Rate
Agreements (FRA) or exchange traded interest rate futures is to hedge or speculate on the
interest rate risk. The contracts allow to fix the interest rate paid or received in the future
(FRA and short term interest rate futures) or to fix the price of a long term interest rate
instruments (bond futures). It can be seen from Table 1.1 and Table 1.2 that the market with
the interest rate derivatives is very active. Note, however, that the most of the contracts do not
settle the notional amounts, but only interest rate differences.
Forward Rate Agreements
Forward rate agreements are popular Money Market OTC derivatives allowing to fix an
interest rate R
K
on a deposit or loan starting at a future time T
1
and maturing at T
2
, denoted
T
1
x T
2
. The contract at time T
1
does not realize the forward deposit or loan, but only settles
the difference R
K
– R
M
between the contracted interest rate and the market interest rate
determined at time T
1
. The market rate R
M
is defined as the reference rate (Libor, Euribor,
Pribor, etc.) valid for the period from T
1
to T
2
, i.e. technically published two business days
before T
1
. The idea is that the fixed interest rate deposit could be financed with the current
market interest rate loan, or vice versa the fixed interest rate loan could be offset (i.e. closed)
by a market interest rate deposit. The difference R
K
– R
M
must be certainly adjusted for the
length of the time period (number of calendar days d) and multiplied by the contracted
notional amount A. Moreover, if the forward deposit or loan was realized and closed by an
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60
opposite contract with the rate R
M
then the difference would be paid at T
2
and so it should be
discounted to T
1
(by the market rate valid at T
1
). So, the settlement amount for the fixed
interest rate receiver (the counterparty contracting the virtual forward deposit) payable at
time T
1
is
(3.10)
( )
360
1
360
Payoff
K M
M
d
R R
A
d
R
−
=
+
.
The payoff can be positive or negative depending on the sign of the difference R
K
– R
M
. If it is
positive then the fix rate receiver receives a positive compensation, if it is negative then the
fix rate receiver pays the compensation to the fixed rate payer. Regarding terminology, the
fixed rate receiver is also called FRA buyer (buying the loan) white fixed rate payer is the
FRA seller. In this logic an FRA buyer is in a long FRA positions while the seller is in a short
position. Note how this differs from all other money market instruments. In the cash market,
the party buying a treasury note is the lender of funds, and so it is preferable to use the fixed
rate payer/receiver terminology.
The interest rates in (3.10) are in the regular money market convention and the length of the
forward period does not exceed one year. Figure 3.4 shows an example of FRA quotes. The
prices are available for a variety of start and end dates in months. Although money market
instruments have maturity, by definition, up to one year, there is the 12x24 months FRA
where the virtual forward deposit matures in 24 months, but the financial settlement takes
place in 12 months.
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Figure 3.4. CZK FRA market quotes (Source: www.patria.cz, 22.7.2011)
FRA contracts can be used like other derivatives to hedge, speculate, or to make an arbitrage.
Speculation with the contracts is straightforward. For example, if a speculator expects short
term interest rates to go up in 6 months then she enters into a long (fix interest rate payer) 6x9
or similar FRA position. If the interest rates indeed go up then the increase is collected by the
speculator, but if the rates go down the speculator suffers a loss. An arbitrage can be based,
for example, on a mismatch between ordinary money market rate and FRA rates applying the
scheme outlined in Figure 3.3. The following example illustrates how to use FRA for interest
rate hedging.
Example 3.2. A company needs to draw a 3 months (90 days) 100 million CZK short term
loan in 7 months. The treasurer expects to pay 1% margin over 3M Pribor. She is, however,
afraid of the Central Bank’s hike of the key repo rate and a subsequent increase of the Pribor
relative to current rates. The treasurer can use the 7x10 FRA contract to hedge against the
risk. The contract does not ensure the loan itself, it has to be combined with a loan taken in
7 months at prevailing market conditions. The company enters into 100 million CZK
7x10 FRA contract in the position of fix interest rate payer as it needs to draw a loan and pay
an interest rate fixed today. The negotiated FRA rate would be around the “Best sell” rate
(Figure 3.4), e.g. 1.66% p.a. There is no initial payment for the FRA and in 7 months the
company will borrow 100 million and close the FRA contract. Let R
M
denote the 3M Pribor
published in 7 months and assume that the interest on the loan is R
M
+ 1% p.a. The FRA
payoff will be given by (3.10), but with the opposite sign, R
M
= 1.66%, A = 100 million, and
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d = 90. There is a time mismatch between the payoff settled in 7 months and the loan interest
paid in 10 months. However, the payoff (3.10) is equivalent to ( )· / 360
M K
A R R d − paid in
10 months perfectly offsetting the loan interest payment ( 0.01)· / 360
M
A R d − + . Indeed the
sum of the two cash flows is ( 0.01)· / 360
K
A R d − + corresponding to fixed 2.66% interest rate
on the 7x10 forward loan.
FRA Market Value
As in case of other forwards, the initial market value of an FRA contract entered into under
market conditions should be close to zero. Later the interest rates go up or down and the FRA
market value changes accordingly. Since the contract (e.g. from the fix rate receiver
perspective) is equivalent to a deposit of the notional amount A at time T
1
repaid at T
2
by
A + I, where / 360
K
I AR d = , the time t market value can be calculated simply by discounting
the fixed cash flow by the zero coupon rates
(3.11)
2 1 2 1
) ( )·( ) ( )·(
( )
r T T t t t t r T T
f e A e A I
− − − − − −
= − + + .
A more straightforward calculation would be to consider the time t market FRA rate
K
R
ɶ
for
the period from T
1
to T
2
and the possibility to close the short position by the opposite long
position entered into at the current market rate. The payoff of the closed position would be the
fixed amount ( ) / 360
K K
A d R R −
ɶ
payable at T
2
or discounted to T
1
. Since the (theoretical)
closing FRA’s market value is zero, the outstanding FRA market value is
(3.12)
2 2
) ) ( · (
( ) / 360
t t r T T
K K
f e A R d R
− − −
= −
ɶ
.
The interest rate in continuous compounding can be replaced by the appropriate money
market quotation.
Example 3.3. A CZK 100 million 6x9 FRA contract has been entered into 1 month ago
paying the fix R
K
= 1.8%. Calculate the market of the outstanding position using the rates
given in Figure 3.4 and the 8 months interest rate quoted at 1.2%. The short FRA position
could be closed by the currently quoted 5x8. Since the mid quote is 1.491% the difference
would be negative 0.308% and it is obvious that the position is in a loss. If the number of days
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63
corresponding to 8 months is 244 and the FRA contract is on 90 days then the market value
can be precisely calculated as
6
·10 ·0.308%·90 / 360
76378.79 CZK
1 1.2%·244 / 360
100
f = −
+
= − .
The calculation neglects the (almost negligible) difference between the 8 months interest rate
and the O/N or T/N rates. Alternatively, the formula (3.12) with exactly constructed
continuously compounded zero rates can be used.
Short Term Interest Rate Futures
Exchange traded equivalents of forward rate agreements are short term interest rate (STIR)
futures. The most popular ones are the Eurodollar, Euribor, Euroswiss, or the Three Month
Sterling contracts. While FRAs offer different length of the underlying loan/deposit, the
standard length of the STIR futures contracts is 90 days. The futures are, on the other hand,
traded for a wide range of maturities going up to 10 years. The standardized notional amount
of Eurodollar futures contract is $1 million and similarly €1 million for the Euribor futures.
Eurodollar interest rate futures contracts should not be confused with EUR/USD currency
futures. Eurodollars are dollars deposited and traded outside of the United States. Since USD
Libor reference rate used to settle the contracts is based on interest rates on deposits traded in
London the contracts are called Eurodollar. Euribor, on the other hand, is an “ordinary”
reference rate published by Thomson Reuters based on European money market quotes.
Like other futures the STIR futures settle profit/loss daily. Likewise in case of FRA it is based
on the difference R
K
– R
M
between the futures contracted (previously settled) interest rate R
K
and the actually quoted (settlement) futures rate R
M
. However, there is an important
distinction: the futures settlement formula does not take into account the time value of money,
there is no discount factor like in (3.10). Hence the daily or cumulative payoff can be simply
calculated (from the perspective of fix rate receiver) by the formula:
(3.13)
6
90
10 ( ) ( ) 250
36
Payoff · 000
0
K M K M
R R R R = − = −
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The advantage of the simplification is that it is easy to remember that one basis point (0.01%)
futures interest rate movement is equivalent to 25 (USD or EUR). The last settlement takes
place at maturity of the futures contract, typically the third Wednesday of the contract expiry
month. The closing market rate R
M
is defined as the three month USD Libor (3M Euribor,
etc.). Neglecting the time value of money, on the other hand, causes a small difference
between futures and FRA prices. While FRA should be theoretically equal to the forward
interest rates, the futures interest rates slightly deviate from the forward rates and the
difference may become significant for longer maturities.
Figure 3.5 shows a fraction of Eurodollar futures quotations. The contracts are listed in fact
until June 2021 maturity and the market is relatively liquid up to 2018 maturities. The futures
prices are quoted conventionally as 100% – R
K
and appear like prices of discounted (one year)
zerocoupon bonds (without the percentage sign). Fix rate receiver futures position can be in
this case called long (“buying” the bonds) and fixed rate payer position short (“selling” the
bonds). Nevertheless, settlement is still based on (3.13). For example Sep 2013 last price of
98.595 is equivalent to the contractual interest rate R
K
= 100  98.595 = 1.405%.
Figure 3.5. Eurodollar Futures quotations (Source: www.cme.com, 25/7/2011)
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65
The contracts can be used to speculate or to lock short term interest rates in the future like in
case of FRA.
Example 3.4. A company took $10 million bank two year loan with interest payable quarterly
and defined as 3M USD Libor + 2%. The treasurer is afraid that the interest rate may go up in
the next two years and would like to lock in the currently relatively low rates. The first
interest payable in 3 month is already known, but the rates payable in 6, 9,…, and 24 months
will be set in 3, 6,…, and 18 months. It would be difficult, in fact impossible, to use FRA
contracts where the settlement (i.e. Libor fixing) date does not go beyond 12 month. But the
treasurer can easily use Eurodollar futures contracts, specifically 10 short futures contracts
with the 3 month maturity, then 10 contracts with the 6 month maturity, and so on until the
18 month maturity. The contracts maturing in 3 months (e.g. in October 2011) will pay
90day interest rate differential R
M
– R
K
on $10 million (with R
K
= 0.4% according to the
quote in Figure 3.5) and the company will pay on the loan R
M
+ 2% where R
M
is the same 3M
Libor fixed in 3 months. The net cash flow in 6 months is fixed at R
K
+ 2%. In this the way
the treasurer will lock the rates at around 2.4% to 3.5% (Eurodollar futures rate + 2%; the
locked rates differ for different payment dates). There is, however, a time mismatch in the
cash flows; the loan interest payment happens in 6 months while the futures gain/loss
settlement is realized over the first three months. The difference is fortunately negligible.
Another issue is that the fixing dates of the loan rates and of the futures Libor rates will not
usually exactly coincide, since we have to choose from a given list of standardized futures
maturities. The time discrepancy might be one day up to several weeks. Hence, there is
a residual basis risk which can be quite significant focusing on a single interest payment. Over
a longer horizon, hedging with a series of futures contracts, a sudden move of interest rates up
or down should be relatively well offset. In any case, it has to be kept in mind, that the
hedging is only approximate.
FRA versus STIR Futures Interest Rates
If future interest rates were deterministic there would be no point in interest rate derivatives.
We have to work with stochastic (random) future interest rates and in order to analyze the
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difference between FRA and STIR Futures we have to choose a specific interest rate model.
To illustrate the issue in the following example we will use a very simple one.
Example 3.5. Let us consider a short futures and FRA contracts both on $1million and
maturing in 12 month. The FRA contract is 12 x 15. The fixed rate to be paid by both
contracts is 4% and this is also the current level of interest rates for all maturities. Let us
assume the following simplistic interest rate model and compare the two contracts: There are
just two scenarios, each has 50% probability, in the first scenario the interest rates tomorrow
go up 1% and remain constant, and in the second scenario the rates go down 1% and remain
constant. The futures contract gain/loss is realized (i.e. credited or debited to the margin
account) immediately and accrues the market interest until maturity. The payoff in 12 month
in the two scenarios will be:
1) $2500 · 1.05 = $2625, 2) $2500 · 1.03 = $2575.
In case of the FRA contract the cash settlement takes place in 12 month and moreover takes
into account the time value of money, the payoffs in the two scenarios will be:
1) $2500 / 1.0125 = $2439.02 2) $2500 / 1.0075 = $2481.39.
The expected, i.e. probability weighted futures payoff value is $25 while in case of FRA it is
negative $42.37. Consequently the futures contracts will be preferable over the FRA contracts
with the same fixed interest rate. The law of demand and supply will cause the futures rate
going up, or the FRA rate going down, or both (since the FRA rate should be equal to the
forward interest rate as we have shown, it is rather the futures rate that needs to go up).
In practice, the analysts use the following convexity adjustment between the futures and FRA
T
1
x T
2
rates:
(3.14)
2
1 2
1
Futures rate FRA rate
2
TT σ = + .
Both rates are expressed in continuous compounding and σ is the standard deviation of the
change in the 90 day interest rates over a one year period. The normal value of σ would be
around 1% – 1.5% and so the adjustment becomes more significant only for longer term
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maturities. For example if σ = 1%, T
1
= 10, T
2
= T
1
+ 0.25 = 10.25 then the difference is more
than 50 basis points! Ignorance of this fact may become quite costly and, in fact, this has
happened to some traders in the past. The convexity adjustment (3.14) is due to Ho, Lee
(1986) and is based on the HoLee model. Alternative interest rate models (Chapter 7) may
lead to slightly different adjustments.
Long Term Interest Futures
Settlement of long term interest rate futures is not based on long term interest rates but on
bond prices that reflect long term interest rates. The most popular are U.S. Treasury bond and
Treasury note futures, U.K. Gilt futures, or German (Italian and Swiss) Euro Bund Futures.
The contracts are quoted in the same convention as the underlying bonds and are settled
physically. A bond futures contract normally has not only one bond as the underlying, but
there is a list of eligible bonds that can be delivered. The counterparty in the short position has
the option to choose the bond to be delivered. Since different bonds with different coupons
will have different market values, the contract specification involves a conversion factor (CF)
that is used to recalculate the futures price to the cash price depending on the bond to be
delivered. Figure 3.6 shows Treasury bond futures conversion factors. The column “9.2011”
presents CFs valid until September 2011; the column “12.2011” gives CFs valid October
through December 2011, etc. The underlying bonds must have remaining maturity at least 15
years, but less than 25 years, and so the list of eligible bonds is being changed when we look
forward. The factors are based on 6% notional coupon, i.e. the factors are calculated as the
percentage prices on the listed bonds’ cash flows discounted with 6%. Thus the factors of
bonds with coupon higher than 6% are above 1 and the factors of bonds with coupons less
than 6% are below 1.
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Figure 3.6. Treasury bond futures conversion factors (www.cme.com)
When the contract is settled with settlement futures price F, then the counterparty in the short
position has to choose a bond i out of the list of eligible bonds. The full cash price to be paid
by the counterparty in the long position then is
F x CF
i
+ AI
i
where CF
i
and AI
i
are the conversion factor and accrued interest of the bond i. On the other
hand, the cost of delivering the bond i is P
i
+ AI
i
where P
i
is the quoted bond price. For the
counterparty in the short position it is natural to choose i minimizing the difference
(3.15) P
i
 F x CF
i
.
Although the conversion factors are designed in order to make delivery of the various eligible
bonds more or less equal there will be always a single bond that is the cheapest to deliver,
denoted CTD. For this bond the difference (3.15) must be equal to zero, otherwise there
would be an arbitrage opportunity, i.e.
(3.16) P
CTD
= F x CF
CTD
.
It turns out that the CTD remains relatively stable even though it changes time to time. The
concept of CTD helps to analyze the properties of the bond futures and propose hedging
(or speculation) strategies.
Before we look on bond futures applications to hedge interest rate risk, it will be useful to
recall the basic concepts of bond mathematics. If Q = P + AI is the full market price
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69
(including the accrued interest) of a fixed coupon bond paying C
i
at time t
i
(coupons and
principal) then the yield to maturity (YTM) y is the unique solution of the equation
(3.17)
1
(1 )
i
i
n
i
t
C
Q
y
=
=
+
∑
.
The yield to maturity characterizes the level of interest rates with the bond maturity, but it is
not the same as the zero coupon rate. In a sense, it is a mix of rates with different maturities
depending on the coupon rate. That is why zero coupon rates are constructed as an
unambiguous characterization of the interest rate structure.
The bond price Q = P(y) can be also quoted as a function of the YTM and it is useful to
analyze sensitivity of Q with respect to y. Mathematically, sensitivity is measured by the
derivative Q with respect to y,
dQ
dy
. In finance we rather use the related concept of (modified)
duration
mod
1 dQ
D
Q dy
= −
that can be interpreted as an estimated percentage increase in the bond market price when the
yield goes 1% down. The duration can be expressed analytically differentiating the equation
(3.17):
(3.18)
1 mod
1
1
(1 )
i
i
i t
n
i
C
D t
Q y
+
=
=
+
∑
.
When the modified duration equation (3.18) is multiplied by the discount factor 1 + y we
obtain more traditional Macaulay duration that can be interpreted as the time to maturity
weighted by the discounted payments:
( )
Mac o
1
m d
1
1
(1 )
i
i
i
n
i
t
C
D D y t
Q y
=
= + =
+
∑
.
Note that many financial calculators or spreadsheets like Excel by default calculate the
Macaulay duration.
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Dependence of bond prices on interest rate movements can be further analyzed looking on the
second order derivative
2
2
d Q
dy
and the related concept of convexity:
2
2
1 d Q
C
Q dy
= .
The convexity can be used to estimate the change of duration if there is a change in interest
rates, but it is more useful to apply the Taylor’s second order expansion according to which
2
2 2
mod 2
1 1
( ) ( ) · · · ·
2 2
dQ d Q
Q Q y y Q y y y y P D y PC
dy dy
∆ = + ∆ − ∆ + + ∆ = −∆ ∆ ≐ .
Hence convexity provides an improvement of the first order (linear) approximation
mod
· · y P D −∆ given by the duration.
The basic interest rate management strategies are based on the concept of duration or
sensitivity  the goal is to make the interest rate sensitivity equal or close to zero. More
advanced approaches take convexity into account as well. In order to use long term interest
rate futures for hedging, first of all, we need to estimate their duration. The equation (3.16)
holds at the futures maturity, if we assume at a time before maturity that the CTD does not
change then (3.16) must hold as well but with P
CTD
replaced by the bond’s forward price (the
forward price can be expressed by (2.3)). Differentiating the equation with respect to the CTD
bond yield to maturity and dividing by P
CTD
= F x CF
CTD
we obtain
1 1 1 ·
·
CTD CTD
F
CTD CT
CTD
D
dP CF dF dF
D D
P dy CF F dy F dy
= − = − = − = .
Hence, we conclude that futures price duration equals to the CTD forward price duration.
The long term interest futures can be used to hedge a portfolio of bonds and other rate
sensitive instruments. The goal of the strategy called duration matching or portfolio
immunization is to minimize sensitivity of the portfolio value with respect to parallel interest
rate shifts. The strategy has a hedging horizon (maturity) and we want to minimize the
sensitivity or variability of the portfolio value at that maturity. Let F be the actual price of an
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71
appropriate bond futures contract and D
F
its duration equal to the CTD duration. We assume
that the portfolio is in one currency hence U.S. Treasury bonds would be used if the currency
was USD, Euro Bund Futures if the currency was EUR, etc. The maturity of the futures must
be equal or longer than the hedging maturity. If it is longer then we close out the futures
before their maturity. Let P be the forward price of the portfolio at the maturity of the hedge
and D
P
the duration of the portfolio forward price. Sensitivity of the portfolio forward price
with respect to a parallel yield curve shift y ∆ can be expressed by the (approximate) equation
P
P D y P ∆ = − ∆ .
Similarly the futures price sensitivity
F
F D y F ∆ = − ∆ .
Since the goal is to minimize sensitivity of the given portfolio we need to enter N short
futures contracts where N is the nearest integer satisfying the equation P N F ∆ ∆ ≐ , i.e.
(3.19)
F F
P P
P P
F
D y D
N
y F D D
∆
=
∆
≐ .
Practitioners often calculate the basis point value (BPV) of the portfolio and the futures
contract as the price change corresponding to one basis point decrease 0.01% y ∆ = − . Solving
the equation ·
P F
BPV N BPV ≐ for N then gives the same result as (3.19). The result is called
the durationbased or pricesensitivity based hedge ratio.
Example 3.6. A bond portfolio manager holds 100 Treasury bonds maturing in 2027 and 200
Treasury bonds maturing in 2036. She expects the long term interest rates to rise and would
like to hedge the portfolio against the corresponding price decline over the next three months.
The 2027 bonds forward price is 104% of the $100 000 nominal and the 2036 price is 96%.
The total forward value of the portfolio is $29.6 million. The forward price duration of the
former bonds is 13.5 years and of the latter 21 years. The fund manager would like to use the
Tbond futures quoted in Figure 3.7.
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Figure 3.7. U.S. Treasury Bond Futures quotations (Source: www.cme.com, 26/7/2011)
The first task is to calculate the whole portfolio forward price duration. It follows from the
definition of duration that the portfolio duration equals to the average bond duration weighted
by the bonds’ market value, that is
· · $104000 21·200· $96000
· $104000
13.5100
1
200·
8.36
$9 100 6000
P
D
+
+
= ≐ .
The basis point value of the portfolio is
6 4
· $29.6·10 ·10 18.3 345 6 54 .6 $
P
BPV
−
= = ,
which means that increase of interest rates by a single basis point causes a loss in portfolio
value over $54 000. It is July 2011 and in order to hedge over the next three month the
manager needs to use Dec 2011 futures currently quoted at 123’08. In the U.S. market
convention this quote means
8
123 % 123.25%
32
= . Let us assume that the actual CTD
duration is 14. The basis point value of one futures contract can be estimated as
5 4
·$1.2325·10 ·1 14 $1 2. 0 7 55
F
BPV
−
= = .
In order to offset BPV
P
the manager needs to enter into N short contracts so that
·
P F
BPV N BPV ≐ , so
$54
314.96 315
$172.
345.6
55
N = ≐ ≐ .
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The portfolio manager uses 315 short Dec 2011 contracts that will be closed out in October
2011. The realized gain/loss on the futures position will approximately offset the change in
the bond portfolio value due to an increase or decrease of interest rates.
The duration based strategy has several weak points. The most important to point out lies in
the futures duration that is estimated assuming that the CTD bond does not change. But if
there is a change of CTD then the duration may significantly jump up or down and the hedge
has to be adjusted. The strategy also does not take into account convexity and assumes only
parallel shifts of the yield curve. But shortterm interest rates are more volatile than longterm
interest rates and sometimes the shifts may go in opposite directions. Generally, if a portfolio
of assets and liabilities is sensitive to interest rates with different maturities then a more
advanced strategy immunizing the sensitivity with respect to shortterm, mediumterm, and
longterm interest rates should be used. The hedging may use STIR Futures, Treasury Note
Futures (with maturity at most 10 years), bond futures, or interest rate swaps discussed in the
next section.
3.3. Swaps
Hedging of a series of float interest payments like in Example 3.4 could be quite cumbersome
or impossible if the series becomes too long. STIR futures with longer maturity might have
low liquidity or might not be listed at all. In addition the futures contracts lock the rates at the
short term forward rates that depend on maturity. If the zero coupon curve is increasing then
the forward rates increase and vice versa. There could be quite significant jumps in the
forward rates from period to period as shown in Example 3.1. A company treasurer would
normally prefer fixed interest payments that are constant over all the periods. This
requirement can be easily solved with an interest rate swap, or cross currency swap if the
treasurer also wants to exchange cash flows in different currencies.
Interest Rate Swaps
A plain vanilla (i.e. basic) interest rate swap (IRS) is an OTC contract where counterparties
exchange fixed and float interest rates calculated on a notional amount and until an agreed
maturity (Figure 3.8).
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Figure 3.8. A plain vanilla interest rate swap cash flow
There is no initial payment and no exchange of notional amounts. The float rate is defined as
the currency standard reference rate (Libor, Euribor, Pribor, etc.) set at the beginning (two
business days before) and paid at the end of each six months interest period (on the European
markets and quarterly on the U.S. markets). The fixed rate is paid annually for a standard IRS
(respecting the bond interest rate conventions). Hence, besides the notional amount and
maturity, the key parameter negotiated between counterparties is the fixed swap rate. Figure
3.9 shows an example of EUR IRS quotations. For example the 10 years “Best buy/sell”
quote 3.196/3.227 means that the quoting bank is prepared to pay/receive the fixed percentage
rate against the standard semiannual float (Euribor) for 10 years. The main users of IRS
contracts for hedging are companies and financial institutions managing their assets and
liabilities. A swap contract could be theoretically entered into between two companies with
opposite hedging needs, but like for other products there is a wholesale interbank market with
quoting banks providing liquidity to market users.
As indicated by Table 1.1 the global swap markets has become very active. In order to
simplify trading and settlement procedures the International Swap and Derivatives
Association (ISDA) introduced a standard framework documentation that is usually signed
between large swap counterparties. A specific swap contract is then entered into just by
negotiating a few key swap parameters (dates, rates, notional amounts, and conventions) that
are summarized in a brief legal document called the confirmation.
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Figure 3.9. EUR interest rate swap rate quotations (Source: www.patria.cz, 27/7/2011)
Example 3.7. A company took €20 million 10 year loan with interest defined as 6M Euribor
+ 1.5% payable semiannually. Initially the float interest rates were very low, but after two
years the short term rates start to rise, the treasurer is afraid of a further increase of the interest
rate payments, and would like to hedge against the risk. The series of the uncertain
semiannual float payments over the next 8 years can be easily exchanged for a fixed rate
using an 8 year IRS. Currently the company pays a float rate (Euribor + 1.5%) on the loan;
under the swap it should pay a fixed rate K and receive the float (Euribor) offsetting the float
part (Euribor) in the loan payment. The resulting fixed net cash flow paid by the company
would be K + 1.5%. The swap should be optimally negotiated a few days before the loan
interest rate period start date so that the Euribor rates for the loan and for the IRS are fixed on
the same day. The quoted ask (“Best sell”) 8Y IRS rate is 3.022%. Those are interbank
market quotes, the negotiated rate between the company and a profit seeking bank can be
a few basis points higher, e.g. 3.05% on the €20 million notional amount. If the trade date is
27/7/2011 and the start date of the next loan interest rate period is 1/8/2011 then the swap
start date can be confirmed on the same day. The confirmed swap maturity is the 1/8/2019.
Figure 3.10 shows the cash flow between the financing bank A, the company, and the swap
bank B. The Euribor rates are set on the same days and the cash flows are matched exactly.
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What remains is the annual 3.05% p.a. payment to the bank B and the semiannual 1.5% p.a.
payment to the bank A. Thus the annual interest rate cost of the company after the IRS hedge
is fixed at (approximately) 4.55%.
Figure 3.10. The cash flow of the company hedging loan float payments with an IRS
IRS Valuation
Like for FRA when an IRS is entered into under market conditions the contract value should
be close to zero for both counterparties. However, if the market rates change later, then the
contract has to be revalued, and the profit/loss accounted for according to valid accounting
rules. An outstanding IRS cash flow is not fixed and we cannot directly apply the discounting
principle. Fortunately, there is a simple argument according to which the IRS market value
must be equal to a fixed cash flow market value. The first trick is to look on an outstanding
IRS (from the perspective of the fixed rate receiver, for example) as on a long position in a fix
coupon bond (with the coupon rate equal to the swap rate, the same notional amount, and
maturity) and a short position in a floating rate note (paying the same float rate on the same
notional, and maturity). This is correct when we artificially add an exchange of the notional
amount A between the counterparties at the swap maturity (Figure 3.11). The net cash flow
remains unchanged and so, if there is no default risk, the market value is unchanged as well.
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Figure 3.11. A three year interest rate swap extended cash flow
The fixed coupon bond can be valued simply discounting the known cash flow:
(3.20)
(
1
)
fix
·
i i
n
i
r T T
i
Q C e
−
=
=
∑
.
The float rate bond (FRN) can be also valued as a discounted fixed cash flow. The argument
is the following: the payment of A+R
fl,n
at time T
n
with coupon R
fl,n
set at time T
n1
covers the
time value of money (amount A) over the period from T
n1
to T
n
and so the payment value
discounted to time T
n1
is exactly A. In addition at time T
n1
there is the payment of R
fl,n1
that
covers the time value of money over the period from T
n2
to T
n1
and so we can discount the
cash flow to T
n2
and get again A, and so on down to T
1
. The next float interest rate R
fl,1
is
already set. The swap is valued, generally, from the perspective of time zero somewhere
between two coupon payments, hence R
fl,1
does not necessarily reflect the time value of
money and we just have to discount A+R
fl,1
from T
1
to the time 0:
(3.21)
( )
1 1
( )
float fl,1
r T T
Q A R e
−
= + .
The swap market value (from the fixed rate receiver perspective) is then calculated as the
difference between the fix rate bond and float rate bond values:
(3.22)
swap fix float
V Q Q = − .
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Alternatively, the unknown float rates can be replaced with the forward interest rates. The
argument is that we could enter into a series of FRA locking the float at the forward rates.
Since the FRA contracts are entered into under market conditions, their market value is zero
and the value of the original float leg equals to the value of the fixed cash flow given by the
forward rates. It can be also shown algebraically that the two approaches are equivalent.
Example 3.8. A threeyear swap with fixed rate 2.2% and notional €10 million has been
entered into three months ago. The next float rate has been fixed at 1.5%. Value the swap
assuming that the zero coupon rate is flat 2.5% for all maturities. Assuming that the current
float payment period has 183 days and there is just 91 days to the next float rate payment, the
float leg market value according to (3.21) is
91
0.025·
365
float
183
€10 1 0.015 €10.014
360
Q e
−  
= +

\ ¹
≐ .
The fixed leg market value according to (3.20) is
0.025·0.75 0.025·1.75 0.025·2.75
fix
€0.22 €0.22 €10.22 €9.96 · · 7 · Q e e e
− − −
= + + ≐ .
Finally, the current market value of the swap is negative for the fixed rate receiver,
swap fix float
€0.046 V Q Q = − = − , and positive for the fixed rate payer,
swap float fix
€0.046 V Q Q = − = .
The valuation formula (3.22) indicates that the market value sensitivity of an IRS position to
interest rate movements is similar to sensitivity of the fixed coupon bond value. In fact we can
use the concept of duration. If D
fix
is the fix coupon bond (modified) duration and D
float
the
float rate note duration then the change in swap market value can be estimated as
(3.23) ( )
fix float
· · A R D V D ∆ ≅ − ∆ −
when the rate moves by R ∆ from the fixed rate receiver perspective. Here we neglect the
difference between the notional amount A and bonds’ market values, yet the estimation (3.23)
still gives a good idea what possible losses could be if there is an adverse movement of the
interest rates. Moreover, the float rate bond duration is always less than 0.5 and can be
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neglected or estimated by the time to next float rate payment. Thus the IRS position
sensitivity to interest rate movements is indeed similar to the fixed rate bond position.
Example 3.9. Let us estimate the change of market value of the threeyear swap from
Example 3.8 if the rates went up or down by 1%. The fixed coupon bond duration can
estimated as D
fix
= 2.69 with the yield 2.5% (for example using the function DURATION in
the Excel spreadsheet) and the float leg duration as D
float
= 0.25. According to (3.23) if the
rates go 1% up the fixed rate receiver suffers a loss around 0.01· (2.69 – 0.25) · €10 = €0.244
million. If the rates go down 1% then swap market values increase by approximately the same
amount.
It follows from (3.22) that the quoted swap rates should be equal or close to bond yields.
When a new swap is contracted the market value should be zero, and so
fix float
Q Q = . Since the
market value of a newly issued FRN is equal to par (100% of the face value), the same must
hold for the fixed coupon bond with the coupon rate equal to the swap rate. This is the case if
and only if the coupon rate equals to the yield to maturity, by definition. Consequently quoted
swap rates should be theoretically equal to the yields of government bonds. Unfortunately, the
reality is different – the swap rates are often lower than the bond yields, in particular for
longer maturities. For example, the government 10 year CZK government bond YTM 3.0% is
70 bps higher than the quoted 10Y swap rate 2.30% (Figure 3.12). The yield to swap curve
spread is even much higher for governments undergoing a debt crisis like Greece or Portugal.
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3M 50Y
YC; 0#CZBMK=_BMKMaturity_Bid Realtime
50Y; 4,584
YC; CZKIRS_Bid Realtime
20Y; 2,740
Yield
0,3
0,6
0,9
1,2
1,5
1,8
2,1
2,4
2,7
3
3,3
3,6
3,9
4,2
4,5
4,8
3M 30Y 50Y 9Y 12Y 15Y 20Y
Figure 3.12. Comparison of government CZK bond yield curve (back line) and the IRS rate curve
(Source: Reuters, 15/9/2011)
This phenomenon creates a practical problem. Swaps, for example 10Y, contracted today with
the currently quoted fixed rate should be valued at zero. But if the zerocoupon curve is
obtained from the bond prices as described in Section 3.1 then the fixed coupon leg of the
swap is discounted with the 10Y bonds’ YTM that is about 90 bps higher than the swap rate.
Thus, the swap market value comes out significantly negative and that would be incorrect.
The issue is solved if the zerocoupon curve is constructed from the currently quoted swap
rates. A quoted swap rate R is translated as 100% market value of the corresponding bond
with the same maturity and paying the fixed coupon R. Those quotes are used in the
bootstrapping procedure (3.7), otherwise the calculation remains unchanged. The zerocoupon
curve is then calibrated to the IRS rates – new swaps with the quoted rates valued with the
swap zerocoupon curve have market value equal exactly to zero. The zerocoupon curve can
be then consistently used to value any outstanding swap position.
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Note that a swap portfolio might have various profiles of sensitivity to interest rates in
different maturities. Fixed rate receiving (long) swaps behave like long positions in bonds and
fixed rate paying (short) swaps like short positions in bonds. While it is not straightforward to
take a short bond position, a combination of long and short swaps with various maturities is,
for an IRS trader, very easy and the profile can be changed within minutes. It is important for
the trader to continuously monitor the portfolio market value and its risk profile. The total
market value equals to the sum of individual swap values obtained using the swap zero
coupon curve. The zero curve is calculated from the money market and IRS quotes, for
example R
6M
, R
1
, …, R
10
that are continuously updated. Consequently, the portfolio value is
a function of the market rates
( )
6M 1 10 port
, , , V f R R R = …
and its change can be estimated taking the first order partial derivatives and using the
differential
(3.24)
6M 1 10
6M 1 10
port
f f f
V R R R
R R R
∆ ∆ ∆ +
∂ ∂ ∂
≅ + +
∂
∆
∂ ∂
⋯ .
In practice, analysts will rather calculate basis point value for the different maturities. For
example
( ) ( )
10 6M 1 10 6M 1 10
, , , 0.01% , , , BPV f R R R f R R R = … − − …
measures the change in portfolio value if the 10Y rate goes 1bp down and all the other rates
remain unchanged. The approximation (3.24) can be the rewritten as
(3.25)
port 6 6 1 1 10 10
bps bps bps
M M
V BPV BPV BPV ∆ ∆ ∆ + ∆ ≅ + +⋯ ,
where the deltas measure movements of interest rates in basis points. It is obvious that
a T – year swap value is sensitive mostly to the T – year swap rate. However, there are also
residual sensitivities with respect to the shorter maturities. To hedge a portfolio of swaps with
maturities up to 10 years the trader should firstly enter a 10Y swap so that the new portfolio
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10
0 BPV ≐ , then a 9Y swap to make
9
0 BPV ≐ , and so on until all the coefficients in (3.25)
are close to zero.
A more advanced approach to sensitivity analysis and hedging may also use the Principal
Component Analysis (PCA) that identifies key term structure movement scenarios, like
parallel shift, twist of the curve, etc. explaining most of the curve movements (see e.g.
Jolliffe, 2002).
Cross Currency Swaps
If a company needs to change not only the type of interest rates but also currency of a loan
then cross currency swaps (CCS) may be used. The contract in principle swaps the cash flows
of two loans in different currencies and possibly with different type of interest payments
(fix/float). CCS cash flow is outlined in Figure 3.13.
Figure 3.13. Cross currency swap cash flow
The counterparty X wants to swap a loan with principal A
X
denominated in currency X and
the counterparty Y need to swap a loan with principal A
Y
= A
X
· K denominated in currency Y.
The counterparties negotiate the exchange rate K that would be normally close, but not
necessarily equal to the spot exchange rate. The loans certainly do not have to exist; in fact,
usually at least one of the counterparties is a swap bank trading with CCS on the international
financial markets. The key parameters that need to be set are the interest rate R
X
on A
X
and the
rate R
Y
on A
Y
. The rates are usually fixed, but one of them or both can be defined as floats.
Unlike interest rate swaps the counterparties exchange the principal amounts A
X
and A
Y
at the
start date and at maturity of the swap. That is the counterparty A will firstly pass the amount
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A
X
to Y and Y will return it at maturity. The same happens with A
Y
but in the opposite
direction. Between the start date and maturity the counterparties exchange interest payments:
X will pay the interest R
Y
to Y and Y will pay R
X
to X. If the counterparty X indeed started
with the loan in X then the new net cash flow will be equivalent to the loan in Y, and
similarly for Y.
Cross currency swaps are useful for hedging but can be used for speculation as well. An open
CCS position will bear not only an interest risk but, in particular, a significant exchange rate
risk. The market value of an outstanding CCS, valued after the initial exchange of principals
from the perspective of the counterparty X (Figure 3.13), can be again seen as the difference
between the values of two bonds:
CCS X Y
V Q Q = − .
Q
X
is valued as the discounted (domestic) currency X cash flow (3.20) but the cash flow in the
currency Y has to be firstly discounted with the Y zerocoupon rate and then converted to the
currency X with the current Y/X exchange rate S:
(
1
)
· · ·
Y
i i
r T T FC
n
Y
i
i
Y Y
Q S C e Q S
−
=
= =
∑
.
So, the CCS market value
CCS
·
X
FC
Y
V Q S Q = − depends on the exchange rate S, and on the
interest rates in X and Y.
Example 3.10. A U.S. company would like to swap a 5Y loan of $14 million with the fixed
5% p.a. interest payable semiannually negotiated with a local bank to EUR. This can be easily
achieved with EUR/USD cross currency swap. The swap traders primarily negotiate the
spread between the two rates. The treasurer negotiates with another U.S. bank +10 bps on
5Y CCS with $14 million / €10 million principal (i.e. the fixed EUR/USD exchange rate is
1.40). The company will initially pass the $14 million principal and receive €10 million in
exchange. The company then gets 5% p.a. on the USD principal and pays 5.1% p.a. on the
EUR principal semiannually. After five years, the €10 million and $14 million principals are
exchanged in the opposite direction. The company’s cash flow will be, including CCS,
equivalent to €10 million loan with the 5.1% p.a. interest. If the loan is used for an investment
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project and the revenues are in EUR then there is essentially no exchange rate risk. Let us, on
the other hand, assume that the swap bank does not hedge the outstanding swap position.
Market value of the currency swap from the bank’s perspective is
CCS EUR/USD
·
FC
EUR USD
V S Q Q = − .
Assume that the bonds’ values Q
USD
= $14 million and
FC
EUR
Q = €10 million one year later
remain unchanged but USD appreciates 10% with respect to EUR. The market value of the
swap position will be
CCS
· 1 1.26 € $14 $1 0 .4 V = − = − million, i.e. the bank suffers a large loss
not due to the interest risk but due to the FX risk of the CCS position.
Figure 3.14 gives an example of recent CCS swap quotes where 3M Euribor is exchanged
against 3M USD Libor. The swaps are also called currency basis swaps (CBS). The negative
quoted spread, deducted from the Euribor side, reflects a shortage in USD liquidity. For
example, according to the quotes a counterparty would provide USD funds for an equivalent
EUR amount, receive 3M USD Libor, and pay only 3M Euribor  0.37% over a five year
period.
Figure 3.14. EUR/USD currency basis swap quotes (Source: Reuters, 15.9.2011)
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Other Swaps
OTC contracts are generally flexible and the standard OTC derivatives including swaps trade
in many different variations. For example, companies need to swap float payments with
different periodicity, quarterly, monthly or even shorter, and so there are interest rate swaps
with various float rate periodicity. Alternatively, in a basis swap, one periodicity might be
exchanged for another float rate periodicity, for example onemonth Libor can be exchanged
for sixmonth Libor. Eonia swap rates have become a popular benchmark for riskfree zero
curve calculation. EONIA is a Euro OverNight Index Average published by the European
Central Bank as a weighted average of all overnight unsecured lending transactions in the
interbank market. An Eonia swap contract will exchange compounded daily Eonia rate for
a contracted fixed rate. Generally, a compounded swap compounds the rates and makes only
two opposite payments (or one netted payment) at maturity.
Corporations and other institutions hedging their assets and liabilities often need to match
a variable principal, for example due to an amortizing schedule or gradual drawdown of
a loan. In an amortizing swap, the notional amount is reduced in a regular predetermined way;
while in a stepup swap the principal increases. Forward swaps are swaps with the start date
in the future.
All the various swaps mentioned above can be transformed, for the sake of valuation, into
fixed cash flows and valued applying the elementary discounting principle. There are,
however, many swaps that involve more complex elements and their precise valuation
requires stochastic interest rate modeling. For example Liborinarrears swaps are swaps
where the Libor rate is not fixed at the beginning, but at the end of each interest rate period.
The swaps can be valued similarly to plain vanilla swaps, but a convexity adjustment must be
applied. Constantmaturityswaps are swaps, where the float rate is determined as a constant
maturity swap rate, reset for each (e.g. semiannual period). If the future swap rates are
replaced with the forward swap rates then the valuation is not precise. Again a convexity
adjustment or full interest modeling needs to be applied. The floating swap rates might be
capped and/or floored like a corresponding loan interest rates. In this case valuation of the
swaps involves valuation of interest rate options (see Chapter 6). To conclude there are many
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exotic swaps that traded on the global derivative markets. Exotic swap users should be aware
of the dangers in their valuation. The banks offering the complex swaps unfortunately often
tend to misuse the information and knowhow asymmetry. They know how to hedge and
value the contract, but the derivative user might be much less experienced, pay unwillingly
a high cost already in terms of the initial contract value, or enter into contracts that do not
provide the desired hedging (see for example Witzany, 2010).
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4. Option Markets, Valuation, and Hedging
4.1. Options Mechanics and Elementary Properties
Forwards can be used by financial managers to fix the price of an asset in the future (Example
1.1). If the company enters into a long forward position and if, at maturity, the market price is
above the fixed forward price then everybody is happy. But if the market price falls below the
fixed price then the financial manager might face unpleasant criticism. Thus, it is natural that
some financial managers prefer to keep only the upside potential and have the option of not
applying the forward rate in the downside scenario. This need is exactly satisfied by options
as illustrated by Example 1.2.
Generally, there is an option holder and an option underwriter, or seller. The (call or put)
option holder has the right, but not an obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a fixed
(exercise or strike) price K. Unlike forwards, there is an initial payment of the option premium
to the option seller, since the option seller keeps only the downside, while the option holder
keeps only the upside. A European option can be exercised only at maturity (expiration date),
while an American option can be exercised any time up to the expiration date. Options are
traded on organized exchanges (usually in parallel with futures on the same underlying) and
overthecounter (OTC) – mostly FX and exotic options.
When options are traded, then it is the premium that is negotiated, while the strike price,
maturity, and option type are the agreed parameters of the option. Figure 4.1 shows
a selection of December 2011 gold option prices traded on COMEX. More options could be
shown for other futures maturities. There are many options even for the single maturity,
although not all possible strike prices are listed and traded on the exchange. The number of
options on the OTC market would be potentially unlimited, since option parameters are
individually set between any two counterparties. The options in Figure 4.1 can be generally
classified as inthemoney, atthemoney, and outofthe money. The gold exchange traded
options are in fact American futures options. It means that the option holder enters an
appropriate futures position if the option is exercised before maturity. At the same time there
is a cash settlement based on the difference between the option price and the actual futures
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price. In case of the gold options quoted in Figure 4.1 the resulting futures positions are
settled physically in December 2011, or may be closed before maturity. Consequently,
exercising a call (put) option is profitable if and only if the strike price is less (higher) than the
current futures price. In this case the option is called inthe money.
Figure 4.1. Gold options quotes (Source: www.cmegroup.com , Date: 15/8/2011)
For example, the $1745 strike price Call (the second option in Figure 4.1) is inthemoney. Its
immediate exercise yields $1765.9  $1745 = $20.9 profit. The profit can be locked in by
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closingout the futures position right after the exercise of the option. The potential immediate
profit is called the intrinsic value of the option. The option is quoted at $94.40, i.e. $73.5
higher. The difference is called the option’s time value, because there is a potentially higher
profit, if the option is realized later. On the other hand, the $1740 strike price Put (the first
option in Figure 4.1) is outofthemoney – its immediate exercise would yield a loss. Hence,
its intrinsic value is zero and the quoted price of $72.30 reflects only its time value. Finally,
$1765 strike price Call and Put options are (approximately) atthemoney. Realizing the
options yields almost no profit or loss. Exchange traded options (similarly to futures) use
margin accounts, but the mechanism is not exactly the same as in case of futures. First, in case
of long option positions (buying options) there is no need to make a margin deposit, as there
is only an upside potential. Short positions can be covered by an offsetting position in the
underlying asset or cash. Only naked (i.e. uncovered) short positions require a margin deposit.
Unlike futures, there is no daily profit/loss settlement, but the required deposit is daily
recalculated and additional funds might be required. The calculation adds up the market value
of the option and a percentage (around 10%  20%) multiplied by the nominal amount. OTC
options, similarly to forwards, generally do not require any margin deposit, unless mutually
agreed between the two counterparties.
While exchange traded options premiums are quoted directly, on OTC markets the premiums
are quoted indirectly using so called volatility as shown, for example, in Figure 4.2 for
EUR/USD European options. The quoted volatility can be, roughly speaking, defined as the
annualized standard deviation of future returns in the given maturity horizon. Future returns
are unknown today, and so can be viewed as a random variable values. Hence, the volatility
reflects our uncertainty regarding the future return. In practice the volatility is derived mainly
from the past experience, but there is also an anticipation of the future market developments.
For example the quoted 1Y bid volatility 12.95% means that the market estimates that the
1 year returns of the EUR/USD exchange rate will (approximately) have the standard
deviation of 12.95%.
The volatility, usually denoted σ, is used in the BlackScholes formula, explained in detail
later in this chapter, to calculate the premium of a given option. The other inputs of the
formula are the option parameters (time to expiration and the strike price) and relevant market
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factors (underlying asset market price, interest rates, dividend rate or expected income on the
asset). As we shall see, the BlackScholes model is just one of many possibilities.
Nevertheless, it is has become a market standard used to translate market volatility to the
market premium and vice versa.
Figure 4.2. FX option volatility OTC quotes (Source: Reuters, 11.7.2011)
Option price turns out to be an increasing function of volatility, provided the other parameters
and factors are fixed. The argument is that with increasing volatility, the average gain goes
up, in case of realization, but the downside (in case of expiration) does not change.
Consequently there is a onetoone relationship between the option price and volatility, and so
the calculation can be reversed, at least numerically (see Figure 4.3). The volatility calculated
from a quoted option premium is called implied volatility. OTC market makers quote
volatility as an indirect price proxy, since there are no standardized options. The traders
negotiate option prices in terms of volatility that is at the end translated to the option premium
paid by the option buyer. Hence, it is in fact the premium that is implied by the quoted
volatility. Unlike forward price that is completely determined by already existing market
factors (spot price, interest rate, income on the asset, etc.) there is a completely new market
factor, i.e. volatility. Trading with option is sometimes called volatility trading, since it is
about the market view on volatility.
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Figure 4.3. Relationship among volatility, option price, option parameters and other factors
Elementary Properties of Options
As discussed above, an option price (call or put) positively depends on volatility. There is also
certain dependence on the other parameters and market factors that can be qualitatively
analyzed without any particular formula. It is obvious that a lower strike price call option is
more valuable than a call option with higher strike price and the same maturity. Similarly, the
higher is the spot price, the higher a call option value should be. The impact of strike and spot
prices on put option value should be apparently opposite. Since domestic currency interest
rate positively influences expected growth of assets, its impact on a call option value should
be positive. Income on the underlying asset (dividend rate, foreign currency interest rate, etc.)
has a negative effect on the expected growth of the asset price, and so the impact on call
option value should be negative. In case of put options the situation is opposite. Finally, there
is time to maturity, where the impact is ambiguous. American options with longer time to
maturity are always more valuable. In case of European options, it depends on the relationship
between spot and forward prices (normal or inverted markets). If spot prices are expected to
grow over time then, ceteris paribus, a call option value will grow with time to maturity. But
if spot prices are expected to decline (e.g. due to high dividend payout) then the call option
value might decrease with longer time to maturity. The dependencies are summarized in
Table 4.1.
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Variable Call Put
Spot price S + –
Strike price K – +
Time to maturity Tt + (American) ? (European) – (American) ? (European)
Volatility σ + +
Interest rate r + –
Asset income q – +
Table 4.1. Effect of option parameters and market factors on option prices
The put and call prices satisfy the well known putcall parity. Before we prove the parity let
us look on a few basic inequalities. Table 4.2 gives an overview of the standard notation used
throughout these lecture notes and generally in derivatives literature.
Variable Description
S
0
Current value of the asset
K Strike price (forward price)
T Expiration time
t Current time
r Domestic currency riskfree rate
q Income on the underlying asset
S
T
Asset price at time T
c (C) European (American) call option value
p (P) European (American) put option value
Table 4.2. Summary of option valuation notation
An American option is always at least as valuable, other parameters being equal, as the
corresponding European option. On the other hand, an American or European call (put)
option can never be worth more than the underlying asset (the strike price amount paid for the
underlying asset). Consequently
0
, C S p K c P ≤ ≤ ≤ ≤ .
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European put option, if exercised, pays K at time T, and so its current value will never be
more than the discounted strike price (assuming t = 0)
rT
p K e
−
≤ .
To obtain option value lower bounds more sophisticated arbitrage based arguments need to be
used. Let us assume that the asset does not pay any income. Then the call option lower
bound is
(4.1)
0
rT
c S e K
−
− ≤ .
The inequality (4.1) is proved by a classical arbitrage argument. Consider two portfolios
corresponding to the lefthandside and to the righthandside of the modified inequality
0
rT
S e K c
−
≤ + ,
i.e. a portfolio A with one unit of the asset and a portfolio B with one European call option
and
rT
e K
−
in cash on a money market account accruing the interest r in continuous
compounding. We need to prove that the current value of A is less or equal than the current
value of portfolio B, i.e.
0 0
A B ≤ . It is easy to prove the relationship at time T: If
T
K S < then
the call option is exercised, and then the accrued cash amount K is used to get one unit of the
asset whose value is S
T
. If
T
K S ≥ then the option expires and the value of B is just K. In both
cases the value of portfolio A is less or equal then the value of B, i.e.
T T
A B ≤ . The inequality
between values of the two portfolios at time T generally implies the same inequality at time 0.
By contradiction, if
0 0
A B > then we could short A (i.e. sell one unit of the asset), the proceeds
would be sufficient to buy B (i.e. one call and investing
rT
e K
−
into a money market account)
and to keep a profit. At time T the position can be closed by selling off the portfolio B and
buying A, i.e. one unit of the asset to close the position. Since
T T
A B ≤ , there is also
a nonnegative profit at time T. Altogether, we have achieved a positive arbitrage profit
contradicting our assumption of arbitragefree markets.
Example 4.1. A six months European call option on a non dividend stock is quoted at €3.10.
The strike price is €50 and the current stock value is €53. Assume that the interest rate in
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continuous compounding is 2%. It is easy to verify that (4.1) fails to hold since
0.01
53 50 3.5 e
−
− = is larger than 3.1. It means that not only a theoretical statement is violated,
but moreover that there is a beautiful arbitrage opportunity that can be exhausted in practice.
A trader of a large investment bank could possibly short one million of stocks, buy one
million of calls, and invest the remaining amount into short term bonds. When the position is
closed after 6 months the profit is at least €0.4 million disregarding whether the calls are
realized or not. One might expect that the violation of (4.1) is only temporary, that the option
market value will be corrected, and the position could be closed with the similar profit much
sooner.
The inequality (4.1) can be easily generalized for income paying assets. Let I denote the
present value of income paid by the asset until maturity T. Then
0
rT
c S I e K
−
− ≤ − .
To prove the inequality, set portfolio B as above and A as one unit asset and –I in cash
(i.e. borrow I).
Similar inequalities can be obtained for European put options on nonincome (or income)
paying assets:
(4.2)
0
rT
p e K S
−
− ≤ .
To prove the inequality, set portfolio A to be the cash
rT
e K
−
on a money market account and
B being one put option and one unit of the asset. It is easy to see that at maturity
T T
A B ≤ , and
so
0 0
A B ≤ .
Example 4.2. A six months European put option on a non dividend stock is quoted at €1.20.
The strike price is €55, the current stock value is €53, and the interest rate is 2% again. The
inequality (4.2) fails as
0.01
55 53 1.45 e
−
− = is larger than 1.2. Again there is an arbitrage
opportunity to make a profit around €250 000 if the transactions are done in 1 million of
stocks.
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PutCall Parity
Consider a portfolio A of one long call and one short put European options with the same
underlying asset, maturity T, and strike price K. It is easy to see (Figure 4.4) that the portfolio
payoff at time T is
, 0) pay m off ( ax( ) max( , 0)
T T T
K K S S A S K = − − − = − .
Figure 4.4. Long call and short put combined payoff
Indeed, if
T
S K > then the call option pays
T
S K − ; if
T
S K < then the call option is realized
and we lose
T
K S − ; finally if
T
S K = then the payoff is zero. But
T
S K − is exactly the payoff
of a long forward to buy the asset for K with maturity T. If B is the portfolio consisting of this
one forward then
T T
A B = , and so
0 0
A B = , repeating the arguments stated above. Today’s
value of A is c – p and the value of B is given by (2.12), i.e. we have proved the putcall
parity in the form
(4.3)
0
( )
rT
c p e F K
−
− = − ,
where F
0
is the current market forward price of the asset for the maturity T. If the asset pays
no income (e.g. non dividend paying stock) then
0 0
rT
F e S = and so (4.3) can be written as:
(4.4)
0
rT
c p S e K
−
− = − .
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The putcall parity allows us to calculate the value of put if we know the value of call and
vice versa. If we find a formula c then (4.3) automatically gives a formula for p. The putcall
parity is often written and proved in the form
(4.5)
0
rT
c e K p S
−
+ = + .
If market option quotes do not obey (4.5) then portfolios A and B corresponding to the left
hand side and right hand side can be formed. It is easy to verify that
T T
A B = . If the left hand
side value is lower than the right hand side then B should be shorted and A bought to get an
arbitrage profit. If the left hand side value is higher than the right hand side then we short A,
and invest into B.
Example 4.3. A three months European call option on a non dividend stock is quoted at €1.20
while the corresponding put option is €2.50. The strike price for both options is €55, the
current stock value is €53, and the interest rate is 2%. The left hand side of the putcall parity
(4.5) is
0.005
55 55.93 1.2 e
−
= + , while the right hand side 2.5 53 55.5 + = . Thus, the putcall
parity is violated indicating an arbitrage opportunity. The arbitrage can be achieved by
shorting the “left hand side” portfolio (or its multiple) for €55.93 and investing €55.5 into the
“right hand side” portfolio. The position should be closed in three months with zero payoff
and we can keep the €0.43 (per one stock) riskfree arbitrage profit. Specifically, we can sell
100 000 call options for €120 000 and borrow
0.005
50000 €5 472 0 569 5 e
−
= . At the same time
we buy 100 000 put options for €250 000 and 100 000 stocks for €5 300 000. The remaining
amount €42 569 can be set aside as the arbitrage profit. After three months either the call
option or the put option is realized (or none of them if the spot price equals to the strike
price). If the call option is realized then we sell 100 000 stocks for €5 500 000 and repay the
loan, the put option expires, and the position is closed with zero payoff. If the put option is
realized then the stocks are again sold for €5 500 000 and the loan is repaid. Finally, if the
spot price equals exactly to €55 then neither the call nor put does not have to be realized. The
stocks can be sold on the spot market for €5 500 000 and the position is closed again.
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American versus European Options
The putcall parity has been shown for European options, but does it hold for American
options? It turns out that valuation and analysis of European options is simpler than in case of
American options. Putcall parity equation does not hold for American options, but it can be
shown that for non income paying assets a similar inequality holds,
(4.6)
0 0
rT
C P S e K S K
−
≤ − ≤ − − .
We may follow arbitrage arguments analogous to the European putcall parity case, but the
complication is that both options might be realized at different times until maturity. To prove
the first inequality, consider the portfolio A of one stock and one American put and the
portfolio B consisting of one call and initial cash K. The outcome at time T must also take into
account possible realization of the options before maturity. To prove the second inequality the
portfolio A has one call and
rT
e K
−
of initial cash while portfolio B consists of one put and one
stock.
Example 4.4. One year American call option on a non dividend stock is priced at €4.50 while
the American put is for €3. The strike price for both options is €55, the current stock value is
€57, and the interest rate is 2%. The first inequality in (4.6) fails to hold while the second is
satisfied since
0
2 S K − = , 1.50 C P − = , and
0
3.09
rT
e K S
−
− = . The arbitrageur will sell the
put for €3 and short one stock for €57. The proceeds will be used to buy one call for €4.50
and deposit €55. The remaining amount of €0.50 should be the guaranteed arbitrage profit. If
the put is exercised at a time t T ≤ then we have to pay out €55 for the stock; the stock can be
used to close the short stock position and we still have the remaining nonnegative accrued
interest and potential profit on the call option. If the put option is not exercised until maturity
T then we can exercise the call option, buy the stock for €55, and close the short position.
Again, we have closed the position and end up with nonnegative cash balance.
The analysis of (4.6) can be simplified realizing, that it is never optimal exercising early a call
on non income paying asset. If the call is realized at time t T < then we end up with one unit
of the asset at time T. The price paid for the stock from the time T perspective is
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( ) r T t
e K K
−
> and so, it is always better to wait until maturity of the call. We have shown that
for non income paying assets c = C and so
0
rT
c p S C P c P e K
−
− = − − ≤ − = .
However, it might be rational to exercise an American call option early if there is income,
e.g. large dividend paid out before maturity.
The same conclusion,generally, does not hold for put options – it may be optimal to exercise
an American put option early even on non income paying asset, hence p < P. Assume that the
asset value
t
S is very low at time t T < and so the put option is deeply inthemoney. Then it
might be better to realize the option immediately and get the payoff
t
K S − that accrues to
( )
( )
r T t
t
K S e
−
− at time T. If
t
S is very small then the accrued payoff will be larger than the
maximal payoff K if the put is realized at maturity.
Option Strategies
Options are used for hedging, speculation, or arbitrage. A typical hedging application of
options has been shown already in Example 1.2. An arbitrage with options has been illustrated
in Example 4.1 Example 4.4. There are other possible arbitrage strategies, for example
related to replication based option pricing theory. Regarding speculation, options can be
combined in many different ways creating new trading strategies. The strategies may
speculate on a range of future asset values, or even, in a sense, on future market volatility. For
example a long position in a call and a put with identical strike forming so called straddle
(Figure 4.6) could be based on an expectation of certain important event that will cause the
price going significantly up or significantly down. We do not speculate on direction but, in
a sense, on volatility.
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Figure 4.5. Profit from a long straddle (long call and long put with the same strike price)
The straddle position can be made cheaper by increasing the call strike price and reducing the
put strike price. The strangle profit/loss profile (Figure 4.6) is similar but not identical to the
straddle. The strategy is cheaper; on the other hand there must be a larger increase or decrease
of the asset price in order to make the strategy profitable.
Figure 4.6. Profit from a long strangle (put strike is less than the call strike price)
If a trader believes that the price is going to remain in a limited range then the strangle or
straddle strategy could be shorted. In that case there is a limited upside and unlimited
downside, so traders might prefer to use a strategy like the butterfly spread (Figure 4.7) where
the downside is limited.
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Figure 4.7. Butterfly spread obtained as a combination of one long put (K
1
), two short puts (K
2
), and
one long put (K
3
)
The strategies are so popular that there are special Reuters’ pages quoting their prices as of
option packages. The quotes in Figure 4.8 show not only ordinary EUR/CZK volatilities, but
also butterfly spread, and risk reversal prices. The quotes are given via certain specific
conventions. For example, “6MBF25” quote of 0.675% / 1.025% indirectly indicates the price
of a 6 months maturity butterfly based on
1 2 3
K K K < < strike prices corresponding to put
option deltas deltas 25%, 50%, and 75% (see Section 4.3). The quote indicates so called fly
defined as the difference between the 50% delta put volatility and the average of 25% and
75% delta put volatilities.
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Figure 4.8. Volatility quotes for EUR/CZK options, butterfly spreads, and risk reversals (Source:
Reuters, Date: 1/12/09)
The quotes in Figure 4.8 also indicate prices of risk reversals. A risk reversal, whose
profit/loss profile is shown in Figure 4.9, consists of a long outofthemoney call and a short
outofthe money put, both with the same maturity. The strategy can be used if a trader does
not want to speculate on a moderate but large growth of the asset price. The long call is
presumably financed by the short put, and so there is almost no cost entering into a risk
reversal. The reversal yields a zero payoff if the price change is only moderate. But if the
price increases significantly, there is unlimited upside potential. On the other hand, if the
price falls down, there is also unlimited downside potential. The “RR” quotes in Figure 4.8
indicate the difference between the outofthe money call and outofthemoney put
volatilities. For example the 1YRR25 quote of 2.35% / 3.1% says that the 25% delta call
volatility is by this percentage higher than 25% delta put volatility. In practice, it means that
the call is more expensive than the put (extreme depreciation is viewed as more probable than
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extreme appreciation of CZK against EUR) and the risk reversal cost is positive. A short
(opposite) risk reversal strategy could be used if a trader expects a possible extreme fall of the
market prices rather than an increase.
Figure 4.9. Risk reversal profit loss
In a sense complementary strategies called bull spread and bear spread, where the upside and
downside is limited, should be finally mentioned. A bull spread can be set entering into a low
strike price (K
1
) long call and a higher strike price (K
2
) short call (see Figure 4.10). The lower
exercised priced will be often atthemoney. The same bull spread can be obtained from
a short inthemoney put (with the strike K
2
) and long outofthe money put (K
1
). As an
exercise, use putcall parity to verify equivalence of the two definitions. An investor that
expects the market to grow, i.e. expects a “bull” market, may speculate on the growth buying
a bull spread. The advantage is that the cost of the long call is reduced by the short call, and
moreover the downside potential is limited. On the other hand, the upside potential profit is
limited as well.
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Figure 4.10. Bull spread profit/loss profile set up from two call options
An investor that is pessimistic regarding future growth of the market, i.e. expects a “bear”
market, might invest into a bear spread. A bear spread is defined just as an opposite of a bull
spread, i.e. a low strike price short call and a higher strike price long call. In this case the
short call will be usually in the money and the short call atthemoney. Hence, there would be
an initial cash inflow.
There are certainly many other variations of the option strategies that can be used to speculate
on volatility and/or direction of the markets. It should be pointed out that if the markets were
efficient then none of the strategies could lead to systematic profits. It is questionable whether
popularity of the option strategies proves inefficiency of the markets or whether we can rather
conclude that the investors never learn.
4.2. Valuation of Options
As discussed in the previous section, valuation of options is not unfortunately as simple as
valuation of forwards. The value of an option depends on the distribution of the underlying
asset prices in the future. Option contracts are in a sense similar to insurance products, there is
an insurance seller and insurance buyer, and the value could be, at least approximately,
estimated using classical actuarial methods. Based on historical data, option value might be
estimated as the discounted expected payoff (average insurance damages).
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The main goal of this chapter is to show that the famous BlackScholes formula (representing,
in fact, properly discounted expected payoff) gives a precise and consistent tool to value
options. However, it should be pointed out that options were traded and valued using
intuition, market opinion, actuarial, or other methods long before the model have been
published by Black and Scholes (1973) and independently by Merton (1973) in the early
1970s. The formula is based on a stochastic (geometric Brownian motion) model of the
underlying asset behavior. The principles of the model can be relatively easily explained in
the discrete set up of binomial trees (Cox, Ross, Rubinstein, 1979). Then, we will use the
concept of infinitesimals to extend the discrete model to a continuous time setup. The Black
Scholes formula can be arrived to from two directions: first as properly discounted expected
payoff using the riskneutral valuation principle, and secondly as a solution of the Black
Scholes partial differential equation. Both approaches are important from theoretical and
practical points of view, but we will focus on the former and only briefly outline the latter.
OneStep Binomial Trees
A binomial tree is a diagram representing paths of an asset price in time assuming that it
follows a random walk. In each step the price goes with certain probability up or down. Let us
firstly look at the simplest onestep binomial tree. The initial price at time 0 is S
0
and at time
T it moves up to S
0
u with probability p or down to S
0
d with probability 1p (Figure 4.11). The
tree is determined by three coefficients: u > 1, d < 1, and the probability p.
Figure 4.11. Onestep binomial tree
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Obviously, it is very simplifying to model future price scenarios over a longer time horizon
with a onestep binomial tree. However, we will argue that a binomial tree with many steps
corresponding to very short time intervals models the price development well, of course
provided the tree parameters are properly calibrated.
Let us assume for the time being that there are only two scenarios given by the onestep
binomial tree and let f denote the current (unknown) price of a European option (call or put)
with maturity T. We can easily calculate the option values f
u
and f
d
in the “up” and “down”
scenarios at time T as the option’s payoff given S
T
.
An ingenious arbitrage argument can be used to determine the option value f at time 0. The
idea is to set up a riskless portfolio Π combining a short position in the option and a multiple
of the asset. By a riskless portfolio (or asset) we mean portfolio whose value is the same in all
future scenarios – there is no uncertainty regarding its future value. The basic riskless asset is
a bank deposit or government bond investment that yields the riskfree rate r (in continuous
compounding). We also assume being able to borrow funds at the same riskfree rate r. Then,
any riskless portfolio Π must yield exactly r, not less or more. If the yield µ of Π was
higher than r (and the value of Π was positive) than we could invest into Πand finance it by
borrowing cash for r. The arbitrage return would be r µ − of the invested value. If r µ < then
we could short Πand deposit the proceeds for r. The arbitrage return would be 0 r µ − > .
Assuming there are no arbitrage opportunities we conclude r µ = .
Let us see whether we can really set up a riskless portfolio of one short option and
a ∆multiple of the asset that is assumed to be arbitrarily divisible. The initial (time 0)
portfolio value is
0 0
·S f = − + Π ∆ .
The value at time T depends on the two scenarios and we need to find a ∆so that
u d
Π = Π ,
i.e. assuming that the asset pays no income:
0 0
· ·
u d
S S f u f d − + = ∆ − + ∆ .
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The single equation with one unknown ∆ is easily solved
(4.7)
0 0
u d
S
f f
u d S
∆
−
−
= .
Note, that we are able to obtain this perfectly risk free portfolio since there are only two future
scenarios and only one parameter ∆ that we need to calculate at time T. The expression (4.7)
for delta has an interpretation that will be useful later: The numerator is the option value
variation corresponding to the underlying asset price variation in the denominator.
Consequently the fraction is an approximation the partial derivative of the option price with
respect to the underlying price
(4.8)
f
S
∂
∆ ≈
∂
.
According to the general argument above, the yield of the portfolio must be equal to the risk
free rate r,
0
rT
u d
e = = Π Π Π , i.e.
(4.9) ( )
0 0
· ·
r
u
T
f u e S f S − + = − + ∆ ∆ .
Since ∆ is given by (4.7), the equation (4.9) can be finally solved for the unknown initial
price of the option
(4.10)
0
1 ) · (
rT r
u
T
f e u f S e
− −
= − + ∆ .
Example 4.5. Let us have a six months call option on a non dividend stock with €50 strike
price. Assume that the current stock value is €50, the interest rate is 2%, and the future stock
price behavior is approximately modeled by the onestep binomial tree with u = 1.1, d = 0.9,
and 60% upmove probability. The up and down payoffs are: max(55 50, 0) 5
u
f = − = and
max(45 50, 0) 0
u
f = − = . The delta according to (4.7) is
5 0
5 5
0 5
5
.
4
−
−
∆ = = ,
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and so one short call can be hedged with 0.5 stocks. In order to eliminate the fractional
number let us rather consider for example 10 short calls and 5 long stocks whose initial value
is 10f + €250. Indeed the portfolio value in the “up” scenario €50 + €275 equals to the
portfolio value €225 in the “down” scenario. The riskfree yield equation (4.9) can be, in this
case, written and solved as
( )
0.01
0.01
225 10 250 ,
250 225
2.72.
10
e f
e
f
−
= − +
−
= =
Hence, if the binomial tree perfectly models the future scenarios, then €2.72 would be the
only correct price we should pay for the call option.
RiskNeutral Valuation
According to the traditional actuarial principle the option value could be estimated as the
probability weighted average of the time T values discounted to time 0, i.e.
(4.11) [ ( )] ( (1 ) )
rT rT
p u d
f e E f T e pf p f
− −
= = + −
ɶ ɶ
.
The discount rate rɶ is not necessarily the riskfree rate since the payoff is not riskless and
investors generally require higher a return for a riskier investment. Hence, r r > ɶ and the
question is, what is the appropriate price of risk that should be incorporated into the discount
rate rɶ ?
When we analyze the valuation formula (4.10), there are two surprising conclusions: first, the
formulas (4.10) and (4.7) do not depend on the probability p, and second, the only discount
rate used is the riskfree rate r. The option price given by (4.10) can be, after a few algebraic
manipulations, expressed in the form (4.11) as
(4.12) [ ( )] ( ( where 1 ) ),
rT
rT rT
u q d
d
f e E f T e qf q
e
u d
f q
− −
=
−
= = +
−
− .
The probability p is called real world (or physical) since we assume that it captures the real
future development. According to (4.12) it can be replaced with the artificially defined
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probability q, called the riskneutral probability that allows discounting of the expected
payoff just with the riskfree interest rate r. To explain the notion of riskneutrality, let us look
on the expected stock return over the period T. In the real world, the return µ given by the
equation
(4.13) ( )
0 0 0
[ ( )] (1 )
p
T T
S e E S T e pS u p S d
µ µ − −
= = + − , or alternatively from the equation
T
e
u d
d
p
µ
−
=
−
,
should be higher than r, since the underlying asset is a risky investment. On the other hand,
the return on the stock, when the probability p is replaced by q from (4.12), turns out to be
just the riskfree rate r. We call the world, where p is replaced by q, the riskneutral world.
Note that q p < according to (4.12) and (4.13), since r µ < .
We have just seen that investors in the riskneutral world require only the riskfree return on
the risky stock, and (4.12) means that they require the riskfree return on any other derivative
with same source of risk (depending on the same set of scenarios). In this artificial world,
investors are riskneutral, they do not require any compensation of risk, and the price of risk is
zero. Here we can calculate the expected payoff, discount it with the risk free rate, and
conclude that the resulting price is the correct derivatives price applicable in the real world.
We have proved (in the context of a onestep binomial tree) the risk neutral valuation
principle that is of upmost importance for valuation of derivatives in general: to value an
option (or other derivative) we may assume that investors are risk neutral – their price of risk
is zero. The resulting valuation then also applies in the real world.
Example 4.6. The real world probability p = 60% given in Example 4.5 has not been indeed
used in the call option valuation at all. Let us calculate the riskneutral probability
0.01
0.9
55%
1.1 0.9
rT
e e
q
d
u d
−
−
−
= =
−
≐ .
The value obtained in Example 4.5 is, indeed, the same as the result based on the riskneutral
valuation principle (4.12):
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0.01
[ ( )] ( (1 ) ) 2.7 ·5 · 2 0
q
rT
f e E f T e q q
− −
= = + − = .
MultiStep Binomial Trees
It is obvious that one step binomial tree cannot capture properly the random behavior of asset
prices that change in very short time intervals. The onestep binomial model can be, however,
easily extended to a general nstep binomial tree (Figure 4.12). There are n time steps of
length / t T n δ = and at each step the asset price goes up or down with multiplicative factors
u and d, and with the same probabilities. The assumption of constant multiplication factors
and constant branching probabilities can be relaxed, but in this basic set up the tree is
recombining: if we go up and down, then the price change is the same as if we go down and
up since ud = du. The tree looks like a lattice and after n steps it has only n + 1 endnodes
corresponding to different modeled future asset prices.
Figure 4.12. A general nstep binomial tree
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An option can be valued repeating the onestep binomial tree valuation principal going
backwards from the endnodes to (n1)step nodes down to the root of the tree. The option
values at maturity are known, e.g. in case of a European call option
( )
0
max , 0
n k k
n k
u d
k
f S u d K
−
−
= − .
Given
n
u
f and
1 n
u d
f
−
get
1 n
u
f
−
applying (4.10) with T replaced by t δ , etc. Finally get f from
u
f and
d
f . In case of European options it is not necessary to repeat the onestep binomial
argument again and again. The calculation is significantly simplified by introducing the risk
neutral probability
(4.14)
r t
u d
d e
q
δ
−
=
−
that does not change over the tree. According to the riskneutral valuation principle
[ ( )]
q
rT
f e E f T
−
= where ( ) f T denotes the option payoff at time T modeled as a random
variable with values given by the end nodes on the tree and [·]
q
E is the expected value with
respect to the risk neutral probabilities. The risk neutral probability of the node corresponding
to (nk) ups and k downs is (1 )
n k k
n
q q
k
−
 
−

\ ¹
with
n
k
 

\ ¹
denoting the binomial number n over k
(number of unordered ktuples from a set with n elements) and so we have an explicit formula
for the option value
(4.15)
0
(1 )
n k k
rT n k k
u d
n
k
n
f e q q f
k
−
−
=
−
 
= −

\ ¹
∑
.
In practice, the parameters u and d must be chosen in order to match volatility of the asset
prices observed (or expected) on the market. In fact, the goal is to match the first two
moments of the return distribution over the elementary time step t δ . The first moment, i.e.
the mean return, would be matched by choosing an appropriate physical probability p, the
second, i.e. the standard deviation of returns is matched choosing appropriate u and d. Since
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we apply the riskneutral valuation principle, the result does not depend on p, only u and d
matching the standard deviation of returns need to be set.
Volatility σ is defined so that
2
t σ δ is the variance of the asset returns over a period of length
t δ . The definition implicitly assumes that the price process satisfies the Markov property –
the future development depends only on the present value, not on the past. It means, in
particular, that the price changes over nonoverlapping time intervals are independent and the
return variances can be added up. Thus, the variance over a oneyear period would be
2
σ . The
binomial model has the Markov property: the probabilities of going up or down does not
depend on the past.
According to Cox, Ross, and Rubinstein (1979), if σ is the volatility over the period T, then
the (CRR) parameters can be set as follows
4
(4.16) ,
t t
d u e e
σ δ σ δ −
= = .
It is easy to show that if
t
e
u d
d
p
µδ
−
=
−
then the variance of the asset returns over the one step
period is
2
t σ δ plus a term of order
2
t δ that becomes negligible when the number of steps n is
large (i.e. t δ small). The same conclusion holds for the risk neutral probability (4.14), thus the
change of probability implies a modified return, but the volatility σ remains essentially
unchanged (for a large number of steps n). Given a volatility estimate σ we may, hopefully,
refine our pricing given by (4.15) and (4.16) with / t T n δ = and a large n.
Example 4.7. Let us consider the same option as in Example 4.5, i.e. a six months call option
on a non dividend stock with €50 strike price. The current stock value is €50, the interest rate
is 2%, and the estimated volatility is 13.5%. For the onestep binomial tree, the up and down
parameters according to (4.16) are:
0.135 0.5
1.1 u e = = and 1/ 0.91 d u = ≐ . The option value
given by (4.12) is 2.62 f = . For the two step tree 0.25 t δ = ,
0.135 0.25
1.07 u e = ≐ , and
4
Note that 1
t
e t
σ δ
σ δ + ≐ , for a small t δ . In fact, the factors 1 u t σ δ = + and 1 d t σ δ = − could be
alternatively used with the same asymptotic results.
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1.94 f = . There is a significant difference between the onestep and twostep binomial tree
valuation, so it is important to enlarge the number of steps further. Figure 4.13 shows the
calculated values when the number of steps goes from 1 up to 10.

0,50
1,00
1,50
2,00
2,50
3,00
0 2 4 6 8 10 12
Number of steps
Estimated value
Estimated value
Figure 4.13. Option value estimated on binomial trees with different number of steps
The estimated values apparently approach a value between 2.1 and 2.2. When (4.15) is
evaluated for 499 and 500 steps then we get 2.154 and 2.152. Consequently if the multistep
binomial tree model is correct then the option should be correctly valued around €2.153.
It has been proved in general by Cox, Ross, Rubinstein (1979) that the binomial tree valuation
converges to the BlackScholes formula result.
Valuation of American Options
So far we have considered European options. Their numerical valuation using binomial trees
is an interesting exercise but a precise value can be calculated directly by the BlackScholes
formula. However, there is no explicit formula for American options, that can be valued
numerically using the binomial trees as well. Therefore, the trees are very useful for these
types of options.
To value an American option, let us firstly start with the onestep tree in Figure 4.11. Nothing
happens between the time 0 and T, and so we can assume that the option is exercised either at
maturity T or at time 0. If the option is exercised at time T then we easily calculate the payoff
values
u
f and
d
f . At time 0 we either decide to exercise the option, and collect the payoff
from early exercise, or decide to wait until maturity T. In the latter case the option becomes in
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fact European and can be, at time 0, valued as a European option. Consequently, a rational
investor will compare the European option value
E
f with the early payoff, and so the initial
American option value is
(4.17)
( )
early exercise ma payoff x ,
E
f f = .
This onestep valuation principle has to be repeated going backwards from maturity in the
nstep binomial tree Figure 4.12. In this case there is no single formula like (4.15). The
valuation algorithm must go through all the nodes and check (4.17) to decide whether early
exercise is optimal or not. The numerical procedure is still feasible, even if done manually,
since the number of nodes in an nstep recombining binomial tree is only ( 1) / 2 n n + .
Example 4.8. The strike price of a six months American put option is €52, current stock value
is €50, the interest rate is 2%, and the volatility 13.5%. The twostep binomial tree with the
CRR parameters (4.16) is shown in Figure 4.14. The put option is initially in the money and
to decide whether it is optimal to exercise early or not, we have to work from the end. The
twostep node values on the right hand side are simply the put option payoffs conditional on
the simulated values. The onestep up node simulated stock value is €53.5 and so the option is
out of the money and its value €0.95 is just the riskneutral discounted weighted average
of 0 and €2. The situation is more interesting in the onestep down node where the early
exercise payoff is €5.26. If the option was not exercised at this node then its value would be
the riskneutral discounted weighted average of €2 and €8.31, i.e. only €5. This value is in the
tree replaced by €5.26 according to (4.17) and the node can be marked as “early exercise”.
Finally at time 0 the immediate exercise payoff would be €2, but without the early exercise
the option’s value is €3.01, and so we do not exercise. The American put option value
estimated by the twostep model us €3.01, its European counterpart value would be slightly
lower €2.88.
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Figure 4.14. American put option binomial tree
The twostep tree valuation restricts early exercise only to the times 0 or 3 months. Therefore
it is important to run the numerical procedure for larger number of steps and verify its
convergence. It turns out that after 100 steps, or more, the American option price converges to
a value around €2.85 while the European option price converges just to €2.76.
So far, we have considered binomial trees only for nonincome paying assets. The model can
be easily extended for income paying assets. This is important for American call options that
can be valued using the BlackScholes formula if is there is no income (see Section 4.1), but
a numerical procedure like the binomial tree model is needed in the general case.
Binomial Tree as a Finite Probability Space
Before we go on to continuous time price modeling, it will be useful to formulate the
binomial tree model in the context of elementary probability theory (see also Shreve, 2005).
By a finite probability space we mean a nonempty finite set Ω and a function [ : 0,1] P Ω→
assigning a probability ( ) P ω to each element ω of Ω so that the sum of all probabilities
equals to one, i.e. ) 1 ( P
ω
ω
∈Ω
=
∑
. The set Ω typically represents a collection of possible
outcomes of an experiment.
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Most key probability concepts can be developed in the context of finite probability spaces. An
event is defined as a set of possible outcomes A ⊆ Ω and its probability is defines
by ( ) ( )
A
P A P
ω
ω
∈
=
∑
. A random variable is a real valued function : X R Ω → typically
representing a measured value ) ( X ω in case of an outcome ω∈Ω. The expected value (the
mean value or the first moment) of the random variable X is defined as the probability
weighted average ) ( ) ] ( [ X E X P
ω
ω ω
∈Ω
=
∑
. Sometimes we are interested in the expected value
of X conditional on an event A defined as
) ( )
1
[  ] (
( )
E X A P
P A
X
ω
ω ω
∈Ω
=
∑
.
It is easy to see that the expectation operator is linear, i.e. if X
1
and X
2
are two random
variables and c
1
and c
2
are two constants then
1 1 2 2 1 1 2 2
[ ] [ ] [ ] E c X c X c E X c E X + = + .
Another key concept is the notion of variance of X defined as the mean squared difference of
the random variable X and its expected value:
( )
2
2
var[ ] [ ] ( )( ( ) ) where [ ] , X E X E X P X E X
ω
ω ω µ µ
∈Ω
(
= − = − =
¸ ¸
∑
.
The standard deviation of X is defined as the square root of the variance ( ) var[ ] X X σ = .
It can be interpreted as an average deviation of X from its expected value. Generally the
nth moment of X is defined as ] [
n
E X . In case of variance and the second moment, it is easy
to see that
( )
2
2
] [ r ] ] va [ [ X E X E X − = .
Having reviewed the key finite probability concepts, let us focus on binomial trees. An
outcome of a onestep binomial tree can be viewed as a result of coin tossing where the head
and the tail do not have necessarily equal probabilities. Let us consider the onestep binomial
tree and encode the head (up) by the letter U and the tail (down) by D. The probability space
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{ } , U D Ω = with the physical probabilities ( ) P U p = and ( ) 1 P D p = − represents the set of
two possible outcomes where we model the underlying asset value as the random variable S
with values
0
( ) S U S u = and
0
( ) S D S d = . We can also introduce an option payoff function as
a random variable, e.g.
payoff
( max( ( ) ) , 0) f S K ω ω = − , i.e.
payo 0 ff
( ) max( , 0) f U S u K = − and
payoff 0
( ) max( , 0) f D S d K = − . The initial option value can be expressed according to (4.12) if
we change the probability measure to Q defining ( ) Q U q = and ( ) 1 Q D q = − where q is given
by (4.12).
A general nstep binomial tree can be represented as a set of sequences of heads and tails of
length n, i.e. formally by the set { , }
n
n
U D Ω = . Each element
n
ω∈Ω represents a scenario or
a path, i.e. a sequence of ups and downs until the timeT t nδ = . Since the up and down moves
are independent with probabilities p and 1 p − , respectively, the probability will depend only
on the number of ups and downs, i.e.
ups ) ups( ) (
( (1 ) )
n
p p P
ω ω
ω
−
= − where ups( ) ω denotes the
number of U inω . The random variable
n
S modeling the asset at time T t nδ = value is
defined similarly by
( ups ) ups( )
0
) (
n
n
S d S u
ω ω
ω
−
= .
The scenarios have a time structure. If
n
ω∈Ω is restricted to the first k moves, denoted as
k ω↾ , then we get the partial information known at time k t δ . The simulated asset value can
be calculated along the path ω :
(4.18)
ups ) ups( )
0
(
( ) ) (
k k k
k k
S S u k S d
ω ω
ω ω
−
= =
↾ ↾
↾ .
The sequence of random variables
0 1
,. . , . ,
n
S S S is an example of an adapted stochastic process.
Generally, a sequence of random variables
0 1
,. . , . ,
n
X X X on
n
Ω is called an adapted
stochastic process, if for every
n
ω∈Ω and k n ≤ the value ) (
k
X ω depends only on k ω↾ , i.e.
only on the information known at time t t kδ = .
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The binomial tree
n
Ω itself is not recombining (Figure 4.12), but the asset value random
variable (4.18) is (depending only on the number of ups and downs). Applying the risk
neutral principle a European option with known payoff
n
f at maturity T t nδ = can be valued
as the discounted expected value, i.e.
(4.19)
0
[ ]
rT
q n
f e E f
−
=
changing the measure P to Q setting
ups ) ups( ) (
( (1 ) )
n
q q Q
ω ω
ω
−
= − with q given by (4.14). Note
that the change of measure does not change the scenarios – the set of sequences
n
Ω , the
variables
n
S , and
n
f remain unchanged – we only change probabilities of individual scenarios
and the corresponding probability distributions of the random variables. It can be easily
shown that (4.19) is equivalent to (4.15) if the u and d are constant. If the parameters change
across the tree then (4.19) remains valid.
Finite binomial trees can be used to easily explain the notion of conditional expectation and
a martingale. Let X be a random variable on
n
Ω and k n < . If
k
ω∈Ω is a sequence of length k
representing a partial information known at time t T k t n t δ δ < = = then conditional expected
value [  ] E X ω is the probability weighted average of X over all scenarios '
n
ω ∈Ω that start
with ω :
] ' [  [  ' }] { ,
n
E X X k E ω ω ω ω = ∈Ω = ↾ .
The function assigning to
k
ω∈Ω the conditional expectation [  ] E X ω is called the
conditional expectation operator and denoted ] [ 
k
E X Ω or ] [
k
E X .
An adapted stochastic process
0 1
,. . , . ,
n
M M M is called a martingale if
[  ]
k k m
M E M Ω = whenever k n m < ≤ . It turns out that discounted asset values are
martingales with respect to the risk neutral probability measure. The equation (4.19)
following from the onestep binomial tree argument can be transposed to any k n m < ≤ :
( )
[  ]
q k
m
m
r k t
k
f e E f
δ − −
Ω = . Let us define
rk
k k
t
M e f
δ −
= , then
0 1
,. . , . ,
n
M M M is a martingale
since
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( )
[  [  [  ] ] ]
rk t rk t r m k t rm t
q k q k q k k k m m m
M e f e e E f E e f E M
δ δ δ δ − − − − −
= = Ω = Ω = Ω .
The discounted underlying asset value
t
k
rk
e S
δ −
is a martingale as well, since
( )
[  ]
q k
m
m
r k t
k
S e E S
δ − −
Ω = with respect to the riskneutral probability measure.
Wiener Process and the Geometric Brownian Motion
Modern financial theory models dynamic asset prices using continuous time stochastic
processes. We have already introduced discrete time stochastic processes where the variable
can change only at certain fixed points in time, while continuous time stochastic processes
can change at any point in time. To avoid technically difficult mathematical theory of
stochastic processes many authors often characterize the continuous time process intuitively
as a limit case of discrete time stochastic processes (see e.g. Hull, 2011 or Wilmott, 2006).
This is in principle correct, but it is difficult to explain what is exactly meant by the limit of
discrete stochastic processes. Instead, we will use the concept of infinitesimal numbers that
allows us to extend easily the concept finite binomial trees to infinite (hyperfinite) binomial
trees with infinitesimal time steps representing well continuous time processes.
The notion of infinitesimals has been already used in the 17
th
century by Leibniz and Newton
that discovered the differential and integral calculus. Many key concepts and theorems have
been formulated and proved using the infinitesimals. Mathematicians have later abandoned
the notion of infinitesimals that in some cases caused a number of errors when used without
caution. Recently, mathematicians laid down a proper foundation of infinitesimals (Robinson,
1966). According to the result the set of “standard” real numbers R can be extended to a larger
set
*
R including the standard real numbers, but also “nonstandard” numbers, in particular
infinitesimal numbers that are smaller, in absolute value, than any standard nonzero number,
as well as infinite numbers that are larger, in absolute value, than any standard real number.
The extended set of (hyper) real numbers
*
R , with the operations of addition and
multiplication, has the same properties as the set of (standard) real numbers R. Similarly, any
function or more complex mathematical structure can be extended to its nonstandard
counterpart preserving the original properties. The extended objects can be used to work
easily with many mathematical concepts, for example the extended real numbers and
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functions can be used to integrate just by summing up hyperfinite series and rounding the
result to the nearest standard real number to obtain the classical integral. In fact the integral
sign
∫
represents an elongated S from the Latin word Summa.
There are many research papers and textbooks on the differential and integral calculus based
on the concept of infinitesimals (see e.g. Keisler, 1976 or Vopěnka, 2010, 2011) as well on
the theory of probability and stochastic processes (Nelson, 1977, Albeverio et al, 1986,
Cutland et al., 1991, Witzany, 2008, etc.). A more exact introduction to the elementary
stochastic calculus will be given in the Appendix of the second part of these lecture notes. In
this chapter, we are going use the concept of infinitesimals rather intuitively.
The continuous time processes will be build on a hyperfinite Nstep binomial tree
N T
Ω = Ω
where N is an infinite integer and the elementary timestep / t T N δ = is infinitesimal. The
changes of the modeled variables can happen at any time on the infinitesimal time step scale
{ } 0, , 2 ,..., t t N t δ δ δ = T and so, in fact, at any time from the standard point of view. We will
use the letter t, possibly with an index, exclusively for elements of the time scale T .
The key building block of financial stochastic processes is the Wiener process (also referred
to as Brownian motion) where, starting from the zero initial value, it moves at each step up
and down independently on the past so that the mean value of the changes equals to zero and
the variance equals the length of the time interval. For the time being, let us assume that the
up and down probabilities are equal both to 0.5, the Wiener process can be then generated by
the elementary equation
(4.20) z t δ δ = ± ,
where + applies if the path goes up and – applies if the path goes down. The equation (4.20)
can be viewed as a script for a virtual machine that is able to generate randomly hyperfinite
sample paths and calculate iteratively ) ( ( ) t t z t z z δ δ = + + starting from (0) 0 z = . Formally,
z is not a single function on T , but a family of functions indexed by the paths
T
ω∈Ω , i.e.
*
:
T
R z Ω × → T .
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Note that the mean of the onestep increment z δ is 0 and the variance t δ . Summing up
a series of independent elementary increments over a time interval from
1
t to
2
t we get the
increment
2 1
( ) ( ) z t z t − with mean 0 and variance
1 2
t t − . Moreover, if the number of
elementary steps between
1
t and
2
t is infinite then the random variable
2 1
( ) ( ) z t z t − (from the
perspective of time
1
t ) will be, according to the Central Limit Theorem, normally distributed.
The statement, in fact, holds up to an infinitesimal error. Since we are interested, at the end, in
standard real values, these infinitesimal errors can be neglected. If dt is an infinite multiple
5
of
t δ then the corresponding dz is normally distributed, up to an infinitesimal error of a higher
order with respect to dt (i.e. the error is infinitely smaller compared to dt). We will use the
notation dt and dz either for the elementary time step and Wiener process increment generated
by (4.20) or for a general infinitesimal time step being at the same time an infinite multiple of
t δ , and for the corresponding normally distributed change of z.
Figure 4.15 shows a few sample paths of the Wiener process for the time 1 T = . The process z
is a family of functions, but since we cannot show all, the figure gives just a few samples. The
sample paths have been generated according to (4.20) using Excel generated random numbers
with 1000 N = and 1/ 1000 t δ = . Thus, in fact the time step is not infinitesimal, but very small
and the number of steps very large – what we get is a discrete Wiener process approximation.
5
If ε is an infinitesimal then ε is infinitely larger, yet still an infinitesimal. Consequently, there are infinite
multiples of t δ that are still infinitesimal.
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2
1,5
1
0,5
0
0,5
1
1,5
2
0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1 1,2
z
t
Figure 4.15. Five sample paths of the Wiener process ( 00 1, 10 N T = = )
A generalized Wiener process x can be build multiplying the Wiener process by a constant
and adding a deterministic drift term. It can be described by a stochastic differential equation
(SDE) that describes how to calculate the increment dx given the time increment dt and the
Wiener process increment dz:
(4.21) dx adt bdz = +
starting from an initial value
0
(0) x x = . If dt is the elementary time step then the process can
be generated by the equation
x a t b t δ δ δ = ±
where we use + if the path goes up and – if the path goes down. Again, the process x is not a
single function, but a family of functions indexed by
T
ω∈Ω . It is easy to see that for a given
path
N
ω∈Ω and t ∈T we have
0
( , ) ( , ) x a t x t bz t ω ω + = + or briefly
0
x a x t bz + = + .
Consequently the generalized Wiener process increment
( ) ( )
1 2 1 2 1 2
( ) ( ( ) ) ) ( a t x t x t t b z t z t − − + − =
over the time interval from
1
t to
2
t is normally distributed with mean ( )
2 1
a t t − and variance
( )
2
2 1
. b t t − Hence, the term a is known as the drift rate representing the mean change over
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a unit of time, while
2
b is called the variance rate corresponding to the variance over a unit of
time. Figure 4.16 shows a few generalized Wiener process paths corresponding exactly to
those in Figure 4.15 but with the initial value
0
0.1 x = , the drift rate 0.3 a = , and the variance
rate
2 2
2 0.5 0. 5 b = = .
0,6
0,4
0,2
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
1,2
0 0,2 0,4 0,6 0,8 1 1,2
x
t
Figure 4.16. Five sample paths of the generalized Wiener process ( 1 T = , 1000 N = ,
0
0.3, 0. , 5 0.1 x a b = = = )
The generalized Wiener process is still not general enough to capture satisfactorily behavior
of asset prices. One obvious problem is that it can attain negative values (see Figure 4.16) but
asset prices are never negative. Moreover, observing daily, weekly (or another regular time
interval) price changes there is an evidence of approximately normal distribution of returns,
i.e. relative price changes, not increments (absolute price changes). If
1 i
S
−
and
i
S denote
observed prices at the end of interval 1 i − and i then
1 i i i
S S S
−
= ∆ − denotes the absolute
increment while
1
i
i
i
S
u
S
−
=
∆
the relative return. Figure 4.17 shows the histogram of the Czech
stock index PX daily returns over a period of more than 9 years. The returns appear visually,
and can be statistically tested, to be (almost) normally distributed. The same conclusion could
not be made for absolute returns since the level of the index is changing over time.
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0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
400
450
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
Histogram of Stock Returns
Figure 4.17. Histogram of the PX stock index daily returns (3.1.2002 – 11.2.2011)
The returns over nonoverlapping periods also turn out to be statistically (almost)
independent. Consequently the appropriate stock or other asset price process model could be
realistically described by the stochastic differential equation
dt
dS
dz
S
µ σ = + ,
or equivalently
(4.22) Sdt dz dS S µ σ + = .
The drift parameter µ is the expected annualized return of the asset price and
σ corresponding to the standard deviation of annualized return is referred to as volatility of
the asset price. The stochastic process is known as the geometric Brownian motion. It can be,
on the infinitesimal time scale, generated by the equation
(4.23) S t S t S δ µ δ σ δ ± = .
Note, that in order to calculate ) ( ( ) t t S t S S δ δ = + + the already known value ( ) S t is used on
the right hand side of (4.23), i.e.
( )
( ( ) ) 1 S t S t t t t δ µδ σ δ = + ± + .
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In practice we rather use a discrete time model with a very small (but not infinitesimal) time
step t ∆ generating the sample paths according to the equation
S t S t S µ σ ∆ ∆ + = ∆ ε ,
where (0,1) N ∼ ε is normally distributed with mean 0 and variance 1. The starting value
0
(0) S S = should be the actual asset price. If the parameters, i.e. the drift and volatility, are
properly calibrated, based on historical data and/or on our future market behavior prediction,
then the distribution of future prices ( ) S t for a fixed time t should have a realistic probability
distribution. In order to characterize the distribution we need to use the Ito’s lemma that is of
key importance in elementary stochastic calculus.
Ito’s Lemma and the Lognormal Property
Ito’s process is a stochastic process x described by the stochastic differential equation
(4.24) ( , ) ( , ) dx a x t dt b x t dz = + .
The coefficients a and b are allowed to depend on the last known value of x and on t. On the
level of the elementary time step the already known value ( ) x t and t are used to calculate
( ( ), ) a x t t and ( ( ), ) b x t t , so
(4.25) ) ( ) ( ( ), ) ( ( ( ), ) t x t a x t t t b x t t x t t δ δ δ = + ± + .
If the functions a and b are reasonable (continuous plus some other properties) then the
process is well and uniquely defined (i.e. it satisfies the general SDE (4.24) if sampled
according to (4.25)).
The Ito’s lemma tells us what happens when an Ito’s process x is transformed by a function of
two variables ( , ) G G x t = . The transformed process (also denoted as G) assigns the value
, ( ( , ) ) t G x t ω to a given scenario ω and time t . In other words, the function G is used to
transform each individual path of x to a path of the new process G. For example we may ask
what sort of process
x
e is, if x is a generalized Wiener process, or alternatively what type of
process ln( ) S is, if S is a geometric Brownian motion, etc.
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The Ito’s lemma claims that if x satisfies (4.24) and if ( , ) G G x t = , as a function of two
variables, is sufficiently differentiable then the transformed stochastic process G is again an
Ito’s process satisfying the stochastic differential equation called the Ito’s formula:
(4.26)
2
2
2
1
2
G G G G
dG a b dt bdz
x t x x
  ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
= + + +

∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
\ ¹
.
The Ito’s lemma is not so difficult to prove using the concept of infinitesimals. Before we
outline the proof, let us apply the lemma in order to characterize the geometric Brownian
motion.
Let S be the geometric Brownian motion satisfying the equation (4.22) and let ( , ) ln G S t S = .
Since S is an Ito’s process the transformed process ln G S = must be also an Ito’s process
satisfying(4.26). Our guess is the function ln S since the returns over a short time interval can
be approximated by the log returns
1
1 1
ln ln ln
i i
i i i
i i
u S S
S S
S S
−
− −
= = −
∆
≐ .
Consequently absolute increments of ln S should be normally distributed and the process
ln S should be a generalized Wiener process (i.e. with SDE constant coefficients not
depending on S any more). Indeed, according to the Ito’s formula (4.26) the coefficients on
the righthand side of the equation
2 2 2
2
1 1 1 1 1
ln 0
2 2
· d S S dt dz dt dz
S S
S S
S
µ σ σ µ σ σ
−    
= + + + = +
 
\ ¹
−
\ ¹
are constant. Consequently ln S is a generalized Wiener process with the drift rate
2
1
2
µ σ − and the variance rate
2
σ . Alternatively let x be a generalized Wiener process
satisfying (4.21) and ( , )
x
G x t e = , then according to Ito’s lemma
2 2
1 1
0
2 2
x x x
dG e a e b dt e bdz a b Gdt bGdz
   
= + + + = + +
 
\ ¹ \ ¹
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and so the exponential process
x
e is a geometric Brownian motion with the mean rate of
return
2
1
2
a b + and variance rate
2
b . In particular, if
2
1
2
a µ σ = − and b σ = then the geometric
Brownian motion parameters are µ and σ . This shows that the geometric Brownian motion
values are always positive, which was implicitly assumed when we used the
transformation ln G S = .
We have shown that ln S increments are normally distributed, in particular that
2 2
ln ( ) ln (
1
0) ,
2
S T S N T T µ σ σ
   
−
 
\ \
−
¹ ¹
∼ , or equivalently
(4.27)
2 2
0
ln ln ,
1
2
T
S N S T T µ σ σ
   
+
 
\ ¹ \
−
¹
∼ .
The distribution of ( )
T
S S T = characterized by (4.27) is a known parametric distribution
called the lognormal distribution. Figure 4.18 shows an example the lognormal distribution
(4.27) density function.
0,005
0
0,005
0,01
0,015
0,02
0 50 100 150 200 250
f(S
T
)
S
T
Figure 4.18. Lognormal distribution (
0
0.1 1 , 0.2, 1 0 ) 0 , S T µ σ = = = =
The future asset price
T
S characterized by (4.27) as a lognormal distribution can be handled
analytically quite well. In particular, it can be shown that
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(4.28)
0
] [
T
T
E S S e
µ
= .
It would be tempting to say that the mean of
T
S equals to
2
/ 2
0
]) exp( [ln
T T
T
E S e S
µ σ −
= , but this
is not correct since the functions exp and ln are nonlinear (convex and concave)
6
. The
variance of
T
S can be shown
7
to be given by
(4.29)
2
2 2
0
var[ ] ( 1)
T T
T
S e S e
µ σ
− = .
Example 4.9. The lognormal distribution with density shown in Figure 4.18 is characterized
by the equation
2 2
1
1
0.1 0.2 ln ln100 , 0.2 (4.685, 0.0
2
4) S N N
   
+ =
 
\ ¹ \ ¹
− ∼ ,
i.e. log of the lognormally distributed variable
1
S has the normal distribution shown above.
The relation can be used to determine certain critical values of
1
ln S and so of
1
S . For
example, we may need to know the critical value
c
S under which the future asset price
1
S
will not fall with 99% probability. Such a critical value is easily calculated for a normal
distribution
( )
2
, N m s as
1 1
(0.01) (0.99) m sN m sN
− −
+ = − where
1
( ) N α
−
is the inverse
6
According to Jensen’s inequality, if X is a random variable and ( ) X ϕ a convex function, then
( ) ( )] [ ] [ X X E E ϕ ϕ ≥
7
The mean [ ]
T
E S and variance
2 2
] [ var[ ] [ ]
T T T
S E S E S − = is obtained simply by integrating the lognormal
density function multiplied by
T
S and
2
T
S . We will perform a similar integration when proving the Black
Scholes formula.
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cumulative probability distribution function
8
for a standardized normal, i.e. (0,1) N variable.
Therefore the
1
ln S critical value on the 99% probability level is
1
4.685 0.2 (0.99) 4.685 0 · ·2.326 4. .2 22
c
N S
−
= = − = − .
Hence, we have
1
2 n 2 l 4. S ≥ with 99% probability. Since exponential is an increasing function
we can conclude that
4.22
1
68.03 S e ≥ = with 99% probability.
The formulas (4.28) and (4.29) can be used to obtain the expected value
0.01
1
[ ] 1 110.5 00 2 E S e = = and the variance
2
2 2·0.1 0.2
1
1 va 00 r[ ] ( 1) 498.46 S e e − = = . The standard
deviation of the asset price in one year then is
1
var[ 498.46 . ] 22 33 S = = . We have to keep
in mind that it is not correct to multiply this standard deviation by standardized inverse
normal distribution values (quantiles) in order to obtain critical values of
1
S .
Proof of Ito’s Lemma
We are going to outline a proof of Ito’s lemma using the Taylor’s series expansion and
infinitesimals. If ( , ) G G x t = is a sufficiently differentiable function then its increment
( , ) ( , ) x G x t G x t t G = + + − ∆ ∆ ∆ at a point ( , ) x t can be expressed by a series involving partial
derivatives of G and powers of x ∆ and t ∆ called the Taylor’s expansion:
(4.30)
2 2 2
2 2
2 2
1 1
2 2
G G G G G
G x t x t x t
x t x t x t
∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
∆ = ∆ + ∆ + ∆ ∆ ∆ ∆ +
∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
+ + ⋯
If x dx ∆ = and t dt ∆ = are infinitesimal (and of the same order) then the higher order powers
of dx and dt can be neglected and the expansion can be written as:
(4.31)
G G
dG dx dt
x t
∂ ∂
= +
∂ ∂
.
8
The cumulative distribution function ) Pr[ ] ( x N x X = ≤ where (0,1) X N ∼ can be evaluated in Excel as
NORMSDIST while the inverse function
1
( ) N α
−
as NORMSINV. The cumulative distribution function and its
inverse are also often denoted as Φand
1 −
Φ .
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Let dx be the Ito’s process increment given by the equation
( , ) ( , ) dx a x t dt b x t dz = + .
It is tempting to apply (4.31) but we have to take into account, that dx is not of the same order
as dt. If dt is the elementary time step then dz dt = ± and so dx is of the order of
dt (infinitely larger than dt). To get the correct expansion we need to use (4.30) where all
the terms with higher powers of dt can be neglected, but we need to keep the term
(4.32)
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
2 2 dx a dt abdtdz b dz a dt abdtdz b dt b dt = + + = + + = .
The key point is that
( )
2
2
d d dt t z = ± = and so, when (4.32) is plugged in into (4.30), the first
two terms on the right hand side of (4.32) can be neglected, but the last has to be kept:
( ) ( )
( )
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
G G G
dG adt bdz dt adt bdz
x t x
G G G
adt bdz dt b
x t x
G G G G
a b dz
x t
d
x
dt b
x
t
=
∂ ∂ ∂
= + + + +
∂ ∂ ∂
∂ ∂ ∂
+ + + = =
 
= +

\ ¹
∂ ∂ ∂
∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
+ +
∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
This completes the proof. The lemma and the proof can be easily generalized to
transformations of multidimensional Ito’s process with several sources of uncertainty
(independent or correlated Wiener processes)
The BlackScholes Formula
Let S be the price of a nonincome paying asset modeled by the geometric Brownian motion
Sdt dz dS S µ σ + =
on a hyperfinite binomial tree
T
Ω . Our initial up and down probabilities are set to 0.5 p = ,
1 0.5 p − = and the probability of any particular path ω is infinitesimal, 0 ( ) .5
N
P ω = , as N is
infinite. Nevertheless, calculating expected values like [max( , 0)]
P T
E S K − we do not have to
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deal with the point probabilities, but we can use the fact that
T
S has the lognormal distribution
given by (4.27). In order to discount properly the expected values we still need to prove the
risk neutral principle. But there is no work to do, we have already proved the principle for
finite binomial trees and the same conclusion holds for hyperfinite binomial trees. In this case
the up and down parameters are 1 u t t µδ σ δ + + = and 1 u t t µδ σ δ + − = , hence according
to (4.14) the changed upmove probability is
1
2
r t r t
e e t t
q
u d t
d
δ δ
µδ σ δ
σ δ
− − − −
= =
−
.
The new probabilities of individual paths now depend on the number of ups and downs
( 0.5 1 q q > > − ):
ups( ) ups( )
( (1 ) )
N
q q Q
ω ω
ω
−
= − .
We have not changed the values of S on the binomial tree
T
Ω , but again we have changed the
probability measure P to a new probability measure Q. The key conclusion is that the drift
rate with respect to Q is now the risk free interest rate r while the volatility remains
unchanged, thus
(4.33) Sdt dz dS r S σ + =
and
(4.34) dt d df rf f z σ + =
where f is the price of any derivative depending only on S. In particular, if we know the
payoff
T
f at time T then the derivative value at time 0 is
(4.35)
0
[ ]
rT
Q T
f e E f
−
= .
According to (4.33)
T
S has, with respect to the probability measure Q, the lognormal
distribution given by
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(4.36)
2 2
0
1
ln ln ,
2
T
r S N S T T σ σ
   
+
 
\ ¹ \
−
¹
∼
and so there is a good chance to evaluate to evaluate (4.35) analytically, if
T
f is a simple
payoff function. This is the case of European call and put options. For a European call option
with strike price K and maturing at T the payoff function is max( , 0)
T T
c S K = − . Integrating
the expected value and rearranging the result we obtain the famous BlackScholes pricing
formula
(4.37)
0 0 1 2
) ( ) (
rT
c S N d Ke N d
−
= − , where
(4.38)
2
0
1
ln( / ) ( / 2) S K r T
T
d
σ
σ
+ +
= ,
(4.39)
1 2
2
0
ln( / ) ( / 2) S K r
T
T
T
d d
σ
σ
σ
+ −
= = − ,
and ) ( ( ) x N x = Φ is the standard normal distribution cumulative probability function.
Similarly for a European put option with payoff max( , 0)
T T
p K S = − we get the formula
(4.40)
0 2 0 1
) ) ( (
rT
p Ke N d S N d
−
= − − −
where
1
d and
2
d are given by (4.38) and (4.39).
Example 4.10. The current value of a non dividend paying stock is €100, the interest rate is
2% (in continuous compounding and for all maturities), and an inthemoney six months
European call on the stock with strike price €95 is traded for €8 while an outof the money
call with strike €105 is offered for €5. Are the prices acceptable or could we even make an
arbitrage profit buying and undervalued option or selling an overvalued option? The key
question can be answered applying the BlackScholes formula. Firstly we have to find out
what the volatility is. Let us assume that we believe that the (constant) volatility, in the
context of the model will be 20%. Then all we need to do is to plug in the parameters and
market factors in to formulas (4.37) – (4.39) :
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2
1
ln(100 / 95) (0.02 0.
0.
2 / 2)0.5
0.469
0.5 2
d
+ +
= = ,
2
0.469 0.2 0.5 0.327 d = − = ,
95 0.1
100 (0.469) 95 (0.32 ) 8.944 7
K
c N e N
= −
= = − .
The cumulative distribution function has been evaluated with the Excel function
NORMSDIST. Similarly, for the out of the money option we obtain
105
3.98
K
c
=
= . Hence,
according tour model the inthemoney option quoted at €8 is underpriced, while the outof
the money option quoted at €5 is overpriced. If our goal is to hedge a stock position then we
can just buy the inthemoney option and be happy with the price. On the other hand we may
decide to use the opportunity and go short in the outofthe money call options with the strike
price €95 and sold for €5, since we believe that the fundamental value is less than €4. If we
sell the options and do nothing until maturity then we may have good luck and suffer no loss
or we may have a bad luck and suffer a significant loss at maturity of the contract. If we want
to fix the profit believed to be over €1 then we have to perform so called dynamic delta
hedging that lies in the heart of the binomial tree argument. At each instant of time until
maturity we need to be long in
c
S
∂
∆ =
∂
stocks to cover the risk of one short call, see (4.8).
Since the partial derivative is changing with time and with the stock price we have to
rebalance our hedging position continuously (in the infinitesimal time intervals). In practice,
the rebalancing cannot be certainly done continuously, but only in relatively short time
intervals. Thus, the deltahedging will be only approximate. According to the general
theoretical argument we should end up with €1 (plus accrued interest and a hedging error)
independently on the stock price development.
The deltahedging described above is an example of a trading strategy that can be formalized
easily in the context of binomial trees. Trading strategy with the risk free asset (zero coupon
bonds) and a risky asset starts with an initial wealth
0
V in the risk free asset and tells us what
to do at each time t T < and on each path
t
ω∈Ω , i.e. how much of the risky asset should be
bought or sold. The proceeds from sale of the risky asset are kept in the risk free asset and any
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purchase of the risky asset is financed by sale of the risk free asset (possibly going short). The
binomial tree argument tells us that if we start with
0 0
V f = equal to the option value and delta
hedge until maturity T then the value of the portfolio at time T will exactly offset the short
option payoff, i.e. 0
T T
V f − = , equivalently
T T
V f = . The last equation shows that the delta
hedging strategy exactly replicates the option payoff – we call it a replication strategy.
It is important to keep in mind that the BlackScholes formula and the replication argument is
based on a set of rather idealistic assumptions:
1) The asset price follows the geometric Brownian motion process with constant drift and
volatility (lognormal returns).
2) There is no income paid by the asset.
3) The risk free interest rate r is constant. We can lend and borrow at the same rate and
without any restrictions.
4) There are no transaction costs and taxes.
5) Assets are arbitrarily divisible.
6) Short selling of securities is possible without restrictions.
7) There are no arbitrage opportunities.
8) Security trading is continuous; we can trade in infinitesimal time interval.
It is obvious that the real market is less perfect almost in any of those categories. We will see
that some of these assumptions can be relaxed (for example 2 and 3). Others are difficult to
deal with. In spite of the differences between reality and the theoretical assumptions the
BlackScholes model has become a market standard, but the market makes its own corrections
that will be discussed later.
With the options pricing formula we can significantly improve our analysis (Table 4.1) of
option value dependence on the various input parameters.
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Example 4.11. Let us consider European call and put options with the strike K=100 and time
to maturity T=0.5. Assume that the interest rate r=2% and the volatility 20% σ = . The
formulas (4.37) and (4.40) can be used to plot the dependence of the values on the underlying
asset price S keeping all the other inputs fixed (Figure 4.19).
20
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 50 100 150 200
S
Call option value
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 50 100 150 200
S
Put option value
Figure 4.19. Dependence of European call and put option value on the underlying asset price S
We could continue analyzing dependence on the other parameters, namely interest rate r,
volatility σ , and strike price K. Let us look on the time to maturity dependence where Table
4.1contains a question mark. In this case we have to replace the time to maturity T in (4.37) 
(4.40) by the difference Tt so that T can be fixed, and t goes from 0 to T, i.e.
( , , , ; , ) c c t S r T K σ = and ( , , , ; , ) p p t S r T K σ = where T and K are fixed option parameters,
t, S, r change over time, and σ is the model parameter, that should be theoretically fixed, but
in practice change over time as well. Figure 4.20 shows that for the given input values and
S
0
= 100 the call and put option value decrease with time approaching maturity.
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5
t
Call option value
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5
t
Put option value
Figure 4.20. Dependence of European call and put option value on the time t (S
0
= 100, K = 100,
r = 2%, σ = 20%)
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However the put option value can theoretically increase with time approaching maturity if the
interest rate is high and the volatility is low as shown in Figure 4.21. The high drift rate tends
to “beat” the impact of low volatility, but this advantage disappears when t approaches T.
Figure 4.21. Dependence of European put option value on the time t (S
0
= 100, K = 100, r = 15%,
σ = 10%)
Derivation of the BlackScholes Formula
Let ( ) g S be the probability density of the lognormally distributed variable
T
S S = with
parameters given by (4.36), i.e.
(4.41)
( )
2 2 2 2
0
1
wher ln , , ln . e and
2
w m r S N m S T w T σ σ
 
+
=
\
− =

¹
∼
To verify the call option pricing formula we need to evaluate
[max( , 0)] ( ) ( )
K
E S K S K g S dS
∞
− = −
∫
.
Let us transform S to the standardized normal, (0,1) N , variable
ln S m
X
w
−
= and use the fact
that the density function of X is
2
/ 2
1
( )
2
X
X e ϕ
π
−
= . The probability ( ) g S dS must be equal to
( ) X dX ϕ , and so
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(4.42)
2 2
(ln )/
2 / 2 ( 2
(ln )/ (ln
)/
)/
2
[max( , 0)] ( ) (
1 1
2
)
2
Xw m
X
K m
Xw m
w
K m w K m w
X
E S K e K X dX
e dX K e dX
ϕ
π π
∞
+
∞
−
+
∞
−
−
−
−
+
− = − =
= −
∫
∫ ∫
.
Alternatively, we could use the relation ( ) ( )
dX
g S X
dS
ϕ = to express the lognormal
distribution function
2
2
(ln )
2
2
1 1
( ) ( )
2
S m
w
g S X e
Sw
S w
ϕ
π
−
= = . The integrals on the right hand
side of (4.42) can be expressed analytically, at least in terms of the cumulative standard
normal distribution function
( ) Pr[ ( ) ] ( )
x
N X X x X x x d ϕ
−∞
Φ = ≤ = =
∫
.
Since ( ) ( ) X X ϕ ϕ − = and
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
x
x
X dX X dXN x N x ϕ ϕ
∞ −
−∞
= = −
∫ ∫
the second integral on the right hand side of (4.42) equals simply to ( (ln ) / ) N K m w − − . In
order to evaluate the first integral we just need to complete the square in the exponent
2 2 2
2 ( 2 2
2 2
) m X w Xw m X w − + − − + + +
= .
Therefore
2 2 2
2
( 2 )/ 2 ( ) / 2 2 / 2
(ln )/ (ln )/
/ 2
1 1
( (ln )
2 2
) / .
X X
K
w m m w
m w K m w
X w
m w
e dX e e dX
e N w K m w
π π
∞ ∞
− + + −
−
−
+
+
−
= =
= − −
∫ ∫
It is easy to check, using the definition (4.41) of the variables m and w, that
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2 2 2
0
2
0
1
ln ln / 2 (ln )
(ln ) /
ln / ( ) / 2
,
K S rT T T K m w
w K m w
w
S K r T
T
d
T
σ σ
σ
σ
σ
− + + − + − − +
− − = = =
+ +
= =
2
2
0
ln / ( ) / 2
(ln ) / ,
S K r T
K m w
T
d
σ
σ
+ −
− − = = and
2
0
ln
0
/ 2 S rT m w rT
e e S e
+ +
= = .
Finally, according to (4.35) we get the call option BlackScholes valuation formula
( )
0 1 2 0 1 2
) ( ) ) ( ) ( (
rT rT rT
c e S e N d S N d e KN d KN d
− −
− = = − .
The put option formula can be verified similarly, or simply using the put cal parity equation.
The BlackScholes Partial Differential Equation
Black and Scholes (1973) derived the formula in their original paper by setting up and solving
a partial differential equation (PDE). The argument leading to the differential equation is
almost the same as the one for risk neutral pricing. But to solve the PDE one needs to have an
experience with those equations. Interestingly, the BlackScholes differential equation turns
out to be, after a few substitutions, the wellknown heattransfer equation of physics.
Although derivation of the BlackScholes formula through the PDE is technically more
difficult, there are some advantages. The BlackScholes PDE holds for many other general
derivatives, the only difference lies in the boundary conditions. If the PDE does not have an
analytic solution there are developed numerical methods for solving of those equations. The
methods are usually much faster than Monte Carlo simulations typically used in the risk
neutral numerical valuation approach.
To derive the BlackScholes PDE let us consider an asset price process S driven by the
geometric Brownian motion equation
(4.43) Sdt dz dS S µ σ + =
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and a derivative depending only on S, i.e. the derivative value ( , ) f f S t = depends on S and
time t. According to the Ito’s formula
(4.44)
2
2 2
2
1
2
f f f f
df S dt dz
S t S S
S S µ σ σ
  ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
= + + +

∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
\ ¹
.
In order to setup a riskless portfolio we need to eliminate the source of uncertainty dz
combining appropriately the equations (4.43) and (4.44). This is done when we combine one
short derivative with
f
S
∂
∆ =
∂
units of the underlying asset. The portfolio value is
f
f S
S
∂
Π = − +
∂
and
(4.45)
2
2 2
2
2
2 2
2
1
2
1
2
f f f f f
S d
f
t dz dz
d df dS
S
S t S S S
f f
S dt
t
f
S S Sdt S
S
S
µ σ σ µ σ
σ
  ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
+ + − + =

∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
∂
Π = − + =
∂
∂
= − +
∂
\ ¹
  ∂ ∂
= +

∂ ∂
\ ¹
∂
−
Since the delta hedged portfolio is riskless (over the very short or infinitesimal time period of
the length dt) and there are no arbitrage opportunities, we must also have
(4.46) d r dt Π = Π .
Putting the two equations (4.45) and (4.46) we obtain the BlackScholes partial differential
equation:
2
2 2
2
(
1
)
2
f f f
S dt r S dt
t S S
dt r f σ
  ∂ ∂ ∂
+ =

∂ ∂ ∂
\ ¹
− Π = − + , i.e.
2
2 2
2
1
2
f f f
t S
f r
S
r S S σ
∂ ∂ ∂
∂
− = − −
∂ ∂
− ,
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(4.47)
2
2 2
2
1
2
f f f
rS S
t S S
rf σ
∂ ∂ ∂
+ +
∂
=
∂ ∂
The BlackScholes PDE (4.47) is a linear parabolic partial differential equation. The
meaning of “linear is that a linear combination of any two solutions is again a solution. There
are in fact infinitely many solutions and to specify the one that values an option we must set
up certain boundary conditions. In case of a European call option the key condition is
(4.48) ( , ) max( , 0) f S T S T = − .
For example, the underlying asset price ( , ) f S t S = , money market account value
( , )
rt
f S t e = , or a forward contract value
( )
( , )
r T t
f S t S Ke
− −
= − all solve (4.47), but do not
satisfy the boundary condition (4.48). Note, that the equation (4.47) and the boundary
condition (4.48) do not contain µ , and so the solution does not depend on the drift µ as
expected.
The equation (4.47) can be after an appropriate substitution transformed to the heat or
diffusion equation of the form
(4.49)
2
2
u u
c
t x
∂ ∂
=
∂ ∂
.
The function ( , ) u x t represents temperature in a bar at a spatial coordinate x and time t. The
partial derivative
u
t
∂
∂
measures the change of temperature and so
u
dxdt
t
∂
∂
is proportional to
the change of heat in the piece of length dx over the time dt. On the other hand, the first order
derivative
u
x
∂
∂
measures the spatial gradient of temperature and is proportional to the flow of
heat, and so the second order derivative
2
2
u
dxdt
x
∂
∂
multiplied by dx and dt is proportional to
the heat retained by the piece dx over dt proving (4.49).
There is a variety of analytical and numerical methods for solving of the famous heat
equation, e.g. using the Green’s function, Fourier transform, similarity reduction, or
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numerically with a finitedifference method. In case of boundary conditions of the type (4.48)
there is a general analytical solution that leads to the BlackScholes formula.
Alternatively, we can just verify that ( , ) c S t given by (4.37) with T replaced by Tt, i.e.
(4.50)
( )
1 2
( , ) ( ) ) (
r T t
c S t SN d Ke N d
− −
= − , where
2
1 1
ln( /
(
)
)
( / 2)( )
,
S K r T t
d t
T t
d S
σ
σ
+ + −
=
−
= ,
2 2
2
1
( , )
ln( / ) ( / 2)( ) S K
S
r T t
d d d t T t
T t
σ
σ
σ
+ − −
= −
−
= − = ,
solves the differential equation (4.47) and satisfies (4.48). We have to do some algebraic work
in order to find the partial derivatives of ( , ) c S t , but this investment will pay back in Section
4.3. Applying the chain rule (i.e. differentiating
1 2
, , d d and c) and simplifying the formulas we
obtain the following results
(4.51)
1
( )
c
N d
S
∂
=
∂
,
(4.52)
2
1
2
( ) N d c
S S T t σ
′ ∂
=
∂ −
, and
(4.53)
( )
2 1
( ( )
2
)
r T t
c
rKe N d SN d
t T t
σ
− −
∂
′ = −
∂
−
−
,
where
2
/ 2
2
( )
1
( )
x
x e N x ϕ
π
−
= ′ = . It is now easy to verify that the BlackScholes equation
(4.47) holds. Regarding the boundary condition (4.48) we have to define ( , ) c S T as the limit
when t approaches T since
1
d and
2
d are undefined for t = T. Using the concept of
infinitesimals, let T t − be infinitesimally small. Then, obviously,
1
d and
2
d are positive
infinite if S K > , negative infinite if S K < , and infinitesimally close to zero if S K = . Since
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141
0 ( ) N −∞ = , ) ( 1 N ∞ = , and 0 (0) N = , the limits are ( , ) 0 c S T = for S K ≤ and
( , ) c S T S K = − for S K > . Consequently the boundary condition (4.48) holds.
The argument used to get the BlackScholes PDE is based on the delta hedging idea that we
also used to prove the risk neutral pricing principle defining the riskneutral probability
measure. In fact, the PDE can be alternatively derived using the riskneutral measure Q and
the concept of martingales (Shreve, 2004). The equation (4.35) can be, by construction of the
risk neutral measure on the hyperfinite binomial tree
T
Ω , put into a more general form
( )
( ( ), ) [ ( ( ), )  ]
r t t
Q t
f S t t e E f S t t
′−
′ ′ Ω = , i.e.
( ( ), ) [ ( ( ), )  ]
rt rt
Q t
e f S t t E e f S t t
′ − −
′ Ω ′ = .
Hence, ( , ) ( , )
rt
M S t e f S t
−
= is a martingale. By Ito’s lemma the process satisfies the
stochastic differential equation
2
2 2
2
1
2
M M M M
dM S dt dz
S t S S
S S µ σ σ
  ∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
= + + +

∂ ∂ ∂ ∂
\ ¹
.
Since M is a martingale, its drift rate, i.e. the coefficient of dt, must be zero, consequently
2
2 2
2
1
0
2
M M M
S
S t S
S µ σ
∂ ∂ ∂
+ + =
∂ ∂ ∂
.
When the partial derivatives of M are expressed in terms of f and the discount factor
rt
e
−
we
get
(4.54)
2
2 2
2
1
0
2
rt rt rt rt
f f f
e e re f e S
S S
S
t
µ σ
− − − −
∂ ∂ ∂
+ − + =
∂ ∂ ∂
.
Dividing by
rt
e
−
the equation (4.54) becomes the BlackScholes PDE.
Options on Futures and Income Paying Assets
So far, we have considered European options on nonincome paying assets. Most assets,
however, pay some income – foreign currencies pay an interest, stocks pay dividends, bonds
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pay coupons, and commodities bear storage costs, and possibly provide a lease or
convenience yield. Exchange traded futures are moreover often based on futures prices that do
not follow exactly the same process as the spot prices.
We will firstly consider an asset paying a continuous yield q, i.e. it paying qSdt over a time
interval of length dt where S is the current asset value. This is, for example, the case of
a foreign currency paying foreign interest
F
r . Broad equity indexes with many stocks paying
dividends at different times over a year are usually assumed to pay a continuous dividend
yield q. Of course, this is only an approximation that is closer to reality in case of U.S. stock
indices where dividends are paid quarterly than in case of European indices where stocks
usually pay dividends annually.
In a riskneutral world an asset paying a continuous yield q still must have a total return
(including the income q) equal to r. Consequently the drift rate must be rq and the price
should follow the process:
( ) dS r q S S z dt d σ = − + .
Let us introduce a new process
( )
( ) ( )
q T t
U t e S t
− −
= . It follows from the Ito’s lemma that
dU rUdt Udz σ = + .
The process ( ) U t can be interpreted as a reinvestment strategy portfolio value where we start
with a portfolio of
qT
e
−
units of the asset and continuously reinvest the income qUdt back into
the asset, i.e. multiply the holding by 1 qdt + so that at time t we hold
( ) q T t
e
− −
units of the asset
S. Moreover at maturity ( ) ( ) U T S T = and so the maturity T payoff of a European put or call
on the asset U will be exactly the same as the payoff on S. Since U pays no income and
follows the drift r geometric Brownian motion (in the riskneutral world) the call options are
valued by (4.37) and (4.40) with
0
S replaced by
0
(0)
qT
U e S
−
= . After rearranging the formulas
a little bit we get
(4.55)
0 0 1 2
( ) ) (
qT rT
c S e N d Ke N d
− −
= − ,
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(4.56)
0 2 0 1
) ( ( )
rT qT
p Ke N d S e N d
− −
= − − − , where
(4.57)
2
0
1
ln( / ) ( / 2) S K r q T
d
T
σ
σ
+ − +
= ,
(4.58)
0
2
2
1
ln( / ) ( / 2) S K r q
T
T
T
d d
σ
σ
σ
+ − −
= = − .
These results for dividend paying stocks were firstly obtained by Merton (1973). In case of
FX options to buy or sell foreign currency in terms of domestic currency the rate q is replaced
by the foreign currency interest rate
F
r . The model is often credited to Garman and Kohlhagen
(1983).
Example 4.12. Let us consider European one year call option on a price return stock index
with strike K = $100. The current index value is
0
$100 I = , interest rate 1% r = , the index
dividend yield 1% q = , and the index market volatility 15% σ = . Likewise index futures,
index options are settled financially based on the difference max( , 0)
T
I K − . If we neglect the
effect of dividends, one index call option value would be $6.46, while with the effect of
dividend yield according to (4.55) it is $5.92, i.e. relatively almost 10% less. It is important
that the index is pricereturn, i.e. it copies the value of the index portfolio not including the
dividends paidout. Some indexes are calculated as total return (corresponding to the variable
U defined above) and in that case we use the option formula for nonincome paying assets.
Figure 4.22 shows that that the dependence a call option value on the dividend rate is quite
significant and so that it is important to set up and estimate q properly.
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0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0,0% 2,0% 4,0% 6,0% 8,0% 10,0%
Dividend rate q
Call option value
Figure 4.22. Dependence of a European call option on the dividend rate q
Most exchange traded options are settled as futures options with payoff depending on the
futures price F rather than on the spot price S. Technically, a call option, if exercised, is
settled by entering into a long futures contract with immediate cash settlement of
T
F K − . The
futures contract maturity can be longer than the option contract maturity; it is up to the new
position holder if it is closed immediately or later, after the option exercise date. The payoff
is, however, in any case
T
F K − .
In order to value the options on futures one has to model the process for the futures price. The
key argument is that the drift of the futures price in a riskneutral world is zero. By entering
into a futures position we do not invest any amount, we only take the risk. Hence the return on
the initial futures price (that we, in fact, did not invest to) must be zero. The futures stochastic
price therefore can be modeled in the risk/neutral world by the stochastic differential equation
( ) Fdz r dF r Fdt Fdz σ σ = − + = .
It means that for the purpose of derivatives valuation the futures price can be treated as if
there was a continuous yield q r = . Thus in the formulas (4.55) – (4.58) the rate q is replaced
by r and
0
S is replaced by
0
F (Black, 1976):
(4.59) [ ]
0 0 1 2
( ) ( )
rT
c e F N d KN d
−
= − ,
(4.60) [ ]
0 2 0 1
( ) ( )
rT
p e KN d F N d
−
= − − − , where
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2
0
1
ln( / ) / 2 F K
d
T
T σ
σ
+
= ,
2
2
0
1
ln( / ) / 2 F K T
d T
T
d
σ
σ
σ
−
= = − .
Example 4.13. Let us value a European Light Sweet Crude Oil options traded on CME.
According to the contract specification “On expiration of a call option, the value will be the
difference between the settlement price of the underlying Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures and
the strike price multiplied by 1,000 barrels, or zero, whichever is greater…” Consider an
option on Jan 2012 futures with the strike $90 and assume that 1% r = , 15% σ = , and
1/ 3 T = . Current sweet crude oil spot price is $88.2 while the quoted Jan 2012 price is 89.20.
It would be a mistake to value the option with the basic BlackScholes formula (4.37) giving
$2.38. The correct pricing formula (4.59) with
0
89.2 F = gives $2.70, i.e. a price that is
significantly higher in terms of practical trading.
Finally, let us consider options on an asset that pay known income at certain known future
times, for example a stock paying known dividends. The asset can be decomposed into two
parts: a riskless component that pays the known income and the remaining risky component.
The riskless component is valued as the present value of the known cash flow, while the risky
component evolves according to the geometric Brownian motion model. Therefore the Black
Scholes formula (4.37) is correct, if
0
S equals to the risky component of the stock (i.e. the spot
price minus discounted income paid until maturity of the option), and σ is the volatility of the
risky component.
Example 4.14. Let us consider a one year European put option on a stock currently quoted at
€100. The strike price is €90, market volatility 15%, and interest rate 1%. It is known that the
stock will pay a dividend of €6 in 3 months. If the put was priced according to (4.40) with
nonadjusted
0
100 S = then the put option value would be €1.79. Nevertheless, the correct
valuation should be based on the dividend adjusted value
0.01/ 4
0 0
100 6 94.01 S S D e
−
= − = − =
ɶ
and the resulting value €3.36 is almost twice as high. Theoretically, the volatility of the
dividend adjusted price process and nonadjusted price process is not the same. If
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15% σ = was the volatility of the nonadjusted price process (e.g. obtained from historical
data) then the risk component volatility would be approximately equal to
0
0
100
15% 15.96%
94.01
S
D S
σ
−
= = . The volatility adjustment would increase the put option
value to €3.69. This volatility adjustment is not needed if the volatility is already based on
dividend adjusted prices (for example being calculated as the implied volatility).
Estimating the Volatility
In order to apply the BlackScholes formula we need to enter one completely new market
factor, i.e. the model volatility. If there is no existing option market then the first natural
proposal would be a historical volatility estimate. For example if we wanted to value a one
year option then we could use the series of daily returns over the last year, calculate their
standard deviation, and annualize it to a volatility estimate. If we believed that the volatility of
the market remains the same during the next year, then the result would be a reasonable
volatility estimate entering the BlackScholes formula.
Specifically, let 0,. , ..,
i
n S i = be a series of observed prices at ends of regular time intervals
(e.g. days, weeks, or months) of equal length t ∆ . The market prices change only during
business days and so we should not count holidays. For example, we set 1/ 252 t ∆ = in case of
daily returns assuming that there are 252 business days in a year. The returns should be
calculated in line with the model as logreturns, i.e.
1
for ln 1,.. , , .
i
i
i
i n
S
u
S
−
= = .
However, for short time intervals, it is not a big mistake to calculate ordinary linear returns
1 1
( ) /
i i i i
u S S S
− −
= − . The sample estimate of the returns standard deviation then is
(4.61)
2
1
1
(
1
)
n
i
i
s u u
n
=
= −
−
∑
, where
1
1
n
i
i
u u
n
=
=
∑
.
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For short time intervals, e.g. daily observations, the mean returnu is almost negligible and
often in practice set to zero. If the process volatility was σ then the theoretical logreturn
volatility over an interval of length t ∆ would be t σ ∆ . Consequently, the corresponding
annualized volatility estimate is
ˆ
s
t
σ =
∆
.
Example 4.15. Figure 4.23 shows the series of the Czech stock index PX values and index
returns. Let us use the historical data to estimate the volatility over the next year.
0,00
500,00
1 000,00
1 500,00
2 000,00
2 500,00
19.4.01 1.9.02 14.1.04 28.5.05 10.10.06 22.2.08 6.7.09 18.11.10 1.4.12
PX index
0,2
0,15
0,1
0,05
0
0,05
0,1
0,15
3.1.02 3.1.03 3.1.04 3.1.05 3.1.06 3.1.07 3.1.08 3.1.09 3.1.10 3.1.11
PX returns
Figure 4.23. The series of PX index values and daily returns
The standard deviation calculated from the last 252 available returns according to (4.61) is
1.32% s = and the annualized volatility estimate ˆ 1.32% 252 21.01% σ = × = . If the volatility
was constant then this would be a good forward looking volatility estimate. But inspecting the
series of returns, it seems obvious that the volatility was not constant in the past. Figure 4.24
shows oneyear historical volatility calculated retrospectively on a 252 days moving window.
Although the volatility remained around 20% in the years 2002 through 2007, the historical
data based estimate would be completely wrong at the beginning of the financial crisis in
2008. The market volatilities at that time in fact went up much faster than the historical
volatilities based to a large extent on returns from the normal period.
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0,00%
10,00%
20,00%
30,00%
40,00%
50,00%
60,00%
1.9.02 14.1.04 28.5.05 10.10.06 22.2.08 6.7.09 18.11.10 1.4.12
1Y Volatility
Figure 4.24. Historical oneyear volatility of the PX index returns
The example above shows that the historical volatility is a useful, but it cannot be the only
input into our estimation of the future volatility.
One popular way to make the historical volatility estimate (4.61) more reactive to recent
behavior of the market is to give more weight to the most recent data. The exponentially
moving average (EWMA) model is a particular case of this idea where the weights are
2 1
,..., 1, ,
n
λ λ λ
−
for 0 1 λ < < starting from the most recent observations and going back to the
oldest ones. The typical value for λ would be around 0.97. The weights certainly have to be
normalized (divided) by their sum
1
1 1
1
1 1
n
n
λ
λ λ
λ λ
−
−
+ =
− −
+ + ≐ ⋯ if n is large.
Thus, the EWMA volatility estimation is given by the formulas
(4.62)
2
1
(1 ( ) )
n i
i
n
i
u s u λ λ
−
=
= − −
∑
, where
1
(1 )
n
n i
i
i
u u λ λ
−
=
= −
∑
.
Example 4.16. Figure 4.25 compares one year equal weighted and EWMA ( 0.97 λ = )
historical volatility. The EWMA volatility went up much faster than the equalweighted
volatility at the beginning of the crisis. On the other hand the last EWMA volatility estimation
of 16.5% looks rather optimistically and should be treated carefully. The chart definitely
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shows that the EWMA volatility estimates are rather volatile reacting to the most recent
developments that do not often prolong into the future.
0,00%
20,00%
40,00%
60,00%
80,00%
100,00%
120,00%
1.9.02 14.1.04 28.5.05 10.10.06 22.2.08 6.7.09 18.11.10 1.4.12
Historical volatility
Equal weights
EWMA
Figure 4.25. Comparison of equal weighted and EWMA historical oneyear PX index volatility
If there is an existing option markets, analysts should certainly compare the historical
volatility estimates with the quoted or implied market volatility. Given a quoted call option
price
market
c with parameters , K T , underlying asset price S , market interest rate r , and
continuous asset income q, we need to solve for σ the equation
market
( , , , , , ) c c T S q K r σ =
with ( , , , , , ) c S r K q T σ given by (4.55). The solution must be found numerically, for example
in Excel using the tool “Solver”.
Example 4.17. In Example 4.13 we have valued a European Light Sweet Crude Oil call Jan
2012 option with the parameters 90 K = , 1% r = , 15% σ = , 1/ 3 T = , and actual futures price
0
89.2 F = . The BlackScholes formula (4.59) gave us the price $2.70. However the market
quotation is $4.37. The problem is in our volatility estimate. It might be obtained from the
historical data, but the market opinion regarding future volatility is apparently different. The
implied volatility is extracted from the quoted solving the equation
( 89.2, 0.01, 4.37 , 90,1/ 3) c σ =
with one unknown variable σ and the function c given by (4.59). The numerical solution
implied
23.15% σ = is not too far from our initial 15% volatility estimate, but the impact on the
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option price is quite dramatic. Figure 4.26 showing strong (and almost linear) dependence of
the call value on volatility input parameter σ illustrates importance of a good volatility
estimate.
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%
Volatility σ σσ σ
Call option value
Figure 4.26. Dependence of call option value on volatility ( 90 K = , 1% r = , 1/ 3 T = ,
0
89.2 F = )
4.3. Greek Letters and Hedging of Options
Options are used by hedgers to hedge their underlying positions (Example 1.2). On the other
hand, option traders that sell and buy many options with different strike prices and maturities
end up with complex and often risky option portfolios that need to be properly managed. The
key strategy is based on the deltahedging principle. Let us consider a portfolio consisting of
European options, forwards or futures, cash, and possibly asset positions, with a single
underlying nonincome paying asset. The portfolio value depends on the spot price S and
other parameters (volatility σ and risk free rate r) that are supposed to be fixed according to
the model
1
( ) ( )
n
i
i
S S f
=
Π =
∑
where ( )
i
f S is the value of the ithe instrument in the portfolio. The sensitivity of the
portfolio to the underlying price changes can be measured by the derivative of ( ) S Π with
respect to S which can be decomposed into derivatives, i.e. deltas, of the individual positions:
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1 1
( ) ( )
n n
i
i
i i
f S
S S
S
= =
∂ ∂Π
= = ∆
∂ ∂
∑ ∑
.
Thus the total delta of the portfolio
( ) S
S
Π
∂Π
∆ =
∂
is just the sum of deltas of the individual
options, forwards, futures, cash, or spot positions in the portfolio. Since the change of
portfolio value ∆Πcaused by a change in the underlying price S ∆ can be approximated
according to the equation
(4.63) S
Π
∆Π ∆ ×∆ ≐
the goal of deltahedging is simply to keep the delta portfolio close to zero, i.e. 0
Π
∆ ≐ .
Recall that according to (4.51) a call option delta is given by
call 1
( )
c
N d
S
∂
=
∂
∆ = .
Similarly, we can obtain a formula for put option delta
put 1
1 ( )
p
N d
S
= − ∆
∂
∂
= .
Long forward or futures delta on one asset unit is simply
( )
( )
forward
1
r T t
S Ke
S
− −
− ∆
∂
=
∂
= ,
and analogously the delta on one unit of the asset is
spot
( ) 1 S
S
∂
=
∂
∆ = .
Delta of a cash position held is obviously zero
cash
0 ∆ = since its value does not depend on the
asset price. Hence, the forwards, futures, or spot contracts can be used to adjust the portfolio’s
delta. If the initial
Π
∆ is positive then we just sell
Π
∆ units of the asset on the spot or forward
market, if it is negative then we buy
Π
−∆ units of the asset on the spot or forward market.
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While deltas of the linear contracts (spot, forward, futures) remain constant, it changes in case
of options where the value depends nonlinearly on the spot price, i.e. ( ) S
Π Π
∆ = ∆ . Therefore
it is not sufficient to perform delta hedging just once, rebalancing of the portfolio has to be
reiterated any time the delta moves too far from zero. We speak about dynamic deltahedging
strategy.
Example 4.18. Let us consider a trader that has just sold an atthemoney straddle on 1000
and bought an outof the money call on 1500 non dividend paying stocks. The actual stock
price is 50 S = , we assume constant interest rate 1% r = and volatility 15% σ = . All the three
European options have six months to maturity, i.e. 0.5 T = , the strike price of the straddle call
and put options is 50 K = , and the strike of the outofthe money call is 60 K = . The trader
has received a net initial premium of €5 000 and currently is in a profit around €940.
However, as shown by Figure 4.27, a relatively small movement of the stock price will cause
a loss, namely if S goes down €4 or up €5 the portfolio value will become negative. On the
other hand, if S increased to €70 or more the portfolio value would be positive again due to
the long outofthe money call option. The actual delta of the portfolio is almost zero relative
to the nominal position in 1000 or 1500 stocks, (50) 29.5
Π
∆ = , and so initially we more or
less do not have to hedge. The chart on the right hand side of Figure 4.27 shows that the
portfolio’s delta might change quickly if the stock price moves up or down.
12000
10000
8000
6000
4000
2000
0
2000
4000
6000
30 40 50 60 70 80
S
Portfolio Value
400
200
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
30 40 50 60 70 80
S
Portfolio Delta
Figure 4.27. Development of an option portfolio value and delta depending on the underlying stock
price
Hence, it is necessary to monitor the delta closely and rebalance the portfolio if necessary.
A possible strategy would be to do deltahedging on daily basis buying or selling (shorting)
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the stocks on the spot market. Table 4.3 gives a simulation example of the process when the
stock price gradually goes up over 10 future days. Without dynamical deltahedging the
portfolio value would fall below €1100. With the delta hedging the portfolio value is
preserved at around €900. The columns “Port. delta” and “Or. port. value” show the delta and
the value of the original portfolio without hedging. The column “Delta pos.” is the required
hedging position in the stock, i.e. minus delta rounded to units. The trader at the beginning of
each day recalculates the required delta position and buys or sells an appropriate amount of
stocks. The first day he sells 29 stocks, the next day morning he buys 114 = 85 – (–29) stocks,
etc. The cumulative cost of the delta position is shown in the second column from the left, and
the total portfolio value, including the delta position market value and the cumulative cost, is
shown in the last column. The calculation, for simplicity, does not include accrued interest. It
should be taken into account when the simulation is done over a longer time horizon.
Day S Port. delta Or. port. value Delta pos. Buy/sell Cost Cum.cost Total portf.
1 50,00 29,50 942,89 29  29  1 450,00 1 450,00 942,89
2 51,00 85,15  913,89 85 114 5 814,00  4 364,00  884,89
3 51,50 135,87  858,71 135 50 2 575,00  6 939,00  872,21
4 52,00 181,37  779,57 181 46 2 392,00  9 331,00  860,57
5 53,00 254,95  560,49 254 73 3 869,00  13 200,00  822,49
6 53,50 282,43  426,55 282 28 1 498,00  14 698,00  815,55
7 54,00 303,51  280,53 303 21 1 134,00  15 832,00  810,53
8 55,00 326,54  35,01  326 23 1 265,00  17 097,00  797,99
9 57,00 302,30  675,10  302 24  1 368,00 15 729,00  809,90
10 59,00 206,34  1 190,40  206 96  5 664,00 10 065,00  898,60
Table 4.3. Simulation of dynamic portfolio deltahedging
The deltahedging simulation shows that the total portfolio value does not remain constant,
but slightly fluctuates. This is caused by the fact that we do not perform a perfect continuous
hedging. The daily rebalancing is only an approximate deltahedging that should be, in theory
done continuously (in infinitesimal time intervals). If the rebalancing was done every hour,
minute, or even second, then the resulting hedged portfolio value should be very close to the
initial portfolio value (plus accrued interest). In practice this is not possible due to existence
of certain transaction costs (bid/ask spread and commissions).
The initial position shown in Figure 4.27 is particularly risky because the delta is almost zero,
but it may change very fast when the stock price goes up and down. Sometimes it might be
virtually impossible to rebalance the portfolio on time and the portfolio can suffer
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a significant loss. This is a reason why traders monitor not only delta (the first order
derivative) but also the second order derivative of the portfolio value with respect to the
underlying asset price
9
, called gamma of the portfolio
2
2
( ) S
S
Π
∂ Π
Γ =
∂
.
The Taylor’s approximation (4.63) can be then improved with the second order term
(4.64)
2
/ 2 S S
Π Π
∆Π ∆ ×∆ + Γ ×∆ ≐ .
Therefore, if gamma is negative then the deltagamma approximation (4.64) is always lower
than the delta approximation (4.63). In particular, if delta is zero, gamma negative and
S ∆ large, positive or negative, then the loss according to (4.64) can be significant, although
(4.63) indicates that there is no risk.
The portfolio gamma is again calculated as the sum of individual instruments gammas
2
2
1 1
( )
n n
i
i
i i
f
S
S
Π
= =
∂
Γ = = Γ
∂
∑ ∑
.
According to (4.52) and the putcall parity a European call and put option gamma on a non
income paying asset is given by the formula
1
call put
( ) N d
S T t σ
′
Γ = Γ
−
= .
Note, that the gamma of a long call or put option is always positive. Equivalently, the market
value of a long call or put is a convex function of S (Figure 4.19). On the other short call and
put option positions correspond to concave market value functions creating the risk of losses
even in case of zero delta.
9
Some dealers managing large and complex portfolios monitor even the second order derivative of the portfolio
value with respect to the underlying price that is called the speed.
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Gamma of a forward, futures, or spot position is zero, since delta is constant, consequently
gamma of an option portfolio can be hedged only with options. In practice some option
maturities and strikes prices are less liquid than the others. Certain (OTC) options in the
portfolio could be tailored and sold to clients based on their specific needs. In this case, the
trader can use the most liquid options to adjust gamma of the portfolio of options that are not
normally traded.
Example 4.19. Gamma of the portfolio from Example 4.18 at 50 S = can be calculated as the
sum of gammas of the three options multiplied by the number of stocks:
1000 0.075 1000 0.075 1500 0.019 122.07
Π
Γ = − × − × + × = − .
The negative gamma means that the portfolio can easily suffer a loss even if the delta is
hedged exactly. According to (4.64) if the stock price moves just €1 up or down the portfolio
will lose more than €60; if the price changes €2 or more then the loss exceeds €240. Such
a price movement easily happens during a day when the delta is not rebalanced. This explains
the value deterioration that occurs during the daily delta hedging that can be observed in
Table 4.3. With negative gamma, when the price moves, there is always a loss and after
rebalancing the delta we do not get the loss back, unless we come to a region with positive
gamma. Let us try to gammahedge the portfolio with liquid one month atthemoney put and
call options. Gamma of the options ( 50 K = , 1/ 12 T = , 50 S = , 15% σ = , 1% r = ) is
0.184 Γ = and so we need approximately 662 = 122.07 / 0.184 options to offset the negative
gamma of the portfolio. We can use either calls or put, since the gamma is the same. But our
goal is to stabilize the portfolio value in a region around the current stock price 50 S = . In
order to achieve that we will rather try to offset the sixmonths short straddle, i.e. the reversed
Ushape in Figure 4.27, by a long one month straddle. Therefore, we buy 331 onemonth at
the money calls and 331 onemonth at the money puts. The value of the options according to
the BlackScholes formula is €571, but we pay €600, a little bit more, being on the “ask” side.
The delta of the gamma hedged portfolio turns out to be (50) 35.22
Π
∆ =
ɶ
and so, in addition,
we short 35 stocks to deltahedge the portfolio. Figure 4.28 shows that we succeeded quite
well in stabilizing the portfolio value. It remains in the region €800 – €1000 if the stock price
stays between €47.5 and €55. The delta stays relatively low as well, however if the stock price
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moved outside of the region, another delta hedging and possibly gamma hedging would be
needed.
10 000,00
5 000,00

5 000,00
10 000,00
15 000,00
20 000,00
30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80
S
Portfolio Value
100,00

100,00
200,00
300,00
400,00
500,00
600,00
700,00
800,00
900,00
30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80
S
Portfolio delta
Figure 4.28. Dependence of the gamma hedged option portfolio value and delta on the underlying price
Another interesting Greek letter monitored by traders and related to gamma is the theta. It is
the rate of change of the portfolio value with respect to passage of time with all the other
factors remaining constant. It can be also interpreted as the time decay of the portfolio.
Consider, for example, an outofthe money call. To profit on the option we need the
underlying price to go up. If time goes on and the price stays constant we are losing option’s
time value. Theta of a long option position is always negative and theta of a short option
position is positive. Although passage of time is fully predictable, no movement on the market
might present a risk that is measured by the theta. Differentiating the BlackScholes formula
(4.50) with respect to t it can be shown that
( ) 1
call 2
(
(
2
)
)
r T t
SN d
r
T t
Ke N d
σ
− −
Θ
−
′
= − − ,
( ) ( ) 1
put 2 call
)
)
(
(
2
r T t r T t
SN d
rKe N d Ke
T
r
t
σ
− − − −
′
= − + Θ Θ
−
− = + .
The close relation between theta and gamma can be seen from the BlackScholes partial
differential equation (4.47) rewritten using the Greek letters:
(4.65)
2 2
1
2
rS r S σ Θ+ ∆ + Γ = Π.
If the portfolio is deltahedged, i.e. 0 ∆ = , then (4.65) becomes
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157
(4.66)
2 2
1
2
S r σ Θ+ Γ = Π.
Moreover, if rΠ is relatively small, then
2 2
1
2
S σ Θ − Γ ∼ , in other words when gamma is large
and negative, then theta tends to be large positive, and vice versa. It also means that
a portfolio that is deltahedged and gammahedged will have a relatively small theta. To
calculate theta of a portfolio
1 1
n n
i
i
i i
f
t t
Π
= =
∂ ∂Π
Θ = = = Θ
∂ ∂
∑ ∑
,
we also need to take into account the theta of forward and futures
( )
( ) ( )
forward
r T t r T t
S Ke rKe
t
− − − −
∂
− = −
∂
Θ = .
Similarly theta of a cash position C earning the riskfree rate r is simply
cash
rC Θ = .
It is customary and more intuitive to express theta in terms of time measured in business or
calendar days, i.e. as / 252
Π
Θ or / 365
Π
Θ , so that it measures the change in portfolio value
over one day when everything else remains unchanged.
Example 4.20. One business day theta of the portfolio from Example 4.18 without gamma
hedging is 13.65. It means that the portfolio will gain €13.65, if all the market factors remain
unchanged. This is pleasant news, but we know that it is outweighted by a significant gamma
risk. When the portfolio is gamma and deltahedged as proposed in Example 4.19 then theta
of the portfolio is reduced to 0.05 in line with the equation (4.66). Thus by reducing the
negative gamma we have lost the (relatively small) advantage of positive theta.
So far, we have stayed within the BlackScholes model assuming constant volatility and
interest rate. However, the option pricing formulas can be also differentiated with respect to
the volatility parameter σ , defining the Greek called vega, and with respect to the risk free
rate r defining the Greek called rho. The two measures of risk are sometimes called outof
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158
model Greeks. In practice the two parameters (σ and r) change over time and sensitivity of
the option’s value with respect to them presents a risk that must be monitored as well. Interest
rates are indeed market factors that change randomly over time. Later we will generalize the
BlackScholes model allowing for stochastic interest rates (Chapter 6). Regarding volatility,
we may still believe in the model with constant volatility and at same time accept that the
implied or quoted volatility changes from one day to another. Volatility is an uncertain
parameter characterizing the future price process estimated by the market given limited
amount of information. So, one can say that the market estimates change over time even
though the unknown objective volatility of the process remains constant. Another way to
reconcile changing market volatility with our valuation model is to introduce the concept of
stochastic volatility (see Chapter 8). The stochastic volatility models are maybe more realistic,
but definitely, technically much more difficult to handle. In any case, as indicated by Figure
4.26, vega presents an important risk factor the needs to be monitored closely.
Differentiating the BlackScholes formulas we obtain a formula for call and put vega
(4.67)
call put 1
( ) S T t N d = = ′ − V V .
Obviously vega of a long position is positive, and for a short position, it is negative. The term
2
1
/ 2
1
( ) / 2
d
N d e π
−
′ = (4.67) is the standard normal density function value that takes
maximum values around zero and becomes negligible if
1
d is large, positive or negative.
Hence vega is relatively large for options that are atthemoney and small for options that are
deeply inthemoney or outofthe money. An option portfolio vega is again obtained as the
sum of individual options’ vega
1 1
n n
i
i
i i
f
σ σ
Π
= =
∂ ∂Π
= = =
∂ ∂
∑ ∑
V V .
It is useful to quote vega as the estimated change / 100
Π
V of the portfolio value when the
volatility goes up one percentage point. Since vega of forwards, futures, and spot positions is
zero, the portfolio’s vega can be again hedged only with with other options. Unfortunately, by
hedging of gamma we do not hedge automatically vega. Similarly buying or selling of options
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159
in order to hedge vega will change gamma. The conflicting goals might solved using two
options with different proportions between gamma and vega, and solving two equations with
two unknowns as illustrated in Example 4.21 below. The unknowns are numbers (weights) of
the hedging options and the equations set the target gamma and vega to zero.
Rho of a put or call option measuring sensitivity with respect to the interest rate r can be
calculated according to the following formulas:
( )
call 2
( ) ) (
r T t
K T t e N d ρ
− −
= − ,
( ) ( )
put 2 call
) ( ) ( ( )
r T t r T t
K T t e N d K T t e ρ ρ
− − − −
= − − − − − = .
Calculating a portfolio rho
(4.68)
1 1
n n
i
i
i i
f
r r
ρ ρ
Π
= =
∂ ∂Π
= = =
∂ ∂
∑ ∑
we must also take into interest rate sensitivity of forward and futures contracts,
( )
( ) ( )
forward
( )
r T t r T t
S Ke T t Ke
r
ρ
− − − −
∂
− = −
∂
= .
Interest rate sensitivity of a cash position accruing the instantaneous interest is zero, by
definition. Similarly to vega, we often quote rho as the change of value per one percentage
point, / 100 ρ
Π
. Rho is usually the least important factor, in particular if the options’
maturities are short or mediumterm. Rho can be adjusted, if needed, using deltahedging
forwards with appropriate maturity and/or with plain vanilla money market instruments.
So far, we have assumed that there is only one interest rate, but the generalized BlackScholes
formula however (Chapter 6) uses the maturity specific interest rates. The sensitivity of
a portfolio calculated according to (4.68) is then interpreted as sensitivity with respect to
parallel shifts of the riskfree rates across all maturities.
All the Greeks introduced can be used to estimate change of portfolio value when the various
factors move up or down:
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160
(4.69)
2
/ 2 S S r V t σ ρ
Π Π Π Π Π
+ ∆Π ∆ ×∆ +Γ ×∆ ∆ + ∆ + Θ ∆ ≐ .
Example 4.21. Vega (per one percentage point) of the gammahedged portfolio from
Example 4.19 turns out to be 190.77. It means that the portfolio would lose €190.77 if the
market volatility increased just by 1%. This is a real risk if we plan to liquidate our position.
But even if the portfolio is intended to be kept until maturity, it must be revalued based
market prices, and the changes of value accounted for. Consequently, the vega risk appears as
very serious since the market volatility could easily go up 510% in a market turmoil. In order
to hedge gamma and vega at the same time we could combine liquid options with short and
long maturity. Let us assume that the onemonth and oneyear options with the strike 50 K =
are available at favorable prices on the market. Table 4.4 shows the gamma and vega of the
original portfolio before gammahedging (Example 4.18).
Gamma Vega
Portfolio 122.07 228.88
Onemonth put/call 0.184 0.058
Oneyear put/call 0.053 0.199
Table 4.4. Gamma and vega of the portfolios and the options to be used for hedging
Our goal is to buy (or sell) certain number of the onemonth and oneyear options in order to
diminish gamma and, at the same time, vega of the portfolio. The proportions between
gamma and vega for the onemonth and oneyear options are essentially opposite and so it is
sufficient to solve the system of two equations with two unknowns:
1 2
1 2
0.184 0.053 122.07
0.058 0.199 228.88
w w
w w
+ =
+ =
The solutions after rounding to the nearest integers are
1
361 w = and
2
1046 w = . Again, we
rather buy 180 one month put and call options, and 524 oneyear put and call options in order
to match the reversed “U” shaped profile of the short straddle in the original portfolio. The
Greeks delta, gamma, theta, and vega are now close to zero. Rho (per one percentage point)
remains relatively low 11.99. It means that we would lose €11.99 if interest rates went up 1%.
The positive rho can be easily eliminated by a €1200 oneyear money market loan. The
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161
resulting Greeks of the portfolio after gamma, vega, delta, and rho hedging are shown in
Table 4.5. The value of the portfolio is rather optimistic being based on the assumption that
the hedging options can be bought exactly at their market value. In practice, there would be
certain transaction costs.
Value Delta Gamma Theta Vega Rho
Hedged Portfolio 942.89 0.94 0.16 0.05 0.31 0.01
Table 4.5. Greeks of the portfolio after gamma, vega, rho, and delta hedging
According to (4.69) the sensitivity of the portfolio to reasonably small changes of any of the
pricing parameters should be under control. Nevertheless, it is not a “hedge and forget”
solution. The portfolio will have to be rebalanced if there is a larger move of any of the
factors.
The Greek letter formulas applied above assumed that the underlying asset does not pay any
income. If there is a continuously paid income at the rate q then the formulas must be slightly
modified differentiating the BlackScholes formulas (4.55) – (4.58) including q. Table 4.6
summarizes the general Greek letters formulas. The last row shows the derivative of the
option value with respect to the parameter q. It can be called rho with respect to q or Rho(q).
The expected continuous income can change over time as well. The second rho is regularly
monitored in case of foreign currency options when
foreign
q r = , i.e. for FX options rho
measures sensitivity with respect to the foreign interest rate movements.
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162
Greek letter Call Put
Delta
( )
1
( )
q T t
e N d
− −
( )
1
(1 ( ))
q T t
e N d
− −
−
Gamma
( )
1
( )
q T t
e N d
S T t σ
− −
′
−
( )
1
( )
q T t
e N d
S T t σ
− −
′
−
Theta
( )
1
( ) ( )
2 1
(
2
( ) (
)
)
q T t
r T t q T t
e SN d
rKe N d qe SN d
T t
σ
− −
− − − −
′
−
−
− +
( )
1
( ) ( )
2 1
(
2
( ) (
)
)
q T t
r T t q T t
e SN d
rKe N d qe SN d
T t
σ
− −
− − − −
′
−
−
+ −
Vega
( )
1
( )
q T t
T t N S d e
− −
′ −
( )
1
( )
q T t
T t N S d e
− −
′ −
Rho
( )
2
( ) ) (
r T t
K T t e N d
− −
−
( )
2
( ) ) (
r T t
K T t e N d
− −
− − −
Rho(q)
(
1
)
( ( ) )
q T t
S T t e N d
− −
− −
(
1
)
( ) ) (
q T t
S T t e N d
− −
− −
Table 4.6. General Greek letter formulas for European options on assets paying continuous income q
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163
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www.vse.cz/oeconomica
www.eshopoeconomica.cz
Title FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES AND MARKET RISK MANAGEMENT
PART I
Author doc. RNDr. Jiří Witzany, Ph.D.
Publisher University of Economics in Prague
Oeconomica Publishing House
Number of pages 166
Edition first
Cover graphical design
and DTP Ing. arch. Jindra Dohnalová
Print University of Economics in Prague
Oeconomica Publishing House
ISBN 9788024518114
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166
www.vse.cz/oeconomica
www.eshopoeconomica.cz
Název FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES AND MARKET RISK MANAGEMENT
PART I
Autor doc. RNDr. Jiří Witzany, Ph.D.
Vydavatel Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze
Nakladatelství Oeconomica
Počet stran 166
Vydání první
Návrh obálky a DTP Ing. arch. Jindra Dohnalová
Tisk Vysoká škola ekonomická v Praze
Nakladatelství Oeconomica
ISBN 9788024518114
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