FUNDAMENTALS

OF FINANCIAL
DERIVATIVES
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL
DERIVATIVES

N.R. Parasuraman

SDM-IMD
SDM Institute for Management Development
Mysore
PREFACE
Few topics in Finance have undergone the type of change that Derivatives have over the
last few years. Dealers and Corporate practitioners have discovered several new uses to
Derivatives, resulting in lowering risk and optimizing return. Many students of Financial
Management and practitioners find the basic tenets of these Derivatives difficult to
understand in the beginning. Standard text books give answers to their queries but since
these are embedded in a cluster of applicable theory, exceptions and mathematical
notations, the beginner is often confounded.

The principal objective behind attempting this work is to help the newcomer to the world
of Derivatives get a grip on various facets in a simple manner. The attempt has been to
dwell on the most important characteristics of these instruments, without going into too
much of mathematical analysis. Let me hasten to add that in the process the work cannot
be a substitute for an advanced text book on the topic. What it seeks to accomplish is to
give the reader a quick and easy approach to understand the basic complexities in day-
to-day situations. Once comfortable with the basics, the reader is advised to get a deeper
understanding of various sub-topics with the help of text books that cover the full
mathematical application.

In completing this work, I am indebted to a number of people who encouraged me and
provided me with support. Dr. Jagadeesha, Professor and Chairman, DOS in Management,
KSOU was instrumental in convincing me that such a work would be useful and in showing
me the type of emphasis I should lay on various topics. Prof. J.M.Subramanya, Director of
SDM-IMD was very helpful at various stages of the work and in generally reassuring me
about the quality. Prof.Vinod Madhavan of SDM-IMD, helped me by patiently going
through the drafts and suggesting a number of changes.

Thanks are also due to my father N.P.Ramaswamy who was a source of inspiration and
encouragement and to my wife Prema, who spent long hours checking the drafts and
helping me in data entry. I also thank my colleagues at SDM-IMD for all their support. I wish
to make particular mention of the support of Mr.M.V.Sunil, Mr.M. Rangaswamy,
Ms.Madhura .S. Narayan and Ms.R. Gayithri in completing the final transcript of the book.

N.R.PARASURAMAN
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

BRIEF CONTENTS

Module 1............................................................................................ 8
FUTURES AND FORWARDS ......................................................... 8
1 Introduction to Derivatives Markets......................................... 9
2 Forwards and Futures – a quick look...................................... 17
3 Hedging with Futures .............................................................. 28
4 Pricing of Futures and arbitrage conditions ........................... 41
5 Stock Index Futures ................................................................. 54
Module 2 –....................................................................................... 69
INTRODUCTION TO OPTIONS................................................... 69
1 Types of Options ....................................................................... 70
2 Pay off of various Options ........................................................ 79
3 Special applications of Options................................................ 91
4 Options bounds- Calls............................................................. 104
5 Options bounds -Puts ............................................................. 113
Module 3........................................................................................ 121
ADVANCED TOPICS ON OPTIONS .......................................... 121
1 Option combinations............................................................... 122
2 Principles of Option Pricing – Put call parity....................... 141
3 The Binomial model for pricing of Options ........................... 153
4 The Black-Scholes model........................................................ 163
5 Volatility and Implied Volatility from the Black-Scholes model
172
Module 4........................................................................................ 180
OTHER DERIVATIVES AND RISK MANAGMENT................. 180
1 Introduction to Options Greeks and Basic Delta Hedging... 181
2 Interest Rate Derivatives and Eurodollar Derivatives......... 191
3 Swaps ...................................................................................... 203
4 Credit Derivatives................................................................... 216
5 Risk Management with Derivatives...................................... 225

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

References ..................................................................................... 238
DETAILED CONTENTS

Module 1............................................................................................ 8
......................................................................................................... 1
FUTURES AND FORWARDS ...................................................... 11
1 Introduction to Derivatives Markets ......................................... 12
1.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 12
1.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 12
1.3 Derivatives – meaning and definition .................................................... 12
1.4 Types of Derivatives ................................................................................ 13
1.5 Uses of Derivatives .................................................................................. 16
1.6 Derivatives in India ................................................................................. 18
1.7 Summary .................................................................................................. 19
1.8 Key words ................................................................................................. 20
1.9 Questions for Self- study ......................................................................... 20
2 Forwards and Futures – a quick look ........................................ 21
2.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 21
2.2 Introduction to Forwards and Futures ................................................... 21
2.3 Basic hedging practices ........................................................................... 24
2.4 Cost of carry ............................................................................................. 29
2.5 Differences between Forwards and Futures .......................................... 31
2.6 Summary .................................................................................................. 32
2.7 Key words ................................................................................................. 33
2.8 Questions for Self- study ......................................................................... 34
3 Hedging with Futures ................................................................ 34
3.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 34
3.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 34
3.3 Long hedge and Short hedge ................................................................... 36

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.4 Margin requirements for Futures ........................................................... 39
3.5 Basis risk.................................................................................................. 42
3.6 Cross hedging........................................................................................... 45
3.7 Summary .................................................................................................. 48
3.8 Key words ................................................................................................. 49
3.9 Questions for Self- study ......................................................................... 50
4 Pricing of Futures and arbitrage conditions .............................. 50
4.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 50
4.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 50
4.3 Basic pricing principles ........................................................................... 51
4.4 Arbitrage opportunities ........................................................................... 55
4.5 Empirical evidence on cost of carry ........................................................ 59
4.6 Rolling the hedge forward ....................................................................... 60
4.7 Summary .................................................................................................. 63
4.8 Key words ................................................................................................. 64
4.9 Questions for Self- study ......................................................................... 65
5 Stock Index Futures ................................................................... 66
5.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 66
5.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 66
5.3 Construction of stock indices................................................................... 67
5.4 Uses and applications of stock Index Futures ........................................ 69
5.5 Hedging with stock Futures .................................................................... 70
5.6 Beta and the Optimal Hedge Ratio ......................................................... 75
5.7 Increasing and Decreasing Beta ............................................................. 76

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5.8 Other uses of stock Futures .................................................................... 78
5.9 Illustrations ............................................................................................. 80
5.10 Summary ............................................................................................... 82
5.11 Key words .............................................................................................. 83
5.12 Questions for Self- study ...................................................................... 83
Module 2 – ..................................................................................... 84
INTRODUCTION TO OPTIONS .................................................. 84
1 Types of Options ......................................................................... 84
1.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 84
1.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 85
1.3 Types of Options and option terminology ............................................... 86
1.4 The question of exercise .......................................................................... 89
1.5 Options markets ...................................................................................... 90
1.6 Differences between Options and Futures ............................................. 92
1.7 Summary .................................................................................................. 93
1.8 Key words ................................................................................................. 94
1.9 Questions for Self- study ......................................................................... 95
2 Pay off of various Options .......................................................... 95
2.1 Objectives ................................................................................................. 95
2.2 Introduction ............................................................................................. 95
2.3 Payoff of long and short call .................................................................... 96
2.4 Payoff of long and short put .................................................................. 100
2.5 Risk and premium ................................................................................. 104
2.6 Illustrations ........................................................................................... 106
2.7 Summary ................................................................................................ 109
2.8 Key words ............................................................................................... 110
2.9 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 110
3 Special applications of Options ................................................ 110

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 110
3.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 111
3.3 Covered Call writing .............................................................................. 111
3.4 Protective Put strategy .......................................................................... 118
3.5 Mimicking and synthetic portfolios ...................................................... 121
3.6 Summary ................................................................................................ 124
3.7 Key words ............................................................................................... 126
3.8 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 126
4 Options bounds- Calls .............................................................. 127
4.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 127
4.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 127
4.3 Upper bounds of call prices ................................................................... 128
4.4 Lower bounds of call prices ................................................................... 130
4.5 Upper bounds of call prices-American Options .................................... 133
4.6 Lower bounds of call prices-American Options .................................... 133
4.7 Summary of principles of American Options pricing ........................... 135
4.8 Summary ................................................................................................ 136
4.9 Key words ............................................................................................... 136
4.10 Questions for Self- study .................................................................... 136
5 Options bounds -Puts ............................................................... 138
5.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 138
5.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 138
5.3 Upper bounds of put prices ................................................................... 139
5.4 Lower bounds of put prices ................................................................... 140

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5.5 Upper bounds of put prices-American Options .................................... 143
5.6 Lower bounds of put prices-American Options .................................... 144
5.7 Summary ................................................................................................ 146
5.8 Key words ............................................................................................... 146
5.9 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 147
Module 3 ...................................................................................... 148
ADVANCED TOPICS ON OPTIONS ......................................... 148
1 Option combinations ................................................................. 149
1.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 149
1.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 149
1.3 Straddle .................................................................................................. 150
1.4 Strangle .................................................................................................. 153
1.5 Bull spreads ........................................................................................... 156
1.6 Bear spread ............................................................................................ 160
1.7 Butterfly spread ..................................................................................... 165
1.8 Box spread.............................................................................................. 167
1.9 Summary ................................................................................................ 171
1.10 Key words ............................................................................................ 171
1.11 Questions for Self- study ..................................................................... 172
2 Principles of Option Pricing – Put call parity. ......................... 173
2.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 173
2.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 173
2.3 Some truisms about Options pricing with small illustrations............. 174
2.4 Put call parity ........................................................................................ 177
2.5 Exercise of the American Call early ..................................................... 181
2.6 Exercise of the American put early ....................................................... 184
2.7 Summary ................................................................................................ 185
2.8 Key words ............................................................................................... 186

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2.9 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 186
3 The Binomial model for pricing of Options .............................. 187
3.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 187
3.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 187
3.3 Binomial one-period model .................................................................... 188
3.4 Binomial two-period model ................................................................... 191
3.5 Extension of the principle to greater number of periods ..................... 195
3.6 Summary ................................................................................................ 196
3.7 Key words ............................................................................................... 197
3.8 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 198
4 The Black-Scholes model .......................................................... 198
4.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 198
4.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 198
4.3 Some preliminary ideas ......................................................................... 200
4.4 Assumptions under the model............................................................... 201
4.5 The formula............................................................................................ 202
4.6 Illustration ............................................................................................. 202
4.7 The model inputs ................................................................................... 204
4.8 The Black-Scholes calculator ................................................................ 204
4.9 Impact of variables on Options pricing ................................................. 205
4.10 Summary ............................................................................................. 208
4.11 Key words ............................................................................................ 209
4.12 Questions for Self- study .................................................................... 209

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5 Volatility and Implied Volatility from the BlackScholes
model............................................................................................ 210
5.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 210
5.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 210
5.3 Importance of Volatility and the concept of Implied volatility ............ 211
5.4 A discussion ........................................................................................... 212
5.5 Summary ................................................................................................ 217
5.6 Key words ............................................................................................... 218
5.7 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 218
Module 4 ...................................................................................... 219
OTHER DERIVATIVES AND RISK MANAGMENT ................ 219
1 Introduction to Options Greeks and Basic Delta Hedging ...... 220
1.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 220
1.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 220
1.3 Delta and uses ....................................................................................... 220
1.4 Delta hedging ......................................................................................... 222
1.5 Gamma, Theta, Vega and Rho .............................................................. 227
1.5 Summary ................................................................................................ 230
1.6 Key words ............................................................................................... 230
1.7 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 231
2 Interest Rate Derivatives and Eurodollar Derivatives ........... 232
2.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 232
2.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 232
2.3 T Bill and T Bond Futures .................................................................... 233
2.4 Hedging with T Bills and T-notes ......................................................... 235
2.5 Eurodollar Derivatives .......................................................................... 236
2.6 Forward Rate Agreements .................................................................... 237
2.7 Caps ........................................................................................................ 241

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2.8 Floors ...................................................................................................... 242
2.9 Collars .................................................................................................... 243
2.10 Summary ............................................................................................. 245
2.11 Key words ............................................................................................ 245
2.12 Questions for Self- study .................................................................... 246
3 Swaps ........................................................................................ 246
3.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 246
3.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 247
3.3 Plain Vanilla Interest Rate Swaps ....................................................... 248
3.4 Exploiting disequilibrium in interest quotes – the Spread
differential. .................................................................................................. 250
3.5 Currency Swaps ..................................................................................... 254
3.6 Valuing swaps and unwinding .............................................................. 257
3.7 Collars mimicking swaps....................................................................... 259
3.8 Summary ................................................................................................ 260
3.9 Key words ............................................................................................... 261
3.10 Questions for Self- study .................................................................... 262
4 Credit Derivatives .................................................................... 262
4.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 262
4.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 262
4.3 Common Credit Derivatives .................................................................. 263
4.4 Credit default swap ............................................................................... 264
4.5 Total Return Swap................................................................................. 266
4.6 Collateralized Debt Obligations ( CDOs) .............................................. 266
4.7 An example of CDO ............................................................................... 268

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.8 The Indian scenario ............................................................................... 269
4.9 Other aspects ......................................................................................... 271
4.10 Summary ............................................................................................. 272
4.11 Key words ............................................................................................ 273
4.12 Questions for Self- study .................................................................... 273
5 Risk Management with Derivatives ........................................ 273
5.1 Objectives ............................................................................................... 273
5.2 Introduction ........................................................................................... 274
5.3 Hedging using Greeks ........................................................................... 275
5.4 Delta-Gamma hedging .......................................................................... 280
5.5 Discussion on Hedging Policy ............................................................... 284
5.6 Summary ................................................................................................ 287
5.7 Key words ............................................................................................... 288
5.8 Questions for Self- study ....................................................................... 288
References .................................................................................... 289

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Module 1

FUTURES AND FORWARDS

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

1 Introduction to Derivatives Markets

1.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are to

• Introduce Derivative instruments
• Briefly look at the common uses and applications of Derivatives
• Briefly look at the trading of Derivatives in the Indian market

1.2 Introduction
As financial instruments, Derivatives have become very popular over the last
two decades. While the practice of using Derivatives instruments has been
there for even centuries, the formal application of these instruments in
everyday financial management came about only recently. With the
development of appropriate markets for these securities, a lot of academic
research has also been carried out in their various facets. Understanding their
applications, uses and misuses constitutes an important part of the study of
Financial Management

1.3 Derivatives – meaning and definition
Derivatives are instruments in respect of which the trading is carried out as a
right on an underlying asset. In normal trading, an asset is acquired or sold.
When we deal with Derivatives, the asset itself is not traded, but a right to buy
or sell the asset, is traded. Thus a derivative instrument does not directly
result in a trade but gives a right to a person which may ultimately result in
trade. A buyer of a derivative gets a right over the asset which after or during
a particular period of time might result in her buying or selling the asset.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

A derivative instrument is based first on an underlying asset. The asset may
be a commodity, a stock or a foreign currency. A right is bought either to buy
or sell the underlying the asset after or during a specified time. The price at
which the transaction is to be carried out is also spelt out in the beginning
itself.

1.4 Types of Derivatives
There are many types of Derivatives in the market and everyday parlance. Any
transaction that results in a right without actually transacting the asset
becomes a derivative instrument. A brief picture of the common Derivatives is
given below:

Futures and Forwards
Contracts under this category relate to transactions entered into on a given
date to become effective after a specified time frame and subject to payment at
rates determined currently but becoming due after that specified time.
Forwards and Futures are entered into by those who wish to be assured of a
price after a specified time in line with the current price. With prices
fluctuating all the time, it is impossible to predict the price levels after a few
months. A Forward or a Futures contract will ensure that the prices are frozen
upon at the time of entering into the contract and the time frame for the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

contract is also firmed up. There are several other aspects to Forwards and
Futures which will be discussed in detail in a later section

Options
Option contracts are a step ahead of the Forwards/Futures contract in that they
result in a right being created without a corresponding obligation. The buyer
of an option contract gets the right without the obligation to either buy or sell
the underlying asset. There is a time frame and a price fixed for the contract.
For the privilege of going ahead with the contract as per her desire, the option
buyer has to pay the seller a premium up front. If, ultimately prices do not
allow the Options to be exercised, then the premium is the only loss incurred
by the buyer of the Option contract. All the detailed aspects of an Options
contract are covered in a later Module.

Swaps
In a swap transaction the two parties thereto exchange their obligations on
predetermined terms. In its simplest version, two companies having different
obligations of interest payments (with one Company obliged to pay a fixed rate
of interest to its bankers and the other Company having to pay a floating rate
of interest), enter into a contract whereby they exchange their obligations. This
exchange of their obligations results in one Company getting the fixed interest
from the other Company to be used for satisfying its obligation. In exchange
this Company passes on a floating rate of interest to the counterparty Company
to satisfy the latter’s floating interest obligation. The principal amount to be
reckoned for the purpose of calculating the two interests (called the Notional
principal), and the benchmark interest rate to be used for the purpose of

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

determining the floating rate are decided at the time of entering into the
contract. Swaps are dealt with in detail in a later module

Commodity Derivatives
The most common intuitive use of Derivatives will be in the commodity
segment, where operators fear price rise/fall based on natural weather
conditions. To safeguard their interests these operators can enter into a
buy/sell contract for the required amount of commodity Derivatives. Typically,
like all Derivatives, this does not directly result in the underlying commodity
being traded. Instead, a right or an obligation is established with respect to
the underlying commodity. This type of derivative is also used by
manufacturers and exporters who want to ensure a specified amount of
commodities to meet their business obligations. The principles involved in
these Derivatives are the same as those governing general Options.
Interest rate Derivatives
Here the parties to a transaction fear a rise or fall in interest rates in the future
and enter into a derivative transaction by which one counterparty compensates
the other when interest rises beyond the agreed rate. Sometimes these
transactions are entered into for getting compensation for interest rate
declines. The notional principal, the benchmark interest rate and the time of
reckoning all are decided at the time of entering into the contract. Interest
Rate Derivatives are covered in a later Module.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Credit Derivatives
Bankers and lenders use Credit Derivatives to safeguard themselves against
credit defaults. There are many varieties of these Derivatives involving
sometimes the creation of a third body called a Special Purpose Vehicle. Credit
Derivatives constitute an area of great development in recent years and many
new sophisticated instruments are getting developed by the day. An
introduction to some common Credit Derivatives is given in a later module.

1.5 Uses of Derivatives
Derivatives are used by companies and individuals wanting to cover their risks.
This is facilitated by a counter party who has the motivation to make profits
out of the premium, or is holding a mirror-image opposite position. Used this
way, Derivatives offer an important tool of risk management, without which
companies and individuals would have been exposed to the vagaries of price
fluctuations. However, the use of Derivatives requires skill in respect of
timing, a strategy regarding the extent of coverage and the need to be
consistent in one’s approach. One of the greatest objections to Derivatives has
been that they encourage speculation. In other words, deals on Derivative
contracts can be entered into even by those who do not have a risky asset
position. It can be entered into by speculators betting on a given price
movement or absence of fluctuations. While this in itself may not seem to be
objectionable, if this practice is carried to disproportionate limits, they are
exposed to huge losses and sometimes bankruptcy. Many companies have
been ruined by over-zealous officials recklessly entering into positions on
Derivatives and taking on enormous risk in the hope of gains on favorable price
movements. Since Derivatives instruments are complex and involve

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

sophistication in pricing and strategy, it is beyond the non-specialist manager
to comprehend the exact risk that the Company is exposed to because of a series
of derivative transactions. In the process the Company concerned is exposed
to great risk.

While recognizing the possible misuse of these instruments, they are
nevertheless proved to be invaluable in safeguarding Company’s income and
profits. Many companies set up their own strategies regarding the extent of
risk they needed to be covered and correspondingly they enter into appropriate
Derivative transactions for the purpose. This process results in prevention of
unnecessary risk and optimization of profits.

To give an example, an exporter to the United States expects to get $50000 in
3 months from now. She will be happy to have this converted at around Rs.45
per $. However there is great uncertainty in the foreign exchange market as
to the nature of the possible movement after 3 months. Fortunately for the
exporter a bank is willing to enter into a Forward contract with her for paying
Rs.45 per $ after 3 months on her surrendering $50000 then. If the exporter
enters into this Forward contract, she makes sure that she will be able to get
Rs.2,250,000 ($50000 multiplied by Rs.45) after 3 months. However, if the
rates change to her favor say to Rs.48 per $ she will not be able to take
advantage of the favorable movement since she is already committed to the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Forward agreement. A detailed discussion on this aspect and other related
topics are covered in a later unit. There are other derivative instruments like
Options which enable the trader to have the best of both worlds, at a price.

1.6 Derivatives in India
In India Derivatives have been actively traded over the last decade. The use
of Derivatives in the commodity segment has been existent over several years,
but these were mostly confined to Futures and Forwards transactions. Options
contracts in the stock markets have become very popular in recent years and
have given a new facet to share portfolio management. In the foreign exchange
market, over-the-counter Forwards have been prevalent for long, but
formalized Futures and Options are yet to take shape. Trading of Interest Rate
Derivatives has been formally introduced in the stock exchanges but these are
yet to capture the imagination of the common investor. Swap transactions
have been reported more on a customized one-toone basis rather than being
taken as formal standardized instruments.
Credit Derivatives have made an entry but are yet to become very popular.

Stock markets find Derivative instruments very useful and portfolio managers
find a number of uses from these for protecting and enhancing their stock
holdings. The rising volumes of Index-based and individual securities are an
indication of their growing popularity. The fact remains, however, that most
of the deals are speculative in nature and are not necessarily for risk
management. But this by itself need not be taken as an adverse factor, since
in most world markets initial uses of derivative instruments have been
basically speculative. Besides, the existence of a large number of speculators

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

enables the genuine risk manager to put through his deals comfortably and
volumes will not suffer.

The regulation of the Derivatives segments has been handled by the Securities
& Exchange Board of India and the stock exchanges. Strict margins and
deposits are taken from the trading members to avoid defaults and payment
problems.

1.7 Summary
The study of Derivatives involves an approach different from the customary.
In conventional analysis, trading involves buying and selling an asset. In the
Derivatives segment, trading involves not the selling and buying of the asset
itself, but a right on the asset. This right does not carry with it any obligation
and comes at a price called the premium. There are many types of derivative
instruments, the most notable among them being Forwards and Futures,
Options and Swaps. In addition, Interest Rate Derivatives and Credit
Derivatives have become very popular in the US and other countries in recent
years. Derivatives are useful for managing the risk of an organization. Usually
companies develop a strategy for active risk management using Derivatives.
The stock-based Derivatives have become very popular in India and result in
great trading volumes. In India, Forwards and Futures are in great use in the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

commodity segment. It is also common to have Forward contracts in foreign
exchange transactions.

1.8 Key words
• Derivatives
• Forwards
• Futures
• Swaps
• Interest Rate Derivatives
• Credit Derivatives

1.9 Questions for Self- study
1) How are Derivative instruments different from regular instruments of
trade?
2) What are the common type of Derivatives?
3) What categories of investors/traders use Derivatives?
4) Are Derivatives well regulated in India?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2 Forwards and Futures – a quick look

2.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are

• To give a general framework of Forwards and Futures contracts
• To understand the benefits of these contracts
• To understand the principle of cost of carry and its uses in practice

2.2 Introduction to Forwards and Futures
Forwards and Futures constitute the most basic of derivative instruments.
They are widely used and are quite intuitive in nature. The pricing and payoff
follow a pattern that can be easily understood.

A Forward or Futures contract enables one to enter into an agreement to buy
or sell a specified quantity of the underlying asset after a specified time at a
specified price. In other words, a Forward or Futures contract locks up the rate
of the underlying asset and regardless of the actual rate at the time of expiry,
the deal has to be executed at the rate agreed upon. This arrangement enables
the parties to the contract to lock up their receipts or payments at convenient
levels. However, the disadvantage is that if rates move in the opposite
direction to what is feared, it might turn out to be a mistake to have entered
into the contract. For instance a commodity trader wishes to sell 500 kgs. of a

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

commodity at Rs.50 per kg. He expects the price to be steady at this level even
after 3 months when the crop will be ready, but fears that some adverse
movements in other sectors might result in a fall in the price. To safeguard
himself he enters into a Forward contract for the quantity at around Rs.50 per
kg. The contract in effect means that he is obliged to surrender 500 kgs of the
commodity after 3 months in exchange of getting Rs.25000 (500 multiplied by
Rs.50). Now, if as feared, the prices fall to a level less than Rs.50, the farmer
will still get Rs.25000 calculated at Rs.50 per kg, because that is the agreed
rate. However, if the price rises above Rs.50 to say Rs.60 per kg. the farmer
loses on the opportunity profits, since he is obliged to fulfill his Forward
contract at Rs.50 per kg. and will not be able to participate in the higher profits.
Thus, in a Forward/ Futures contracts, one of the parties to the contract is
likely to lose out on the deal in the final analysis.

To continue an example from the previous unit, an exporter to US expects to
get $.50000 in 3 months time. If the invoicing were made in the Indian
currency, the exporter would not have had any difficulty in estimating her
potential receipt after 3 months. Since the invoicing is in US$, her actual
receipt in terms of Rupees would depend upon the exchange rate at that point
of time. A Forward contract for selling US$ after 3 months at a mutually
acceptable rate would ensure that the exporter gets this rate regardless of the
ultimate actual exchange rate. A Forward contract is thus an agreement to
buy or sell an underlying asset (in this case the US$) for a predestined
quantity, at a predetermined price after a predetermined period. In this case
the buyer of the US$ forward agrees to pay the Indian rupees at the
predetermined rate. It goes without saying that one of the parties to the

22
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

contract will stand to gain more in the final analysis, but what it ensures at
the time of entering into the contract is that the risk element is eliminated.

To take the opposite situation, an importer of goods from the US has to pay
$75000 after 3 months. The invoicing is in $ and so the importer is exposed to
exchange rate risk. The importer is apprehensive that the amount to be paid
may become more in terms of the Indian rupees because of adverse movements
in the foreign exchange market. To ensure that the amount is frozen, the
importer can enter into a Forward agreement to buy $ at a predetermined
price. At the expiry of the period, the importer pays the agreed amount in
Rupees for getting $75000. The amount to be paid in Indian Rupees does not
vary with the then prevailing exchange rate. Even if the exchange rate
movement is adverse, the importer is not affected since the amount to be paid
in exchange has been firmed up in advance. However, like the contract for
selling foreign currency seen earlier, here again one of the parties would lose
opportunity gains in the final analysis depending upon the exchange rates at
the time of expiry, but it ensures that the risk is eliminated at the time of
entering into the contract.

Futures contracts work in exactly the same way as the Forwards, except that
they are better regulated. The quantity of the underlying asset that is to be
contracted is in specified lots and the time of expiry is also pre-fixed. For

23
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

instance if the importer wants to sell Rs.50000 worth Forward for a period of 3
months, she has to sell this in an exchange contracts corresponding as nearly
as possible to the amount and the horizon needed. Thus if a standard Futures
contract is for say Rs.10000, 5 such contracts have to be sold and if the
contracts expire in 2 months or 6 months, the former is chosen being the
nearest to the horizon needed. There are other structural differences in
Futures as well like the margin requirement, mark-to-market rules and
settlement. These are dealt with in detail later in the Module.

2.3 Basic hedging practices
The hedging practice can be formalized through a couple of examples:

A commodity farmer expects 10000 kgs of a commodity to be ready after
harvest in 3 months. The price of the commodity as of now is Rs.2.80 per kg.
The farmer would be happy if the price he obtains is around this level.
However, market economics suggest that the price may take a dip and he may
end up getting only say around Rs.2 per kg.

A trader in the same area is prepared to get into an agreement with the farmer
to buy the harvest from him at a rate of Rs.2.90 per kg., provided the farmer
commits to the quantity and price today. In other words, the farmer would be
obliged to sell 10000 kgs of the commodity after 3 months at a price of Rs.2.90
per kg. and the trader would be obliged to buy the quantity at the price. This
will be regardless of what the final price of the commodity is to be at the end of
3 months.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

If he accepts this offer today, the farmer is able to make sure that he gets
Rs.2.90 per kg and he can stop worrying about any possible fall in prices in the
interim. However, he has to continue to worry about obtaining the harvest of
10000 kgs In case the harvest is not as successful as anticipated and he ends
up having only less than 10000 kgs. ready, he will be forced to buy from the
market the difference in quantity and meet his obligation to the trader.

As far as the trader is concerned he has ensured that he will get a supply of
10000 kgs. of the commodity at a pre-determined price, and he does not now
have to worry either about changes in prices in the interim, nor about the
availability of the quantity.

This is an example of a short hedge as far as the farmer is concerned and a long
hedge as far as the trader is concerned. In a short hedge the individual is
concerned about fall in prices and sells the commodity in advance at a
predetermined price. In a long hedge the individual is concerned about the rise
in prices and ensures the price by buying the commodity at the predetermined
price. In either case the quantity is frozen.

The short hedge has enabled the farmer to reduce his anxiety about the prices.
Now regardless of the actual movement of prices in the market the farmer will
get Rs.2.90 per kg. If the price at the end turns out to be Rs.2.40 say, he can

25
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

congratulate himself for having entered into the Forward agreement, enabling
him to force the counterparty to buy from him at 2.90 per kg. On the other
hand, if the price rises beyond 2.90 to say Rs.3.20 per kg. the farmer might feel
let down in that he would have been better off without the Forward contract
and would then have been able to sell at Rs.3.20 per kg. The Forward would
force him to sell at Rs.2.90, even though the actual rate at that time is Rs.3.20.
This is the price he pays for ensuring a minimum amount. He will not be able
to participate in upward movement of prices

The long hedge has enabled the trader to reduce his anxiety about prices. Now
regardless of the actual movement of prices in the market the trader will have
to pay only Rs.2.90 per kg. If the price at the end turns out to be Rs.3.20 say,
he can congratulate himself for having entered into the Forward agreement,
enabling him to force the counterparty to sell to him at 2.90 per kg. On the
other hand, if the price falls to say Rs.2.40 per kg. the trader might feel that he
would have been better off without the Forward contract and would then have
been able to buy from the market at Rs.2.40 per kg. The Forward would force
him to buy at 2.90, even though the actual price at that time is Rs.2.40. This
is the price he pays for ensuring a Forward amount. He will not be able to take
the benefit from downward movement of prices.

In the following example the possible payoff from a short hedge can be seen.
The situation involves selling Forward at Rs.101.51 for 3-month duration. If
the price ends up at Rs.95, he will gain Rs.6.51 on the Futures, but will be able
to sell in the market at Rs.95, making totally Rs.101.51.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

If the price is Rs.103, he will lose Rs.1.49 on the Futures, but can sell at Rs.103
in the market, thereby making a total of Rs.101.51.

Table I.2.1 Short-hedge payoff (Amount in Rs.)

Price after Gain in Total
3 months Forwards proceeds

95 6.51 101.51

96 5.51 101.51

97 4.51 101.51

98 3.51 101.51

99 2.51 101.51

100 1.51 101.51

101 0.51 101.51

102 -0.49 101.51

103 -1.49 101.51

104 -2.49 101.51

105 -3.49 101.51

106 -4.49 101.51

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Taking the same situation the position in respect of a long hedge is shown
below. Here again the long hedge has been made at Rs.101.51 for 3-month
duration:

If the price ends up at Rs.97, the long hedge would have to suffer a loss of
Rs.4.51 on the Futures contract, but can get the product at Rs.97 from the
market; thereby the total cost will be Rs.101.51. If the price ends up at Rs.103,
he gains Rs.1.49 on the Futures contract, but has to buy from the market at
Rs.103, resulting in a net position of Rs.101.51.

Table I.2.2 Long hedge pay off (Amount in Rs.)
Price after 3 Gain in Total
months Forwards proceeds

97 -4.51 101.51

98 -3.51 101.51

99 -2.51 101.51

100 -1.51 101.51

101 -0.51 101.51

102 0.49 101.51

103 1.49 101.51

104 2.49 101.51

105 3.49 101.51

106 4.49 101.51

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2.4 Cost of carry
The principles governing fixation of Forward prices are based on interest rates
computation. In Derivatives pricing the universal method is to use continuous
compounding. In other words, the final value based on interest for a period of
6 months on an investment of Rs.100 at 10% interest is calculated as 100
multiplied by ℮ raised to the power of the interest rate multiplied by the time.
The ℮ here is the natural logarithm which has a value of 2.71828. In the above
example, the value will be 100 multiplied by ℮ raised to (.10 multiplied by .5).
We get 105.13. It may be noted that the calculations using the ℮ operator can
be easily accomplished by a scientific calculator, or by using the excel function
“EXP”. The Excel formula in the above case will be (=100* EXP (.10*0.5)).

Forward pricing is based on interest rate computation and the principles of
arbitrage. Financial theory has the support of the principle of arbitrage for
various postulates. If the prices as per the postulate do not hold good, it would
be possible for alert operators to buy one type of instrument and sell another
type of instrument at a risk-free profit. Arbitrage ensures that prices reach
their equilibrium levels in an ideal market.

The theoretical correct price for a Forward contract which has 3 months to go
on a spot price of Rs.40 and an interest rate of 5% can be calculated using the
formula given below:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Forward Price = Spot Price * ℮rt, where
* signifies the multiplication symbol
℮ is the natural logarithm r is the
risk free rate of interest
t is the period of the contract reckoned as a fraction of 1 year So
in the example the Forward price will be:
40*℮. 05*.25 = 40.50
The ideal price for the Forward has to be Rs.40.50.

If the price is greater than 40.50 say Rs.40.75, then an alert operator will sell
the Forward at 40.75 and buy the spot asset at 40. The spot asset will be
bought using borrowed funds which will necessitate an interest payment of
Rs.0.50 for the 3 month period. (Interest is calculated on a principal of Rs.40
for a period of 3 months at an interest rate of 5%, using the continuous
compounding method). On the expiry of the period, the operator will sell the
asset (which he had bought originally in the spot market using borrowed funds)
at Rs.40.75 based on the Forward contract. He will repay Rs.40.50 for the loan
(Rs.40 principal and Rs.0.50 interest) and pocket the difference of Rs.0.25 as
risk-free profit. As more and more operators do this the price will come back
to its equilibrium level of Rs.40.50 for the Forward contract.

If the price is less than Rs.40.50 say Rs.40.25, then an alert operator will sell
the asset in the spot market at Rs.40 and buy the Forward at Rs.40. 25. The
amount got out of selling the spot asset (Rs.40) will be invested in risk-free
securities earning an interest of 5% for 3 months. i.e. Rs.0.50 (The interest is
calculated on a principal of Rs.40 for a period of 3 months at an interest rate of

30
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5%, using the continuous compounding method). On the expiry of the period,
the operator will buy the asset based on his Forward contract by paying
Rs.40.25. He will receive Rs.40.50 from his investment (Rs.40 he got out of sale
of the spot asset plus the interest of Rs.0.50 for the 3-month period), thereby
resulting in a net gain of Rs.0.25. As more and more operators seize on this
risk-free opportunity, the prices will reach back the equilibrium level of
Rs.40.50 for the Forward contract.

More aspects of the cost of carry principle and the risk-free arbitrage are
covered in a later unit.

2.5 Differences between Forwards and Futures
The following are the broad differences between a Forward and a Futures
contract:
1. A Futures contract is standardized in terms of the quantity per contract
and the time of expiry. A Forward contract, on the other hand, is
customized based on the needs of the two parties to the contract.
2. There will be no default risk in a Futures contract since it is
exchangeoriented, whereas the possibility of default exists in Forward
contract. In a Futures contract the buyer and the seller do not directly
interact and the exchange is the effective counterparty for each of the
dealers

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3. A Futures contract will entail a margin for avoidance of default and this
amount has to be remitted from time to time to the exchange based on
extant regulations. In a Forward contract, there is no standardized
margin but this can also be incorporated as a condition to the contract
by the parties concerned.
4. A Futures contract is monitored on a regular basis by the regulating
authority and hence entails a mark-to-market margin. Thus, if a trader
has bought a Forward contract of 3 months for a commodity at Rs.50 and
if the price is Rs.40 after a week of entering into the contract, the
exchange may require him to pay up the difference of Rs.10 on each
contract. This is because the adverse price movement might result in
ultimate default and the mark-to-market enables the contract to be
scaled up or down to the current market levels. Mark-tomarket margins
are generally not insisted upon in a Forward contract.
5. A Futures contract is cash settled. This means that that the final price
of the underlying is compared to the rate agreed upon and the difference
either paid or received from the parties concerned. Actual delivery of
the underlying is not done. A Forward contract, on the other hand, can
be of cash settled or based on physical delivery.

2.6 Summary
Forwards and Futures constitute the simplest of derivative instruments. They
are in wide use for risk management. A Forward contract facilitates the buying
or selling of an underlying asset at a pre-determined price after a specified
period. A Futures is similar in operation to Forwards except for structural
variations on account of contractual specifications, margins and mark-to

32
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

market. A long Forward contract obliges the buying of the underlying asset
and a short Forward contract obliges the selling of the underlying asset.

Forwards and Futures are used widely in the hedging of price risks. While the
practice of hedging enables the avoidance of price risk, traders find that
occasionally they lose out on opportunity gains because of price movements
which turn out to be more favorable than expected.

The pricing of Forwards and Futures follow the cost of carry principle.
According to this, the price at the time of its inception has a definite
relationship with the spot price and is generally represented by the interest for
the period involved. If the price does not conform to this pattern it is possible
to enter to arbitrage and make risk-free profits. That fact that a number of
operators will embark upon this arbitrage will result in the prices once again
coming to the equilibrium levels.

2.7 Key words
• Forwards
• Futures
• Cost of carry
• Hedge
• Arbitrage

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2.8 Questions for Self- study
1) A rice farmer is happy to note that the price per kg. for the type of rice
that his farm produces is around Rs.15 now. However, he will get his
crop only after 2 months. He fears that the prices might fall in the
meantime. How can the farmer use Forwards to reduce his risk?
2) Will Forwards always result in profits? Under what circumstances will
a trader feel that he would have been better off without the Forward?
3) What is margin? Is this applicable only to Futures contracts?
4) If the Forward rate is lower than the rate dictated by the cost of carry
principle, how would an arbitrage be possible?

3 Hedging with Futures

3.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To introduce a framework for hedging
• To look at the risks associated with hedging
• To look at the overall merits and demerits of dealing with Futures

3.2 Introduction
The basic hedging model was introduced in the previous unit. Hedging is an
important requirement for all mangers. Based on price fluctuations and
market behavior, managers will tend to hedge their exposures short or long.

We recapitulate the principal factors in respect of hedges below:
1. Hedges using Forwards and Futures can be long or short. A long hedge
is one that goes long the Forwards or Futures (long means buy). This is

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

entered into by those fearing price rises. By buying the Forward, they
seek to freeze the price’s upper limit. A short hedge is used by those
fearing price falls. A short hedge signifies selling of the Forward or
Futures. By selling the Forward or Futures they seek to freeze the prices
at a level.
2. Hedging is a double-edged sword. While the hedge does offer protection,
it would also mean that if the prices do not move in the direction feared,
one might lose a chance for bonanza profits. Thus in a long hedge if the
price ends up well below the level expected, the hedge would force the
operator to the Forward/Futures price, resulting in an opportunity loss.
In the same way, if the price is greater than anticipated then the short
hedger suffers an opportunity loss. However, in both the cases, the
operators would have frozen upon a level of prices which is acceptable to
them. It is only the opportunity of higher gains that they lose in the
process.
3. Hedging is a part of the strategic process of companies. They generally
have a policy as to how much of their exposure to hedge and the price
bands at which these should be carried out. Companies tend to leave a
portion of their exposure open. The farmer expects to produce 10000 kgs
in 3 months might decide to hedge only 6000 kgs and leave the
remaining 4000 kgs unprotected.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4. Hedging with Forwards and Futures result in almost identical coverage.
However, a Futures contract might entail the payment of periodic
margins and mark-to-market margins, resulting in some differences in
cash flow analysis.
5. The cost of carry principle introduced in the earlier unit needs to be
modified in respect of Futures contract factor because of margins and
deposit money.
6. There will be little default in a Futures contract whereas a Forward,
being a one to one contract might result in defaults.

3.3 Long hedge and Short hedge
Let us take the example of an exporter who has sold a commodity to a foreign
country to be delivered three months hence. In order to make reasonable profits
from the deal the exporter has to acquire this commodity from the domestic
market at Rs.245 per unit. The current price is Rs 245 per unit and the Futures
price currently going in the market is Rs.256 per unit. Readers would have
noticed that the Futures price does not conform to the cost of carry principle
introduced in the previous unit. The possible reasons for this are discussed in
the subsequent Chapters. The exporter will buy Futures at Rs.256 per unit to
the extent required.

Let us assume that the actual price of the commodity has gone up to Rs.290 per
unit after three months. This was what the exporter had feared. However, since
he had the foresight to go in for a Futures contract his interests are protected.
Now he gets delivery of the commodity at Rs.256 per unit which is the agreed

36
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

price under the Futures contract. The actual price of Rs.290 does not affect
him.

One important difference between Forwards and Futures in respect of final
settlement may be noticed in this context. If the exporter had entered into a
Forward contract he would have got actual delivery by paying Rs.256 per unit
to the counter party. But if he had entered into a Futures contract for his hedge
he will instead be paid the difference between the prevailing commodity price
of Rs.290 per unit and his Futures contract price of Rs.256 per unit. This means
that he collects the difference of Rs.24 from the counter party and buys the
commodity in the spot market at Rs.290 per . He was in any case prepared to
pay Rs.256 per unit which is the difference between the two.

If, however, the price in the spot market ends up at Rs.240 per unit, the
exporter loses Rs.16 on the Futures contract (Rs.256 per unit which is his
contracted price minus the actual spot price of Rs.240). In such a case the
exporter is not able to take advantage of the fall in the prices and still ends up
paying Rs.256 per unit. As we have seen this is the sacrifice he makes for
seeking a hedge using Forwards or Futures.

To take an example a Company fears that the price of its output will come
down. It expects 5000 units of output by the end of next 3 months. The current

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

output price is Rs.50 per unit. The Futures for the output asset are currently
going at Rs.54 per unit for a 3 month contract. Again the reader would have
noticed that the Futures price does not strictly conform to the cost of carry
principle. This will be looked at in detail in the next unit.

Similarly, in a short hedge the operator can use Futures by selling the Futures
today. As we have seen the Futures will conform more or less to the cost of
carry principle. After the specified period of contract he will be able to get the
difference between the price at which he sold the Futures, from the commodity
exchange and the actual price in the spot market. If, however, the spot price in
the end happens to be higher than the price at which he sold the Futures, he
will have to pay the difference to the exchange.

Fearing a decline in prices our Company goes for a short hedge by selling the 3
months Futures at Rs.54 per unit for the required quantity. After 3 months if
the final price is say Rs.40 the Company is protected by the Futures contract.
The cash settlement from the Futures contract will give the Company Rs.14
per unit (Rs.54 contracted in the Futures minus the end spot price of Rs.40)
.The Company will sell the commodity in the market atRs.40 and along with
the Rs.14 got from the Futures exchange will be able to pocket Rs.54 per unit.
Here again the procedural difference between a Forward contract and a
Futures contract may be noticed. In the Forward contract the Company would
have been able to sell to the counter party the quantity contracted at Rs.54
directly. In the Futures contract because it is cash settled only the difference
between the Futures contracted price and the actual price in the end is handed

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

over to the Company. The actual buying of the commodity has to be done by
the Company through the regular market.

Continuing the example if it so happens that the final price were Rs.70 per unit
the Company will not be able to take advantage of the increase in prices.
Although it will still be able to sell the output at Rs.70 per unit to the market,
it will suffer a loss of Rs.16 (final price of Rs.70 minus contracted price of Rs.54)
in the Futures market resulting in a net inflow of only Rs.54 per unit. This is
the sacrifice for freezing a price using Forwards or Futures.

3.4 Margin requirements for Futures
We have seen that Futures are different from Forwards in many aspects. One
such aspect is that Futures are well regulated by stock exchanges. Every
person entering into a Futures contract is actually doing so with the stock
exchange as the counter party

In order to ensure that the parties entering into a Futures contract meet the
stringent requirements of payment, stock exchanges insist on margins.
Margins are amounts required to be paid by dealers in respect of their Futures
positions. There will be initial margins, some special margins imposed from
time to time and mark to market margins.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Mark to market margins result in the dealer having to pay margins specially
for meeting the adverse movement in underlying positions as a result of
changes in spot prices. Some exchanges insist on maintenance margins which
mean that the trader is required to pay additional margin when the mark to
market position falls below a trigger point.

Margin requirements vary from exchange to exchange and sometimes from
time to time. The following illustration shows a typical position and its impact
on the trader based on certain assumptions regarding maintenance margin and
mark to market margin. In the example the initial margin is Rs.1000 and the
maintenance is Rs.750. If the initial margin as adjusted by adverse mark to
market, falls below the Rs.750 level additional margin has to be remitted by
the trader. The table below shows the position:1
Table I.3.1 Example of margin liability –Amount in Rs.
Initial Mark to Maintenance Final Final
Date Sett.Price Equity
cash Market margin cash equity

6-Nov 286.4 1000 -140 860 0 1000 860

7-Nov 288.8 1000 -240 620 380 1380 1000

10-Nov 289 1380 -20 980 1380 980

11-Nov 288.6 1380 40 1020 1380 1020

12-Nov 290.7 1380 -210 810 1380 810

13-Nov 292.8 1380 -210 600 400 1780 1000

14-Nov 292.8 1780 0 1000 1780 1000

17-Nov 292.7 1780 10 1010 1780 1010

1
Example adapted from Derivatives – Valuation and Risk Management, by Dubofski and Miller, Oxford
Press

40
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

18-Nov 295.8 1780 -310 700 300 2080 1000

19-Nov 296.1 2080 -30 970 2080 970

20-Nov 297.1 2080 -100 870 2080 870

21-Nov 296.4 2080 70 940

On 5th Nov when the contract was entered into the price was Rs.285. The
trader had taken a short position in Futures and has paid an initial margin of
Rs.1000. On 6th Nov the price fell to Rs.286.40 resulting in his effective margin
amount falling to Rs.860, as shown under column “Equity”. The next day the
spot price was Rs.288.80 resulting in a further depletion of Rs.240. As shown
under the Equity column the margin now is only Rs.620. Since the
maintenance margin is Rs.750 and the Equity has fallen below that level the
trader is required to replenish the margin to the original level of Rs.1000. This
entails a payment of Rs.380 from his side as shown under the column
“Maintenance margin”. This procedure goes on till the end of the contract. The
last two columns show the effective Equity position and the margin position
from time to time.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.5 Basis risk
Basis risk refers to the changing difference between the spot asset prices and
the Futures prices. Basis risk has greater application in Futures contracts
because here the contracts do not expire at the time when the trader requires.
In a Forward contract it is possible to customize the contract to the appropriate
time frame.

Basis refers to the difference between the Spot price of the asset and the
Futures price of the asset. Let us work with the following symbols
S1 = Spot at time t1 S2
= Spot at time t2
F1 = Futures at time t1
F2 = Futures at time t2
B1 = Basis at time t1
B2 = Basis at time t2

Suppose the spot price of an asset at inception was Rs.2.50 and the Futures
price at that time was Rs.2.20. After 3 months, the spot price becomes 2.00
and the Futures price at that time is Rs.1.90. Here the basis at the beginning
(B1) is - 0.30 and the basis at the end (B2) is - 0.10

When the spot increases by more than the Futures, Basis strengthens
When the Futures increases by more than the Spot the Basis weakens
In a hedge the final price =
S2 + F 1 – F 2
This is equal to F1 + B2

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

F1 is known at inception
If we can correctly estimate B2, the hedge can be perfect

The above situation can be elaborated a little more. At the time when the
contract is entered into there is a spot price for the asset and a corresponding
Futures price. Normally, the Futures will conform to the cost of carry principle
and can be determined fairly accurately. But the actual Futures price may not
sometimes conform to the cost of carry rule for various reasons discussed in the
next unit. The difference between the spot and the Futures price at the start is
the basis at the beginning. As time goes on, the spot price changes and the
Futures price also changes. At the expiry time, which is the next crucial
juncture, the Spot and the Futures are at another level of difference between
each other. Occasionally, the difference levels will remain identical.
Sometimes the differences go up or come down. When the difference goes up
(Spot – Futures goes up), the basis is said to have strengthened. When the
difference comes down (Spot-Futures comes down) the basis is said to have
weakened.

A short hedger expects prices to come down and hence has sold the Futures.
At expiry, he settles his position with the Futures price at the end. If the
Futures price at the end is in line with the Spot at the end in exactly the same
level as the difference at the beginning, the basis is the same. In such a case,

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

the hedge will be perfect. He will realize exactly what he sought out to do. For
instance, the spot at the beginning was Rs.100, and the Futures were 102. He
had sold Futures at Rs.102. At the end the spot is Rs.85 and the
Futures is Rs.87. Now he realizes Rs.15 (the difference between 102 and 87).
Suppose the basis had strengthened, the Futures price would have been less
than Rs.87, say Rs.86. the basis at the beginning was (-2) and it has now
become (-1). The (-2) difference has become (-1). The hedger would make Rs.16
(difference between 102 and 86). Here the short hedger has benefited from the
basis strengthening.

On the other hand, if the basis had weakened and if the final Futures price is
88, the hedger would have made only Rs.14 (102-88). He would have lost out
of the basis weakening. The basis originally was (-2) and it has become (-3).

The converse is true of a long hedge. Here the hedger had bought the Futures.
If the spot initially was Rs.200 and the corresponding Futures was
Rs.203 at inception. At expiry the spot is Rs.240 and the Futures Rs.243. Here
the basis remains the same at the start and at the end. So there is no gain or
loss from basis risk. The hedger would get Rs.40 (243-203) from the long hedge.
If the basis had strengthened the Futures would be Rs.242 for instance. The
basis originally was -3 and it has become -2. Here the hedger would get only
Rs.39 (242-203). He has lost on the basis strengthening. If, the basis had
weakened and the Futures price at the end was say 244, he would have gained
Rs.41 (244-203). Here the original basis was (-3) and the final basis was (-4),
so the basis had weakened.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Basis risk arises because the hedge position cannot possibly go on up to the last
date desired. If the horizon required by the hedger exactly conforms to the
horizon of the Futures contract then there will be only negligible basis risks.
The principle of convergence which avoids basis risks is discussed in detail in
the next unit.

A change in basis can result from a change in the risk free rate of interest,
change in floating funds, change in the availability position of the assets and a
phenomenon called convenience yield.

Cross hedges have greater basis risks because the underlying assets are
different.

Even though basis risk is a very real factor, the fact that un-hedged positions
carry greater risks means that former can be ignored as a factor in hedging.

3.6 Cross hedging
In all the examples that we have discussed so far there were ready-made
Forward/Futures contracts available for the asset concerned. The Company,
trader or operator was able to directly use the Forwards/Futures contract for
his hedging purposes. In actual practice we may not have ready
Forward/Futures contract available for an asset of our interest.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

In such cases the Company has to identify another asset which is covered by
going Forward/Futures contracts. Having identified the asset which is similar
in nature to the asset on which the Company wants a hedge, the extent of the
relationship should be estimated. There is no hard and fast rule for this
estimation.

To take an example a farmer expects 500 kgs of onion in the next three months.
He would be happy to be able to sell the output at around the price of Rs.15
prevalent today. Unfortunately for him there is no Forward/Futures contract
which would have enabled him to go in for a short hedge. He however, notices
that there are running contracts of Forwards/Futures in respect of potatoes.
Based upon his past experience he feels that the price movements of potatoes
and onions are perfectly co related. In other words a Re 1 increase in the price
of onion is generally concurrent with a Re.1 increase in the price of potato. So
he performs his short hedge using his Futures potato contracts. He will short
hedge by selling 500 kgs of potatoes in the Futures market at Rs.15 per kg. If
after 3 months the price of potatoes falls to say Rs.12 he will be able to enforce
his Forward/Futures contract by being able to get a selling price of Rs.15 per
kg. What this effectively means is he will be able to buy from the spot market
at Rs.12 per kg then and sell it at Rs.15 to Forward/Futures market at Rs.15
per kg thereby making a gain of Rs.3 per kg. Corresponding to the decline in
potato prices the onion price would have also be fallen to around Rs.12 per kg.
But the farmer is protected in the sense that he will be able to sell the onions
at Rs 12 per kg in the market and get Rs.3 per kg as gains from the potato
future contract. Effectively he is able to get Rs.15 per kg which was what he
wanted in the first place.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The practice of hedging with a different asset to the asset of interest to the
hedger is called cross hedging. The following aspects may be noted in respect
of cross hedges.

1. The first step in a cross hedge is to identify another asset similar in
nature to the asset of interest.
2. The exact extent of relationship should be estimated based on past
experience or historical records. In the above example onions and
potatoes were estimated to be perfectly correlated.
3. If there exists a relationship but the extent of correlation estimated is
less than 1, the Company must make adjustments to the quantity to be
hedged so that the hedge becomes near perfect.
4. If in the above example a Re1 change in onion prices is generally
estimated to accompany with a Re.1.50 change in potato prices, the
extent of contracts required in the Futures market is calculated by Beta
approach. Here the Beta of onions to potatoes is 0.67(1 divided by 1.50).
Therefore if 500kgs of onions are to be covered, approximately 333
contracts of potatoes will be needed.(0.67 multiplied by 500)
5. The principle here is that if onion prices fall by Rs.2 potatoes prices
would have to fall by Rs.3. The 333 kgs of potato Futures contract will
effectively safeguard the fall for 500kgs of onions (333kgs of potatoes

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

multiplied by Rs.3 is approximately equal to 500 kgs of onions multiplied
by 2).
6. Basis risk constitutes an important disadvantage of cross hedges
7. Besides the time horizon of the Futures contract may not conform to the
required time horizon of the Company. For instance in the above
example potato Futures contract may not be available for 3 months but
may be available for only 6 months. Since the farmer requires coverage
only for 3 months in respect of his onions output a suitable Futures
contract will be difficult to find.

3.7 Summary
Hedging constitutes the most important use of Futures. Hedges are either long
or short. In a long hedge a Futures contract is bought and in a short hedge a
Futures contract is sold. Hedging is a double-edged sword. It offers protection
for adverse movement of prices but prevents the hedger from participating in
extreme favorable movements.

When a Futures contract is not available for a specific underlying asset it may
become necessary to hedge with another asset similar in nature to the desired
underlying. This is called cross hedge. Here the hedger will have to estimate
the extent of change likely to occur in the second asset for a change in the
underlying asset. Accordingly the desired number of contracts is entered into
on the second asset - either as a short hedge or a long edge. If the estimated
movements of the two assets are in conformity with expectations, a cross hedge
will perform as efficiently as a regular hedge.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

In entering into transactions with Futures a trader is exposed to basis risk. A
basis risk refers to the difference between the spot and the Futures prices at
the beginning and the changes thereto at the end. A short hedger benefits from
strengthening of the basis and a long hedger benefits from the weakening of
the basis.

Futures contracts entail margins as imposed by stock exchanges. The practices
of levying margins are different in various exchanges and usually have
components like an initial margin, some maintenance margin and mark-to-
market margins. Traders are required to keep paying the necessary amounts
to the exchange. This procedure enables the exchange to manage the risk and
prevent default. It must be remembered that in Futures contracts, the
counterparty is always the Exchange.

3.8 Key words
• Hedging
• Basis
• Cross-hedge
• Strengthening of basis
• Weakening of basis
• Margin

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Mark-to-market

3.9 Questions for Self- study
1) What is basis risk? Is it important in hedging?
2) In a long hedge, if the price of the underlying falls, what will be the
nature of the final payoff for the hedger?
3) How is the appropriate asset chosen in a cross-hedge, where the desired
underlying is not traded in the market?
4) How are margins levied by stock exchanges? What is the role of markto-
market in this?

4 Pricing of Futures and arbitrage conditions

4.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the principle of arbitrage and how it ensures a fair
Futures price

• To look at the general rules and exceptions to these rules in respect of
Futures pricing

• To understand the evidence from the market on the principle of cost of
carry

4.2 Introduction
The basic principle of cost of carry and its application in Forward/Futures
pricing was introduced in an earlier unit. Operators in a stock exchange should
be well-versed with principles governing the pricing of Derivatives, to enable
them to use these in the right manner. These postulates in pricing are

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

intricately connected to basis risk and other economic imbalances that might
be existent.

Many economic conditions exist which prevent absolute perfection of markets.
These imperfections result in the absence of perfect arbitrage and consequent
in equilibrium in pricing

Lastly, an efficient market will necessarily want the Futures to be priced as
close to the cost of carry principle as possible, so that other strategies like the
calendar spread and rolling the hedge Forward can be practiced.

4.3 Basic pricing principles
We have seen the following equation for Forwards pricing. The same applies
to Futures pricing as well, with modifications to provide for margin remittance.
Futures Price = Spot Price * ℮rt, where
*signifies the multiplication symbol ℮ is the natural
logarithm r is the risk free rate of interest : t is time
to maturity
The basic model applies where there is no expected income from the underlying
during the tenure of the contract.

In case a specific dividend is expected from the asset during the period of the
contract, the formula has to be modified as follows:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Futures Price = (Spot Price- Expected Dividend) * ℮rt, where
* signifies the multiplication symbol ℮
is the natural logarithm

r is the risk free rate of interest : t is time to maturity
The principle behind the modification is that if there is to be a dividend, then
the cost of carry will be lesser by that amount. The amount required for
investment will be lower by the extent of dividend.

Sometimes, instead of a specific dividend the underlying has an expected
dividend yield. This is particularly applicable for Index based Futures, which
is the subject matter of the next unit. The formula for the Futures price will
then be:
Futures Price = Spot Price * ℮(r-y) t, where
* signifies the multiplication symbol ℮
is the natural logarithm

r is the risk free rate of interest: t is time to maturity y
is the expected dividend yield.
Here the dividend is not a specified amount, but a specified yield, and so the
adjustment is made to the rate of interest. The cost of carry principle works
on the principle of interest carry and the interest levy will be lower when there
is a specific income yield

The impact of the time and rate of interest on the cost of carry can be seen with
an example.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Assuming the asset price today is Rs.200, the time to expiry of the Futures
contract is 3 months and the interest rate to be 6% p.a, the Futures price should
be Rs.203.02, based on the cost of carry principle. This is calculated as

200 * ℮ (0.06 * 0.25)

The time has been taken as 0.25 (3 months), and the rate of interest in decimals
is 0.06.

The impact of changes in interest rates and time to expiry on the Futures
contract is shown in the following table:

The table shows the relative impact of interest rates and the time to expiry
(both expressed in decimals). As the interest rates go up, keeping the time
constant, the Futures price goes up. This is intuitive in that a greater rate of
interest results in greater cost of carry. Similarly, as time goes up, keeping the
interest rate constant, the cost of carry goes up. This again is intuitive in that
the greater the time period, the greater the carry element.

Table I.4.1 Cost of carry and formula-based prices

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

In Futures contracts, the cost of carry has to factor in the possible margins and
the interest thereon into the calculations.

Another factor that has occasionally resulted in differences is the rate of
interest to be reckoned for calculation. Academics are divided as to the most
relevant rate of interest for this purpose. The broad consensus is that the
Treasury Bill rate, which is risk-free, should be reckoned for calculation. The
logic behind this is that the theoretical prices are held in a place by arbitrage
and unless the arbitrage is risk-free, it cannot be universal. A risk-free
arbitrage can have only a cost of carry of the risk-free rate.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.4 Arbitrage opportunities
The possibility of arbitrage makes the theoretical price rigid.
Let us take the case of an asset having a price of Rs.100. The Futures to expire
3 months from date will have a price of Rs.101.51, if the interest rate
is 6%. (100 * ℮ (0.06 * 0.25)).

Suppose the price is only Rs.101, operators will seize the opportunity to buy
Futures at 101 and sell the spot asset at Rs.100. In 3 months they will earn
an interest of Rs.0.51 on the sale proceeds of the spot asset, and use Rs.101 of
this to buy back the asset. The difference of Rs.0.51 is their risk-free profit.

There will be a gain regardless of the final price of the asset. This is shown in
the following table:
Table I.4.2 Arbitrage when actual Futures is less than theoretical price
If final gain on gain on total net gain
interest
price is spot Futures gain
-2 1 -1 1.51 0.51

99 1 -2 -1 1.51 0.51

100 0 -1 -1 1.51 0.51

101 -1 0 -1 1.51 0.51

102 -2 1 -1 1.51 0.51

103 -3 2 -1 1.51 0.51

104 -4 3 -1 1.51 0.51

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

105 -5 4 -1 1.51 0.51

106 -6 5 -1 1.51 0.51

107 -7 6 -1 1.51 0.51

108 -8 7 -1 1.51 0.51

109 -9 8 -1 1.51 0.51

110 -10 9 -1 1.51 0.51

As more and more operators take this opportunity, the price of the Futures will
get automatically adjusted to the theoretical level of Rs.101.51.

In the same way, if the final price is Rs.102 (greater than the theoretical level),
alert operators will sell Futures and buy the asset in the spot market at Rs.100.
They will borrow Rs.100 for buying the asset spot. They will incur an interest
of Rs.1.51 over the 3-month period for the borrowed money. They will, however,
realize Rs.102 from the sale of The Futures. This will be available to them
after 3 months, and they will use Rs.101.51 of that for repaying the interest
and principal of the loan, thereby pocketing the difference as risk-free profits.
The risk-free profits will be available to them regardless of the final spot price,
as shown in the following table:

Table I.4.3 Arbitrage when actual Futures is greater than theoretical price
End gain net gain
gain F tot gain int. loss
spot spot
99 -1 3 2 1.511306 0.49

100 0 2 2 1.511306 0.49

101 1 1 2 1.511306 0.49

102 2 0 2 1.511306 0.49

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

103 3 -1 2 1.511306 0.49

104 4 -2 2 1.511306 0.49

105 5 -3 2 1.511306 0.49

106 6 -4 2 1.511306 0.49

107 7 -5 2 1.511306 0.49

108 8 -6 2 1.511306 0.49

109 9 -7 2 1.511306 0.49

110 10 -8 2 1.511306 0.49

As more and more operators take this opportunity, the price of the Futures will
get automatically adjusted to the theoretical level of Rs.101.51.

While the possibility of arbitrage ought to restore the Futures prices to their
correct theoretical position, the following factors need to be considered:
1. For arbitrage to be possible, the information regarding Futures prices
should be constantly available to all possible dealers. In India, stock
markets work on an online real-time basis andhence the information will
be readily available. In the commodity segment and the foreign
exchange segment, information may not be that easily available and this
factor will create the difficulty for arbitrage.
2. When the actual Futures prices are greater than the theoretical level,
the dealer will seek to sell Futures and buy the Spot. For buying the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Spot, he may need borrowed money. Depending upon the economic
situation in the country, money supply may or may not be freely
available. If it is available only at high rates of interest, the arbitrage
may not work out to any benefit.
3. The basic assumption under the principle of cost of carry is that both
borrowing and lending can be done at the risk-free rate of interest. This
assumption itself is not far-fetched since any model requires a stable
assumption to proceed. The Capital Assets Pricing Model and the
Modigliani-Miller propositions all assume this. However, the
availability of ready funds at this rate is crucial.
4. When the actual Futures price is less than theoretical level, the dealer
will seek to buy Futures and sell the Spot. Many times this may not be
possible because of the absence of ready stock of the Spot to sell.
Shortage of delivery position in the market might result in this
difference not being exploited.
5. Sometimes, the phenomenon of convenience yield prevents selling the
Spot even though an arbitrage opportunity exists. The holder of the Spot
might feel inclined to hold on to the stock for the convenience of having
the stock ready, rather than selling and getting back the stock after
some time. This is particularly true of export traders who like to keep
their stock ready for possible exports in the future.
6. Sometimes regulatory provisions may create obstacles to smooth
arbitrage. Prohibition of short selling and disclosure of open positions
might result in arbitrage opportunities not being exploited. This could
also be because of the need to have a minimum quantity of buy or sell in

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

the Futures segment. The amount required as margins may not be
easily forthcoming and this again could prevent arbitrage.

4.5 Empirical evidence on cost of carry
Empirical evidence on the cost of carry principle has not been consistent. Most
studies have shown that cost of carry does not perfectly hold in markets over a
length of time. Many economic reasons including those listed above are given
for the phenomenon.

A typical study on the behavior of Futures prices to changing spot prices would
look at spot rates at various dates and compare these with the corresponding
Futures rates. Over a period of time, the interest rate taken by the market can
be intuitively understood. When this rate is steady over a period of time, we
can gather that the cost of carry principle holds and that the interest rate
attributed is rigid. However, studies of this nature have found the cost of carry
varying from week to week and sometimes even day to day.

Studies have also found the existence of backwardation in Futures prices.
Backwardation refers to the Futures price being lower than the Spot price.
This is counter-intuitive to the cost of carry principle. But the predominant
weight of the other economic factors and market imperfections do lead to this
from time to time.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.6 Rolling the hedge forward
In all the examples discussed so far the hedging was successful because the
time horizon of the hedger matched substantially with the time horizon of the
Futures contract. There will be a great deal of difficulty if this matching is not
perfect.

Let us take the case of a trader wanting a long hedge for a period of 6 months.
He fears that the prices will go up for the commodity in 6 months and wants to
lock in the price at a level. He understands that a Futures contract on the
commodity will be the ideal answer to his problem. However, he finds that
Futures contracts exist only for a 3-month horizon, while his requirement is for
6 months.

In such a case, he can go in for rolling the hedge forward. We can look at this
phenomenon through an example (all figures in Rs.):

The rolling of the hedge forward involves first taking Futures of a suitable
duration and just before its expiry, squaring it off and going in for a new
Futures contract. If the horizon is not met even after the second set of Futures,
the process is repeated as many number of times as makes the horizon match.

In the above example it would not have mattered if the Spot price at the end of
3 months had actually been less than the original. The square off will be done
at the spot price at end of 3 months ( the Futures will be very near this spot
price near expiry because of the principle of convergence and low cost of carry)
and the new Futures will be taken up at around the same price.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table I.4.4 Rolling the hedge forward (Amount in Rs.)
Spot price 100

Risk-free rate of
interest
6%

Time 3 months 0.25

Futures price 101.51

The trader goes in for a Long hedge buying Futures at 101.51,
to safeguard against rise in prices

The requirement being for 6 months the hedge is not complete
even after 3 months.

After 3 months

Let us say the
Spot is
110

At this time, the Futures for other 3-months will be available
at Rs.111.66. The trader will square off his original position at
the converged spot price.

Long new Futures 111.66

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The trader’s gain (110-
101.51) on the old Futures
8.49

After 6 months

Spot is say 120

Gain (120-111.66) on new
Futures
8.34

Total gain 16.83

Spot trader was ready to pay 100

Interest saved 3.05

Total he can now pay 119.87

actual spot 120

Sometimes tracking errors can occur and there could be resultant differences
in the prices of square off and new Futures. So the gains listed above may not
always occur accurately. But hedging is all about approximation and the
trader will continue to be covered by and large.
One great disadvantage of rolling the hedge forward is the high amount of
transaction costs that are likely to be incurred in the process. Ultimately, like
a single-period hedge, a rolling of hedge is also a double-edged sword. If the
price movements are not as anticipated, the potential for participation in these
will be foregone. However, the rolling process can be reviewed at the end of
each interval.

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4.7 Summary

The principles of hedging for Forwards and Futures are substantially the same.
In Futures, we also have to reckon the question of margins. A long hedge
involves going in for buying the Futures contract fearing a price rise. A short
hedge involves going in for selling the Futures contract fearing a price fall. In
either case, the hedge is based on the going Futures prices, which, in turn is
expected to conform to the cost of carry principle.

The pricing of Futures is basically by the Cost of carry principle. Continuous
compounding is used in calculating interest rates and for this the natural
logarithm is taken as the basis. In case the asset has a known return during
the period of the contract, the amount of such known income is deducted from
the Spot price today to calculate the cost of carry. The principle behind this is
that the known income reduces the amount involved in the spot investment.
In the same way, sometimes, it is a known dividend yield that comes about and
not a fixed known income. Here, the dividend yield is deducted from the risk
free rate in calculating the cost of carry.

The principle of Futures pricing is based on arbitrage. If equilibrium does not
hold then alert investors will invoke arbitrage and reap risk-free profits. As the
number of such operators goes up, the prices come back to the equilibrium

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

level. However, there are certain economic factors which may prevent perfect
arbitrage. These could also be sometimes regulatory in nature. In such cases
the Futures prices will not conform to the cost of carry principle and what is
more, may sometimes go into backwardation.
Empirical evidence on these prices has not established that cost of carry as a
principle will always hold good. In fact, the evidence has been weighed in favor
of its not holding most of the time.

When the horizon of the hedger does not match the horizon of a Futures
contract, the hedge can be rolled forward. This involves taking a Futures
shorter than the required horizon at first and then shifting this to other
Futures on the expiry of the first. By and large this will result in a perfect
hedge. However, high transaction costs and occasional tracking errors might
result in some losses. Like a regular hedge the rolling hedge will also be able
to ensure around the agreed price regardless of the movement of spot prices.
By the same token, any unforeseen profits cannot be participated in because a
Futures contract is a commitment at a particular level.

4.8 Key words
• Long and Short hedges
• Cost of carry
• Continuous compounding
• Arbitrage
• Rolling the hedge Forward
• Convenience Yield
• Backwardation

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4.9 Questions for Self- study
1) How is the theoretical Futures price computed when it is known that
the asset is expected to yield a dividend of 5% during the period of the
Futures contract?
2) Does the principle of rolling the hedge Forward always result in a perfect
hedge?
3) What circumstances prevent the Futures prices from following the cost
of carry principle?
4) Explain the intuition behind using the risk-free rate for calculating the
Futures prices based on cost of carry.

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5 Stock Index Futures

5.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To introduce the concept of Index Futures
• To see the applicability of pricing theories to Index Futures
• To see some of the higher uses of Index Futures
• To understand the principle of cross hedges as applicable to Index
Futures.

5.2 Introduction
Several years after Futures trading got into full swing in both the NSE and the
BSE, the investing community in India does not appear to be fully aware of all
the possibilities that these offer. This unit attempts to draw attention to
common uses and certain possibilities of sophisticated uses of Index Futures.
At a given point of time, there are three Futures being traded in each exchange
– one expiring on the last Thursday of the third month from the date of the
trade, another expiring on the last Thursday of the second month from the date
of the trade and yet another one expiring on the last Thursday of the month
succeeding the date of the trade. The 3-month Futures of today will thus
become the 2-month Futures after one-month and a 1-month Futures after 2
months. The permitted lot size of S&P CNX Nifty Futures contracts is 200 and
multiples thereof. The spot price at the expiry of the last trading day will be
reckoned as the converged Futures price for settlement purposes. In other
words, this means that as on the last date of trading of the Index Futures, the
Futures price will equal the spot price. For instance, if Futures are expiring on

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

27th July 2000, the final rate for this will be exactly equal to the spot Index
rate on that day. As a corollary, it means that the differences between the
Futures price and the spot price will narrow down as the expiry date
approaches.
Details regarding the rules of trading and settlement can be had from the
NSE web site - www.nse-india.com

5.3 Construction of stock indices
Stock indices are indicators of the market. There are many types of indices.
Broadly these can be classified into price-weighted and market-weighted. The
market-weighted indices are the more common and generally considered to be
less prone to wild fluctuations. The principle behind the construction of a
market-priced Index involves first identifying a given portfolio of stocks that
have the maximum market identification. The exact number could be anything
and in India the NIFTY Index uses 50 as this number, while the BSE sensex
takes 30 as the corresponding number.

The most popular stock Index in India is the S&P Nifty Index and the Junior
Nifty Index, managed by the National Stock Exchange, and is taken as the
basis. The S & P Nifty Index is based on the following principles:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The stocks in the Index are among the top market capitalized companies in the
country. The stocks in the Index are liquid by the “impact cost” criterion. The
liquidity of stocks at the given price level is tested by relative price
determination. The market impact cost tends to accurately reflect costs faced
when actually trading an Index.

In order to qualify for S&P CNX Nifty, the criteria is that it has to reliably have
a market impact cost of below 1.5%, when doing S &P CNX Nifty trades of 5
million rupees. Among the shares that get so qualified, the 50 companies with
the maximum market capitalization go into the Index. The next 50 companies
with the same criteria go into the JUNIOR NIFTY category.
NIFTY’s structure is based on a paper by Shah and Thomas (1998)2. The paper
looks at the question of illiquidity of market indices and how this can influence
Index construction. The authors say that the evidence against hedging
effectiveness and the evidence on the impact cost of alternative Index sets led
to the choice of NSE Index in 1996. Two rules govern the ongoing modifications
to the Index set:

• A minimum liquidity filter is applied. This is based on impact costs in
transitions involving trades of Rs.5 million if the particular security is
in the Index. A security is considered eligible if the impact cost is 1.5%
in 90% of the snapshots in the last six months.

• An eligible security is admitted into the Index displacing the smallest
security in the Index if the incoming security is at least twice the market

2
Shah Ajay and Thomas Susan, Market Microstructure considerations in Index constructions, 1998

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capitalization of the outgoing security, but at the same time prevents
excessive changes.

5.4 Uses and applications of stock Index Futures
The use of stock Futures specifically arises out of the principle of convergence.
The spot prices and the Futures prices have a relationship based on the cost of
carry. The prices converge on expiry. This and other aspects of Stock Index
Futures, as distinguished from regular Futures are given below:

• There are three Futures going in the market at a given point of time.
Theoretically, these three Futures must be all following the cost of carry
principle and hence the longest Futures (3-month Futures) must have a
price proportionately higher than the 2-month Futures and the 1-month
Futures.
• As maturity draws near, the cost of carry keeps coming down until, on
the date of expiration of the Futures the price converges with the Spot
price. Here there will be no cost of carry and hence the Spot price and
the Futures prices will be equal.

• If the investor is planning an Index portfolio (portfolio of stocks in
proportion to those in the Index), she will be able to hedge her portfolio
by buying or selling the appropriate number of Futures contracts.
Generally, the regulatory authorities fix a minimum amount of Futures

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

that needs to be bought as one lot. This figure changes from time to time
and from exchange to exchange. The current rules followed in the
National Stock Exchange can be seen from their website3

• Further, if the holding period matches with the horizon of the Futures,
a perfect hedge is possible

• Additionally, Index Futures offer Cross hedges and rolling the hedge
forward in a more structured manner. Besides, there are several
advanced uses for Index Futures discussed below.

5.5 Hedging with stock Futures
• Futures prices have a definite relationship with the spot prices. If this
relationship does not hold it will be theoretically possible to have a risk-
free arbitrage between the spot and the Futures. This relationship
stipulates that in normal conditions, the Future prices must be more
than the spot price by a “cost of carry”, which are the interest charges
for holding the spot to the duration of the Futures minus any dividend
that holding the spot will entitle the holder. Thus, if the spot price on a
given day is “x”, the Futures price on that day will be “x” plus the interest
for holding the spot to the duration of the Futures contract, minus any
pre-determinable dividend or dividend yield on the spot.

• Suppose this relationship does not hold, the Futures are incorrectly
priced and this gives rise to a theoretically risk-free arbitrage. For
instance, if the Futures price is lower than the theoretical price
described above, it will be worthwhile for a share dealer to buy the

3
www. nse.co.in, giving full details of settlement and margin positions for Futures

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Futures and simultaneously sell the spot, The proceeds from the sale of
the spot could then be invested in risk-free securities and at the end of
the tenure when the Futures contract expires, he would buy the stock
back on the strength of the Futures contract at a cost less than what his
investment has yielded. He thus makes a clean risk-less profit. As more
and more investors like him do this Futures prices will find its correct
level vis-a vis the spot. This is illustrated in the box alongside

Suppose the spot Index price is Rs.1250 and the one-month Futures are trading
at 1280. Assuming that the risk-free rate of interest will yield an interest of
Rs.10 on Rs.1250, the theoretical Futures price ignoring dividends is Rs.1260.
Because the actual price is Rs.1280, dealers in the market can sell the Futures
at Rs.1280 and buy the spot at Rs.1250. After one month, on the convergence
date, the spot and the Futures will be priced identically by rule. At that time
our dealer would square up the Futures position by buying back and
simultaneously sell in the spot market. The outcome of his deals will be as
follows. It has been assumed that the converged price after 1 month is Rs.1290.
It does not make any difference what that price is, because, both the spot and
the Futures will be priced identically then.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The whole process results in a
TODAY
risk-free return of Rs.20. (The
difference between the buy
Sale proceeds of Futures Rs. 1280 (+) and sell deals on
Price of buying stock Rs. 1250 (-) Futures results in a loss of
Rs.10, and the cost of carry
loss on borrowing is Rs.10, but

AFTER ONE MONTH the stock gains are Rs.40). As
more and more dealers seize
Sale of spot Rs. 1290 (+) this opportunity, the Futures
price will adjust itself to the
Buy back of Futures Rs. 1290 (-)
theoretically correct price.
Cost of carry Rs. 10 (-)

For this to succeed the dealer
must either have the stock of the Index stocks ready with him for sale, or he
should be in a position to borrow the stocks for a short period.

Now let us take the converse case. If the actual Futures price were higher than
the theoretical Futures price, the trader would borrow money and buy the spot
and sell the Futures. At the expiry of the Futures contract, he would offer the
stocks in delivery and collect the proceeds, which will be higher than the price

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

of the stock plus the interest. Again, he makes a risk-free profit. As more and
more people do it, the Futures price will find its correct level, vis-a vis the spot.

Suppose the spot is Rs.1250 and the Futures are Rs.1220. Assuming a
theoretical cost of carry of Rs.10 on the Rs.1250, the Futures price ought to be
Rs.1260. Since it is trading at a discount to this, dealers will buy the Futures
and sell in the spot segment. For doing this, they would require ready delivery
of the stocks constituting the Index, in the proportion as near as can be to the
Index. Alternatively, they must have access to stock borrowing facility.
Otherwise, they could be a portfolio holder seeking to take advantage of the
disparity. After one month, convergence of prices takes place. Then the Index
Futures position is squared off by selling and at the same rate the stock is
bought back.

This results in a risk-free gain of Rs.40. (The gains of Futures is Rs.70, the cost
of carry gain is Rs.10, but the loss on stock is Rs.40). As more and more dealers
indulge in this, the Futures price adjusts itself to the theoretically correct level.

Two aspects need elaboration here. When we say, “buy spot” or “sell spot”, we
refer to the buying or selling of all the stocks that
constitute the Index in the same proportion as in the Index. This may, at first
sight, seem an impossible task given the fractional composition of the stocks in

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

TODAY the Index. Computer programs enable
fast and accurate calculation of the

Sale in spot Rs. 1250 (+) required quantities.
Buy Futures Rs. 1220 (-)
The second aspect to be noted is that a

AFTER ONE MONTH “buy” of Futures when carried to the
expiry does not entitle the buyer to

Buy spot Rs. 1290 (-) delivery of the underlying stock.

Sell Futures Rs. 1290 (+) Actually, the Futures contracts do not
result in a delivery situation at all, If

Gain in cost of carry Rs. 10 not squared-up on the last date of
trading at the converged price, they will
be deemed to have been squared up at the converged price on the last day. But
this does not alter the arbitrage situation at all. It would still be possible to
buy the stock on the spot market while squaring up the Futures contract. Since
the principle of convergence ensures that the Futures will be priced exactly
equal to the stock on the expiry, it does not make any difference whether one
does the opposite transaction in the spot market or the Futures market.

Now, why should the actual Futures price vary from the theoretical Futures
price at all? The explanation is that arbitrage though theoretically available,
will not always be practicable. Transaction costs, absence of sellable stock,
difficulty in borrowing, or the absence of a suitable counter-party to conclude
deals, could contribute to this phenomenon.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Another aspect to be noted in this context is the risk-free interest rate needed
for arriving at the theoretical Futures price. For the theory to be absolutely
correct, money must be freely borrowable and lendable at the risk-free rate.
On account of transaction difficulties, the cost of carry might be reckoning a
slightly higher level of interest than the conceptual risk-free rate.

Dividend yield has been ignored in the above calculations. To the extent of the
dividend yield, the cost of carry will be lower. This is so because the holder of
the spot is partly compensated for his invested capital by the dividend that he
receives.

5.6 Beta and the Optimal Hedge Ratio
Hedging through Stock Futures involves use of the market portfolio. The Index
is considered as the true representative of the market portfolio and has a Beta
of 1. All other portfolios have Betas in relation to this market portfolio. Betas
are calculated by taking the covariance of individual securities/portfolios with
the market returns and establishing a relationship. The concept of Beta is
controversial as the calculations may differ with the period reckoned and with
what is considered as the market portfolio.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The Optimal Hedge ratio tells us the number of Futures contracts to be used
for hedging given a value of the portfolio now and the value of a typical Futures
contract.

If an asset manager has a portfolio worth Rs.15 lakh consisting of shares in the
same proportion as the Index itself, and if the size of a typical Futures contract
as specified by the exchange is Rs.3 lakh, then she will have to go in for 5
Futures (Rs.15 lakh portfolio value divided by Rs.3 lakh being the value of one
contract) for hedging purposes. In this case the calculation is straightforward
as the asset manager’s holding is a market portfolio and therefore has a Beta
of 1.

If the portfolio held is different from the market portfolio and has a Beta of say
0.8, then the value to be hedged using the Index Futures is 0.8 multiplied by
Rs.15 Lakh = Rs.12 lakh and since one contract is of Rs.3 lakh, 4 contracts will
suffice. The reason for the difference between the two situations is that in the
former the Beta being 1, any change in the market portfolio is fully represented
in the Index. In the latter case, the portfolio is different and experience tells
us that we require only lesser number of Futures contracts to hedge our
position, since the volatility of the portfolio is less than that of the Index.
Conversely if the portfolio Beta had been 1.2, the value to be hedged would
have been 1.2 multiplied by Rs.15 lakh, coming to Rs.18 lakh, divided by the
standard contract size of Rs.3 lakh, = 6 contracts.

5.7 Increasing and Decreasing Beta
Stock indices can be used for temporarily increasing the Beta of a portfolio. Let
us take the case of an asset manager who has a Rs.15 Lakh portfolio with a

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Beta of 0.8. She feels that the market is showing a bullish trend and in order
to participate in the upward movement wants to temporarily increase the Beta
of her portfolio to say 1.2. The most obvious way of achieving this would be to
buy new stocks with a higher level of Beta and simultaneously selling some
stock from the existing portfolio in such a way that the Beta is on a weighted-
average basis 1.2. However, this will involve complications of rebalancing the
portfolio and consequent transaction expenses. Besides her intention is not to
permanently change the portfolio but only to change it temporarily. The
answer for her would be to go in for Index Futures to the extent of the difference
in the two Betas.

She will buy Index Futures to the extent of -> {Portfolio Value now * (Desired
Beta – Existing Beta)/ Value of 1 contract}. In the above example her target
Beta is 1.2 as against the existing Beta of 0.8. The difference is 0.4 to which
extent she wants new contracts. Thus she has to take Futures to the extent of
Rs.6 Lakh ( 15*(1.2-0.8)). Since each contract is for Rs.3 lakh, she has to buy
2 contracts.

If the market does go up as she expects, she will have a gain from the
Futures position apart from whatever gains she has from the portfolio itself.
In the above example if she had feared a temporary fall in the market and

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

would have liked to reduce her Beta to say 0.6, she would have shorted Futures
as follows.

The portfolio value is Rs.15 lakh and her present Beta is 0.8. She wants to
reduce it to 0.6. To the extent of Rs.15 lakh *(0.8-0.6) = 3 lakh, she will short
Futures. This corresponds to 1 contract since the size of 1 contract is Rs.3
lakh. If as she expects the prices fall, she will gain from the Futures short
position.

The following points should be noted in their connection:

• At first glance this might look like pure speculation. But if done with a
proper estimation of Beta, this could bring in short-term profits.

• This strategy of increasing and decreasing Beta should be based on
covered position of stocks and based on safeguards against excessive
positions.

• The strategy of increasing and decreasing Beta is apart from whatever
hedging that the asset manager is already doing. This is in addition and
not a substitute for regular hedging

5.8 Other uses of stock Futures
Apart from the above uses, stock Futures are used for the following additional
purposes:

• Stock Futures can be used for enhanced portfolio management. A long
position in a portfolio of stocks is identical in pay off to corresponding
Futures over the horizon of the Futures contract. Of course, stock
related income like stock-lending and dividends are not there in the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Futures. But Futures require much less capital investment. So a
portfolio manager can use Stock Futures judiciously, in combination
with risk-free investments to achieve the same payoff as the Stock
portfolio itself. Of course, this should not be totally speculative and
ought to be based on judicious norms of portfolio management

• Sometimes stock Futures are used to take advantage of specific
unsystematic risk. For instance if a portfolio consists of stocks with
substantial unsystematic risk which is expected to become favorable in
the short- run. However, a general fall in the markets is expected and
this will offset the gains from the specific security with unsystematic
risk. To continue gaining on this, the portfolio manager will short Stock
Futures to the extent of the decline expected and make gains there from.
Of course this will be apart from whatever hedging she will carry out for
the general decline in the market.

• For selective risk management of portfolios. This will involve a strategy
for participating in market movements through Futures while being
aggressive with the rest of the portfolio.

It should be noted that some of the higher uses of Futures look very much like
speculation, but is best indulged in based on specific strategies.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Portfolio managers having a horizon greater than 3 months, use the technique
of rolling the hedge forward to keep their hedges intact. Of course, tracking
errors and transaction costs make these difficult.

Dealers in the stock market also look for Calendar Spreads. If the cost of carry
principle is not uniformly held as between the Futures of various months a
strategy of selling the “overpriced” Futures and buying the “under priced”
Futures can be embarked upon, with the belief that the market will correct
itself and restore the cost of carry uniformly. The temporary anomaly can be
exploited for quick gains. For instance, if the 2-month Futures is
disproportionately high compared to the Spot and the 1-month Futures, the 2-
month Futures can be sold and simultaneously the 1-month Futures can be
bought. If the market corrects the discrepancy, the two Futures will have the
correct difference between them. If this correction takes place within 1 month,
the original positions can be reversed for profits.

5.9 Illustrations
Table I.5.1 Illustration showing convergence of
Futures prices to Spot prices in respect of Bajaj Auto
(Amount in Rs.)

Futures
Date Spot Price
Settle Price
18-Nov-05 1991.9 2,001.00
21-Nov-05 2038.05 2,049.80

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

22-Nov-05 2045.05 2,054.10
23-Nov-05 2066.4 2,064.60
24-Nov-05 2078.1 2,066.00
25-Nov-05 2086.6 2,064.95
26-Nov-05 2085.15 2,063.90
28-Nov-05 2138.4 2,117.15
29-Nov-05 2091.6 2,071.15
30-Nov-05 2024.35 2,009.95
1-Dec-05 2037.6 2,018.80
2-Dec-05 1998.7 1,983.30
5-Dec-05 2015.85 2,000.10
6-Dec-05 1996.75 1,986.70
7-Dec-05 2005.45 1,990.60
8-Dec-05 2027.8 2,015.25
9-Dec-05 2094.7 2,081.80
12-Dec-05 2128.45 2,116.30
13-Dec-05 2134.05 2,113.70
14-Dec-05 2132.15 2,117.45
15-Dec-05 2094.8 2,081.35
16-Dec-05 2132.55 2,118.05
19-Dec-05 2121.2 2,105.45
20-Dec-05 2095.9 2,082.90
21-Dec-05 2100.7 2,088.35
22-Dec-05 2113.2 2,099.00
23-Dec-05 2085.1 2,080.50

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26-Dec-05 2028.75 2,020.45
27-Dec-05 2050.55 2,042.65
28-Dec-05 2002.85 1,998.25
29-Dec-05 1999.85 1,999.85

5.10 Summary
Stock Futures constitute an important derivative and one that is most popular.
These Futures have a number of advanced and straight applications Stock
indices are based on the principle of market portfolio. A market portfolio is a
typical selection of stocks in the market which represent the market fairly
accurately.

The Index is carefully chosen based on market-weights and certain other
criteria for liquidity.

Based on the estimation of the Beta of a portfolio and its relationship to the
market, it is possible to evolve several strategies using Index Futures. These
involve basis hedging, working on increasing the Beta and reducing the Beta
and some other sophisticated applications

While some of the strategies of an asset manager using Index Futures look like
speculation, they are based on principles of strategy and will be successful in
the long run only if based on a plan.

Index Futures are rampantly used for hedging. Hedging follows the same
principles as the regular asset-hedging, but the calculation of the Optimal

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Hedge Ratio assumes importance here. This is based on the respective Betas
of the portfolio as compared to the market and suitably adjusted to come to the
market lot.

Traders use Calendar Spreads to take advantage of the discrepancy in the
prices among various Futures on the same underlying stock. This is done with
the hope the market will correct the discrepancy within the life of the Futures.

5.11 Key words
• Beta
• Optimal Hedge Ratio
• Portfolio Value
• Enhanced Portfolio management
• Rolling the hedge Forward
• Calendar Spreads

5.12 Questions for Self- study
1) What are the principal differences in Stock Futures as compared to other
types of Futures?
2) Does the strategy of increasing Beta work independently of hedging
practices?
3) Does the cost of carry principle work correctly with Stock Futures?
4) What is convergence? Why does it occur?

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Module 2 –

INTRODUCTION TO OPTIONS

1 Types of Options

1.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To introduce the instrument of Options
• To understand the basic differences of Options from Forwards and
Futures

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• To understand the payoff of various players in the Options market.

1.2 Introduction
The subject of Options has been familiar to traders and investors in many ways.
Whenever we get an opportunity to delay a decision without the foregoing of
any rights it is an option. Thus the offer coupon that comes along with the
daily newspaper inviting us to shop in a particular mall and get a discount of
10% on purchases by producing the coupon is an example of an option. The
buyer of the option – in this case the newspaper reader- is under no obligation
to go to the mall and buy. Yet, he has a right to shop to get a discount. It is up
to him to exercise the right or not according to his convenience.

In the same way, sometimes vendors of goods give buyers a choice of sell-back
within a particular time and at a particular price. Thus if the buyer is not
happy with the performance of the product he can return it and obtain the
amount pre-determined. Here again, the customer is under no obligation to
sell, but can sell and obtain the price if he wants.

The above are just two examples of a variety of Options we enjoy and give in
our regular lives. What makes the study of Options exciting is the fact that
there are multiple possibilities and strategies that arise out of these

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instruments. Companies have discovered in recent years the great advantage
of these instruments for their risk management practices.

Options have also attracted a lot of criticism for their abject misuse by certain
operators. The example of Barings disaster is often quoted for establishing the
dangers of this instrument. It should be noted that misuse of a good thing by
certain elements should not result in the instrument, which is otherwise useful
being dismissed as worthless. Necessary regulatory measures will result in
greater control over misuse, while retaining all the advantages.

1.3 Types of Options and option terminology
Let us look at common Options terminology:

Calls

Calls are rights without obligation to buy a certain underlying after a certain
period at a specified price. The buyer of the call gets a right to buy the
underlying asset, without any obligation to do so. He can enforce his right after
the specified time, if conditions favor such an action. Or, if conditions are not
favorable he can discard the right. All he will lose is what he has paid originally
as the price for the right.

Here, the enforcement of his right is called “exercise”. Any exercise has to be at
the pre-determined price, called the Exercise Price or Strike Price.

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The price the buyer pays for getting the right is called “premium”. As will be
seen in subsequent Chapters, a number of considerations come into play in the
determination of this price.

A seller of a call is also called the “writer” of the call

The buyer of the call will enforce his right if the price of the underlying falls
above the Exercise Price. If the price is below the Exercise Price he will discard
the call.

Puts

Puts are rights without obligation to sell a certain underlying asset after a
particular period at a specified price. The buyer of the put gets a right to sell
the underlying asset, without any obligation to do so. He can enforce his right
after the specified time, if conditions favor such an action. Or, if conditions are
not favorable he can discard the right. All he will lose is what he has paid
originally as the price for the right. As in a call, the enforcement of his right is
called “exercise”. Any exercise has to be at the pre-determined price, called the
Exercise Price or Strike Price.

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The price the buyer pays for getting the right is called “premium”. As will be
seen in subsequent Chapters, a number of considerations play a role in the
determination of this price.

A seller of a put is also called the “writer” of the put

It can be safely concluded that the buyer of the put will enforce his right if the
price of the underlying falls below the Exercise Price. If the price is above the
Exercise Price he will discard the put.

American and European Options

If the option is exercisable only after the expiry of a particular period, it is
called a European Option. Thus if A buys a right to buy an asset from B after
3 months, it is a European Option. However, if A has the right to buy the asset
at any time during the 3 months, it is called an American option. An American
Option can be exercised at any time during the tenure of the contract. The
word “European” and “American” has nothing to do with any geographic
location and is just a matter of terminology.

At-the money, Out-of the money, In-the-money

A call is said to be at the money when the actual asset price is around the level
of the strike price. If the asset value exceeds the strike price then the call is in
the money. On the other hand, if the asset price is less than the Strike price,
then the call is out of the money. The converse of the above applies to puts.

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An option that is very much in the money is also called “deep in the money”,
and an option that is very much out of the money is also called
“ deep out of the money”

Naked Options and Covered Options

When an option position is taken up by a dealer without any position in the
underlying, it is called a naked position. Naked positions are speculative in
nature and are not entered into for risk management. A covered position, on
the other hand, signifies that the dealer has a position in the underlying asset
and is possibly hedging this. A great deal of the positive uses of Options stems
from covered positions. In recent years, many operators have commenced
having Option combinations that result in mimicking covered positions.

1.4 The question of exercise
In a European Option a question of exercise arises only at the expiry of the time
period agreed upon. The buyer of the call will exercise if the underlying asset
price is greater than the Exercise Price. As we have seen he will discard the
call if the price happens to be less than the Exercise Price. The theory of
Options is based upon rational individuals and hence it is implicitly assumed
that when an European call expires in the money, it will be exercised.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

American calls can be exercised at any time before the expiry. Hence the buyer
strictly need not wait till the expiry for all exercise if the price of the underline
asset exceeds the strike price at any time during the tenure, he is within his
rights to exercise. However, as we will see in a later unit it can be shown that
it is not optimal for a buyer to exercise the American power ahead of maturity.

A European put will be exercised by the buyer on expiry if the underlying asset
price is less than the Exercise Price. Here again the theory of Options assumes
investors to be rational and assumes that any put that expires in the money
will be exercised. An American put can be exercised at any time during the
tenure of the contract. Unlike the American call, it can be shown that it is
optimal to exercise the American put ahead of the expiry if the put is
sufficiently in the money.

In exchange-traded Options the European Options buyer does not have to
specifically indicate that he is exercising the Options. If, on expiry of the
contract, the underlying asset price is greater than the strike price the
difference will be treated as profits of the buyer by the exchange directly. In
American Options, however, the buyer will have to specifically indicate that he
is exercising for the exchange to take note of this.

1.5 Options markets

Options are traded in stock exchanges in a manner similar to the trading of
Futures contract. At any given point of time there will be three outstanding
Options. One option will expire in the current month, a second option in the

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subsequent month and the third option two months hence. Trading is carried
out in various Exercise Prices. Whenever the underlying asset prices change
trading is allowed on new strike price to correspond to the new levels of the
underlying asset price. As with the parties to a Futures transaction, writers of
Options are required to pay margins. It can be observed that buyers of Options
need not pay any margin since they are not exposed to any risk.

A large segment of the Options market is speculative and the dealers have
naked positions in the Options and either buy or write only for speculative
purposes. Stringent margins are imposed by the exchange to avoid huge losses
and consequent pay out problems.

It has been observed that in the initial years of the introduction of Options the
premia charged for calls and puts are very high. This is particularly because
the writers are over –cautious about their exposure and would like to be amply
compensated. As markets mature option combinations by various dealers
result in more rational prices.

Options are traded in the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Details regarding,
trading and settlement can be had from their website www.nseindia.com. The
key features are:

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Options contracts in NIFTY have a maximum of 3-month trading cycle - the
near month (one), the next month (two) and the far month (three). The
contracts expire on the last Thursday of the expiry month. The Exchange
provides five strike prices for every option type (i.e. call & put) during the
trading month. At any time, there are two contracts in-the-money, two
contracts out-of-the-money and one contract at-the-money. The strike price
interval is Rs.10. The permitted lot size of S&P CNX Nifty Options contracts is
200 and multiples thereof.

In addition, NSE also permits Options on individual securities. These Options
are American, while the NIFTY Options are European. The trading cycle is
the same as the NIFTY Options, but some changes in the lot sizes are made
from time to time.

1.6 Differences between Options and Futures

• A long Futures contract obliges the buyer to buy the underlying on
expiry of the contract at the pre-determined price. A long call enables
the buyer to buy the underlying if circumstances so warrant . There is
no compulsion to purchase unlike the Futures contract.

• A call option entails payment of premium by the buyer to the seller. A
Futures contract does not attract any premium.

• The seller of a Futures contract is obliged to sell the asset at the price
stipulated. The writer of the call is similarly obliged to sell the asset at
the price stipulated. The only difference is that the writer of the call
gets a premium while the seller of the Futures does not.

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• Selling Futures is comparable to buying a put. However, the buying of
a put results in payment of a premium.
• Both the buyer and the seller of the Futures contract have to pay various
types of margin to the exchange. Only the seller of the option need pay
margin.

• Even if the final price of the underlying asset ends up lower than
expected, a buyer of a Futures contract still has to buy the asset at the
agreed price. A buyer of a call is under no such obligation.

1.7 Summary
Options are a part of our everyday transaction. Broadly, Options refer to a
right without an obligation to buy or sell an asset during or after a particular
time at a specified price. A direct deal in the underlying asset involves buying
or selling the asset itself. In an Options contract the buying or selling is not of
the asset but of a right to buy or sell the asset.

A call Option signifies the right to buy while a put Option signifies a right to
sell. The seller of a call or a put is called a Writer of the Options. The
enforcement of a right to buy or sell is called “exercise”

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A buyer of a call will exercise his right if the underlying asset price exceeds the
strike price. A buyer of a put will have this right if the underlying asset price
is below the strike price.

Options are of two types- European and American. European Options can be
exercised only on the expiry of the tenure of the contract, while an American
Option can be exercised at any time during the tenure of the contract.

An Option is said to be” in the money” if the asset price is greater than the
Exercise Price for a call: or if the asset price is less than the Exercise Price for
a put. An Option is said to be” out of the money” if the asset price is less than
the Exercise Price for a call: or if the asset price is greater than the exercise for
a put.

1.8 Key words
• Call
• Put
• Writer of an Option
• European Option
• American Option
• At the Money
• In the Money
• Out of the Money
• Strike Price

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1.9 Questions for Self- study
1) How are Options different from Futures?
2) Is buying the call same as writing a put?
3) What are the margin requirements generally imposed by the exchanges
for Options?
4) When is a put exercised?
2 Pay off of various Options

2.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To draw up the payoff of the buyers and sellers of calls
• To draw up the payoff of the buyers and sellers of puts
• To understand from the patterns of payoff the broad strategies investors
follow for various Options-related gains

2.2 Introduction
In the last unit we have seen the basic definitions of various Options and their
general pattern of enforcement. The potential profits and maximum losses are
different for the various players in the Options market. We now look at the
general payoff of the buyers and sellers separately and draw conclusions as to
their motivations in entering into these positions.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The examples in this unit are based on stock prices. This is because it is
intuitively easier to understand the instrument of Options through stocks more
than any other asset. Stocks are generally well traded and their price
movements are very transparent. The Options market in respect of stocks also
gets good coverage in newspapers and business dailies and therefore the
investors are well-versed with price movements. However, the broad principles
of payoff will apply for any other asset as well.

Stock exchanges impose margins on sellers of Options for their positions.
These margins could be in the nature of Initial Margin, Maintenance Margin
and Mark-to-Market margins. As we will soon see, sellers are exposed to
considerable risk in the Option segment and sometimes these can result in
total disaster. It is, therefore, imperative that the payoff profile is well
understood before a trader embarks upon a selling position in Options.

2.3 Payoff of long and short call

Buying a call
Table II.2.1 – Payoff from buying a call
Asset price today 120

Strike price 125

Call premium 4

BUYING A CALL

Gain from
If end asset price Premium Net
exercising
is paid gain
call
120 0 -4 -4

121 0 -4 -4

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122 0 -4 -4

123 0 -4 -4

124 0 -4 -4

125 0 -4 -4

126 1 -4 -3

127 2 -4 -2

128 3 -4 -1

129 4 -4 0

130 5 -4 1

131 6 -4 2

132 7 -4 3

133 8 -4 4

134 9 -4 5

135 10 -4 6

136 11 -4 7

137 12 -4 8

138 13 -4 9

139 14 -4 10

140 15 -4 11

The buyer of a call will gain whenever the price of the asset exceeds the strike
price. However, since he has to pay the premium the gains will arise only after

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the premium amount has been recovered beyond the Exercise Price. If the
asset price ends up below the Exercise Price, the buyer will discard the call,
resulting in a loss of the premium amount paid. The buyer of an American call
can exercise this right at any time during the tenure of the contract.

Thus the maximum loss that he can incur is only the premium amount, while
the maximum profit can be infinite.

Selling a call

The seller of a call will gain whenever the price of the asset ends up below the
strike price. The initial premium gained by him will be his total gain in such
circumstances. However, if the price of the asset exceeds the strike price, he
will suffer losses. The premium initially received will offset the losses for a
small extent, but as the price ends up higher, his losses are greater. The seller
of an American call is exposed to this risk at any time during the tenure of the
contract.

Thus the maximum loss that he can incur is infinite, while the maximum profit
will be the premium received.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table II.2.2 Payoff from selling a call
Asset price today 120

Strike price 125

Call premium 4

WRITING A CALL

Loss from
If end asset price Premium Net
call being
is received gain
exercised
121 0 4 4

122 0 4 4

123 0 4 4

124 0 4 4

125 0 4 4

126 -1 4 3

127 -2 4 2

128 -3 4 1

129 -4 4 0

130 -5 4 -1

131 -6 4 -2

132 -7 4 -3

133 -8 4 -4

134 -9 4 -5

135 -10 4 -6

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136 -11 4 -7

137 -12 4 -8

138 -13 4 -9

139 -14 4 -10

140 -15 4 -11

2.4 Payoff of long and short put

Buying a put
Table II.2.3 Payoff from buying a put

Asset price today 120

Strike price 125

Put premium 4

BUYING A PUT

Gain from
If end asset price Premium Net
exercising
is paid gain
put
117 8 -4 4

118 7 -4 3

119 6 -4 2

120 5 -4 1

121 4 -4 0

122 3 -4 -1

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

123 2 -4 -2

124 1 -4 -3

125 0 -4 -4

126 0 -4 -4

127 0 -4 -4

128 0 -4 -4

129 0 -4 -4

130 0 -4 -4

131 0 -4 -4

132 0 -4 -4

133 0 -4 -4

134 0 -4 -4

135 0 -4 -4

136 0 -4 -4

The buyer of a put will gain whenever the price of the asset ends up below the
strike price. However, since he has to pay the premium the gains will arise
only after the premium amount has been recovered. If the asset price ends up
above the Exercise Price, the buyer will discard the put, resulting in a loss of
the premium amount paid. The buyer of an American put can exercise this
right at any time during the tenure of the contract.

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Thus the maximum loss that he can incur is only the premium amount, while
the maximum profit can be the strike price. The asset value cannot be negative
and the lowest it can reach is only 0. In such an eventuality, he will get a gain
of (Strike price -0.). Hence, the maximum gain that he can get is the Strike
Price.

Selling a put

The seller of a put will gain whenever the price of the asset ends up above the
strike price. The initial premium gained by him will be his total gain in such
circumstances. However, if the price of the asset falls below the strike price,
he will suffer losses. The premium initially received will offset the losses for a
small extent, but as the price ends up lower, his losses are greater. The seller
of an American call is exposed to this risk at any time during the tenure of the
contract.

Thus the maximum loss that he can incur is the Strike Price (since the asset
value cannot go below 0), while the maximum profit will be the premium
received.

Table II.2.4 Payoff from selling a put

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Asset price today 120

Strike price 125

Put premium 4

SELLING A PUT

Loss from
If end asset price Premium Net
put being
is received gain
exercised
117 -8 4 -4

118 -7 4 -3

119 -6 4 -2

120 -5 4 -1

121 -4 4 0

122 -3 4 1

123 -2 4 2

124 -1 4 3

125 0 4 4

126 0 4 4

127 0 4 4

128 0 4 4

129 0 4 4

130 0 4 4

131 0 4 4

132 0 4 4

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133 0 4 4

134 0 4 4

135 0 4 4

136 0 4 4

2.5 Risk and premium

The possible motivations of the various players in the Options market are
examined below:

1. The buyer of a call does so with the desire to participate in an upward
movement of the asset prices. The alternative would have been to buy
the asset itself. But that would be risky in the sense that if the value
comes down, he would suffer portfolio losses. In order to have the best
of both worlds (to gain if the prices go up and not to lose more than the
premium if the prices come down), a call is bought. The call that is
bought comes at a premium. The premium is determined partly by
demand and supply and partly by intrinsic worth of the call. In the
initial years of the introduction of Options in any exchange, call premia
are observed to be disproportionately high and there are few sellers in
the market. As markets mature this changes and the prices come to
their intrinsic worth. Pricing is a major discussion as far as Options are
concerned and this gets covered in a subsequent unit.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2. The buyer of a put expects the market to take a downward slide, but is
not fully confident about it. The alternative would be to short sell the
asset, but that would be dangerous, if the prices go up contrary to
expectations. The buyer of a put also has the best of both worlds (he
participates in profits if the prices do come down, and he only loses the
premium if the prices go up). The bought put comes at a premium. Like
call premia, put premia is also decided by market forces and the intrinsic
value of the put. The pricing of puts involves certain noarbitrage
conditions, which get covered in a later unit.
3. The seller of a call expects the price to remain steady, or go down and in
any case does not expect the price to rise radically. Some sellers of calls
are speculators who do so for making quick profits. Buyers of calls feel
that the premia paid by them for getting this choice is trivial. But as
several buyers enter into such transactions, the premia gain becomes
substantial for the sellers. Occasionally, sellers have a covered position
in the assets. This is a strategy called covered call writing, which will
be discussed in a later unit.
4. The seller of a put expects the price to remain steady or go up, and does
not expect the prices to fall. Sellers of puts are sometimes speculators
who seek to make gains out of the premia collected. However, the risks
are high and sometimes they end up suffering huge losses. A put can
also be written with covered position in stocks for strategic reasons.

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2.6 Illustrations
Table II.2.5 Illustration on payoff of various Options
Payoff Calculation – Stock prices in Rs..

Given Pay off Calculation

Put Call
Stock Call, Call, Put, Put,
option option
Stock price on Exercise price on Strike Strike Strike Strike
premium premium
Jan 1, 2007 Price expiry of price price price price
as on as on
call = 55 = 60 = 55 = 60
Jan 1 Jan 1

55 55 2.625 2.875 52 -2.875 -1.75 0.375 2.5

55 60 5.5 1.75 53 -2.875 -1.75 -0.625 1.5

54 -2.875 -1.75 -1.625 0.5

55 -2.875 -1.75 -2.625 -0.5

56 -1.875 -1.75 -2.625 -1.5

57 -0.875 -1.75 -2.625 -2.5

58 0.125 -1.75 -2.625 -3.5

59 1.125 -1.75 -2.625 -4.5

60 2.125 -1.75 -2.625 -5.5

61 3.125 -0.75 -2.625 -5.5

62 4.125 0.25 -2.625 -5.5

63 5.125 1.25 -2.625 -5.5

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Pay off for Call at strike = 55

8
6

Pay4off
2
0
52 5354 55 56 57 5859 60 61 626364 65
-2
-4
Stock Price

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Pay off for Call at strike = 60

4
3

Pay2off
1
0
52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 6061 62 63 64 65
-1
-2
Stock Price

Pay off for Put at strike = 55

1

0.5

0
Pay -0.5
off 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65

-1

-1.5

-2

-2.5

-3
Stock Price

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Pay off for Put at strike = 60

3
2
1

0
Pay off
-1 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
Series1
-2
-3

-4
-5
-6
Stock Price

2.7 Summary
The payoff of various players in the Options market depends upon the possible
range of final prices and the premium paid/received initially. A buyer of a call
gains if the asset price exceeds the strike price and does not lose when the asset
price ends up below the strike price. The buyer of the call has a maximum loss
of the premium and an infinite potential for gains.
A buyer of a put has a maximum gain of the Strike Price and a maximum loss
of the premium. The put buyer will gain whenever the asset ends up below the
strike price

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The seller of a call earns a premium upfront but is exposed to the risk of the
asset price ending up higher than the strike price. His potential losses are
infinite, while his maximum gain is the premium collected

The seller of a put earns a premium upfront but is exposed to the risk of the
asset price ending up lower than the strike price. His potential losses are up to
the Strike Price, while his maximum gain is the premium collected

2.8 Key words
• Payoff
• Speculative position
• Covered position

2.9 Questions for Self- study
1) What is the maximum pay off of a buyer of a put? Why is it not infinite
like that of the buyer of the call?
2) Does the seller of a call take greater risk than the seller of a put?
3) Is buying a put the same as selling a call?
4) Who takes the greater risk – the seller of a put or the buyer of a call?
3 Special applications of Options

3.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To look at common strategies using Options
• To understand the payoff under these strategies
• To look at the general concept of synthetic portfolios

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• To get an introduction to the use of synthetic portfolios in valuation

3.2 Introduction
As seen in the previous unit, the payoff situation is different for the buyer and
the seller. Option positions can be naked or covered. Naked positions are
speculative in nature and do not conform to any analytical theory. We are
therefore concerned basically with covered positions and combinations, which
can stem out of a strategy.

The two most common strategies followed by dealers in Options are the
Covered Call Strategy and the Protective Put Strategy. These are explained
in detail hereunder.

3.3 Covered Call writing
In a covered call writing, the investor will have the holding of a portfolio or a
Company share, and will write calls on the same share/s.

For instance, an investor holding 2000 shares of Punjab Tractor can write (sell)
calls for 2000 shares. In the process, a premium is earned on the calls sold
1. If on expiry, the stock price exceeds the Exercise Price, the call will be
exercised against the investor. Since theoretically, there is no upper
limit to the stock prices on expiry, the investor is actually open to

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

unlimited loss. The loss is, however, cushioned to the extent of the
premium earned on selling the calls.
2. If the stock price ends up equal to or less than the Exercise Price, it will
not be exercised against the investor. So the initial gain from selling the
call will be the net gain from the transaction.
3. The underlying value of the portfolio also goes up with any rise in the
prices. So the loss on the call writing is compensated by the rise in
portfolio value in equal measure. Effectively, it comes down to having
sold the portfolio at the Exercise Price.

Let us take an illustration:

In the above case, assume that Punjab Tractor is currently going at Rs.320. Let
us say our investor has written calls at an Exercise Price of Rs.320. If Punjab
Tractor ends up at Rs.360 on expiry, there will be a loss of Rs.40 (360320). This
is the similar to selling the shares at Rs.320, which is the Exercise Price.

Let us now look at situations that will be ideal for entering into covered call
writing.

a) When the market is listless and does not appear to be likely to have big
movements in the short-run, the portfolio owner could write covered
calls. By doing so, the portfolio manager is seeking to enhance the value
of the portfolio by earning extra income on the call writing. When the
call is written for a short tenure, the volatility is unlikely to be big, and
the opportunity loss is also not likely to be high.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

b) A portfolio manager, who has assessed that the overall variation in the
markets is not likely to be substantial, can keep on playing this strategy
over and over again. While there would be occasional losses, the strategy
is likely to return steady income over a long duration. This would work
particularly if the manager is a “buy and hold” investor and does not
intend to sell in the near future.

Two other strategic considerations come into play in respect of covered call
writing. The writer has the choice of the Exercise Price. Naturally, higher the
Exercise Price, the lower the premium he can charge, but correspondingly the
risk level changes too. In order to strike the right balance between the
premium that can be earned and the risk that is borne in the process, the
possible outcomes and returns can be drawn up for various scenarios and the
ideal level arrived at.

Secondly, the writer has the choice of reversing the position prior to expiry
should the situation begin to look dangerous. Alternatively, he can soften
losses by buying calls.

Some studies have shown covered call writing to be more profitable than buying
naked calls outright. However, if this is really so at all times, then there will

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

be a scramble for writing calls and that process itself will reduce the
attractiveness of the premium. In the initial stages of derivative market
acceptance, it is likely that a number of new players like the conceptual
“winwin” of buying a call and would therefore provide a good market for the
covered call writing strategy. Professional fund managers, can, in such a
situation reap rich rewards by having a portfolio of covered calls.

An example of the full payoff is given below:

Table II.3.1 Payoff from a Covered Call Writing strategy
(Amount in Rs.)

Asset value 100

Call written for 4

Ex. price of call written 102

Net
Net
Portfolio Gain/loss
At expiry price value at
value from call
end
writing
95 95 4 99

96 96 4 100

97 97 4 101

98 98 4 102

99 99 4 103

100 100 4 104

101 101 4 105

102 102 4 106

103 103 3 106

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

104 104 2 106

105 105 1 106

106 106 0 106

107 107 -1 106

108 108 -2 106

109 109 -3 106

110 110 -4 106

111 111 -5 106

112 112 -6 106

Another example is shown below. The Asset Value here is Rs.55 and the Call
premium is Rs.2.875 for an Exercise Price of Rs.55. The example is continued
with a covered call on the same stock with an Exercise price of Rs.60, written
for Rs.1.75

Table II.3.2 Covered Call writing – illustration
(Amount in Rs.)
Covered Call Strategy

Asset value 55

Call written for 2.875

Ex.price of call written 55

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Net
Portfolio Gain/loss Net value
At expiry price
value from call at end
writing
52 52 2.875 54.875

53 53 2.875 55.875

54 54 2.875 56.875

55 55 2.875 57.875

56 56 1.875 57.875

57 57 0.875 57.875

58 58 -0.125 57.875

59 59 -1.125 57.875

60 60 -2.125 57.875

61 61 -3.125 57.875

62 62 -4.125 57.875

63 63 -5.125 57.875

64 64 -6.125 57.875

65 65 -7.125 57.875

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Covered call with strike 55

58.5
58
57.5
57
56.5
56
55.5
55
54.5
54
53.5
53
5253 54 5556 57 5859 60 6162 63 6465
Stock price at expiry

Table II.3.3 Covered call writing- Exercise Price Rs.60
(Amount in Rs.)
Asset value 55

Call written for 1.75

Ex.price of call written 60

Net
Portfolio Gain/loss Net value at
At expiry price
value from call end
writing
54 54 1.75 55.75

55 55 1.75 56.75

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56 56 1.75 57.75

57 57 1.75 58.75

58 58 1.75 59.75

59 59 1.75 60.75

60 60 1.75 61.75

61 61 0.75 61.75

62 62 -0.25 61.75

63 63 -1.25 61.75

64 64 -2.25 61.75

65 65 -3.25 61.75

Covered call with strike 60

64
62
60
58
56
54
52
50
48
52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
Stock price

3.4 Protective Put strategy
A Protective Put strategy is similar to the selling of a Futures contract for
protecting a portfolio. When a portfolio manager fears that the value of her
portfolio might get eroded because of a fall in value, she may choose to protect
the portfolio by selling the appropriate number of Futures. The other choice

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

would have been to sell the stock itself. If the portfolio manager feels that the
fall is temporary and if she is happy with her portfolio composition, she may
choose to just sell the Futures for protection. Buying an appropriate number
of puts will serve the same purpose. If the asset value falls below the strike
level ( which is what the portfolio manager fears), the puts will give a payoff of
the difference between the strike price and the final price. Thus, if the put is
bought at around the level of the current portfolio value, any depletion in value
as a result of the fall in the prices will be compensated by the put. This is called
the Protective Put strategy.

There are important points of difference between the Protective Put strategy
and a strategy of selling Futures. A Protective Put gives protection without
committing the buyer to the strike price.
An example of Protective Puts is shown below:

Table II.3.4 – Protective Put Strategy
(Amount in Rs.)

Asset value 100

Call written for 4

Ex.price of call written 100

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Net
Net
Portfolio Gain/loss
At expiry price value at
value from call
end
writing
95 95 1 96

96 96 0 96

97 97 -1 96

98 98 -2 96

99 99 -3 96

100 100 -4 96

101 101 -4 97

102 102 -4 98

103 103 -4 99

104 104 -4 100

105 105 -4 101

106 106 -4 102

107 107 -4 103

108 108 -4 104

109 109 -4 105

110 110 -4 106

111 111 -4 107

112 112 -4 108

Contrary to expectations, if the price of the portfolio goes up, the buyer of the
put can just discard the put and continue to enjoy any appreciation in the
portfolio. However, the seller of the Futures will be committed to the price and
will not be able to participate in the higher profits.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The Protective Put comes with a price in the form of a premium, while Futures
do not involve any premium.

3.5 Mimicking and synthetic portfolios
A mimicking portfolio is one which has the same profit or loss as the original
portfolio, but not the same value. The mimicking portfolio will consist of
securities which are different from those in the main portfolio, but will yet
manage to give the same payoff.

The mimicking portfolio ends up with a profit or loss which is different from
the main portfolio by only Rs.4. Here the mimicking portfolio consisted of
buying a call and selling a put. The put that was sold fetched a premium, while
the call had to be bought at a premium. Thus there was a total cost of Rs.4.

When the asset expires at various prices as shown in the table, there is a payoff
for the call and the put that has been written. The total position corresponds
to the main portfolio of the asset itself, subject to a difference of Rs.4.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table II.3.5 Mimicking portfolio (Amount in Rs.)
Stock price 100

Call strike price 100

Put strike price 100

Buy call - pay 7

Sell put - get 3

Total cost 4

Compare to
Call Put Position Total from
Stock at end loss in
value value cost mimic. port
portfolio
91 0 -9 -4 -13 -9

92 0 -8 -4 -12 -8

93 0 -7 -4 -11 -7

94 0 -6 -4 -10 -6

95 0 -5 -4 -9 -5

96 0 -4 -4 -8 -4

97 0 -3 -4 -7 -3

98 0 -2 -4 -6 -2

99 0 -1 -4 -5 -1

100 0 0 -4 -4 0

101 1 0 -4 -3 1

102 2 0 -4 -2 2

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

103 3 0 -4 -1 3

104 4 0 -4 0 4

105 5 0 -4 1 5

106 6 0 -4 2 6

107 7 0 -4 3 7

108 8 0 -4 4 8

109 9 0 -4 5 9

110 10 0 -4 6 10

In a synthetic portfolio, the value of the portfolio and its payoff both correspond
with the asset portfolio. In the above example, if a risk-free bond costing Rs.96
and maturing at Rs.100 on expiry of the Options is also bought, the total initial
investment matches exactly with the portfolio and so does the payoff.

Table II.3.6 Synthetic Portfolio (Amount in Rs.)

Stock price 100

Call strike price 100

Put strike price 100

Buy call – pay 7

Sell put – get 3

Total cost 4

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Maturity value of discount bond 100

Cost of discount bond 96

Value of
Stock at Call Put Bond
synthetic
end value value value
portfolio
95 0 -5 100 95

96 0 -4 100 96

97 0 -3 100 97

98 0 -2 100 98

99 0 -1 100 99

100 0 0 100 100

101 1 0 100 101

102 2 0 100 102

103 3 0 100 103

104 4 0 100 104

105 5 0 100 105

106 6 0 100 106

107 7 0 100 107

108 8 0 100 108

109 9 0 100 109

110 10 0 100 110

3.6 Summary
The basic pay off structure of Options gives rise to certain common strategies
that could be used for by portfolio managers. The most common of such
strategies are the Covered Call Strategy and the Protective Put Strategy.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

In the Covered Call Strategy, the asset manager combines his portfolio with a
sold position in calls. The calls are written at such a level of the strike price
that the writer does not expect it to be exercised. Moreover, market conditions
may be such that price movements are within a narrow range. However, if
prices do shoot up and the call gets exercised, the asset manger has the position
in the stock to cover for the eventuality. The net result would then be that the
sale has been made at the strike price and a potential for gains in the asset had
been lost by the call having been written. Portfolio managers use this strategy
on a continuous basis and not for isolated transactions.

The Protective Put strategy is an improvement on the short Futures contract
used by the asset managers to protect themselves against temporary fall in
asset values. The puts have to be bought at a premium and will enable the
asset manager to get protection in case the prices fall. If the prices do not fall,
the premium amount is the only loss.

Mimicking portfolios refer to a combination of Options with or without other
Derivatives and assets which result in almost identical payoff with the parent
asset, without involving the same initial investment.

A synthetic portfolio is like the mimicking portfolio, but has an initial
investment and final payoff both similar to the parent asset

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3.7 Key words
• Covered call writing
• Protective Puts
• Mimicking portfolio
• Synthetic portfolio

3.8 Questions for Self- study
1) In what way does the Protective Put Strategy outperform the Short
Futures strategy?
2) “Covered Call writing does not work in a rising market”. Why?
3) How is the mimicking portfolio different from the synthetic portfolio?

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4 Options bounds- Calls

4.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the principles behind the upper and lower limits of
Options prices

• To understand the principle of arbitrage in price determination
• To understand the changes in these limits for American Options

4.2 Introduction
As a first step to price determination, it is necessary to appreciate the
maximum and minimum limits to which Option prices can go. These limits are
based on principles which if violated, would create an opportunity for risk-free
arbitrage. Arbitrage can be performed by any player in the market and with
the force of more and more dealers doing it; prices will stabilize to the correct
levels.

Sometimes it is argued that the upper and lower limits are pure theoretical
values and do not have any practical relevance. It is said that prices will never
be near the limits as such and therefore the limits, by themselves do not serve
any purpose. However, this is a wrong notion. The limits to prices reinforce

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

our understanding regarding the economics behind various types of Options,
and also give a good picture of the factors governing prices.

We seek to do separate analysis in respect of calls and determine the
noarbitrage maximum and minimum prices. We also then look at the
principles governing the determination of bounds of American call prices.

Options pricing consists of two elements – intrinsic value and time value.
Intrinsic value refers to the extent to which the Option is “in the money”, and
factors in interim dividends. The time value refers to the time available with
the buyer for exercising the option. Obviously, the more the time available, the
more valuable the option. The phenomenon of time value explains why even
Options which apparently do not have an intrinsic value still have certain
overall value.

4.3 Upper bounds of call prices

A European Call without dividends cannot have a value higher than
the current value of the underlying asset
This can be established with an example: Let us assume the stock price to be
Rs.40, and the call price to be Rs.41.( for a strike price of Rs.40)

Here, any dealer can write the call and buy the stock, for getting a difference
of Re.1. If on expiry the call is exercised against him, the stock position will
cover the deal. If the call goes unexercised, the stock can be sold in the market
for whatever small value and the dealer ends up getting a total of the Rs.41

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

from writing the call and the sale proceeds of the stock. His potential for profit
is risk-free. Thus the call price can never exceed the value of the asset

A European Call with dividends cannot have a value higher than
(the current value of the underlying asset minus expected
dividend)
The position does not change with availability of Dividends and so a European
call with dividends also cannot have a value greater than the asset value.
Further the value cannot even be higher than the value of the asset less
dividend. Otherwise, it will be possible to sell the call and buy the stock, enjoy
the dividends and use the stock to cover the call written.

In the above example if dividends are Rs.3 and are known with certainty, the
call value cannot exceed Rs.37 (40-3). If it exceeds Rs.37, the call can be sold
and the stock bought for Rs.37, pocketing the difference. A dividend will be
received of Rs.3 and with this the dealer has Rs.40 to cover for the call written.
If the stock price ends up higher than Rs.40, the call will be exercised against
the dealer, but he has the stock to cover this. If the stock price ends up lower
than Rs.40, the call will not be exercised against him, and he can sell the stock
for whatever price in the market for additional gains.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.4 Lower bounds of call prices

A European Call without dividends cannot have a value lower than
the difference between the Stock Price and the present value of the
Exercise Price.
This can be established with an example:

Suppose the Stock price is Rs.41 and the Strike Price is Rs.42. Discounting the
Strike Price at the risk-free interest, we get the Present Value of the Strike
Price to be Rs.40.50.

Table II.4.1 Lower bound of European Calls (no dividends)
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock price 41

Strike price 42

Present value of strike price
40.5

The Present Value is calculated by discounting
the Strike price of Rs.42 at the risk-free rate.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Call cannot be less than
(Stock - PV of strike)

Cannot be lower than 0.5

if it is 0.25, say

Buy call spend 0.25

Sell stock get 41

Invest in risk-free
bonds
40.5

Immediate profit 0.25

At maturity
Get 42 from the bonds

Use it for exercising call to get
back shares

The gains are risk-free. Hence the bound of prices will be maintained.

A European Call with known dividends cannot have a value lower
than the (the Stock Price minus the present value of the Exercise
Price minus present value of dividend expected)
The following example will illustrate this (Amounts in Rs.)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table II.4.2 Lower bound of European Calls (with dividends)
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock 60
Strike 20
PV of strike 18.18
Time 1 year
Risk free rate 10%
PV of dividends 3
Lower bound is (60-18.18-3) 38.82
If call is going at say 38
Buy call spend 38
Sell stock get 60
invest spend18.18
immediate gain
3.82
at maturity get 20 from investment
Exercise call and get back stock
Loss on dividends 3
net gain 0.82

So the lower limit will have to be met.

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4.5 Upper bounds of call prices-American Options

An American Call without dividends cannot have a value higher
than the current value of the underlying asset
Here the principle is the same as that of the European call. The fact that
exercise can be had at any time does not make a difference.

An American Call with dividends cannot have a value higher than
(the current value of the underlying asset minus expected dividend)
The fact that exercise can be had at any time does not make a difference. The
upper bond is the same as that of a corresponding European Call.

4.6 Lower bounds of call prices-American Options

An American Call without dividends cannot have a value lower than
the difference between the Stock Price and the Exercise Price.
Since the exercise of an American Option does not have to wait till maturity,
there is no need to take the Present Value of the Exercise Price for deciding the
lower bound.

This can be established by modifying our earlier example:

Table II.4.3. Lower bound of American call (no dividends)

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(Amount in Rs.)
Stock price 41

Strike price 40

Call cannot be less than (Stock - Strike)

Cannot be lower than 1,

if it is 0.75, say

Buy call spend 0.75

Sell stock get 41

Exercise call Spend 40

Immediate profit 0.25

An American Call with known dividends cannot have a value lower
than the (the Stock Price minus the present value of the
Exercise Price minus present value of dividend expected)
The bound cannot be lower than the corresponding European call. An example
is shown to illustrate this:

Table II.4.4. Lower bound of American call (with dividends) (Amount
in Rs.)
Stock price 122

Strike price 115

Risk free interest 8%

Dividend expected 5

Time of dividend 1 month

Tenure 3 months

PV of ex. Price 112.7228

PV of dividend 4.966778

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Lower Bound 4.310375

If it is say Rs.4

Buy call spend 4

Sell stock get 122

Invest in PV of Exercise Price pay 112.72

Invest in PV of dividend pay 4.96

Immediate gain 0.32

Now when the Investment on Exercise Price matures,
it can be used for exercising call

When the dividend investment matures the

Dividends can be taken.

4.7 Summary of principles of American Options pricing
• If the stock price is 0, the value of an American call must be 0.
• The minimum value of an American call is either 0, or the difference
between the Stock price and Strike Price, whichever is greater.
• An American call can never be worth more than the underlying asset
• For a stock that does not pay dividends than minimum value of a
European Option is 0, or the difference between the stock price and the
present value of the strike price whichever is greater.

• An American call can never be worth less than a European call.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Two American calls on the same stock having the same Exercise Price
has to be priced such that the one with the longer maturity is worth as
much or more than the one with the shorter maturity.

• If the stock price is 0, the value of an American put must be its Exercise
Price.

• The minimum value of an American put is either 0 or the difference
between the Strike Price and Stock price at start, whichever is greater.

• The maximum value of an American put is its Exercise Price.
• An American put is worth at least as much as the European put.

4.8 Summary
Call prices have to be within certain boundaries determined by no-arbitrage
conditions. These limits hold regardless of the specific values of the stock.
When it comes to American Options, the question of exercise involves a number
of considerations. While the bounds are not directly indicative of the price of
the call, they show the economics behind the working of the Options market
and tell us the factors that govern pricing.

4.9 Key words
• Bounds
• Early Exercise
• No-arbitrage condition
• Dividends
4.10 Questions for Self- study
1) Will there be circumstances when the upper limit of an American call is
different from the upper limit of a corresponding European call?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2) How does the factor of an interim dividend make a difference in the
lower bound of European calls?
3) What is the lower bound of an American Call without dividend?

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5 Options bounds -Puts

5.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the principles behind the upper and lower limits of
Options prices

• To understand the principle of arbitrage in price determination
• To understand the changes in these limits for American Options

5.2 Introduction
In the previous unit we saw the upper and lower limits of European and
American calls with or without dividends. The no-arbitrage principles given
there will apply in equal measure to the determination of put bounds as well.
It should be remembered that that these bounds are not actually indicative of
the prices, but show only the maximum and minimum limits of these prices.
We seek to do separate analysis in respect of puts and determine the
noarbitrage maximum and minimum prices. We also then look at the
principles governing the determination of bounds of American put prices.

It is worthwhile reiterating that Options pricing consists of two elements –
intrinsic value and time value. Intrinsic value refers to the extent to which the
Option is “in the money”, and factors in interim dividends. The time value
refers to the time available with the buyer for exercising the option. Obviously,
the more the time available the more valuable the option. The phenomenon of
time value explains why even Options which apparently do not have an
intrinsic value still have certain overall value.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5.3 Upper bounds of put prices

A European put without dividends cannot be greater than or equal
to the present value of the Strike price

Table II.5.1 Upper bound of European put (no dividends)
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock price 40

Strike price 45

PV of strike price 43

Price cannot be>
PV of strike

If price is 44

sell P get 44

invest
43
Invest PV of K

Worst case Put is exercised against the dealer

Loss 45

Dealer gets from inv. 45

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Profit 1

A European put with dividends cannot have a value greater than or
equal to the present value of the Strike price

The position does not change with availability of Dividends and so a European
put with dividends also cannot have a value greater than the present value of
the Strike price.

Another principle here is that the maximum loss to be suffered by a put writer
will be only the strike price and if he is able to invest the present value of that
straightaway he is safe. The fact that there may be dividends on the stock is
not relevant because, the dealer is not looking at the stock at all, but only at
the strike price and the price of the put.

5.4 Lower bounds of put prices

A European put without dividends cannot have a price lower than
the difference between the present value of the Strike price and the
Stock price
The following illustration will establish this:
Table II.5.2. Lower bound of European put (no dividends)
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock price
42

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Strike price
45

PV of strike price
43

Must be greater than or equal to
Max of 0 or PV of strike - Stock

If price is 42

It cannot be lower than 1 (43-42)

if it is say 0.5

buy put spend 0.5

borrow 43

buy stock spend42

straight gain 0.5

At maturity, if Stock
exceeds Strike
discard put

if stock is less than Strike, exercise put

Trader gets minimum of 45, enough to
repay loan

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The value of a European put with dividends cannot be lower than
the Present Value of Strike price minus the Stock price plus the
Present Value of dividend
This can be seen with an example:
Table II.5.3. Upper bound of European put (with dividends)
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock 40

Strike 45

PV of strike 43

PV of dividends 3

Cannot be lower than PV of strike - Stock+PV
of Dividend

43-40+3 6

If put is 5

Buy put spend 5

Borrow PV of strike get 43

spend
40
Buy stock

Take loan for PV of div. get 3

Net cash inflow now 1

Repay div. loan on getting div.

Repay other loan, from exercising put and selling stock

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5.5 Upper bounds of put prices-American Options

An American put without dividends cannot be greater than or equal
to the value of the Strike price
The distinction from the European put is that the exercise can be at any time
in an American option. Therefore the put cannot have a value greater than the
Strike price.

This is illustrated below:
Table II.5.4. Upper bound of American put (no dividends)
(Amount in Rs)
Stock 40

Strike 45

Price cannot be>
Strike

If price is 46

sell P get 46

worst case Put is exercised

your loss 45

profit 1

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

An American put with dividends cannot be greater than or equal to
the value of the Strike price
Three is no difference arising from the existence of dividends. The upper limit
remains as the Strike Price.

The factor to be borne in mind here is that the maximum loss to be suffered by
a put writer will be only the strike price and if he is able to invest the present
value of that straightaway he is safe. The fact that there may be dividends on
the stock is not relevant because, the dealer is not looking at the stock at all,
but only at the strike price and the price of the put

5.6 Lower bounds of put prices-American Options

An American put without dividends cannot have a price lower than
the difference between the Strike price and the Stock price
The difference from the European put may be noted. Since exercise is
instantaneous in an American option, we have to take the Strike price itself
and not its present value.
This is illustrated here under:

Table II.5.5 Lower bound of American put (no dividends)
(Amount in Rs)
Stock 42

Strike 45

Must be greater than or equal to

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Max of 0 or Strike - Stock

it cannot be lower than 3 (45-
42)

if it is say 2.5

buy put Spend 2.5

buy stock spend42

straight gain 0.5

at
maturity

if Stock exceeds
Strike
discard put

if stock is less than Strike, exercise put

trader gets minimum of 45, enough to repay
loan

The value of an American put with dividends cannot be lower than
the Present Value of Strike price minus the Stock price plus the
Present Value of dividend

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

This is broadly the same as the European put with dividends. The timing and
quantum of dividends might influence the exercise decision. Early exercise is
governed by the principle of time value of money and cannot be generalized.

5.7 Summary
The bounds of put prices also work on the no-arbitrage argument. Separate
bounds can be determined for the European and American puts, with or
without dividend.

It must be borne in mind that dividends can be considered in price
determination only if the amounts can be known in advance. Further, the
matter is complicated in American Options by the possibility of early exercise.

The early exercise itself is based on the quantum of dividends and the timing
thereof and the intrinsic value at that time

It can be seen that the intrinsic value and the time value both play a role in
the determination of bounds.

Option bounds are useful in determining the worst outcome from certain
positions. Unless there are severe market imperfections, the bounds will have
to hold..

5.8 Key words
• Lower bound
• Upper bound
• No-arbitrage condition

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Dividends

5.9 Questions for Self- study
1) How does the American put differ from a European put in the
determination of the Upper limit of puts?
2) How does the possibility of early exercise affect the American
put’s lower bound when compared to the lower bound of the
European put?
3) What is the principle behind the assertion that an American put
will be at least as valuable as the European put?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Module 3

ADVANCED TOPICS ON OPTIONS

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

1 Option combinations

1.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To see some basic strategies using combinations of Options
• To understand the payoff and profit profiles from such combinations
• To understand the circumstances in which these will be used by
investors and dealers.

1.2 Introduction
The advent of Options has resulted in a number of possibilities for mimicking
and creating synthetic portfolios. The pay off profile of Options in combination
creates situations very much useful for certain specific trading requirements.
Speculators use these combinations for short-term gains

Each of the combinations listed below have various profiles of profitability and
risk. They come at a cost in the form of premium, if these involve some long
positions. Written positions give a premium income in the beginning, but
involve risks.

Combinations used with positions in bonds or stock result in good synthetics
and can be used for a variety of purposes in risk management.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

1.3 Straddle
A straddle involves buying a call and a put at the same Exercise Price and for
the same tenure. A buyer of a straddle buys both the call and the put.
This position is illustrated below:

Table III.1.1. Straddle (Amount in Rs.)
Strike 100

Call
premium
5
Put premium 4

initial inv. 9

Buy call buy put

Call Put Net
End stock
gain gain gain
95 0 5 -4

96 0 4 -5

97 0 3 -6

98 0 2 -7

99 0 1 -8

100 0 0 -9

101 1 0 -8

102 2 0 -7

103 3 0 -6

104 4 0 -5

105 5 0 -4

85 0 15 6

115 15 0 6

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

A short straddle involves selling both the call and the put. Of course the long
or short straddle can be established without buying or selling from the same
counterparty. In the above example, the call could have been bought from one
dealer and the put from another dealer.

A long straddle gains only when there is volatility and the price goes beyond
the Exercise Price in either direction beyond the total premia incurred. A short
straddle works whenever the prices remain within the band.
Another illustration is given below:
Table III.1.2. Straddle illustration (Amount in Rs.)
Amounts
in Rs.

Strike Price
60
Call premium
1.75
Put premium
5.5
Net Cost
(-7.25)
Buy Call, Buy Put

50 0 10 2.75

51 0 9 1.75

52 0 8 0.75

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

53 0 7 -0.25

54 0 6 -1.25

55 0 5 -2.25

56 0 4 -3.25

57 0 3 -4.25

58 0 2 -5.25

59 0 1 -6.25

60 0 0 -7.25

61 1 0 -6.25

62 2 0 -5.25

63 3 0 -4.25

64 4 0 -3.25

65 5 0 -2.25

66 6 0 -1.25

67 7 0 -0.25

68 8 0 0.75

69 9 0 1.75

68 8 0 0.75

69 9 0 1.75

70 10 0 2.75

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Long
Straddle
1
5
1
0
Gai
n 5
Cgai
n
0 Pgai
5 5 6 6 7 n
- 0 5 0 5 0 Ne
5 t
gai
n
-
10
Stock
Price

1.4 Strangle
This is identical to the straddle except that the call has an Exercise Price above
the stock price and the Put an exercise price below the stock price. It is
illustrated below. As in the straddle, an initial investment is required to go
long a strangle.

A seller of a strangle banks on steady profits of high probability, but sometimes
results in risk. A long straddle is preferable to a long strangle only if there is a
premium advantage

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table III.1.3. Strangle ( Amount in Rs.)
Stock 82

Call strike 85

Put strike 80

Call
premium
3
Put premium 4

initial inv. 7

Buy call buy put

Call Put Net
End stock
gain gain gain
75 0 5 -2

76 0 4 -3

77 0 3 -4

78 0 2 -5

79 0 1 -6

80 0 0 -7

81 0 0 -7

82 0 0 -7

83 0 0 -7

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

84 0 0 -7

85 0 0 -7

65 0 15 8

100 15 0 8

A short strangle is demonstrated below. Amounts in Rs..
Call Call
strike premium
60 -1.75

Put Put
strike premium
55 -2.625

Net
Inflow
4.375

Sell Call, Sell Put

Table III.1.4 Short strangle

Call Put
Stock Net gain
payoff payoff
50 0 -5 -0.625

51 0 -4 0.375

52 0 -3 1.375

53 0 -2 2.375

54 0 -1 3.375

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

55 0 0 4.375

56 0 0 4.375

57 0 0 4.375

58 0 0 4.375

59 0 0 4.375

60 0 0 4.375

61 -1 0 3.375

62 -2 0 2.375

63 -3 0 1.375

64 -4 0 0.375

65 -5 0 -0.625

Short
Strangle
6

4

Gai 2
n Cgai
0 n
5 5 6 6 7 Pgai
- 0 5 0 5 0 n
2 Ne
- t
gai
4 n
-
6
Stock
Price

1.5 Bull spreads
This involves buying two calls on the same stock with the same expiry, but with
different Exercise Prices. A buyer of a bull spread buys a call with Exercise

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Price below the Stock price and sells a call with Exercise Price above the stock.
The strategy has limited risk and limited profit potential. This is illustrated
below.
Table III.1.5 Bull Spreads with calls (Amount in Rs.):
Stock 100

Call strike 1 95

Call strike 2 105

Call
premium 1
7
Call
premium 2
3
initial inv. 4

Buy call1 and sell call 2

Call 1 Call 2 Tot.
End stock
gain gain gain
97 2 0 -2

98 3 0 -1

99 4 0 0

100 5 0 1

101 6 0 2

102 7 0 3

103 8 0 4

104 9 0 5

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

105 10 0 6

106 11 -1 6

107 12 -2 6

80 0 0 -4

115 20 -10 6

A bull spread can also be initiated with puts. This involves writing a put at a
higher strike price and buying a put at a lower strike price. This then will
involve an initial cash inflow. This is demonstrated below:

Table III.1.6. Bull Spread with puts (Amount in Rs.)
Stock 100

Put strike 1 95

Put strike 2 105

Put premium
1
3
Put premium
2
7
initial inflow 4

Buy put 1 and sell put 2

Put 1 Put 2 Tot.
End stock
gain gain gain
95 0 -10 -6

96 0 -9 -5

97 0 -8 -4

98 0 -7 -3

99 0 -6 -2

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

100 0 -5 -1

101 0 -4 0

102 0 -3 1

103 0 -2 2

104 0 -1 3

105 0 0 4

80 15 -25 -6

115 0 0 4

Another example is shown below:

Table III.1.7. Bull Spread with puts – illustration
(Amount in Rs.)
Put 1 Put 1
strike 50 premium 2
Put 2 Put 2
strike 55 premium 4.375
Net
Benefit 2.375
Buy Put 1, Sell Put 2

Stock
P1Gain P2Gain Net Gain
Price
50 0 -5 -2.625

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

51 0 -4 -1.625

52 0 -3 -0.625

53 0 -2 0.375

54 0 -1 1.375

55 0 0 2.375

56 0 0 2.375

57 0 0 2.375

58 0 0 2.375

59 0 0 2.375

60 0 0 2.375

Bull Spread
with Puts
4
2
Gai
n 0 P1gai
n
- 5 5 5 5 5 6
2 0 2 4 6 8 0 P2gai
- n
4 Ne
- t
Gai
6 n
Stock
Prices
1.6 Bear spread
A bear spread with calls will involve selling a call with a lower Exercise Price
and buying a call at a higher Exercise Price. There will be no initial investment
since the call that is sold will fetch higher than the bought call.
Both profits and losses are limited. An example is shown below:

Table III.1.8. Bear Spread with calls
(Amount in Rs.)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Stock 100

Call strike 1 95

Call strike 2 105

Call premium 1 7

Call premium 2 3

Initial inflow. 4

Sell call 1 and buy call 2

Call 1 Call 2 Tot.
End stock
gain gain gain
95 0 0 4

96 -1 0 3

97 -2 0 2

98 -3 0 1

99 -4 0 0

100 -5 0 -1

101 -6 0 -2

102 -7 0 -3

103 -8 0 -4

104 -9 0 -5

105 -10 0 -6

106 -11 1 -6

80 0 0 4

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

115 -20 10 -6

Another example is shown below:

Table III.1.8. Bear Spread illustration
(Amount in Rs.)

Call 1 strike 55 Call 1 premium 2.875

Call 2 strike 60 Call 2 premium 1.75

Net Benefit 1.125

Sell Call 1, Buy Call 2

Stock Call 1 gain Call 2 gain Net Gain

50 0 0 1.125

51 0 0 1.125

52 0 0 1.125

53 0 0 1.125

54 0 0 1.125

55 0 0 1.125

56 -1 0 0.125

57 -2 0 -0.875

58 -3 0 -1.875

59 -4 0 -2.875

60 -5 0 -3.875

61 -6 1 -3.875

62 -7 2 -3.875

63 -8 3 -3.875

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

64 -9 4 -3.875

65 -10 5 -3.875

Bear spread with
calls
6
4
2
Gai 0
n
- 5 5 6 6 C1gai
2 0 5 0 5 n
- C2gai
4 n
- Net
6 Gain
-
8
-
10
-
12
Stock
Prices

A bear spread can also be carried out with puts. This will involve selling a put
with a lower Exercise Price and buying a put with a higher Exercise Price. An
initial cash outflow will be required. This is demonstrated below:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table III.1.8. Bear Spread with puts
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock 100

Put strike 1 95

Put strike 2 105

Put premium 1 3

Put premium 2 7

initial inv. -4

Sell put 1 and buy put 2

Put 1 Put 2 Tot.
End stock
gain gain gain
95 0 10 6

96 0 9 5

97 0 8 4

98 0 7 3

99 0 6 2

100 0 5 1

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

101 0 4 0

102 0 3 -1

103 0 2 -2

104 0 1 -3

105 0 0 -4

80 -15 25 6

115 0 0 -4

1.7 Butterfly spread
This involves the following:
Buying a call at a low Exercise Price
Buying a call at a higher Exercise Price
Selling two calls at an intermediate price
This strategy hopes that the price will remain within a steady range.
An example is shown below:

Table III.1.9 Butterfly spread
(Amount in Rs.)
Stock 100

Call strike 1 95

Call strike 2 100

Call strike 3 105

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Call premium 1 7

Call premium 2 4

Call premium 3 3

initial inv. -2

Buy call1 sell 2 no.s of call 2 and buy call 3

Call 1 Call 2 Call 3 Tot.
End stock
gain gain gain gain
95 0 0 0 -2

96 1 0 0 -1

97 2 0 0 0

98 3 0 0 1

99 4 0 0 2

100 5 0 0 3

101 6 -2 0 2

102 7 -4 0 1

103 8 -6 0 0

104 9 -8 0 -1

105 10 -10 0 -2

106 11 -12 1 -2

80 0 0 0 -2

115 20 -30 10 -2

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4

3

2

1
Tot. gain
0

-1

-2

-3

1.8 Box spread
A box spread is a combination of bull spread with calls and bear spread with
puts, at the same Exercise Price. The box spread will always pay the difference
between the high and low Exercise Price. However, the initial investment that
is needed should not be greater than the final payoff. In a perfect market,
where the prices are correctly fixed based on consistent assumptions on

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

volatility and risk free rates, there will be no scope to enter into a box spread
at all. But when the market has differently interpreted assumptions for
volatility and risk free interest, the prices can offer scope for a box spread.

An example is shown below:

Table III.1.10. Box Spread
( Amount in Rs.)
Stock 100

Call strike 1 95

Call strike 2 105

Call premium 1 7

Call premium 2 3

Put strike 1 95

Put strike 2 105

Put premium 1 3

Put premium 2 7

Buy call1 and sell call 2

Sell put 1 and buy put 2

inv. -8

Call 1 Call 2 Put 1 Put 2 Net
End stock
gain gain gain gain gain
95 0 0 0 10 2

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

96 1 0 0 9 2

97 2 0 0 8 2

98 3 0 0 7 2

99 4 0 0 6 2

100 5 0 0 5 2

101 6 0 0 4 2

102 7 0 0 3 2

103 8 0 0 2 2

104 9 0 0 1 2

105 10 0 0 0 2

80 0 0 -15 25 2

115 20 -10 0 0 2

Another example is shown below:

Table III.1.11. Box Spread illustration
(Amount in Rs.)
Call 1 strike 50 Call 1 premium 10.25

Call 2 strike 55 Call 2 premium 8

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Put 1 strike 50 Put 1 premium 3.25

Put 2 strike 55 Put 2 premium 5.5

Net Cost -4.5

Buy Call 1, Sell Call2, Sell Put 1, Buy Put 2

Stock Call 1 gain Call 2 gain Put 1 gain Put 2 gain Net gain

45 0 0 -5 10 0.5

46 0 0 -4 9 0.5

47 0 0 -3 8 0.5

48 0 0 -2 7 0.5

49 0 0 -1 6 0.5

50 0 0 0 5 0.5

51 1 0 0 4 0.5

52 2 0 0 3 0.5

53 3 0 0 2 0.5

54 4 0 0 1 0.5

55 5 0 0 0 0.5

56 6 -1 0 0 0.5

57 7 -2 0 0 0.5

58 8 -3 0 0 0.5

59 9 -4 0 0 0.5

60 10 -5 0 0 0.5

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Box
Spread
1
2
1
08
Gain 6 C1gai
s n
4 C2gai
2 n
P1gai
0 n
P2gai
- 4 5 5 6 n
Net
2
- 5 0 5 0 gain
4
-
6
Stock
Price

1.9 Summary
Option combinations are important synthetic instruments which can be used
very effectively by the securities dealer. When these combinations involve
some short positions and are entered into without a covered position, they
may sometimes result in huge losses. It is therefore, necessary to frequently
monitor positions and cover and unwind them as necessary. Combinations
offer possibilities of steady profits if employed judiciously.

1.10 Key words
• Strangle
• Straddle

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Butterfly spread
• Box Spread
• Bull Spread
• Bear Spread

1.11 Questions for Self- study
1) How is a strangle different from a straddle?
2) How is a bull spread will calls different from bull spread with
puts?
3) What is the logic behind the steady profit possibility under Box
spreads?
4) When will the trader employ the Butterfly spread strategy?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2 Principles of Option Pricing – Put call parity.

2.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the principles behind Option pricing
• To look at the concept of intrinsic value
• To study the Binomial model and its use in Options pricing

2.2 Introduction
From our understanding of the behavior of Options prices and their bounds
gained from the illustrations in the previous Chapters, we can note the
following:
1. The lower the Exercise Price, the more valuable the call
2. The difference in call prices of two calls identical except for Exercise
Price cannot exceed the difference in Exercise Price
3. Calls will be worth at least the difference between the Stock price and
the Present Value of the Exercise Price
4. The more the time till maturity, the more the call price is likely to be
5. Before expiration, a put must be equal to at least the Present Value of
the difference between the Exercise Price and the Stock Price
6. The higher the Exercise Price, the more valuable the put

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

7. The price difference of two puts cannot exceed the difference in the
Present Value of the Exercise Price.
8. If the stock price is 0, the value of an American call must be 0
9. The minimum value of an American call is given by either 0, or the
difference between the Stock price and Exercise Price, whichever is
greater.
10. An American call can never be worth less than the corresponding
European call.
11. Two American calls on the same stock having the same Exercise Price
have to be priced such that the one with the longer maturity is worth as
much or more than the one with the shorter maturity..
12. If the stock price is 0, the value of the American put must be its
Exercise Price
13. An American put is worth at least as much as its European equivalent

2.3 Some truisms about Options pricing with small illustrations
The following is not supposed to be an exhaustive list of all possible
relationships in Options and pricing, but just an illustrative list to reinforce
the underlying principles.

The Lower the Exercise Price the more valuable the call
Always, the call with the lower Exercise Price must have greater value. Let us
take two calls

Time Exercise Price Call price

Call A 6 months Rs.200 Rs.25

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Call B 6 months Rs.195 Rs.20
In such a situation, it will be possible for a trader to sell Call A and buy Call B
for sure gains. Thus the prices have to so adjust such that Call B which has a
lower Exercise Price has a greater price than Call A.

The difference in call prices cannot exceed the difference in
Exercise Prices
Time Exercise Price Call price

Call P 6 months Rs.295 Rs.20

Call Q 6 months Rs.300 Rs.14

Here it will be possible for the dealer to sell Call P and buy Call Q for a riskfree
profit. The prices have to adjust in such a way that the difference in the two
call prices does not exceed Rs.5, being the difference between the two
Exercise Prices

The more the time to expiration the greater the call price
Time Exercise Price Call price

Call E 2 months Rs.200 Rs.16

Call F 5 months Rs.200 Rs.15

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Here any dealer can sell Call E and buy Call F, to make risk-free profits. The
prices will have to adjust to a situation where Call F, which has the greater
tenure has the greater price.

Longer the tenure the more valuable the put
Time Exercise Price Call price

Put A 3 months Rs.100 Rs.12

Put B 4 months Rs.100 Rs.11
Here any dealer can sell Put A and buy Put B, to make risk-free profits. The
prices will have to adjust to a situation where Put B, which has the greater
tenure has the greater price

Higher the Exercise Price, the more valuable the put
Time Exercise Price Call price

Put C 3 months Rs.200 Rs.11

Put D 3 months Rs.195 Rs.12
Here any dealer can sell Put D and buy Put C, to make risk-free profits. The
prices will have to adjust to a situation where Put C, which has the greater
Exercise Price has the greater price
The price difference between two American puts cannot exceed
the difference in Exercise Prices
Time Exercise Price Call price

American Put E 3 months Rs.200 Rs.4

American Put F 3 months Rs.205 Rs.10
Here any dealer can sell Put F and buy Put E, to make risk-free profits. The
prices will have to adjust to a situation where the two prices do not exceed the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

difference between the Exercise Prices. The difference in the two put prices
must not exceed the 5 (205-200).

The price difference between two European puts cannot exceed
the difference in the Present Values of their Exercise Prices
PV of Exercise
Time Call price
Price of Rs.100
European Put G 3 months Rs.95.12 Rs.4

European Put H 3 months Rs.98.88 Rs.10
Here any dealer can sell Put H and buy Put G, to make risk-free profits. The
prices will have to adjust to a situation where the two prices do not exceed the
difference between the present value of the Exercise Prices. The difference in
put prices must not exceed 3.76 ( 98.88-95.12).

2.4 Put call parity
For a given call price, the corresponding put price for the same Exercise Price
and same tenure can be found out. This called the Put-Call parity rule.

Let us take the example of two portfolios. The first portfolio has a long position
in stock and a long put. The second portfolio has a long call and an investment
in risk-free bonds to the extent of the present value of the strike price. This
investment in the present value of the strike price will grow to become the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

strike price at the end of the tenure. At expiry the stock can end up greater
than the strike price or equal to or below it. The performance of the two
portfolios in these eventualities is mapped below:

Table III.2.1 Put call parity
First Second
Portfolio Portfolio
Stock +Put Call + PV of strike

At expiry

If Stock
is
If Stock is greater
less than than
Ex.Price Ex.Price
Port. A

Stock
Stock price price at
Stock at end end
Ex.Price-
Stock price
Put 0
Stock
Exercise Price at
TOTAL Price end
Port B

Stock
Price at
end –
Calls 0 Ex.Price
Bonds Ex.Price Ex.Price

Stock
Exercise
TOTAL Price at
Price
end
So original values should be
equal

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Stock
+Put
= Call +PV of strike

Thus we establish that the value of a Put will be

Put = Call + PV of strike price – Stock price
Call =Stock price + Put price – PV of strike price

In respect of American calls, the Put-call parity rule is more difficult to
determine. The following example shows the steps. Let us take two portfolios.
Portfolio P consists of 1 European call and Cash worth the Strike
Price. Portfolio Q consists of 1 American put and 1 share The
pay off profile of the two portfolios is shown below:
EVENTUALITY Payoff

PORTFOLIO P IF STOCK AT (STOCK AT
I European Call + Cash END >STRIKE END-STRIKE
worth the Strike Price
PRICE PRICE) +
STRIKE
PRICEert

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

IF STOCK AT STRIKE
END<STRIKE PRICEert
PRICE

PORTFOLIO Q IF STOCK AT 0 +STOCK AT
I American Put + I END>STRIKE END
share
PRICE

IF STOCK AT (STRIKE
END<STRIKE PRICESTOCK
PRICE AT END) +
STOCK AT
END

So Portfolio P is MAX (1) Stock at end –Strike + Strike* ert, or
(2) Strike Price*ert

Portfolio Q is MAX (1) Stock Price at
end or (2) Strike Price

Portfolio P is more valuable than Portfolio Q. In case of stock price being higher
than exercise price, Portfolio P is greater by the interest earned on the Strike
Price. If the stock price is lower than exercise price, the value is higher than
Portfolio Q again because of the interest earned on the Strike Price.

If PORTFOLIO Q is exercised early, its value then will be X, whereas at that
point of time PORTFOLIO P will be worth Strike Price plus interest earned
up to that point (Strike Price compounded for the period up to the time of
exercise). Again PORTFOLIO P will be more valuable than PORTFOLIO Q.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

So
European Call + Strike Price > American Put + Stock

European call –American Put > Stock – Strike (Equation 1)

We know from the Put-Call parity rule for European Options that
European Call + Present Value of Strike =European Put +Stock
Or
European Call – European Put = Stock – Present Value of Strike (Equation 2)
American call is at least as valuable as the European call
Combining Equations 1 and 2

(Stock – Exercise Price) < (American Call – American Put) < (Stock – PV of Strike)

This gives us the range of prices for American Puts given the corresponding
Call prices and vice-versa

2.5 Exercise of the American Call early
The advantage that an American option has over the European option is that
the former can be exercised at any time during the currency of the contract.
However, in the case of calls it can be shown that it is not optional for an
American call holder to exercise the option before the expiry of the contract.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

There are only two alternatives if one were to exercise the call option before
expiry:

1. One can keep the shares obtained out of the exercise as an investment.
2. One can sell the shares in the market straightway.

The first choice is inferior to retaining the option itself. If one exercises the
option and keeps the shares as an investment, one will have to incur capital
expenditure for buying the shares. If, instead, the option is retained, one can
exercise the option at any time one likes and there is no need for upfront
investment. Besides, by exercising and holding, one is taking a risk of the
investment value falling, whereas if the option is retained, it acts as an
insurance against such a fall, such that one need not exercise the call at all.
This shows that whatever the eventual price, exercising the option for
investment purposes is not optimal.

The second choice relates to selling the shares in the market immediately after
the exercise of the option. This implies that the option is sufficiently in the
money and for fear of a fall in the market the option could be exercised
straightway and the shares obtained out of the exercise immediately sold off.
But if this is the intention, the call itself could be sold off in the market for the
same pay-off. An American in-the-money call has to have the minimum value
of (stock price minus Exercise Price), so the advantage of exercising, taking the
shares and then selling them off can also be obtained by just selling the call.
By the second choice one gets (Stock – Exercise Price), which will always be the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

minimum price of an American option. So early exercise is of no use in this
case as well.

Thus, whatever the circumstances, early exercise of American call Options is
not optional.

The cost that you paid entering into for the option is irrelevant because it is a
sunk cost and is the same for both the alternatives.

Because of the relatively low volumes in the derivative market it may
sometimes not be possible for one to dispose of a call option at will. But on a
conceptual front, one is looking at perfect market conditions.

Illustration

Let us take the case of an American call option purchased for Rs.5 with an
Exercise Price of Rs.50 and time to expiry of 3 months. Let us assume that the
option becomes in the money (i.e. the stock price exceeds the strike price) and
the stock price is Rs.60. The alternatives open to the buyer of the option are:

1. Exercise and sell the stock. He will pay Rs.50 per share for the exercise
and get Rs.60 for the sale thereby making a profit of Rs.10.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2. Sell the call itself. The call will now be priced at a minimum of Rs.10
(stock price – Exercise Price). This is because if the option were priced
lower say at Rs.8, all anyone has to do is to buy the option at 8 and
exercise straightway to get Rs.10 (60-50) and make a risk free profit of
Rs.2. So the in-the-money American option price has to be necessarily
Rs.10. It can of course be greater than Rs.10 taking into account the
volatility of the underlying asset.

So coming back to our example, the minimum price that we will get by selling
the call itself is Rs.10. Whereas the maximum price one will get by selling the
share is Rs10. So, early exercise does not make sense.

2.6 Exercise of the American put early
The position is different when it comes to exercise of the American put. When
the holder of the put finds that it is sufficiently in the money, he may as well
exercise it early. Here, he will get the proceeds of the exercise (the sale value)
immediately and will therefore enjoy the time value of money before the
maturity. This is in contrast to the position of the American call holder, who
had to pay out the money and therefore lose the time value before maturity.
As far the holder of the American put is concerned, the only consideration is as
to whether the stock has gone down enough. Further, he has to make up his
mind as to whether the volatility of the stock is coming down. If the volatility
is still there, it might be worthwhile to hold on to the put option, unless, of
course it has already become sufficiently in the money.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

For example suppose X holds a put option on a scrip with Exercise Price of
Rs.50. Suppose a month before the maturity, the scrip is trading at 40. X has
to decide
1. Whether the Rs.10 that he will make by exercising the put now will be
enough as per his portfolio profit strategy.
2. What is the extent of volatility now in the scrip? If the volatility is high
even now, it may be worthwhile holding on in the expectation of a further
fall.

The above two issues have to be balanced and a decision arrived at. The actual
exercise is a matter of judgment. The point to be noted, however, is that, early
exercise is not a non-optional solution, as in the case of calls.

2.7 Summary
The pricing of Options follows certain principles. These principles are based
upon no-arbitrage conditions. If disparities exist in prices alert dealers will
buy and sell in the market in such a way that they reap risk-free profits. As
more and more dealers exploit the disequilibrium, the prices adjust to their
correct levels.

Several principles have been laid down in this unit based upon these no
arbitrage conditions. The intricate relationships between the expiry time in
the asset price and option values result in a number of valid principles.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

For a given call price there must be a corresponding put price on the same
underlying asset with the same Exercise Price. This can again be established
using the no arbitrage condition. This principle is called put-call parity.

It can be shown by using principles of time value of money that it is not optimal
to exercise the American call earlier than maturity. Although, American calls
carry this right it will be not worthwhile for the holder to exercise this right
before maturity. However, in case of necessity the dealer can sell the American
Option in the market .

This principle does not hold for an American put because of the favorable time
value of money. Here it is optimal to exercise the American put before maturity
if it is sufficiently in the money.

2.8 Key words
• Put-Call Parity
• Arbitrage
• Optimal exercise
2.9 Questions for Self- study
1. If the difference between the Exercise Prices of two American puts is
Rs.10, can the two puts have prices of Rs.26 and Rs.12 ? Explain.
2. Why is it not optimal to exercise the American call before maturity?
3. Does the put call parity rule apply to American Options?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3 The Binomial model for pricing of Options

3.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the principles governing the Binomial model of Options
pricing

• To understand the differences in approach between no-arbitrage pricing
and risk-neutral valuation

• To understand the concept of implied volatility or chance under the risk-
neutral valuation

• To take the Binomial model forward to a two-period framework
• To generally understand how the model works if the number of periods
is increased

3.2 Introduction
We have seen how the option prices work in relation to the time to expiry and
Exercise Price. The impact of the stock price on the pricing has also been seen.
We have set upper and lower bounds of option prices. Now we have to attempt
to pinpoint a price which should be appropriate for an option given the time to
maturity, strike price and stock price.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

For the purpose the Binomial model has been found to be an intuitive
explanation of the pricing of Options. While the assumptions of the Binomial
Model might appear to be far-fetched., it can be established that these do not
mar the ability of the model to come to almost correct prices. Studies have also
shown that if the Binomial Model is carried to a large number of periods it will
correspond to the Black –Scholes model of Option pricing.

3.3 Binomial one-period model
We can look at the Binomial one-period model with an example.
Let us assume the present stock price to be Rs.106. Let us also assume that
over a one year horizon the price of the stock will become either Rs.120 or Rs.90.
Options are available in the market with an Exercise Price of Rs.100.
The above facts indicate the following:
Range of Stock prices Range of call payoff

Up Rs.120 Rs.20

Down Rs.90 0

From the above let us work out for a combination of shares and calls in such a
way that the total value remains the same both on the Up and Down
movements. This involves a ratio of shares long and calls short. A combination
of long two shares and short three calls will result in the following final payoff.
Stock Calls Total

Up Rs.240 - Rs.60 Rs.180

Down Rs.180 0 Rs.180

So regardless of what happens in the market (whether the prices go up or down)
the total payoff from the combination is always Rs.180. The combination of two

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

shares long and three calls short was arrived at using simple arithmetic.
Formally this proportion is called the Optimal Hedge Ratio and is found out by
the following formula:
CU – CD
-----------
SU – SD
Where CU stands for the payoff of the call for the up movement
CD stands for the payoff of the call for the down movement
SU stands for the payoff of the stock for the up movement
SD stands for the payoff of the stock for the down movement

In the above example the formula gives us an answer of 2/3 which means 3
calls for 2 shares.

So the final value is always Rs.180 after 1 year. It may be recalled that as a
principal assumption to the Binomial Model there can be only two scenarios
and either case the portfolio is Rs.180. A portfolio that always yields Rs.180 is
risk free in nature and its present value is its discounted figure based upon a
risk free rate of return. Rs.180 discounted for one year at 8% risk free rate of
interest (assumed) gives a figure of Rs.166.67.

The portfolios value today ought to be Rs.166.67. The portfolio consists of two
shares long and two calls short. The two shares long cost Rs.212 (the present

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

stock price of Rs.106 multiplied by 2). The difference between Rs.212 and the
portfolio value of Rs.166.67 gives us the value of the three calls shorted. This
value is Rs.45.33 and therefore the value of 1 call is Rs.15.11.

The same answer could have been obtained by following a different approach
called The Risk Neutral Valuation. The theory of Risk Neutrality says that
investors are indifferent to the actual probabilities of payoff and are only
concerned with getting a payoff equal to the risk free rate of return. The two
movements of the asset values are not assigned any probabilities but the
implied probability for their movements can be determined by using the risk
free rate of return.

The implied probability can be determined by using the following equation in
respect of the stocks.
120p + 90 (1 – p) = 106 * e0.08 * 1
Where p refers to the implied chance of up movement ( 1 – p
) refers to the implied chance for the down movement .
e is the natural logarithm. The
formula can be put as follows:

p= (1 + risk free return)- (1- down rate)
-------------------------------------------
(1+ up rate) – (1+ down rate)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The above formula seeks to equate the implied chances of up and down
movements to the risk free rate of return on the original value of the stock
calculated using continuous compounding. The equation yields a p value of
0.816. Therefore (1 – p) is Rs.0.184. Since we are interested in the call prices
and since we have already determined that the call payoff will be either Rs.20
or 0 the following equation can be used to determine the value of the call.
( 20 * p + 0 *1 –p)
= 20 * 0.816 + 0 = 16.32.
This figure of 16.32 is the value of the call after one year. When this is
discounted at the risk free return of 8% we get Rs.15.11.
It can thus be seen that both the optimal hedge approach and the risk neutral
approach yield the same answer.

3.4 Binomial two-period model
In the above illustration we had assumed that we have only one intermittent
period where prices could change. When we extend this theory to more than
one period, there will obviously be more branches to the tree. However, as per
the assumption of the model, the quantum of increase and decrease remains a
fixed percentage of the start point. Thus, if the original one-period assumption
had two possibilities – increase by 10% or decrease by 5%, the same percentage
increase and decrease will apply to all the nodes in the other periods as well.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Let us work on a 2-period model with an example:

Let us assume that the stock price is Rs.100 and that it can either go up by 10%
or come down by 5% in a single period. For simplicity, we can take one period
to be 1 year. We are trying to value a call option on the stock with an Exercise
Price of Rs.105. The call is assumed to be valid for 2 years. The risk-free rate
of return is 8%.
The first step is to draw the payoff diagram for the stock

121

110

104.5
100

95

90.25

The calculations are straightforward based on the percentages of up and down
movements indicated.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The corresponding payoff position in respect of calls will be as follows. The
payoff has been calculated by reducing the strike price from the final price. If
the final price is less than the strike price the payoff is 0.

16

?

0
?

?

0

The procedure is to first determine the Options payoff in the end and work
backwards node by node. The three branches at end of year 2 have payoff of
Rs.16, 0 and 0. The top most branch will be in-the-money and fetch Rs.16.
The other two branches end up out-of-the-money and hence have a value of 0.
(Please recall that Options cannot have a negative value, since they can be
discarded when not in profits).

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

p= (1 + risk free return)- (1- down rate)
-------------------------------------------
(1+ up rate) – (1+ down rate)

The call value at the top branch of Year 1 can be calculated using the payoff
estimations for year 2. But before that the implied probabilities under the risk-
neutral valuation should be computed. This is found by using the formula

The formula yields a value of p of 0.87, and (1-p) to be 0.13.

Using this we can calculate the payoff in the top branch of Year 1 as (16 *0.87)
+ (0*.13) =13.92, discounted for 1 year at the risk-free rate of 8%. This gives a
figure of 12.89 as the figure for the top portion of Year 1.

We can calculate the value of the bottom node in the same way. In this
example, the two possible payoff figures at end of Year 2 are both 0, and hence
the value of the bottom node at end of Year 1 will also have to be 0. In case the
two payoff figures in Year 2 are positive, we can calculate their corresponding
value for the node in Year 1 by attributing “p” values and (1-p) values and then
discounting by the risk-free rate for 1 year.
The figure looks as follows now:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

13.92

?

0

The p value is 0.87 and (1-p) is 0.13. Applying these to the Year 1 payoff figures
and discounting for 1 year yields Rs.11.21as follows:
(13.92*0.87) + (0*0.13) = 12.11. This discounted for 1 year at 8% gives 11.21.
So the value of the call at inception is Rs.11.21.

3.5 Extension of the principle to greater number of periods
This principle can be used for calculating the value for any number of periods.
We begin with the last period, estimate the payoff for the option then, find the
p value and (1-p) value and then discount the possible payoff by one period.
This process is continued for every possible node in the binomial lattice.
Working backwards, we ultimately come to the value at the start.

If the period of possible price change is shorter than 1 year, we have to adjust
the discount rate accordingly. Thus, if the changes are recorded for every half-
year, the applicable discount rate for bringing back the possible payoff figures
is 4%, being half the annual rate.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Lastly, while it may look far-fetched that we can have only two possible
movements of prices under the model, it should be noted the we can achieve
more accuracy by just reducing the duration of each period, thereby increasing
the number of nodes.

Beyond a point it is difficult to calculate the above by hand and we may require
the assistance of a software program. There are a number of spreadsheet
models designed for calculating the Binomial Options price. percentages.

The major difficulty confronting the analyst will be to assert that estimated
levels of up and down movements will remain the same for all periods to come.

3.6 Summary
An understanding of pricing of Options is best had with the Binomial model.
The Binomial model assumes that stock prices can have only two possible
movements in a period, by a specified percentage up or specified percentage
down.

Valuation under the Binomial model can be done using the no-arbitrage
argument or the risk-neutral approach. Under the former, a portfolio of long
stocks and short calls is created, in such a way that the final payoff is identical
for both the possibilities. The combination is arrived at by calculating an
Optimal Hedge Ratio. When the final payoff is identical and does not involve
any risk, its value initially will be its discounted value at the risk-free rate.
This initial value consists of the value of both stock and calls.

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The value of stock being known is deducted to get the value of the calls.

The second approach to valuation involves taking a risk-neutral assumption.
Under this, it is taken that the investor is concerned only about getting the
risk-free return, and a payoff that has an estimated value of the risk-free
return, will have certain implied chances. The value of these implied chances
are calculated by taking the final payoff to be the original amount compounded
by the risk-free return, and then finding the value of the two branch payoff
figures to suit this final payoff. Using these the payoff of the calls is calculated
and discounted back to the beginning. Both the approaches give identical
answers.

An understanding of the Binomial model is essential to enable us to appreciate
the working of the option pricing mechanism. There are certain limitations to
the model but nevertheless it has been found to be very useful as a valuation
tool. The challenge before the analyst, however, would be to attribute specific
percentage chances of up and down movements, applicable for all periods to
come.

3.7 Key words
• Binomial Model
• Risk Neutral

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• No Arbitrage
• Implied chance
• Risk free return

3.8 Questions for Self- study
1. What is the principle behind risk neutral valuation?
2. What are the components of a typical portfolio used for determining the
no – arbitrage binomial price?
3. Are the assumptions of the binomial model far fetched?
4. What is the discount rate used for bringing the binomial payoff back to
start date?

4 The Black-Scholes model

4.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are :

• To understand the principles underlying the Black Scholes model. • To
understand the principles behind the log normal distribution
• To understand the Black Scholes formula .
• To get a first hand account of calculation of option prices using the
model.

4.2 Introduction
The Black Scholes model is a Nobel-prize winning attempt to define option
prices. As we have seen the Binomial approach gives us fair indication of
option prices subject to certain conditions. A different approach has been used
in formulating the Black Scholes model.

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The model uses ideas from other sciences in determining the value of the
Option. First, share prices have been known to follow the principle of random
walk and stock returns have been found to be best represented by a log-normal
distribution. The model takes into account several important inputs the most
important of which is the stock volatility. Intuitively, a greater level of
volatility will result in a greater option price. Similarly, the longer the time
available the greater the option value.

The Black-Scholes model, is essentially useful only for determining European
calls and puts. The model directly arrives at the European call price, from
which it will be possible calculate the European put price using principles of
put-call parity.
The formula discussed later in this unit is difficult to derive, but it is also quite
intuitive in application. The advent of special calculators and spreadsheet –
based packages has resulted in universal use of this model by traders and
investors.

The model works on certain assumptions which some critics say are unrealistic.
However, as we know most of the models in finance are based on some extreme
assumptions which need to be fine-tuned by the user depending upon his

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specific circumstances. If the model is otherwise capable of reflecting the
correct situation its assumptions should not be held against it.

Empirical evidence of the Black Scholes model is divided. Ultimately the model
will work only on our inputs being right. If the correct price is not reflected by
the model it could be because the wrong input has been fed in.

The model has five specific inputs – stock price, strike price, risk free rate of
return, tenure and volatility. Each of these inputs has different impacts on the
option price as demonstrated later.

4.3 Some preliminary ideas
The Binomial model is a discrete- time model, with specific time intervals. The
Black-Scholes model, however, takes into account an infinite number of sub-
intervals, on a continuous time basis. It can be established that if taken for
sufficiently long periods with multiple interim periods, the conclusions drawn
by the Binomial model tally with those arrived at by the Black-Scholes model.

The Black-Scholes model has been developed for European Options and can
easily be applied to American calls on non-dividend paying stocks.
The derivation of the model is complex and involves advanced mathematics.
No attempt has been made to show the derivation here. However, the logic
behind certain aspects of the model merits attention.

Lognormal distribution

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A stock is supposed to follow a Brownian model and the distribution of the stock
returns are hence lognormal. Under this, the least value of a stock return is -
100%. This is superior to the idea under a pure normal distribution that the
price can be less than -100%. Lognormal distributions can be seen to be skewed
to the right and do not follow the bell shape of a normal distribution.

Return, variance and price
The value of an option as brought out by the Black-Scholes model is
independent of the expected return. The model does take into account the stock
prices, but the expected rate of return itself is not considered. Stock prices are
assumed to follow a “random walk” and their estimations are based on
volatility estimates. Secondly, the model also assumes that the variance is
proportional to the time. The estimate of variance is not expected to change
during the tenure of the contract.

4.4 Assumptions under the model
The Black-Scholes formula has certain inherent assumptions:
1. There are no dividends on the stock
2. There are no transaction costs
3. The short-term risk-free interest is known and is constant during the
lifetime of the Option
4. Short selling of stock is permitted
5. Call option can be exercised only on expiration

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6. Trading takes place continuously and stock prices move randomly
7. Stock prices follow the rules of a Brownian process and stock returns are
best explained by the lognormal distribution.

4.5 The formula
European Call price (C) is found by

C = SN(d1) − Ee−rcT N(d2 )

where

d1 = ln(S/E) + (rc +σ 2/2)T
σ T
d2 = d −σ T 1

N(d1), N(d2) = cumulative normal probability σ = annualized standard
deviation of the continuously
compounded return on the stock rc =

continuously compounded risk-free rate

S = Stock price now
E = Exercise Price
In=logarithm to the base è
T = time to maturity

4.6 Illustration
Let us take the stock price to be Rs..20 and the strike price to be also Rs, 20.
The tenure of the option is 3 months. The risk-free rate is 12% and the variance
of returns is 0.16. The value of the Option under the Black-Scholes method can
be calculated as under:

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Here, d1 = ln (20/20) + (0.12 + 0.16/2) *0.25
------------------------------------------
(0.40) (0.50)
Solving we get this to be 0.25

Then d2 = d1 – 0.4 √0.25
We get this to be 0.05
N(d1) and N(d2) represent areas under the normal distribution. From the
normal distribution tables, we get
N(d1) for a 0.25 area to be 0.5987
For N(d2) for a 0.05 area we get 0.5199
The value of the call then is
(20 *0.5987) – ( 20 è(-0.12*0.25) * 0.5199)
Solving we get the value to be Rs.1.88.

Another example is given below.

Here the stock price is Rs.30 and the Exercise Price is Rs.25. The time to go is
3 months (0.25). The risk-free return is 5% and the standard deviation is 0.45.
( the variance is 0.2025)

Here, d1= ln (30/25) + (0.05 + 0.2025/2)*0.25
--------------------------------------------

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0.45*0.25
We get the answer to be 0.978.

Then d2 = d1 – 0.45 √0.25
We get this to be 0.753
Nd1 for 0.978 = 0.836
Nd2 for 0.753 = 0.773
With this the value is
(30 *0.836) – ( 25 è(-0.05*0.25) * 0.773) = 6
The value of the call is Rs.6

4.7 The model inputs
The Black-Scholes works on five inputs, all crucial to the determination of
Option values;

• The Stock Price
• The Strike Price
• The risk-free return
• Volatility
• Time to expire

4.8 The Black-Scholes calculator
Both Traders and practitioners use the Black-Scholes calculators for
determining the theoretical prices of Options. It should be recalled that the
basic formula calculates the value of a European call. Using the principles of
put-call parity, it is possible to compute the corresponding put prices for the
same expiry and strike price.

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There are several versions of the calculator available. One version is available
for download from the internet and is applicable for direct use with Microsoft
Excel.
Numa Financial Systems Ltd

email: info@numa.com

web: http://www.numa.com/
Taking our two illustrations above, we can compute the option prices using the
calculator as follows:
Input data
Stock price Rs.20
Strike price Rs.20
Time to go 3 month (0.25)
Risk-free rate 12%
Volatility (standard deviation) 0.4
Inputting this data, we get Rs.1.88 as the value of the call, exactly the same
result as we got by the long calculation.

4.9 Impact of variables on Options pricing
The impact of various inputs on the final Options price as per the BlackScholes
model is given below:

Stock price

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The value of the call increases as the Stock price increases. This is
demonstrated below, for the illustration already covered. We had found that
the Options price was Rs.1.88 for a stock price of Rs.20. The Options price for
various other stock prices are below. Please note that the other variables are
the same:
Stock Options
price Price
18.0000 0.8894

19.0000 1.3340

21.0000 2.5275

22.0000 3.2568

23.0000 4.0556

Exercise Price
The value of the call decreases with increase in Exercise Price. This is
demonstrated below using the same inputs.
Strike Call
Price Values
18.0000 3.0860

19.0000 2.4358

21.0000 1.4258

22.0000 1.0584

23.0000 0.7719

Tenure
When the tenure increases the value of the option goes up. This is intuitive in
that the more the time available the more the value of the option. This is shown
below. In the original case the time was 0.25 ( 3 months). Let us find the
values for other time periods.

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Option
Time
Value
0.1500 1.4105

0.2000 1.6582

0.3000 2.0902

0.3500 2.2849

0.4000 2.4695

Risk-free rate of interest
As the risk-free rate goes up, the Option value goes up. The principle is that
increase in risk-free rate results in reducing the Present Value of the
Exercise Price, thereby increasing the Option price. This is shown below.
Please recall that the original option value of Rs.1.88 was obtained with a risk-
free rate of 0.12 ( 12%).

Option
Interest
value
0.1000 1.8326

0.1100 1.8575

0.1300 1.9078

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0.1400 1.9333

0.1500 1.9589

Volatility
As the volatility goes up, the value of the Option goes up. An option derives its
value from uncertainty and the greater the level of uncertainty the greater the
value of the option. This goes back to the basic feature of Options as
instruments. An Option has an edge over the asset itself in that it takes only
the favorable swings and can discard the unfavorable swings. As such the
option holder will hope for greater chances of a swing. In the original
illustration we had taken the standard deviation to be 0.4. The impact of
changes to the standard deviation on the option prices are given below:

Std. Option
Deviation price
0.3000 1.4968

0.3500 1.6894

0.4500 2.0761

0.5000 2.2698

0.5500 2.4634

4.10 Summary
The Black Scholes model is considered as a very elegant piece of research into
option prices. The model uses ideas from the Brownian motion and other
theories based on “random walk” . The model involves certain inherent

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assumptions and yields the European call price. Among the assumptions the
most notable are the one relating to the log normal distribution of the stock
price. Studies have shown that this assumption is quite valid. Another
assumption regarding the constant volatility during the tenure of the option,
is open to question. The formula for calculating the Black Scholes model price
is relatively simple. The presence of special calculators and spreadsheet
solutions make the task very easy for traders and investors.

4.11 Key words
• Brownian Motion
• Log normal distribution
• Random walk
• Volatility
• Area under normal curve

4.12 Questions for Self- study
1) What are the various assumptions under the Black-Scholes
model?
2) Give two important inputs in the Black-Scholes model and their
impact on Option value?
3) Does the Black-Scholes model give the same result as the
Binomial model for Option prices?

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5 Volatility and Implied Volatility from the BlackScholes
model
5.1 Objectives
The objectives of this module are :

• To understand the concept of volatility
• To understand the implication of volatility in option prices
• To study the concept of implied volatility

5.2 Introduction
Among the several inputs into the Black Scholes model volatility is the most
crucial. This refers to the extent to which the stock price can change during
the tenure of the contract. An option carries greater inherent value with
greater volatility.
Estimation of volatility is a controversial subject. If volatility is based upon
historical data, the implicit assumption is that the future will behave in the
same way as the past. Even if that is taken as a valid assumption the question
remains as to how many months in the past do we have to go to for ascertaining
the past volatility. The figures of volatility could be vastly different if taken
for say a three-year period compared to say a six-month period. The
implication of this is that whatever we feed in as volatility will result in a
corresponding price right, or wrong.

Market analysts use a slightly different technique for estimating volatility.
Four of the inputs in the Black-Scholes model are known. By feeding in these
and also the price prevalent in the market, the market’s interpretation of
volatility can be derived.

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5.3 Importance of Volatility and the concept of Implied volatility
Four of the five inputs into the Black-Scholes model are straightforward. They
are the stock price, the strike price, the risk-free rate of interest and the tenure.
These parameters are readily available and can be fed in directly. There could
be some question marks about the correct interest rate to be taken. But in the
context of the overall decision, this is a relatively minor choice.

The fifth input – Volatility is difficult to estimate. The model wants the likely
swing that the stock price can take over the period of time under consideration.
For this the standard approach is to take a historical volatility. Here, we take
the standard deviation of returns over a period of time and expect this to be
the volatility. However the period of reckoning can make a difference in the
estimate. The figure of volatility could be totally different say if a 1-year
historical volatility is taken as compared to a situation if a 3-month historical
volatility is taken. Consequently, there could be substantial differences in the
Option values as calculated.

Market observers seek to solve this problem by studying the extent of volatility
that the market seems to be imputing to the prices. This can be arrived at by
studying the four clear inputs with the Option prices prevalent in the market.
A trial and error estimation gives us an idea as to the volatility that is implied
in the market actions and is called Implied Volatility. Many calculators have

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features which calculate this directly given the four standard inputs and the
Options price.

5.4 A discussion
The impact of volatility can be assessed from various angles. From the angle
of checking the validity of the model itself, the test would involve comparing
the historical volatility of a scrip or a basket, with the implied volatility arising
out of the going option price. The latter is used taking the BlackScholes
assumptions to be valid for the case in point. Alternatively, the option price
that should have been there given a historical volatility can be compared with
the actual option price for testing the significance of the differences, if any.

It is possible to estimate the underlying asset volatility on the basis of past
experience. In many ways this issue is similar to the problem in the estimation
of returns and comparison under the Capital Assets Pricing Model. In
analysing stock prices, it can be noticed that there are two types of volatility
that they suffer from. The first is the result of the inherent risk of its projects
not going through to expectations, the extent of its own growth potential, the
competition from within and outside the country and changes in its
management and financing patterns. These are Company-specific risks that
stem occasionally from industry-specific risks and are called by the technical
name “unsystematic risk”. It is demonstrated by portfolio theory that
unsystematic risk could be diversified away by combining it with other stock
that have a different element of such risk, in a manner that will result in the
portfolio combination having a combined unsystematic risk that is negligible.

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The other type of risk is the “systematic” risk or market risk. Here, depending
on the overall market movements, the scrip will move up or down depending
on its “connection” with the market. We are all aware that there are certain
incidents that affect the entire stock market such as changes in budget policy,
fall in agricultural production, changes in RBI policy and fluctuations in
foreign exchange position. Apart from these, there is something called “market
sentiment” which takes the overall stock prices up or down from time to time.
Depending upon each stock’s relationship with the overall market, it will be
affected by some degree. Some stocks move exactly with the market with some
moving more than proportionately on the same side of the market, while some
others moving inversely.

From the angle of the trader, it is necessary to go by some historical volatility
as a starting point. True, some embellishments will be needed to such
historical data, but to have a basis, it will necessarily have to begin with the
past. The question often arises as to how far back one should go to get an
estimate of volatility that is good enough for the future. The issues involved
are discussed below:

• The first question is whether there is sufficient evidence to show that
the past volatility will hold in the future. If the market is perfect and
information asymmetry is minimal, one would expect all market players

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to have homogenous expectations. In such a scenario, price movements
have to follow the historical volatility pattern, unless there
are changes in circumstances. In the semi-strong form Efficient Market
Hypothesis, all the reported information is also within the reach of the
market and the price is reflective of that.

• The next question is the period to be considered for the purpose. Here
there cannot be unanimity. Just as in the case of estimation of Beta,
the period to be reckoned becomes a matter of subjectivity. Unless the
market is highly volatile in the short run, it may make more sense to
take the long-term (say 3 years) volatility as the basis. However,
because changes in Government policy have a great bearing on the
systematic risk, it may be sometimes safer to take a 1-year horizon

• Further, the question that needs to be addressed and understood is as
to the applicability of these estimations in practice. This brings to us
the question as to whether the market follows these estimates of
volatility or is arbitrary in its behavior. The implication of such a
suggestion is that the Black-Scholes Model itself has then no
applicability to the price determination model.

In the initial stages of Options being introduced, the general perception is that
options prices will not correspond to a model-determined price. This is because
the writers charge a special premium and there are few combinations going
around which act as an effective mechanism for checking radical price changes.
However, as the market becomes a little experienced (as in India now), it
becomes increasingly adept at using option combinations and other synthetic

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instruments, which make sure that the prices are based on uniform
assumptions. Since the Black-Scholes model describes Optionsprice
determination in the most scientific way, we will have to take the postulates of
the model to be right unless evidence is overwhelmingly different. As such, the
estimates of volatility by the Options market has to be based on volatility
estimate for the spot asset market, with some modifications for the period of
the option.

The actual data of stock prices, call prices and put prices of Hindustan Lever
Ltd, for a short period in 2006 has been shown below, to show that the putcall
parity rule has not held for most dates. Further, the question as to whether
the prices indicated have the correct volatility depends on the volatility
estimates we have in mind. The implied volatility during this period has not
been consistent.

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Table III.4.1. Pricing and put-call parity of HLL
(Amount in Rs.)
HLL

Stock price-
Stock Call price for put price for
Date CallPut Ex.price
price strike 215 strike 215

2-Aug-06 228.15 33.15 16.4 16.75 13.15

3-Aug-06 224.7 30.25 17 13.25 9.7

4-Aug-06 220.5 27.05 18.05 9 5.5

7-Aug-06 219.45 25.3 17.5 7.8 4.45

8-Aug-06 223.05 27.5 16.15 11.35 8.05

9-Aug-06 224.05 27.35 15.05 12.3 9.05

10-Aug-06 223.45 26.25 14.55 11.7 8.45

11-Aug-06 223.2 25.35 13.95 11.4 8.2

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14-Aug-06 227.15 27.2 12 15.2 12.15

16-Aug-06 230.5 28.85 10.35 18.5 15.5

17-Aug-06 234.9 31.65 8.8 22.85 19.9

18-Aug-06 237.95 33.45 7.6 25.85 22.95

21-Aug-06 236.35 31.45 7.3 24.15 21.35

22-Aug-06 232.6 28.3 7.95 20.35 17.6

23-Aug-06 229.85 25.9 8.35 17.55 14.85

24-Aug-06 231.8 26.8 7.35 19.45 16.8

25-Aug-06 236.6 30.2 6 24.2 21.6

28-Aug-06 240.3 32.55 4.75 27.8 25.3

29-Aug-06 234.9 28.3 5.95 22.35 19.9

30-Aug-06 236.5 29.05 5.15 23.9 21.5

31-Aug-06 234.45 27.1 5.25 21.85 19.45

5.5 Summary
Empirical evidence shows that actual call values of stock-based Options in the
sample period are significantly different from the theoretical prices based on
volatility for various periods indicated. The degree of differences has varied
from study to study depending on the markets studied and the nature of price
movements. There appears to be good correlation between the theoretical
prices and the actual prices. But this only indicates the direction of the

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movement of change and not the magnitude. Intuitively the direction can be
more easily predicted than the magnitude.

Many studies on the subject of implied volatility have shown that actual call
values of the Index are quite different from the indications of volatility.
Further it appears that the market relies more on the volatility estimate of a
1-year historical period in arriving at the call values.

5.6 Key words
• Volatility
• Implied volatility
• Historical volatility

5.7 Questions for Self- study
1) From a given data of option prices how can you calculate the implied
volatility?
2) Will the historical volatility match the implied volatility at all?
3) Is it true to say that the implied volatility will ultimately become the
historical volatility?
4) Does the difference between the historical volatility and implied
volatility show that the market is arbitrary?

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Module 4

OTHER DERIVATIVES AND RISK MANAGMENT

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1 Introduction to Options Greeks and Basic Delta Hedging
1.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the concept of Option Greeks.
• To understand the implication of various Greek measures.
• To understand the concept of Delta Hedging.

1.2 Introduction
We have seen that the Black Scholes model is an elegant exposition of the
determination of option prices. Five specific inputs are required for getting the
option price out of the model. These are the stock price, the strike price, the
tenure, risk free rate of return and volatile return. The impact of changes in
call prices on account of changes in these inputs are determined by Option
Greeks.

Market analysts and traders find Option Greeks very useful in formulating
specific strategies. The impact of specific inputs on the price is a very useful
piece of information in drawing up a plan for a portfolio of Options. While the
derivation of these Greeks is mathematical, it can be readily taken from an
Options calculator.

1.3 Delta and uses
The extent to which Option price changes in response to a change in stock
prices is measured by Delta. It is the change in the Option premium expected
out of a small change in the stock price.

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Delta is measured as follows
Delta of a call Delta of a put

∂ ∂P
∆ c= = ∂S
C
∂ S ∆p
The Delta of a call approaches 0 as it becomes more and more out-of-themoney.
A call that is at the money will hover around the 0.5 level. An in-themoney call
approaches 1.

The Delta of a put approaches 0 as it becomes out-of-the-money
An in-the-money put approaches (-1)

The purchase of a call which has a Delta of 0.5 is equivalent to buying half
stock by borrowing at the risk-free rate of interest

The purchase of a put with Delta (-0.2) is equivalent to selling short 0.20 stock
and investing in risk-free assets

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The Delta of a put is equal to the Delta of a call (-1)

Delta mimics the number of shares required to match the change in prices of
Options. Suppose a call has a Delta of 0.80 it works like having 0.80 stock and
a change in stock price of Re.1 results in change in call value of Rs.0.8

In European Options, the absolute value of a call and put total 1.
In terms of the Black-Scholes model, the call Delta is equal to N(d1).
Delta can be directly calculated from Option calculators.

1.4 Delta hedging
The following equations can be used in respect of Delta

• Call = Buying Delta times stock by borrowing
• Put = Selling Delta times stock and investing in bonds

From the call formula we can rearrange the relationship as under:
Short call + Buying Delta times stock by borrowing = 0

This relationship is used by traders for Delta-Hedging their short positions in
calls. They continuously buy Delta times the stock (with borrowing) and
together the position will neutralize each other. However, Delta holds only for
small changes in value. Further, Delta position needs to be rebalanced
constantly. An illustration is shown below.

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We take the case of a stock which is going at Rs.42. A dealer has written a call
on the stock with an Exercise Price of Rs.40. He has earned a premium of
Rs.3.53 on this written call. He wants to embark upon a Delta hedge to cover
this short position. The risk-free rate of interest is 10%.

Let us further assume that the trader wants to Delta Hedge by only
rebalancing once in a week. There are 13 weeks to go to the end of the contract.

It may be noted in this context that a Delta hedge will work better if rebalanced
very frequently. A weekly rebalancing may serve the purpose, by and large,
but cannot be expected to be fool proof.
The full chart of prices of the stock at the end of each of the 13 weeks to
expiration, along with corresponding call price and call delta is shown below.
Please note that the time has been specified in decimals with 13 weeks
corresponding to 0.25, 12 weeks corresponding to 0.23 and so on.

Table IV.1.1. Delta data
(Amount in Rs.)
Weeks Underlying Interest Time to Theoretical
Strike Volatility Delta
to go price rate expiry value
13 42 40 0.2 0.1 0.25 3.5295228 0.7846199

12 41.5 40 0.2 0.1 0.2307692 3.04044517 0.7490096

11 42.5 40 0.2 0.1 0.2115385 3.72173953 0.8251148

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

10 41.75 40 0.2 0.1 0.1923077 3.01254878 0.7737713

9 42.25 40 0.2 0.1 0.1730769 3.2988242 0.8178858

8 43 40 0.2 0.1 0.1538462 3.82440488 0.876425

7 42.5 40 0.2 0.1 0.1346154 3.28069483 0.8523

6 43.25 40 0.2 0.1 0.1153846 3.83147374 0.9120885

5 43.75 40 0.2 0.1 0.0961538 4.1926855 0.9485565

4 44 40 0.2 0.1 0.0769231 4.33506007 0.9702544

3 43.5 40 0.2 0.1 0.0576923 3.75412925 0.9706311

2 42.75 40 0.2 0.1 0.0384615 2.92699687 0.9650667

1 43 40 0.2 0.1 0.0192308 3.07814875 0.9964273

0 43 40 0.2 0.1 0.001 3.0039998 1

The dealer buys shares to the extent of Delta times the position, at the end of
each week. The Delta keeps changing week after week in the light of the
changing stock price, and the reducing period. He buys this Delta times stock
by borrowing at the interest rate of 10%.

The position is shown below:

Table V.1.2. Delta Hedging (Amount in Rs.)
Needed
Stock
Week Delta Position In No. Bought Cost Cum.Cost Interest
Price
Shares

0 42 0.78462 78461.99 78461.99 3295404 3295404 6337.3

1 41.5 0.74901 74900.96 -3561.03 -147783 3153958 6065.3

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2 42.5 0.825115 82511.48 7610.52 323447 3483471 6699.0

3 41.75 0.773771 77377.13 -5134.35 -214359 3275811 6299.6

4 42.25 0.817886 81788.58 4411.45 186384 3468494 6670.2

5 43 0.876425 87642.5 5853.92 251719 3726883 7167.1

6 42.5 0.8523 85230 -2412.50 -102531 3631518 6983.7

7 43.25 0.912088 91208.85 5978.85 258585 3897087 7494.4

8 43.75 0.948556 94855.65 3646.80 159547 4064129 7815.6

9 44 0.970254 97025.44 2169.79 95471 4167415 8014.3

10 43.5 0.970631 97063.11 37.68 1639 4177069 8032.8

11 42.75 0.965067 96506.67 -556.44 -23788 4161313 8002.5

12 43 0.996427 99642.73 3136.06 134851 4304167 8277.2

13 43 1 100000 357.27 15363 4327807

The changes in prices result in change in the number of shares held for Delta
hedging. Occasionally, the dealer sells shares from his holding if the new Delta
at any point of time entails only a lesser holding. Interest is calculated for
every week and shown in the last column.

A summary of his final position is given below.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The call having ended in the money, his Delta has become quite close to 1 at
the end of the 12th week. Let us assume that the price remains at this level at
the end of week 13 as well. Now the dealer is able to use his holding of 100000
shares to cover his short position. He will get the call strike price of Rs.40 per
share. The future value of the premium he received up front Rs.353000
(100000*3.53), works out to Rs.357097.

Against this, the dealer has incurred a cumulative cost of Rs.4327807 for
buying the shares as indicated in various weeks shown above. His net position
then is as under:

gain loss
Call Strike received 4327807 Amount paid
4000000 for shares
Value of

premium 357097
4357097 4327807

This shows that the loss has been lower than the gains and that that he has
gained a little in the Delta Hedge. Had the time interval of rebalancing been
smaller the dealer would have been able to rebalance every day instead of every

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

week, and the position would have been more equal. Since the rebalancing
cannot be continuous there will always be a tracking error.

1.5 Gamma, Theta, Vega and Rho

Gamma
Gamma is the second derivative of the option premium in relation to the stock
price. Thus, Gamma is the first derivative of Delta to the stock price.

∂ ∂∆c
2
C
G = =
∂S ∂S
c 2


2
P ∂∆ p
G = =
∂S ∂S
p 2

Gamma tells us the extent to which the Option portfolio needs to be adjusted
to conform to a Delta hedged position. A gamma of 0 indicates that the Delta
is not very sensitive to price changes. If Gamma is small, delta changes only
slowly. The Gamma of a call is equal to the Gamma of a corresponding put at

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

the same exercise price. Gamma is never negative. Adjustments to keep the
portfolio delta-neutral need to be done only infrequently in such a case.

Traders sometimes follow a strategy called delta-gamma hedging. This results
in being delta hedge and also being simultaneously gamma hedged. This
strategy involves setting up of a further call position. When the portfolio is
delta-gamma hedged, it need not be adjusted frequently.
The relationship can be shown as under:
Theta
Theta is the sensitivity of the call price to the time remaining to maturity.

Sine the time available can only get shorter, Theta is represented as a negative
number. Any passage of time is not beneficial to the buyer of an option, but is
beneficial to the seller.
The Theta for calls and puts can be calculated as follows:

Θc =− Sσ 2e−2.5π (dt1)2 −rKe−rtN(d2)

Θp = Sσ 2e−2.5π (dt1)2 +rKe−rtN(d2)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

A comparative position of the Delta, Gamma and Theta is shown below:

Position Delta Theta Gamma

Long call + - +

Long Put - - +

Short call - + -

Short put + + -

Vega
Vega is the derivative of the Option price with reference to volatility. An
Option derives value from volatility. A Vega of 0.2 indicates that a change of
volatility by 1% will result in 0.2% change in option prices. Vega is measured
as follows:

2
−0 .5 ( d 1 )
S te
vega = 2π

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Rho
Rho is the derivative of the Option price with reference to the risk-free rate of
interest, used as an input in the model. It is the least important of the Greeks.
Unless an option has a very long tenure, a small interest rate change is unlike
to have any great impact on the option price.

1.5 Summary
Option Greeks constitute an important source of strategic information for the
dealer. These measures – Delta, Theta, Rho, Vega and Gamma – show the
impact of specific inputs on the option price. The likely change in the option
price as a result of a small change in these inputs is measured .

The most actively used Greek is Delta. Many traders use Delta for hedging
their short call exposures. Sometimes asset managers who have a portfolio of
Options decide to Delta-hedge to avoid losses from a portion of their portfolio.

Further alert investors can sometimes use the Delta technique for exploiting
wrong implied volatility in the market.. However, the assumption here is that
wrong implied volatility will soon get corrected to the levels anticipated by the
trader.

1.6 Key words
• Delta
• Theta
• Rho

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Gamma
• Vega
• Delta Hedging
• Delta Hedging Arbitrage

1.7 Questions for Self- study
1) How does Delta hedging safeguard a short call position?
2) Will Delta hedging work for all changes in value?
3) Is Vega important? How can it be used by traders?
4) How is Gamma different from Delta? What is the principle behind Delta
Gamma hedge?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2 Interest Rate Derivatives and Eurodollar Derivatives

2.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the function of interest rate Derivatives.
• To appreciate the functioning of Forward Rate Agreements.
• To understand the distinction between caps and flows.
• To understand the use of Eurodollar Futures.

2.2 Introduction
We have seen the operation and broad use of general Derivatives. We now look
at the use of these instruments in managing a portfolio of fixed income
securities. These assets carry considerable risk which can be covered with the
use of special Derivatives. Interest rates are a matter of great uncertainty and
these Derivatives seek to cover this risk.

Before we go into categories of interest rate Derivatives it is necessary to
understand the broad relationship between bond prices and yield. The Fixed
Income securities market uses the concept of yield-to-maturity to determine
return. The yield-to-maturity (YTM) is the internal rate of return of the bond
cash flow. The initial price paid for the bond, the periodic coupons and the end
price on redemption constitute the bond flows. The market is never able to
predict the movement of YTMs across various maturities and across different
credit ratings. Hence holders of bonds are exposed to considerable interest rate
risk.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The bond price has an inverse relationship with YTM. When the market YTM
goes up the bond prices come down and vice versa. This stems out of the
operation of the internal rate of return.
Interest rate Derivatives seek to cover some of the exposure that bond
managers have. First it is necessary for the portfolio manager to determine
the specific direction of movement of interest rates that she fears and then
choose appropriate interest rate Derivatives.

In India, Interest rate Derivatives are allowed to be traded in the National
Stock Exchange. Rules regarding trading and settlement can be had from their
website www.nse-india.com

2.3 T Bill and T Bond Futures
These instruments are very popular in the United States. T Bills are generally
short term and T Bonds will be of greater duration. However, the principles
governing their prices are the same.
The U.S T Bill sells at a discount from the par value and is represented by

(Par Value – Market Value) multiplied by 360
------------------------------------------------ ----
Par Value 90

the discount yield. Discount yield refers to the following formula:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Thus a 90- day Bill quoted at say 98.50 will have a yield of 6 %. The day count
convention for these bills generally has 360 days in the year.

The discount yield cannot be directly compared with other investments,
because it relates the income to the par value, as against the usual practice of
relating it to the price paid.

The standard face value of T Bills is Rs.1 million.

From the discount yield the price to be paid for purchase can be determined as
follows:

Discount yield *90
Price = Face Value multiplied by (1- -------------------------)
360

Suppose T Bill Futures are bought at Rs.93 ( discount yield of 7%), the price to
be paid then will be
Rs.982500, using the above formula for a 90-day period.

If interest rates rise to 7.25%, the new price will be Rs.981875, using the same
formula but now inputting 7.25% as the discount yield.

The results are intuitive in that the price of the bond comes down when the
yield goes up.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Speculators buy T-Bond Futures when they expect the interest rates to fall and
vice-versa

2.4 Hedging with T Bills and T-notes
A corporate house expects to have Rs.20 million for short-term investment.
The amount will be available to it in 3-months time. The Corporate Treasurer
is apprehensive that the interest rates might fall in the meantime, resulting in
a fall in the expected interest when the investment is made. He therefore goes
in for long T-Bill/T-Note Futures. As noted already, these notes will rise in
value when the interest rates fall.

The present interest is 7%. The price then will be Rs.982500 for every Rs.1
million contract, and therefore Rs.19,650,000 ,for the Rs.20 million contract.

If as expected by the Treasurer the interest rate falls to say 6.5%, the new price
of the T Bill/T- Note will be Rs.983750 for a Rs.1 million contract. The total
price available to the Treasurer on the Rs.20 million contract will be
Rs.19,675,000, gaining Rs.25,000 on the Futures contract.

Now the treasurer can invest his surplus Rs.20 mn. in the market and along
with the additional Rs.25000 got out of the Futures contract, he can makeup
for the loss in interest rates.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Just as we saw in our discussion on regular Futures, the treasurer would have
lost on the Futures contract if the interest rates had gone up instead of coming
down. In such an eventuality he would have been better off without a Futures
contract at all. He could then have participated in the higher interest by
investing the Rs.20 mn. as and when available at the higher interest rate.
While he can still do so, the loss in the Futures contract drags down his profits.
However, in trying to freeze an interest yield the Futures results in
unfavorable conditions on opposite movements.

2.5 Eurodollar Derivatives
The word “Eurodollars” refers to dollar amounts held outside the United
States. Investors in US can deposit their surplus amounts lying in the US
banks to a Eurodollar Bank at a marginally higher rate of interest. The Euro
bank, in turn does not get access to the amount directly, but can lend it others
needing Dollar amounts at a rate of interest lower than that prevalent in the
US for such loans. The borrower will be able to use Dollar funds now lying in
the credit of the Euro bank, from the US banks.

The London Inter-bank Offer Rate ( LIBOR) is the arithmetic average of the
rates at which six major Institutions in London would be willing to deposit or
lend their dollar funds.

Eurodollar Futures are popular in the US. The yield on a Eurodollar Futures
contract is calculated on a 360-day basis, and is calculated as a discount from
the par value.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Eurodollar Futures are exchange settled based on the differences in prices. As
per market practice, the seller of the Eurodollar Futures is the Fixedinterest
payer. He agrees to pay a specified % on the Notional Principal in exchange
for getting back a floating rate, to be arrived at after 3 months. The buyer of
the Eurodollar Futures is the fixed interest receiver and agrees to pay the
floating rate prevalent after 3 months in exchange for the fixed interest on a
Notional principal. Thus if the price today is 97 (corresponding to an annual
interest of 3%), the seller of Eurodollar Futures banks on the interest rate going
up. If the interest rates go up to say 4%, the price will be 96 and he will gain.
Interest rates going up amount to floating rates going up. Thus the seller is
trading a fixed interest for receiving a floating interest. Conversely, the buyer
of the Futures hopes that the interest rates will come down. If it falls to say
2%, the price will be come 98 and he will gain. So the buyer agrees to give the
new interest rate in exchange for getting a fixed interest.

Like other Futures contracts, Eurodollar Futures contracts are subject to
mark-to-market

2.6 Forward Rate Agreements
For a short-term fear of interest rate changes, A Forward Rate Agreement
(FRA) can offer a good solution. A seller of an FRA will receive a fixed rate of

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

interest on a Notional Principal over the specified period in exchange for giving
a floating rate of interest.. A buyer of an FRA will receive a floating rate of
interest against paying a fixed interest.

The concept of Notional Principal is very important for FRAs. The amount is
not exchanged between the counterparties but forms the basis for determining
the payoff.

Let us take the case of a Company which has been sanctioned a loan of Rs.10
million. The loan will become operative in 3 months and the Company is
obliged to pay a floating rate of interest on the loan at 1% over the SBI PLR as
on the last date of this quarter. Suppose the loan is to be taken with effect
from 01/04/07, the SBI PLR as at 31/03/07 will be reckoned and a 1% addition
made thereto to. This will be the applicable interest rate on the loan for the 3
months from 01/04/07 to 30/06/07. The interest for the next 3-month period
(01/07/07 to 30/09/07) will be reckoned by taking the SBI PLR rate as on
30/06/07 and adding 1% to it.

At this juncture, it should be noted that the determination of bench mark
interest rate and the percentage addition/deduction thereto are matters of
contractual expediency and will vary from case to case. Also a specific contract
can stipulate as to how the bench mark floating rate is to be determined for
purposes of interest calculation. In the above example we have assumed that
SBIPLR is reckoned as of the last date of a quarter. Instead, some contracts
could stipulate that the rate ought to be the average of the three months. It is
a purely a contractual stipulation and is not rigid.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Coming back to our example our Company fears that interest rate in the
markets are likely to go up in the short run. Particularly, it fears that interest
for the quarter 01/04/07 to 30/06/07,will shoot up but expects interest rates to
stabilize in the subsequent quarters to lower levels. Therefore it wants to
safeguard against payment of high interest in the ensuing quarter.
For this purpose it can enter into an FRA promising to pay a fixed rate of
interest against receiving the benchmark floating rate (plus or minus a few
basis points).

In this example let us assume that the current SBIPLR (as on 01/01/07) is 8%.
So if interest rates were to remain at this level the Company will have to pay
9 %( SBIPLR plus 1%) on the loan for the period starting 01/04/07.

However, since it fears a rise in interest rates, the actual interest payable could
be much higher. An FRA with another counter party will ensure that the
Company pays 9% fixed on the notional principal, against receiving the
SBIPLR plus 1% from the counter party.

Before we map the payoff under the FRA in various scenarios, it is necessary
to appreciate that the FRA terms can be customized in any way. For instance
the notional principal need not be the Rs.10 million that the Company has in

239
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

mind but could be a smaller figure. Further the exchange payment in floating
rate need not exactly match the Company’s potential liability under the loan.
Thus the FRA could provide for a floating rate receipt of say SBIPLR plus 0.5%.

The FRA payoff under different rates of ultimate interest is given below.
Table V.2.1. FRA payoff (Amount in Rs.)
Interest Rate Interest Net
FRA in FRA out
rate % +1% due payment
6 7 175000 175000 225000 225000

7 8 200000 200000 225000 225000

8 9 225000 225000 225000 225000

9 10 250000 250000 225000 225000

10 11 275000 275000 225000 225000

11 12 300000 300000 225000 225000

The first column shows the interest rates in the end. The corresponding rate
+1% is the next column. Before entering into the FRA, the Company had
contracted to pay the applicable floating rate +1% to its bank. This is the
amount shown in Column 3. In terms of the FRA the Company will receive the
SBIPLR +1% from the counterparty, in exchange of paying 9% fixed. These
amounts are indicated in the next two columns. The amounts have been
calculated using the 3 month period as the basis. The last column indicates the
net amount incurred by the Company from the deal, which is the total of the
interest it pays to its bank plus the amount it pays on the FRA minus the
amount it receives from the FRA.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

In the above example, the FRA has succeeded in freezing the amount it has to
pay out, in every eventuality.

There is one more aspect to FRAs. The net payment shown in the last column
is due only on the expiry of the 3-month period. For instance the interest rates
as shown in Column 1 is as on 31/03/07, it is applicable for the period from
01/04/07 to 30/06/07, and becomes actually due on 30/06/07. Thus, if the
exchange of payment has to be done immediately on determination of date –
31/03/07 – it has be the Present Value of the amount as shown in the last
column, discounted at the ruling floating rate.

2.7 Caps
A cap is an option by which the buyer gets the right to get the difference
between the actual interest rate and a strike interest rate on a notional
principal. For example let us assume A buys a European cap from B with strike
interest rate of 8% on a notional principal of Rs.1 million, for a 3 month period.
If the interest after the three month period becomes 10%, B will be obliged to
pay A Rs.20,000(2% on Rs.1 million). The principal is purely notional and is
not exchanged. The payoff position under various interest rates, is mapped
below.
Table V.2.2. Cap payoff (Amount in Rs.)
Cap struck at 8%

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

interest CAP
rate inflow
6% 0

7% 0

8% 0

9% 10000

10% 20000

11% 30000

12% 40000

It may be noted that a cap is similar to a call option. It does not force the buyer
to a level of interest but gives him the cushion in case the interest rates go up.
Thus this is superior to buying an FRA . Here the buyer gets the best of both
the worlds. However, like any other option a cap will also entail payment of a
premium.

2.8 Floors
A floor is an option by which the buyer gets the right to get the difference
between the strike interest rate and the actual interest rate on a notional
principal. For example let us assume P buys a European floor from Q with
strike interest rate of 8% on a notional principal of Rs.1 million, for a 3 month
period. If the interest after the three month period becomes 7% Q will be
obliged to pay P Rs.10,000(1% on Rs.1 million). The principal is purely notional
and is not exchanged. The payoff position under various interest rates, is
mapped below.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table V.2.3. Floor payoff (Amount in Rs.)
Floor struck at 8%

Interest CAP
rate inflow
6% 20000

7% 10000

8% 0

9% 0

10% 0

11% 0

12% 0

It may be noted that a floor is similar to a put option. It does not force the
buyer to a level of interest but gives him the cushion in case the interest rates
come down. Thus this is superior to selling an FRA . Here the buyer gets the
best of both the worlds. However, like any other option a floor will also entail
payment of a premium.

2.9 Collars
A collar is a combination of calls and puts. Generally a collar involves buying
one option and selling the other. Thus the premium received on selling one
option goes to reasonably offset the premium paid on buying the other. In an

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

ideal situation the two premia will offset each other resulting in what is called
a costless collar.

The payoff of a typical collar is mapped below. For the purpose of the table
below, we assume that the buyer of the collar pays a premium on the call put
and gets a premium on the floor sold. The notional principal in both the cases
is Rs.1 million and the collar is costless.

Table V.2.4. Collar payoff
(Amount in Rs.)
Costless collar struck at 8%

Long Call and Short Put

Interest CAP FLOOR Total
rate flow flow COLLAR
flow
6% 0 -20000 -20000

7% 0 -10000 -10000

8% 0 0 0

9% 10000 0 10000

10% 20000 0 20000

11% 30000 0 30000

12% 40000 0 40000

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2.10 Summary
Derivatives are very useful in interest rate risk management. These basically
cater to two broad category of users – holders of bond portfolios and regular
dealers fearing interest rate changes. The Bond Portfolio manager is
concerned about possible depletion in net value consequent to changes in
interest rate. Every decline in market interest rate results in the bond portfolio
value going up and every increase in value results in the value coming down.
Interest rate Derivatives can be used to cover these risks. General borrowers
or lenders of money can also use interest rate Derivatives to cover themselves
against possible increases or decline in interest rates.

T-Bill Futures constitute the most basic of Interest rate Derivatives. These are
traded in many stock exchanges the world over. Similar to this in function is
the Eurodollar Futures which are based on the London Inter-bank Offer Rate
(LIBOR). Forward Rate Agreements (FRAs) constitute another category of
such Derivatives. FRAs are similar to Futures in terms of functions and enable
the participant to freeze levels of interest. Pure interest rate Options like caps
and floors are also useful in capturing any unforeseen value while at the same
time covering the risks.

2.11 Key words
• Bond prices

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Yield to maturity
• T-Bill Futures
• Forward Rate Agreements
• Eurodollar Futures
• Caps
• Floors
• Collars

2.12 Questions for Self- study
1) What is the broad difference between buying a call and going
short the T-Bill Futures?
2) Does the FRA always give the buyer his chosen rate of return?
3) What is the principle behind discount yields?
4) How is hedging using T-Bill Futures different from hedging using
FRAs?

3 Swaps

3.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the concept of swaps
• To understand the economics behind swaps
• To understand the principles behind a currency swap
• To understand the principles behind valuation of a swap
• To understand unwinding of swaps

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.2 Introduction
Companies are committed to certain specific liabilities in their everyday
management. Occasionally, they seek to come out of certain risky obligations
by exchanging these with others who have a mirror-image requirement. The
reasons for this “cleaning –up” could vary from Company to Company. Many
reasons exist like seeking to reduce the overall risk exposure, wanting to shift
the exposure to a new type and to generally diversify one’s portfolio.

Most of the other Derivatives and particularly the interest rate Derivatives we
saw work only on the basis of unilateral requirements. Their success assumes
a certain level of market participation and volumes in the market. Swaps, on
the other hand require a tailor-made agreement with a specific counterparty
with a similar requirement, but in the opposite direction.

There are many types of swaps. We look at interest rate swaps and currency
swaps and then seek to understand their valuation.

Swaps can also be thought as a series of Forward Rate Agreements. This is
especially so in the case of Plain Vanilla Interest Rate Swaps.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.3 Plain Vanilla Interest Rate Swaps
By far the most common and the most easily understood swap is the Plain
Vanilla Interest Rate Swap. We can work on the methodology of this swap
with an example with certain assumptions.

Let us take the case of a Company X which has an outstanding loan of Rs.10
million, which will get fully repaid in 4 years’ time. The loan had been taken
2 years back based on a floating rate of interest based on SBI PLR. The SBI
PLR at the time when the loan was taken was 9% and currently it is 10.5%.
The Company will be more comfortable if the interest rate were fixed at around
10%. Of course, the Company realizes that a fixed interest rate will not give it
the benefit of any fall in the floating rate, but taking into account its general
level of profits and other inflows, the Company would like to freeze the interest
payment at 10%.

Another Company – let us call it Company Y- has a similar loan amount, but
its liability is fixed in nature. Its policy requires it to align its interest liability
to market conditions. In the process, it is prepared to take the risk of interest
rates going up as well.

If the two companies – X and Y- enter into an agreement by which they
exchange interest payments on a notional principal for a specified period, the
purposes of both are met. In the above example, Company X will make periodic
payments to Company Y payments on a fixed basis against getting interest on
the basis of the benchmark interest rate agreed on, from Company Y. The
position can be roughly drawn up as follows

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Company X

• To pay Floating interest to its lending bank
• Will get this floating interest from the counterparty Company Y
• Will pay Company Y a fixed interest rate of 10%
In the process Company X will benefit if interest rates are actually higher than
10%. For instance if the interest rates are 12%, Company Y will pay it 12 % .
Against this, a payment of 10% fixed will be made by Company X to Company
Y. Of course the two payments will be netted. However, if the interest rates
fall to say 9%, Company X will still have to pay 10% fixed to Company Y,
against receiving 9% from Company Y. Thus, its liability will remain fixed at
10%.

Company X

• To pay Fixed interest of 10% to its lending bank
• Will get this fixed interest from the counterparty Company Y
• Will pay Company X a floating interest rate of SBIPLR.
In the process Company Y will benefit if interest rates are actually lower than
10%. For instance if the interest rates are 9%, Company X will pay it 10 % .
Against this, a payment of 9% floating will be made by Company Y to Company

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

X. Of course the two payments will be netted. Further, if the interest rates
rise to say 12%, Company Y will still have to pay 12% floating to Company X,
against receiving 10% from Company X. Thus, its liability will be floating

In the process of the swap Company A has succeeded in converting its floating
rate liability to fixed rate liability, and Company Y has converted its fixed rate
liability to a floating rate liability.

The actual terms can be varied based on the convenience of the two
counterparties. Thus, it could be that Company X may pay a fixed of 10.25%
against receiving SBI PLR -.25%, etc.

3.4 Exploiting disequilibrium in interest quotes – the Spread
differential.
In the actual market, plain vanilla swaps are used for exploiting lack of balance
in interest rate quotes. This can be seen from the following illustration:

Company P wants a loan of Rs.10 million. Its bankers have told the Company
that a fixed interest loan can be sanctioned at 10% interest, while a floating
interest rate can be sanctioned at the half-yearly SBI PLR + 1 %.

Let us assume that another Company – Company P- is also looking for a Rs.10
million loan. Its bankers have given it a quote of 11% for a fixed interest loan
and SBI PLR + 3 % for a floating interest loan.
The position can be mapped as follows:
Type of loan Company P Company Q

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Fixed 10% 11%

Floating SBIPLR + 1% SBIPLR + 3%

Here it can be observed that Company Q pays more than Company P in respect
of both Fixed and Floating loans. Obviously, Company P is better credit-rated.
However, Company Q is not paying proportionately the same level higher both
the type of loans. Thus, for the floating loan, Company Q has to pay more
excess relatively that it has to pay for the fixed rate loan. It will have to pay
1% extra on a fixed rate loan, but will have to pay 2% extra if it chooses a
floating rate loan. This is called the Spread Differential and can be exploited
by the two counterparties if certain other conditions exist.

To carry the example forward, let us assume that both Companies P and Q are
indifferent as to the type of loan that they take. They are comfortable as of
now with both a Fixed or a Floating loan. Since Company Q gets the fixed rate
loan cheaper relatively, it can borrow on the Fixed segment and Company P
can borrow on the other segment – in this case floating. This is called the
principle of Comparative Advantage. They then can swap their flows. One such
possible swap can be that Company P will pay Company Q 9.25% as its swap
flows, in return for getting SBIPLR + 1% from Company Q.
The position will then be as follows:

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table V.3.1. Plain Vanilla Swap
Company P Company Q
Borrow Borrow fixed
Floating loan loan
Pay interest -SBIPLR + Pay interest -11%
to bank 1% to bank
For swap pay -9.25% For swap pay -SBIPLR
to Company to Company +1%
Q P
For swap get SBIPLR +1% For swap get 9.25%
from from
Company Q Company P
TOTAL -9.25% -SBIPLR
+2.75%

In the process Company P ends up having a fixed liability of 9.25% interest. If
it had borrowed directly from its bankers without the swap, an fixed interest
loan would have cost it 10%. So Company P has gained 0.75% Company Q ends
up having a floating rate liability and pays interest of SBIPLR + 2.75%. This
is 0.25% lower than what it would have had to pay if it had borrowed the
floating rate directly.

In the above case, the Spread Differential of 1% has been shared by Companies
P and Q with P getting 0.75% and Q getting 0.25%. This is just a matter of
negotiation. On a different level of sharing, the swap inflows and outflows will
get rearranged to come to the new level. The two counterparties know what

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

they have to pay to their lending banks. Having decided the sharing ratio, they
know what they have to end up having to pay. These two figures enable the
actual swap flows to be drawn up.

It should be noted that this scheme will work only if the two counterparties are
indifferent as to the type of interest rates that they are going to end up paying.
If either of the parties is particular about a type of interest, then the swap will
work only if the Comparative Advantage position allows this. Thus, if
Company P was particular about having only a floating rate liability, the swap
would not have worked, since it entails P to end up having a fixed liability.

The actual swap flows can be drawn up in any manner to suit the final position.
In practice, only the differences are netted. The principal is notional and not
transferred.

Interest rate swaps might also involve an intermediary for arranging the deal
and to sometimes take over the default risk. In such circumstances, the
intermediary also has to be paid and this will be reduced from the total
available Spread Differential in a suitable manner. So the amounts to be
shared by the two counterparties and the intermediary bank have to be
determined in advance to enable the mapping of the sharing and flow.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3.5 Currency Swaps
The motivation for a currency sap arises partly out of comparative advantage
and partly out of the need to manage specific flows in a country. Thus, a U.K
firm having is operations in India will like to have an Indian loan which can be
repaid over the next six years, say, with the receipts from its operations in
India. Let us assume that the US Company has estimated its receipts from
Indian operations to range from Rs.60 million to Rs.75 million every year. So
it is in a position to comfortably repay up to Rs.60 million every year.

Suppose there is a mirror-image Indian Company having some operations in
UK. This Company is looking for a UK loan which can be repaid out of the
proceeds of its operations in UK. Suppose this Company has estimated its UK
receipts over the next six years to be in the tune of 0.7 million pounds to 1
million pounds. It can comfortably repay any loan involving annual
repayments of around 0.7 million pounds.

Let us assume that the exchange rate between the two currencies as of today
is Rupees 85 to one pound.

The UK Company will find it easier to borrow in UK rather than in India. Its
credit rating in UK will be higher and regulatory procedures will not create
any difficulties if the loan is to be in pounds. For the same reason, the Indian
Company will like to have its loan in Indian rupees. However, the actual
requirement of the two companies is in the opposite currency. Hence, one
feasible solution would be for them to borrow in the currency of their
convenience (comparative advantage) and then swap it with each other. In a

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

currency swap the principal is also exchanged. The procedure amounts to
borrowing in local currency and depositing it, while borrowing the foreign
currency. In the end both the loan and the deposit mature and are closed

Indian Borrow in Rupees
Rs.240 mn.
Co.
Borrow in 2.82 mn.
pounds Pounds
UK Co.

The amounts of loan correspond to the exchange rates prevailing as of now.
Even the interest rates as determined have a bearing on the exchange rates on
account of the principle of interest rate parity.

Table V.2.2. Currency Swap
Flows Yr.1 Yr.2 Yr.3 Yr.4 Yr.5 Yr.6

Indian Company ( in Rs.) million

Borrowed 240.00

given to UK Co. -240

paid to bank -24.00 -24.00 -24.00 -24.00 -24.00 -24.00

got from UK Co. 24.00 24.00 24.00 24.00 24.00 24.00

got from UK Co. 240

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Paid back loan -240

UK Company (in pounds) million

Borrowed 2.82

given to Indian Co. -2.82

paid to bank -0.20 -0.20 -0.20 -0.20 -0.20 -0.20

got from IndianCo. 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20

got from Indian Co. 2.82

Paid back loan -2.82

The net effect is that the Indian Company has been able to get funds from UK
(2.82 million pounds) at a rate of interest of 7%. The UK firm has been able to
get a loan of Rs.240 million Indian rupees at a rate of interest of 10%.
At the end of the tenure both these loans have to be repaid.

There are many variations to the basic currency swap model shown above. One
of the interest swap payments could be floating. Or the swap could be through
an intermediary and based on swap quotations. The easiest way of mapping a
swap flows is to treat it as a deposit by the Company of loan proceeds in its own
currency and borrowing in foreign currency. At the end both the deposit and
loan are closed.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Currency swaps will be useful only if the amount to be paid as interest as a
result of it is lower than what the Company itself would have been able to
borrow in the foreign currency. The market convention is to have swap quotes
in all-in terms. All-in calculations involve finding the internal rate of return
of the stream of flows. Unless the all-in cost of the swap is less than direct all-
in borrowing cost in the foreign currency, a swap is not worthwhile

3.6 Valuing swaps and unwinding
The value of a swap at the beginning is generally 0. The present value of the
floating rate segment and the fixed rate segments are expected to match. If
these were not expected to match, the counterparties would not have entered
into the deal at all. There could, of course, be differences in perception, but the
calculations by each must indicate that the value is 0.

At any point of time, the remaining floating interest payments need to be
discounted back at the relevant floating rate itself to come to the original value.
Since the interest factor and the discounting factor are the same, this brings
us back to the principal. The fixed payments need to be discounted at the
relevant floating rate from time to time. Thus, the discounting rate for period
1 will be different from that in period 2, because of the difference in floating
rates expected in the two periods.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

For instance let us take a situation of a loan for Rs.10000, where the floating
rates are 7.2% ( applicable to interest payment to be made one year from now).
Let us assume interest payments to be annual. The floating rates are expected
to be 7.2% after 1 year( applicable to interest payment to be made 2 years from
now) and then are expected to rise to 8% ( applicable to interest payment to be
made 3 years from now). Thus the interest payments on such a floating loan
are expected to be Rs.720, Rs.720 and Rs.800 for Years 1, 2 and 3. The principal
is to be repaid in Yr.3. The flows are as follows:

Table V.2.3. Swap flows (Amount in Rs.)
yr.1 yr.2 yr.3

Interest
payment
720 720 830

principal
repay
10000

Total 720 720 10830

Here, yr.1 flows have to be discounted back at 7.2%, year 2 flows at 7.2% and
yr.3 flows at 8%.

The principal repayment is also to be discounted back at 8%. This results in
the value coming back to the original figure of Rs.10000. Now if the fixed
interest payments of Rs.800 and the final principal of Rs.10000 are discounted
back at the relevant expected floating rate, we get a figure of Rs.9945. Thus
the Company making the fixed payments is actually paying back less than

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

what is has borrowed. So it is advantageous to it to go in for the Fixed rate
loan.
Of course, the above calculations are based on perceptions regarding interest
rates. On a different stream of expected floating rates, the calculations would
have been different.

After a swap has been entered into, one of the parties will become a loser. If
the floating rates come down to a level lower than expected, the floating payer
will be better off and vice versa. Sometimes, the suffering counterparty might
want to unwind the swap and come out of its obligations for the rest of the
period. This can be done only with the consent of the other counterparty and
is likely to involve payment of the difference amount between the fixed and
floating present values of remaining streams, apart from whatever penalty
that is agreed upon. Alternatively, the suffering counterparty could enter into
another swap which when combined with the existing swap could nullify the
flows.

3.7 Collars mimicking swaps
A costless collar will mimic a swap. Let us take a swap that involves payment
of a fixed rate of 8% interest on a given notional principal against receiving the
floating rate of interest. This is exactly equal to a collar, whereby the holder

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

has a cap struck at 8% and has written a floor with a strike price of 8%. The
payoff map is shown below:

Table V.2.4. Collars mimicking swaps
Interest Swap Swap Net Swap Long Short Net
rate in out flow Cap floor Collar
5% 5% 8% -3% 0 3% -3%

6% 6% 8% -2% 0 2% -2%

7% 7% 8% -1% 0 1% -1%

8% 8% 8% 0% 0 0 0%

9% 9% 8% 1% 1% 0% 1%

10% 10% 8% 2% 2% 0% 2%

:
3.8 Summary
Swaps are important Derivatives used in the management of interest rate risks
and currency risks. Like other Derivatives, swaps are also used by speculators.

A plain vanilla interest rate swap involves the exchange of obligations by two
counterparties in such a way, that one which has to pay a fixed rate of interest
to its lending bank gets this reimbursed in part or full from the other
counterparty. Similarly, the second counterparty gets its floating rate due to
its bank reimbursed in part or full by the first counterparty. The exact
amounts to be exchanged and the periodicity are matters of contract and will
vary from case to case.

Comparative advantage is the basis of interest rate swaps. One of the
counterparties is likely to be lesser credit-rated and hence will have to pay

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

more interest on both fixed and floating segments. However, the amounts it is
required to pay in excess may not be the same. This gives rise to an economic
phenomenon called Spread Differential, which enables the two counterparties
to reap mutual benefits.

Currency swaps stem from the same principle, but arise out of multinational
obligations. This involves exchange of flows in two different currencies. The
effective result is that the borrowing entity deposits the amount it borrows in
exchange of getting a loan in the foreign currency. At the end of the contract
both the deposit and the loan are closed. Currency swaps will be useful only if
the amount to be paid as interest as a result of it is lower than what the
Company itself would have been able to get.

After a swap has been entered into changes in circumstances will make it less
or more valuable. Sometimes companies wish to come out of their swap
obligations by entering into another swap. Unwinding a swap may involve
paying a penalty and the difference in present values to the counterparty.

3.9 Key words
• Swap
• Plain-vanilla swap
• Comparative Advantage

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Spread Differential
• Currency Swap
• Unwinding of a swap

3.10 Questions for Self- study
1) How are the swap flows in a plain vanilla swap determined?
2) Is the exchange of principal an inherent assumption under Currency
swaps?
3) How do collars mimic swaps?
4) What is the relationship between Forward Rate Agreements and
Interest Rate Swaps?

4 Credit Derivatives

4.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the need for Credit Derivatives.
• To see the demonstration of some standard Credit Derivatives.
• To understand the economic function of Credit Derivatives.

4.2 Introduction
In recent years, banking literature in India has been concentrating on
Operational Risk of Banks and the impact of the Basel II norms. While there
can be no doubt that this is a crucial feature of Bank management, the
development of Credit Derivatives which is becoming increasingly popular
abroad does not seem to have captured the imagination of the Indian Banker
to a great extent. This paper seeks to give the broad features of some common

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

derivative products and examines possible difficulties in their becoming
common in India. Admittedly, the paper looks more at issues involved than
clear solutions or possible guidelines to solve them. This is because the rules
by themselves are not an isolated piece and have to be integrated with other
policy initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India and the Government from time
to time.

The extant credit risk management practices involve monitoring and constant
follow-up on loan accounts. But cyclically, banks have the problem of having
to manage funds and risk concurrently. Credit Derivatives seek to transfer the
returns and risk of an asset portfolio without transferring the ownership per
se. They are thus off-Balance Sheet items. The basic idea is to un-bundle the
risk underlying an asset and trade it separately. The success of these
instruments will depend on a continuing market for various riskdenominated
securities and a market that follows at least the semi-strong Efficient Market
Hypothesis. The fear of misuse and the whole question of recourse and timing
thereof have all slowed down the process of their acceptance in India.

4.3 Common Credit Derivatives
Types of Credit Derivatives permitted

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The draft guidelines issued by the Working Group on Credit Derivatives
constituted by the Reserve Bank of India, seek to divide Credit Derivatives into
two broad categories.
Category 1 – involving buying and selling of specific protection in respect of
credit
Category 2 – involving swaps of total returns on assets.
Under Category 1 have been listed Credit Default Swaps, Credit Default
Options, Credit Linked Notes, and Credit Linked Deposits. And
Collateralized Debt Obligations

The present set of rules does not permit commercial banks absolute freedom in
using Credit Derivatives as buyers and sellers. Only plain instruments of the
plain vanilla type are permitted and that too and cannot be trading intent,
except to a limited extent. The deals should be on the basis of market rates
and free availability of information. A full gamut of systems and procedures
must be in place before any Bank can embark upon this activity.

4.4 Credit default swap
The Credit Default Swap involves an arrangement with a counterparty by
which the later assumes the risk of the specified underlying asset for various
types of default (called credit events). In consideration for this, the originating
Bank pays a premium. On the happening of the credit event, the Bank has a
claim on the counterparty and the latter steps into the shoes of the former for
trying to recover the dues from the default.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

There are several issues involved in the setting up of a credit default swap
agreement. Specifically the following points need attention:

• Notional Value – The value of the assets under question and how their
final values will be determined

• Maturity Value- The methodology followed for ascertaining the notional
value can be followed for maturity value too

• Premium – the extent of premium to be paid for the agreement and the
mode and timing of payment are to be specified

• Definition of credit event – the event which would unambiguously
trigger the payment of the agreed amount. Preferably the credit event
should be one that is transparent and capable of being verified

• Extent of compensation in case of default – the extent of coverage for
default should be spelt out. This could vary among various credit events

• Mode of settlement – The agreement will have to spell out the mode of
settlement and the timing of payment to be effected

• How the collaterals are treated after the payment – the counterparty
steps into the shoes of the Bank and will have the right to enforce the
collaterals. The procedure for transfer of this right and the timing
thereof has to be spelt out.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

• Reference entity for settling disputes – It would be a good idea to fix an
independent third party to whom disputes could be referred for speedy
redressal.

4.5 Total Return Swap
The Total Return Swap involves not only the passing on of the default risk, but
also the assignment of the market risk as well. Here, the Bank will undertake
to pass on periodic returns on a specified set of assets to counterparty. The
return would not only involve the revenue returns of interest, but also
appreciation/depreciation in market value. The inherent assumption under
this is that the underlying assets are traded and have a ready market. The
counterparty takes the risk of the revenue returns being not there and a
negative market return. But potentially, the counterparty can earn the full
returns and any appreciation in the assets. As a consideration, the
counterparty pays a floating rate of return to the Bank.

The motivation of the bank could be that some of its heavy debts should be
changed and converted into more certain inflows. The counterparty might
want to take a little more risk and wishes to exchange relatively low interest
rates for potentially higher bond returns.

4.6 Collateralized Debt Obligations ( CDOs)
The Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) are a way of bundling credit and
selling it off to various interested counterparties depending upon their

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

riskreturn balance. For this, the bundle of debt instruments (loans or bonds
with varying tenures, returns and perceived risks) are bundled together and
assigned to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed for the purpose. The SPV
in turn informs to interested counterparties about the existence of this bundle.
The bundle itself is then split into suitable tranches of differing risks and
returns. For instance, the first 5% of default (highest risk) of the portfolio can
be labeled as Tranche 1 and can carry a very high return. The investor segment
subscribing to this tranche will be willing to assume the higher risk for the
higher expected return. This will be akin to subscribing to a junk bond. The
tranches after this will have reduced levels of expected risk and
correspondingly reduced levels of expected return. The last tranche can even
be less risky than the original portfolio (since the expected level of risk has
been taken over by earlier tranches) and need only be rewarded with low
return. This will be similar to investing in an AAA bond. For the originating
bank, the loan has effectively been collected, while for the counterparty this is
an avenue of investment based on risk aversion. The SPV is merely a
facilitator.

The regulator might insist on basis capital adequacy norms to ensure no
default of the participants to the credit derivative transaction. These
stipulations, however, make it difficult for a deal to become operational.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.7 An example of CDO
A Bank has a portfolio of loans worth Rs.100 million on which there are some
chances of default. The portfolio currently yields 9%. The Bank wants to come
out of this holding. Through an intermediary a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
is launched and the asset is transferred to it. The SPV then divides this
portfolio into various tranches of risk. For instance scheme like the one shown
below could be drawn up:

Table V.4.1. CDO demonstration
Tranche Level of risk
Amount Yield
no. from default
1 Rs.20 mn. First 10% 16%

2 Rs.15 mn. Next 15 % 11%

3 Rs.25 mn Next 15% 9%

4 Rs.40 mn. Rest 4.75%

Under this the subscribers to the first tranche get a higher return but are
exposed to great risk. The next tranche takes some risk, but lesser than the
first tranche and hence is rewarded only with a lower return and so on. The
last tranche has virtually no risk, since the first 40% of risk of default will be
borne by the other tranches. This tranche thus becomes as good as a AAA bond,
and enjoys the lowest return. It may be noted that the weighted average of the
returns to all the four tranches comes to 9%, which the yield of the portfolio in
the first place.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.8 The Indian scenario
In the Indian scenario a number of Banks would have situations that can safely
warrant a Credit Default Swap. The motivation of the counterparty has to be
based on core competence to monitor outstanding,, the need to have this
portfolio in their Balance Sheet to augment income, and to optimize the overall
risk exposure. The last point is subject to the regulatory authority specifying
capital adequacy and liquidity norms for the maximum extent of such
exposure.

The Total Return Swap is fraught with more regulatory problems. Here the
Bank seeks to transfer the entire return on the debt portfolio in return for a
floating rate yield. The Bank’s motivation is again to get rid of the risk involved
and pay the price for it by accepting a lower return. The counterparty’s
motivation is to have an avenue for investment with moderate risk and
corresponding high return. The problems arise as to what securities the first
Bank can be allowed to assign. In particular the following points merit
consideration:
1. Definition of Total return. This involves the market yield and the
tradability or otherwise of the underlying. Also, broad norms for
categorizing various investments in terms of Duration and Tenure may
be needed to make the volatility recognizable

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

2. The counterparty takes the market risk as well, so it has to be clear as
to how the market rate is recognized and how frequently. In India, debt
instruments have not started trading in great volumes and so price
finding may be a task in itself.
3. The benchmark floating rate that the counterparty pays from time to
time to the originating Bank. The frequency of rate determination and
the timing of payments have to be clarified
4. Penalties for delay
5. Termination of the contract
6. Arbitration

Lastly, Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) require a number of issues to
be clarified and regulated if it is to be done on a regular and large-scale basis.
Some of the broad issues involved are highlighted hereunder:
1. The bundling of the instruments to be transferred has to be done under
broad rules as to asset standard, maturity, and nature of securities.
Ultimately the SPV works under the principle of an ascertainable yield
for the whole basket split into separate yields commensurate with risk
taken by each tranche.
2. Classification of the assets in the bundle with criteria as to yield to
maturity, duration and tenure has to be clear
3. Norms as to the formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have to
clarify as to fixation of capital adequacy, management charges and
reporting.
4. One of the contentious issues in CDO is the fixation of the risk-return
balance for the tranches. Norms may have to go into the maximum

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

number of tranches, the range of yield differences in the tranches, and
some measure of “Beta” for the respective risk taken by each tranche, so
that potential participants can assess the position fast.
5. The periodicity of payment of returns, assignment of the right to receive
the returns to the SPV, the passing on of respective tranche returns, and
maintenance of accounts by the SPV to satisfaction of the participants
and the regulator, all need attention.
6. Lastly, the timely resolution of disputes by arbitration should be
provided for in the rules.

4.9 Other aspects
For these instruments to gain popularity more frequent deals involving these
should take place in the market and Banks should have perceivable benefits
from these. For this, we need a general market that is aware of the nuances
and willing to go ahead with a novel instrument with unknown risks. The
Regulator has a crucial role in bringing about awareness and developing a
measure of safety in deals. At first, it is likely that the regulation is very
stringent resulting in high capital adequacy, and risk coverage, but over a
period of time with experience of this deal, these are likely to become very
popular.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Apart from the general uses for credit risk management, Credit Derivatives
can also develop into a useful tool for Asset Liability Management (ALM) of
Banks. Banks who follow strategies based on Gap analysis will be concerned
about certain Rate Sensitive Assets or Liabilities and one of the additional tools
in the hands of the Bank would be to enter into a credit derivative transaction.

4.10 Summary
The Credit Derivative Market in India is in a nascent stage. With the full
development of the fixed income securities market and the advent of interest
rate Derivatives, the logical next step is the popularity of Credit Derivatives.
The advantages of having a vibrant credit derivative market will be felt by all
sections of the market. The world over, innovations are being made to this
broad type of derivative and it is only a matter of time before we have this
working in full swing in India. Before that, the regulatory authorities will need
to have clear guidelines in place for the Banks and participating Institutions.
These guidelines will need to be flexible while taking care of possible misuse.
That is indeed a challenge.

The total returns swap and credit default swap are two common instruments
of Credit Derivatives. They seek to transfer the returns from the risky asset
to an interested buyer. Collateralized Debt Obligations create sub-bundles
from a pool of risky assets. The idea is to have a special purpose vehicle take
over the risky asset and then re -issue it as several instruments of varied risk
and return. Credit Derivatives are slowly gaining popularity and acceptance
in India..

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

4.11 Key words
• Credit Derivatives
• Total returns swap
• Collateralized debt obligations
• Credit default swap
• Special purpose vehicle

4.12 Questions for Self- study
1) Does the buyer of the risky security in a total swap get a higher return
on default not occurring?
2) In a CDO what is the role of the special purpose vehicle?
3) In a credit default swap what are common trigger events?
5 Risk Management with Derivatives

5.1 Objectives
The objectives of this unit are:

• To understand the basic steps in risk management using Options Greeks

• To understand the variability of portfolio value as a result of changes in
Delta and Gamma

• To understand the application of Delta Gamma hedging
• To have an overview of the hedging process in the Corporate Sector

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5.2 Introduction
Derivatives have a great deal of use in Risk Management. A judicial use of
Derivatives in the right proportion enables a Corporate manger to optimize his
risk-return matrix.

Basic hedging has already been discussed at the appropriate places in earlier
Chapters. Here we look at some sophisticated use of Option Greeks to manage
risk better.

One inherent assumption under most of the models given below should be
borne in mind. As we have seen, Options Pricing is a complex subject and there
cannot be any unanimity as to what factors influence the prices more. Besides,
the Black-Scholes model need not always reflect the correct price, although the
model is in great use and arguably the best suited. However, in the examples
and strategies illustrated below, we have taken the calculations as per the
Black-Scholes model for computational purposes. If the markets consistently
ignore the Black-Scholes model and go by another framework (there is no
evidence of this), then we need to re-compute our projections on that basis.

Option Greeks change in value with changes in parameters and so require
frequent watching. So any strategy that uses the values of Option Greeks needs
to be reviewed frequently.

Lastly, hedging is a continuous process involving planning and execution.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Derivatives offer an important additional tool in the hands of the Corporate
Finance Head to manage risk. However, most derivatives have some minus
points as well and these have to be balanced by the Company..

5.3 Hedging using Greeks

Position Delta
Position Delta refers to the Weighted average Delta of a portfolio of holdings
(of stock and Options) on the same underlying. Position Delta measures the
extent to which a portfolio changes for a small change in stock prices. This can
be understood easily with an example.

Table V.5.1. Data on stock and delta (Price in Rs.)
Instrument Quantity Price Delta

Stock 100 38 1

Call -50 1.34 0.42

Put 50 3.30 -.66

Portfolio Value 3898
(Weighted Average)

A portfolio manager has 100 shares long of a stock (present market price
Rs.38), and has written 50 calls on it with an Exercise Price of 40, and has

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

bought 50 puts on the same stock with an Exercise Price of Rs.41. Let us
assume the volatility to be 25%, the time to go to be 3 months (0.25) and the
risk free interest rate to be 7%. Inputting the above data into the BlackScholes
calculator we get the following:

The position delta is ((1*100 )+ (0.42* -50) +(-0.66 *50) = 46. This signifies that
an increase of the stock price by Re.1 will result in the portfolio value going up
by Rs.46. This can be verified as follows.

Let us assume the stock price goes up to Rs.39 the very next day. The relevant
figures then will be as follows:

Table V.5.2. Impact of change in stock price (Price in Rs.)
Instrument Quantity Price Delta

Stock 100 39 1

Call -50 1.80 0.50

Put 50 2.69 -.58

Portfolio Value 3945
(Weighted Average)

The actual value goes up by 47. But for rounding errors, the Position Delta
reflects changes reasonably accurately for small changes in the underlying.
After the change the Delta of the portfolio will also remain stable if the Gamma
is not substantial.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Apart from arbitrage operations, many market makers use this strategy to lock
up fluctuations arising out of stock movements, so that they can concentrate
on changes in bid-ask spreads
Position Gamma
Position Gamma is the weighted average of Gammas of the various components
in the portfolio. We know that the Gamma of a call is equal to the Gamma of
a put and that it cannot be negative. However, a portfolio gamma can be
negative if it contains some short positions.

Let us take the case of a stock currently priced at Rs.80. A call on the stock
with 3 month maturity, 25% volatility, a risk free rate of return of 7% and
strike price of Rs.85 will have a price of 2.55, a Delta of 0.3888 and Gamma of
0.0383, as per the Black-Scholes model.

Let us take a Delta-hedged portfolio. It may be recalled that Delta Hedging
involves going short the calls and buying Delta times the stock. The position
is as follows:

Table V.5.3. Position Gamma – Price in Rs.
Instrument Quantity Price Delta Gamma

Call -100 2.55 0.388 0.0383

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Stock 39 80 1 0

Portfolio Value 2865 0 -3.83

The Position Gamma of the portfolio is just the weighted average of the
Gammas of the components of the portfolio. We get (-100*0.0383) + (39*0)=
3.83

Let us see the impact of small changes in the stock price on the very next day.

Table V.5.4. Impact of price changes on Gamma- Price in Rs.
Stock Call Call Call
price price Delta Gamma
82 3.4061 0.4661 0.0388

78 1.8498 0.3138 0.0364

When the price goes up to Rs.82, the portfolio value will be (-100*3.4061)
+ (82 * 39) = 2857.

When the price comes down to Rs.78, the portfolio value will be (-100*1.85)
+ (78 * 39) = 2857.

Either way the portfolio changes to a minimum extent but in the negative
direction. This happens whenever the Portfolio Gamma is negative. The
portfolio, of course, is delta hedged, so the value will not deteriorate by much.
Conversely, if the Portfolio Gamma had been positive ( as a result of a Delta

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

hedged portfolio consisting of long puts and long stock), the changed value
would still have been around the Delta-hedged level, but would have moved
slightly to the positive direction.

This is demonstrated below:

Let us take a delta-hedged portfolio consisting of long puts and long delta times
the stock. As in the last case, the stock is currently priced at Rs.80 and we seek
to go long to the extent of 100 puts at an Exercise Price of Rs.85. There are 3
months to go in the contract the risk-free rate is 7%. And the volatility is 25%.

Table V.5.5. Delta hedging with puts – Position Gamma- Price in Rs.
Instrument Quantity Price Delta Gamma

Put +100 6.08 -0.611 0.0383

Stock 61 80 1 0

Portfolio Value 5488 0 3.83

The position gamma of the portfolio is (100*0.0383) + (61*0)= 3.83
Let us see the impact of small changes in the stock price on the very next day.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Table V.5.6. Impact of price changes and Put Gamma- Price in Rs.
Stock Put Put Put
price price Delta Gamma
82 4.93 -.53 0.0388

78 7.37 -.69 0.0364

When the price goes up to Rs.82, the portfolio value will be (100*4.93) + (82 *
61) = 5495.
When the price comes down to Rs.78, the portfolio value will be (100*7.37)
+ (78 * 61) = 5495.
Either way the portfolio changes by a small margin, but in the positive
direction.

If Gamma is small, Delta moves slowly and so rebalancing need not be very
frequent. Position Gamma gives an indication of how much the portfolio’s
Delta will fluctuate because of stock movements. This, in turn, gives an
indication of the re-balancing strategy to be followed.

5.4 Delta-Gamma hedging
Delta hedging works for small changes in stock prices. However, if the portfolio
manager wants to be more certain about the success of his strategy, he must
hedge the Gamma as well. The objective is to be not only Delta hedged but also
hedged for Gamma movements. Not only is the Delta of the portfolio made 0,
but the Gamma too is made 0, so that changes in prices of stock will not affect
changes in value of the portfolio (a result from Delta- hedging), but will not
substantially change the value of the Delta itself ( a result from Gamma

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

hedging). This ensures that the portfolio need not be rebalanced from time to
time.
An example will show the effect of this.
Let us take the following situation:

Table V.5.7. Delta-Gamma hedge – facts (Amount in Rs.)
Stock Price 120

Strike Price 125

Volatility 15%

Risk-free rate 8%

Time 3 months

A trader wants has sold 100 calls on the above strike price at a premium of
Rs.2.50. (This can be verified from the Black-Scholes calculator). She wants to
be Delta-Gamma hedged. The Delta of the call is 0.4051 and the Gamma
0.0431.

To be delta-hedged the Delta times the number of stock has to be bought. This
entails buying of 41 shares at the current market price of Rs.120. The portfolio
value is:

Table V.5.7. Portfolio position for Delta-Gamma hedge- Amount in Rs.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Instrument Quantity Price Delta Gamma

Call -100 2.5 0.4051 0.0431

Stock 41 120 1 0

Portfolio Value 4670 0 -4.3

In order to be Gamma hedged as well, another call on the same stock has to be
used in conjunction with this to make the total Gamma 0 along with the
Delta of 0. Suppose there is another call going with a strike price of Rs.130.
Its call price as per the Black-Scholes calculator will be Rs.1.11, and its Delta
and Gamma will be 0.22 and 0.03 respectively.

Step 1 – Solve for Gamma of portfolio to be 0
We have to compute the position we have to take in the new Call (with strike
price Rs.130) in order to make the original portfolio of -100 call (strike price
Rs.125) and long 41 stock, Gamma neutral
0 = (0.0431*-100) + (0* 41) + (x * 0.03)
Solving we get that we need 143.66 (say 144) numbers of new calls (Exercise
Price Rs.130) to make the portfolio Gamma neutral

Step 2- Making the portfolio Delta- neutral
So the portfolio now consists of (-100) calls of Exercise Price Rs.125, and +144
calls of Exercise Price Rs.130) along with some stock. The number of stock to
be held has now to be adjusted in such a way that the total Delta equals 0.

0 = (0.4051*-100) + (1* S) + (144x * 0.22)

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Solving we get S to be 8.83. We require 8.83 (say 9) shares to make the
portfolio Delta- neutral.
The Delta- Gamma-Neutral portfolio will consist of
-100 calls (Exercise Price Rs.125)
+144 calls (Exercise Price Rs.130)
+9 shares

Let us verify our finding for some changes in stock prices and take two
scenarios by which stock prices go to Rs.122 and Rs.118.

Table V.5.8. Delta-Gamma hedge- verification
(Amount in Rs)

Call (strike Call (strike Total
Scenario Stock
125) 130)
Base case 9 -100 144
position
Rs.120 Rs.2.5 Rs.1.11 Rs.989.84
If stock price Rs.122 Rs.3.40 Rs.1.63 Rs.992.72
becomes 122
If stock price Rs.118 Rs.1.78 Rs.0.73 Rs.989.12
becomes
Rs.118

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

The portfolio value remains at around the base-case level. All the figures are
taken using the Black-Scholes calculations.

5.5 Discussion on Hedging Policy
A Company’s risk management policy will depend upon a number of factors.
At the outset, it is necessary to estimate the levels of expected return that
the Company expects from its various operations and the risk it is being
exposed to.

This involves a two-way analysis of the return and fluctuations to the return
likely. The word “risk” denotes the levels to which the expected returns can
fluctuate based on various scenarios. The firm has to take a calculated view of
the risk and the levels to which risk should be reduced. The following points
may be noted in this connection:
1. In an ideal market, higher expected returns can be got only by taking
correspondingly higher levels of risk. A Company has to evolve a policy
of the level of risk it wants to expose itself to and correspondingly plan
for its returns.
2. The risk levels could be analyzed from two specific angles – the business-
related risk and financial risk. Business-related risk is what all
companies will be exposed to because of factors of production,
governmental policy, environmental issues, tax exposure, competition to
the industry etc. Financial risk, on the other hand, is more micro in
nature and depends on the Company’s policy regarding use of debt
finance, its treasury operations and its reinvestment policy.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

3. Operational risk arising out of business risk can be covered by having
suitable contractual terms and sometimes by buyback or abandonment
clauses.
4. Financial risks need to be covered with financial instruments.
Derivatives play a big part in this process.
5. These risks may arise out of uncertainty of financial parameters like
exchange rates or asset prices. These risks could then be covered by
using Futures or Options. The instruments to be used will have different
levels of cost and utility. Thus, Futures lock up prices at a fairly low
cost, while Options will give the Company both the advantages, but at a
higher cost.
6. In forming a risk management policy, the Company has to take into
account the cost-benefit angle. There could be several views on this. A
threshold Company might not want to take too much risk on its inflow
and might hedge all its inflows. An established high-growth Company
might decide to leave a little bit of its financial risk open so that it can
reap benefits from favorable movements. This is done with the
confidence that even if the conditions are adverse, the loss can be borne
because of the overall success of the Company. Some successful
companies have been known to remain conservative and continue to
manage risk with hedging, and not be tempted by possibilities of risky
super profits.

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

7. The extent of hedging required is also a matter of policy and financial
prudence. Hedging is basically an insurance. One may not always need
100% coverage. Even if one wants it, instruments can guarantee only
substantial coverage and not always full converge. Within that
framework, Companies have been known to form specific policies
beforehand as to
a. The extent of hedge to be carried out for various types of exposure
b. The instrument to be used for hedge
c. The review process of the hedge and rebalancing
d. The limit to cost of hedging
e. The goal from the hedging process
8. Value at Risk is a statistical computation which will enable the
Corporate manger to know the maximum extent to which the portfolio’s
value can deteriorate over a given period with a probability of 95% or
99%. This figure (always in absolute amounts) gives a fairly good
indication of the maximum risk exposure that the Company has.
Accordingly a suitable risk management policy can be drawn up.
9. The use of Derivatives in unison or in combination offers a wonderful
opportunity for the Corporate Finance head. Derivatives in their simple
form have become very popular and over time the use of sophisticated
instruments is also likely to go up.
10. Derivatives have great use as hedging instruments in the stock portfolio
sector. One major criticism of Derivatives has been that the hedge
practice using these instruments is not always transparent. Over time
it is necessary to have regulatory systems within the

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Company to make sure that errors of judgment do not occur. Derivatives
accounting is also a complex subject. Exposure management and
suitable hedging of excessive exposure is the key to good portfolio
management

5.6 Summary
Option Greeks are widely used in risk management. Inherently, the corporate
hedger assumes that the prices and other parameters relating to the Options
will remain within predictable limits. The Black-Scholes model is used for
calculating the Greeks. For small changes in the underlying hedging policies
using Greeks are likely to succeed.

Position Delta refers to the average Delta of the portfolio. Position Delta will
tell us the extent to which the portfolio value is likely to go up or down given a
small change in the stock prices. Position Delta is likely to be very accurate
only for small changes in stock value.

Position Gamma relates to the average Gamma of the portfolio. Gamma
measures the extent to which Delta itself is likely to change with change in
stock prices. One of the great anxieties of a Delta hedger is the need to
frequently rebalance the portfolio. If the Gamma is low or close to 0, the need

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

to change the portfolio is not very frequent. A position Gamma gives the
measure of overall Gamma for a portfolio

A Delta Gamma hedge makes sure that the portfolio manager’s hedging
strategy works correctly and that Delta’s rebalancing frequency will not greatly
affect the portfolio’s hedge performance.

In framing a Corporate Hedging Policy, the extent of return desired, the risk
to be taken to meet the return expectation and the instruments to be used all
play a role. Though the use of Derivatives in a naked way is fraught with risk,
their use in Risk Management and Hedging make them powerful tools of the
future.

5.7 Key words
• Position Delta
• Position Gamma
• Delta Gamma Hedge
• Hedging
• Value at Risk

5.8 Questions for Self- study
1) How is Position Gamma calculated? Can it be negative?
2) What does a positive Position Gamma show?
3) What is the principle behind the Delta-Gamma hedge?
4) If prices do not conform to the Black-Scholes model, will the above use
of Greeks still work?

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

5) What factors must be considered by the Corporate Fund Manager in
drawing up a hedging policy?

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INDEX 138, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147,
151, 165, 169, 178, 183, 186, 201,
American Option, 4, 73, 75, 77, 78, 104, 226, 227, 228, 229, 232, 233
108, 109, 110, 111, 113, 116, 117, Cap, 199, 213
119, 151, 152 Capital Assets Pricing Model, 47,
At-the money, 73 174 Collar,
Basis, 2, 34, 36, 40 201, 213
Bear Spread, 131, 132, 134, 139 Collateralized Debt Obligations, 6, 217,
Beta, 3, 38, 61, 62, 63, 64, 67, 68, 176, 219, 222, 224
222 Cost of carry, 2, 23, 27, 44, 51, 52
Binomial model, 1, 5, 141, 153, 161, Covered call, 96, 103 Covered
162, 164, 172 call writing, 103
Black-Scholes model, 1, 5, 163, 164,
165, 169, 172, 173, 176, 183, 225, Covered Call writing, 3, 91, 95, 103
228, 236, 237 Credit Default Swaps, 217
Bounds, 111 Currency Swap, 6, 209, 210, 215
Delta, 1, 5, 7, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185,
Box Spread, 137, 138, 139
186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 225, 226,
Bull Spread, 128, 129, 130, 139 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233,
Butterfly spread, 4, 134, 135, 139, 140 236, 237
Call, 4, 78, 80, 82, 87, 91, 94, 95, 96, Delta Hedging, 1, 5, 181, 185, 190, 228
100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107,
Delta-Gamma hedge, 231, 232, 233,
108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 123, 124,
237
126, 127, 128, 131, 132, 135, 137,

292
FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

Discount yield, 192 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 236,
Dividend, 42, 61, 110, 116 237 Hedging, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 28, 29, 39, 40,
Dividends, 111 Early 57,
61, 67, 181, 183, 185, 190, 193, 226,
Exercise, 111 228, 233, 235, 237
Eurodollar Futures, 191, 195, 201, In the money, 73
202 Index Futures, 1, 3, 54, 56, 57, 60, 62,
European Option, 73, 74, 77, 78, 111, 63, 67 Log normal
147, 164, 182
distribution, 172
Exercise Price, 71, 72, 74, 75, 77, 81,
84, 87, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 106, 107, Margins, 32
109, 110, 111, 122, 123, 125, 128, Mark to market, 32
131, 133, 134, 136, 141, 142, 143, Mimicking portfolio, 103
144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151,
No-arbitrage condition, 111
152, 153, 154, 157, 166, 167, 169,
Optimal Hedge Ratio, 3, 61, 67, 68, 154,
170, 183, 226, 229, 232, 233
161
Floor, 200 Options, 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 70, 71,
Forward, 6, 10, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 86, 87, 89,
23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 91, 100, 102, 104, 105, 108, 109, 110,
37, 41, 52, 53, 68, 191, 195, 201, 202, 111, 113, 116, 117, 119, 122, 141,
203, 215 142, 147, 149, 151, 152, 153, 154,
FRA, 195, 197, 198, 199, 200, 202 158, 160, 161, 164, 168, 169, 171,
Futures, 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17, 19, 174, 176, 178, 181, 182, 189, 202,
21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 217, 225, 226, 234, 236, 239, 240
33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42,
Position Delta, 226, 227, 236, 237
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52,
53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, Position Gamma, 228, 230, 236, 237
64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 75, 76, 77, 78, Protective puts, 103
97, 98, 99, 102, 103, 191, 192, 193, Put, 1, 3, 4, 78, 83, 85, 87, 91, 97, 98,
194, 195, 201, 202, 234, 239, 240 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 114, 117, 123,
Gamma, 5, 7, 187, 188, 189, 190, 225, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 130, 134,
137, 138, 141, 143, 144, 145, 146,
147, 151, 178, 183, 188, 201, 226,

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FUNDAMENTALS OF FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES

227, 230
Put-call parity, 146
Random walk, 172

Spread Differential, 206, 208, 214,
215
Stock Exchange, 55, 57, 75, 192
Straddle, 4, 122, 123, 124, 139
Strangle, 4, 125, 126, 139
Strike price, 73, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 87,
107, 109, 110, 114, 115, 116, 117,
118, 168
Swap, 6, 14, 204, 207, 210, 212, 213,
215, 217, 219, 221
Synthetic portfolio, 103
T-Bill, 193, 201, 202
Tenure, 110, 170, 221
Theta, 5, 187, 188, 189, 190
Value at Risk, 235, 237
Vega, 5, 187, 188, 189, 190
Volatility, 1, 5, 168, 171, 172, 173, 174,
179, 184, 231, 239, 240
YTM, 191

294