scorecardresearchArbitrage: How to make the most of inefficient markets?

Arbitrage: How to make the most of inefficient markets?

Updated: 16 Jul 2022, 07:46 AM IST
Arbitrage is a product of market imperfections and if the market were efficient, there would be no room for arbitrage. To learn more about the types of arbitrages, keep reading.
Arbitrage is a product of market imperfections and if the market were efficient, there would be no room for arbitrage.

Arbitrage is a product of market imperfections and if the market were efficient, there would be no room for arbitrage.

Arbitrage is the practice of purchasing and selling an item at the same time on several platforms, exchanges, or locations in an effort to profit from the price difference. The quantity of the underlying item purchased and sold should match when entering an arbitrage deal.

The only thing that is recorded as the trade's net profit is the price difference. Although pricing variations are frequently tiny and transient, when amplified by a big volume, the rewards can be spectacular.

Arbitrage results from market inefficiencies. Undervaluation or overvaluation of an asset may result from inefficiencies for a number of reasons, such as the cost of transactions, individual preferences, or inadequate information. The opportunity for arbitrage would not exist if the market were efficient.

Types of Arbitrage

Merger Arbitrage- Arbitrage involving merging entities, such as two publicly listed companies, is known as merger arbitrage. It entails an investor buying shares of the target business at a discount in order to benefit after the acquisition closes.

Statistical Arbitrage- It is an arbitrage method that looks for trading opportunities between financial assets with various market prices by using sophisticated statistical models. These models often rely on mean-reverting techniques and need a lot of processing power.

Convertible Arbitrage- The convertible arbitrage strategy is purchasing convertible securities, such as fully convertible debentures or partially convertible debentures, then short- selling the underlying securities when a misprice is apparent.

Negative Arbitrage- Negative arbitrage is the term used to describe the opportunity lost when a borrower's interest rate on its debt is more than the interest rate at which those investment are made.

READ MORE: Can arbitrage mutual funds give you the stability you need in this volatile market?

Why is this technique not used more frequently ?

People could wonder why the tactic isn't employed more often if the trade technique just incorporates the buy-low-and-sell-high mentality. The truth is that arbitrage deals are incredibly transient, and price differences between assets can vanish in a matter of minutes. This is due to the mechanism provided by arbitrage itself, which prevents prices from significantly deviating from fair value over extended periods of time.

Technology advancements have made it very challenging to profit from price mistakes in the market. Computerized trading systems keep track of changes in related financial instruments, so they may react swiftly to any ineffective pricing structures, removing the possibility within minutes.

Additionally, identical assets with various values typically exhibit a minor price difference, which is less than what the transaction costs of an arbitrage deal would be. The chance for arbitrage is therefore effectively eliminated.

Due to inherent market inefficiencies, arbitrage is the practice of taking advantage of the price differences between an asset traded on one market and the same item or a derivative traded on another market.

In reality, arbitrage possibilities are rare since algorithm-based trading has mostly replaced traditional arbitrage trading in established markets. These algorithms find and seize arbitrage opportunities quickly, making it simple for human traders to stay up.

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First Published: 16 Jul 2022, 07:46 AM IST