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Portfolio liquidation in dark pools in continuous time

  • Peter Kratz
  • Torsten Sch\"oneborn
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    We consider an illiquid financial market where a risk averse investor has to liquidate a portfolio within a finite time horizon [0,T] and can trade continuously at a traditional exchange (the "primary venue") and in a dark pool. At the primary venue, trading yields a linear price impact. In the dark pool, no price impact costs arise but order execution is uncertain, modeled by a multi-dimensional Poisson process. We characterize the costs of trading by a linear-quadratic functional which incorporates both the price impact costs of trading at the primary exchange and the market risk of the position. The liquidation constraint implies a singularity of the value function of the resulting minimization problem at the terminal time T. Via the HJB equation and a quadratic ansatz, we obtain a candidate for the value function which is the limit of a sequence of solutions of initial value problems for a matrix differential equation. We show that this limit exists by using an appropriate matrix inequality and a comparison result for Riccati matrix equations. Additionally, we obtain upper and lower bounds of the solutions of the initial value problems, which allow us to prove a verification theorem. If a single asset position is to be liquidated, the investor slowly trades out of her position at the primary venue, with the remainder being placed in the dark pool at any point in time. For multi-asset liquidations this is generally not the case; it can, e.g., be optimal to oversize orders in the dark pool in order to turn a poorly balanced portfolio into a portfolio bearing less risk.

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    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1201.6130
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    Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1201.6130.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
    Date of revision: Aug 2012
    Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1201.6130
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://arxiv.org/

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    1. Grossman, S.J. & Miller, M.H., 1988. "Liquidity And Market Structure," Papers 88, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
    2. Robert Almgren, 2003. "Optimal execution with nonlinear impact functions and trading-enhanced risk," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 1-18.
    3. Schied, Alexander & Schoeneborn, Torsten, 2008. "Risk aversion and the dynamics of optimal liquidation strategies in illiquid markets," MPRA Paper 7105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
    5. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
    6. Conrad, Jennifer & Johnson, Kevin M. & Wahal, Sunil, 2003. "Institutional trading and alternative trading systems," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-134, October.
    7. Aurelien Alfonsi & Antje Fruth & Alexander Schied, 2010. "Optimal execution strategies in limit order books with general shape functions," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 143-157.
    8. Bertsimas, Dimitris & Lo, Andrew W., 1998. "Optimal control of execution costs," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-50, April.
    9. Bruce Ian Carlin & Miguel Sousa Lobo & S. Viswanathan, 2007. "Episodic Liquidity Crises: Cooperative and Predatory Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2235-2274, October.
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