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Risk and return in convertible arbitrage: Evidence from the convertible bond market

Author

Listed:
  • Agarwal, Vikas
  • Fung, William H.
  • Loon, Yee Cheng
  • Naik, Narayan Y.

Abstract

In this paper, we identify and document the empirical characteristics of the key drivers of convertible arbitrage as a strategy and how they impact the performance of convertible arbitrage hedge funds. We show that the returns of a buy-and-hedge strategy involving taking a long position in convertible bonds ('CBs') while hedging the equity risk alone explains a substantial amount of these funds' return dynamics. In addition, we highlight the importance of non-price variables such as extreme market-wide events and the supply of CBs on performance. Out-of-sample tests provide corroborative evidence on our model's predictions. At a more micro level, larger funds appear to be less dependent on directional exposure to CBs and more active in shorting stocks to hedge their exposure than smaller funds. They are also more vulnerable to supply shocks in the CB market. These findings are consistent with economies of scale that large funds enjoy in accessing the stock loan market. However, the friction involved in adjusting the stock of risk capital managed by a large fund can negatively impact performance when the supply of CBs declines. Taken together, our findings are consistent with convertible arbitrageurs collectively being rewarded for playing an intermediation role of funding CB issuers whilst distributing part of the equity risk of CBs to the equity market.

Suggested Citation

  • Agarwal, Vikas & Fung, William H. & Loon, Yee Cheng & Naik, Narayan Y., 2010. "Risk and return in convertible arbitrage: Evidence from the convertible bond market," CFR Working Papers 10-19, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfrwps:1019
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/43704/1/641902255.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Almazan, Andres & Brown, Keith C. & Carlson, Murray & Chapman, David A., 2004. "Why constrain your mutual fund manager?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 289-321, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bali, Turan G. & Brown, Stephen J. & Caglayan, Mustafa Onur, 2012. "Systematic risk and the cross section of hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 114-131.
    2. Funga, William & Hsiehb, David A., 2013. "Hedge Funds," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    3. Duca, Eric & Dutordoir, Marie & Veld, Chris & Verwijmeren, Patrick, 2012. "Why are convertible bond announcements associated with increasingly negative issuer stock returns? An arbitrage-based explanation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2884-2899.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hedge funds; Convertible Bonds; Convertible arbitrage; Supply; Risk Factors;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G19 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Other
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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