1

Main Strategic Equity Derivative Instruments

This chapter provides a good understanding of the equity derivative instruments most widely used by equity derivatives professionals. This is the most complex and technical chapter of this book. It aims to solidify the reader's technical knowledge of these instruments. I have also tried to emphasize the practical aspects of these instruments when applied to strategic equity transactions. I start with a discussion of less complex instruments such as equity forwards and equity swaps. I continue covering stock lending transactions – although not derivative instruments, they nonetheless are a key component of strategic equity transactions. Options are addressed next, starting with the basics and progressing to an explanation of option sensitivities and delta-hedging. Finally, I include more specialized equity derivative products such as dividend swaps, variance swaps and volatility swaps.

1.1 EQUITY FORWARDS

1.1.1 Equity Forwards

Equity forwards allow an investor to take bullish or bearish views on an underlying stock, a basket of stocks or a stock index.

  • A physically settled equity forward is an agreement between two counterparties whereby one counterparty – the buyer – agrees to buy from the other counterparty – the seller – a specified number of shares of a specified stock or basket of stocks, at a specified time in the future – the settlement date – at a pre-agreed price – the forward price. This instrument is called a physically ...

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