What are the best merger arbitrage opportunities today

Arbitrage - process, types & benefits

Everything about arbitrage

Definition: Exploitation of price differences of an equivalent good on two markets

Species: Currency arbitrage, differential arbitrage, equalization arbitrage, spatial arbitrage, time arbitrage

Advantage: Risk-free profit within a very short time

Disadvantage: Profits are very small, large stakes are necessary

Target groups: Big banks, institutions, professional investors

Exploiting Price Differences: What Is Arbitrage?

If you find an inexpensive option, then you take advantage of it: Bei Price differences and simultaneous value equality everyone should opt for the cheaper option. Whether in the next shop or on vacation, when the exchange rates are worthwhile, it is always attractive to buy regional specialties cheaply.

The same also applies to the Stock exchange. If there are price differences, investors can reap almost risk-free profits. However, this requires speed, because prices are always on the move and any imbalance is compensated for again very quickly.

In such a case, one speaks of a Arbitrage business. It is ultimately about that Exploitation of price differences of a good or a security different trading venues, with the aim of making a completely risk-free profit.

Examples of arbitrage deals

In the case of the worthwhile Vacation business Such an arbitrage business would look like this: Take goods bought locally at low prices home and sell them there with a surcharge. An illustrative example of an arbitrage business on the stock exchange could look like this:

An investor buys shares in a company in Frankfurt with a value of € 40 each and at the same time sells them on the London Stock Exchange for € 42 each. This means that he can book a profit of € 2 per item - arbitrage profit. There was no risk throughout the trade. The two businesses then increase demand and with it the price of the share in Frankfurt, while it falls in London. As a result, the two prices align again and the arbitrage opportunity runs out.

Such deals are possible because the market is imperfect. If he were like in that business theory, there would be no possibility of arbitrage, because price differences would not exist.

History of Arbitrage

Arbitrage can be traced back to Italy 14th century trace back. During this time, trade in and around the Mediterranean flourished like hardly anywhere else. Goods were bought cheaply, shipped and resold at another location at a higher price, depending on how the situation wassupply and demand was. Products from the Orient were very popular in Europe, at the same time there were products there that were available in small quantities elsewhere, despite the need.

Even then this trade was called arbitrio. The system was popular. Merchants traveling through from other regions also took up the method, and it spread across the entire continent and ultimately all over the world. Today, world trade can no longer be imagined without arbitrage. Become every second profitable and risk free Transactions between different trading venues.

However, before modern arbitrage, with all its specific variables, saw the light of day, many markets had to meet Outside participants first off to open. Just as different nations and peoples got to know each other over the centuries and began to trade with one another, it was not until the 1950s that the so-called currency convertibility was introduced, the free and unlimited exchangeability from one currency to another.

What presented great advantages for the arbitrage trade, however, also brought disadvantage with itself: Because of the ever faster technical development, the transparency in the markets has increased significantly. Price differences are therefore quickly recognized and are low, so that arbitrage deals are usually only profitable if they are with large sums of money be made.

How do price differences arise on the stock exchanges?

The price of a product, whether it is offered on the stock exchange or in a store, always depends on how great the current demand and the current supply are. In one perfect market is there no variability in supply and demand, that is, it is only available for sale at a specific price. However, this does not correspond to reality.

If it is summer, winter jackets are not in demand and are cheaper, if offered at all. At the same time, the price of ice cream can be significantly higher compared to winter, because many people want to cool down. It is the same with trading at different trading venues. If a good is in little demand at location A but is strongly offered and at location B is in high demand but not offered much, the goods cost differently even if the quality is the same.

What kind of differences can be exploited?

Arbitrage profits, however, cannot only be achieved with direct price differences. Also at Rate fluctuationsof currencies or at Interest rate differentials profits are possible without risk. All you have to do is walk through a foreign city on vacation and you will see many different prices at the money exchange offices. Depending on whether many or few people exchange money at this location, the exchange rates also differ.

In the case of interest rate arbitrage, you can Differences in returns, especially between different countries. If the interest rate abroad is higher than at home, capital will be exported for a short time, while it will be imported if the interest rate at home is higher than abroad.

Differentiation from arbitrage & speculation

Even if it doesn't seem like it at first glance, there are somekey differences between arbitrage and speculation.

The investment is risk-free.The investment is risky.
The profit margin is relatively small, so large sums are usually used.The profit margin is usually large, even with low stakes.
The knowledge of a profit is certain, buying and selling are carried out almost in parallel on fixed terms.Profits are unsafe and subject to speculation (as is the name).
Market, exchange rate and interest rate differences can be exploited.The profit is (if successful) achieved through price increases.
The profit is simple and predictable.Profit is not always easy to predict.

Exploiting Price Differences: What Types of Arbitrage Are There?

The theory of arbitrage not only distinguishes between different prices, but also between different ways of arbitrage. In this way, foreign exchange, difference, compensation, time and space arbitrage can be distinguished.

What is currency arbitrage?

Foreign exchange arbitrage takes advantage of differences between the price and rate of an object. The same object (in this case a currency) differently valuable.

By the simultaneous buying and selling profit is generated from one currency at two different trading venues. By adjusting supply and demand, prices are steadily adjusting again. Will a specific currency on a Trading place with a surcharge traded, one speaks here sometimes of a "premium". These surcharges are then often associated with the region, e.g. B. “Kiwi Premium” for a premium in New Zealand.

What is differential arbitrage?

The differential arbitrage is the most original kind an arbitrage business. Due to differences in price for a good in different places financial differences createdthat generate profit for the actor.

Buying and selling are included right away connected with each other. Nowadays this can work almost simultaneously via online brokers for securities, for example.

What is equalization arbitrage?

The third form of arbitrage is equalization arbitrage. It involves buying a security or product in a market that very cheap is.

Money is used here for example one place, the one particularly favorable return having. Here there are no countertrade, However, credits are offset. By using this form of arbitrage, local differences in the market are evened out and ultimately disappear.

What is space arbitrage?

The space arbitrage is one Umbrella term for equalization and differential arbitrage. It is of central importance that a financial product is bought and sold at different trading venues so that a profit can arise from a difference in prices, exchange rates or interest rates. The trader does not necessarily have to be physically in one place, the Internet connects the trader to trading venues all over the world.

Special case: the time arbitrage

The last form, time arbitrage, is a completely different concept. Here it is not the place of trade that plays a decisive role, but the one Time between buying and selling one position.

Basically, this concept is not an arbitrage in the strict sense, because the business is neither clearly defined nor risk-free. It's kind of like a kind ofSpeculative business, which tries to gain advantages from futures and foreign exchange transactions.

Price Differences in Practice: How Does Arbitrage Work?

To explain the concept of arbitrage again in detail, here is another example:

A Japanese cattle farmer owns a herd of special, high-quality cattle that are only native to Japan and have only reproduced there for centuries. Owing to cultural backgrounds it is also not allowed, or at least not very common, to eat beef on site. The local demand for meat from these cattle is therefore low, the supply is large, and the demand is virtually non-existent.

Now the cattle farmer receives a visit from a friend from France who is absolutely enthusiastic about the meat. He has meat regularly transported to France for his own use and is not afraid of the high export, import and transport costs. After all, the French had the idea of ​​offering the meat to other Europeans for sale.

While he pays his Japanese friend's local price of € 35 for a kilo of meat, his compatriots pay him an impressive € 235 per kilo and are still happy about the good price-performance ratio. The Difference of 200 € the French, of course, share fairly with the ranchers.

In this case it is a classic space arbitragewhich actually is a kind of Cultural arbitrage is. Because different cultural conditions apply in one place than in another, profits can be generated between different trading locations.

Arbitrage ensures market transparency

At the same time, arbitrage also has a positive effect on the market, because it largely determines a Adjustment of supply and demandbetween different markets. If the price differences were not exploited, the prices would remain different and the market would ultimately to collapse.

Only when the gaps are exploited and closed through the interaction of varying supply and demand does one come about overarching market transparency and the adjustment of prices. Even if the arbitrageur does not explicitly want the alignment and preferablyunlimited use he works towards the theoretical formation of a perfect market, even if it is never reached.

Definition: The Cash Futures Arbitrage

Arbitrage can also be used for temporary price differences between the futures and cash markets. This procedure falls under the term “cash futures arbitrage” or “cash and carry arbitrage”. The cash market is also known as the spot or locomotive market and is a trading platform on which financial instruments are soldwithin two days Be handled piece by piece.

With the counter-model, the futures market, individual financial instruments are also settled over periods longer than two days. There is a Commitment and trust relationship between the two market participants. If a price on the futures market is higher than on the cash market, purchases are made on the cash market and resold on the futures market. Here, too, there is an arbitrage gain.

Arbitrage for Investors: Advantages & Limits

Now why should an investor engage in arbitrage? The business only serves savvy trading professionals or may as well private investors benefit from arbitrage?

The argument in favor of the concept of fast, risk-free trading is the fact that trading no significant risk includes. Regardless of whether you are trading in stocks, foreign exchange, precious metals, warrants or other securities, recognizable price differences can make profits quickly and, above all, practically risk-free. The only requirement is that the relevant good is at least two different stock exchanges is traded and this happens in quick succession, at best in parallel.

In addition, the arbitrage business can also be used to create a to present suitable protection or to minimize losses. This is done by providing an appropriate investor Opposite position take at the previous conclusion.


Entering into an opposing position is also known as "hedging". This protection originally gave its name to the so-called hedge funds, which, however, are often associated with risky investment strategies.

Should Retail Investors Arbitrage?

For Private investors however, is arbitrage not very interesting. On the one hand, profits can be achieved risk-free, which is quite attractive. On the other hand, they are Profit margins very low and usually require a high capital sum right from the start. This also brings an increased risk into play if an unforeseen event occurs between buying and selling.

If sudden price fluctuations at the wrong moment lead to spontaneous price changes, this can also be the case with arbitrage transactions Damage arise, especially when large sums of money are used.

Conclusion: price differences can be exploited

With arbitrage, investors benefit from small price, rate and interest rate differences between different markets. Supply and demand are not the same everywhere and adapt relatively slowly between different markets. So let yourself be advantages Generate when a product is bought cheaply in one place and at the same time sold again at a high price in another place.

However, modern information and communication systems and the associated market transparency reduce the price difference to low cents, which is often the case large trading volumes required are to generate significant profits. At the same time, the price differences level out again and again, which means that the profit window does not remain open permanently.

Thus, it is mainly institutional traders, credit institutions and insurance companies that use arbitrage. Small investors can rarely benefit, even if the freedom from risk makes the concept quite interesting.

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