Is Warrant Really a Derivative? Evidence from the Chinese Warrant Market
43 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2010
Date Written: December 14, 2009
China launched her warrant market in August 2005 in the split share structure reform of listed companies. As up to now, equity trading on margin and short-sale of any form are still prohibited in China. This warrant market enables investors to trade on information that otherwise might be prohibitively expensive to trade on. The Chinese warrant market created top trading volume and turnover with only a handful of different warrants traded.
This paper first studies the Chinese warrant market. Empirical evidence shows that the market prices of warrants are much higher systematically than the Black-Scholes prices with historical volatility. Moreover, the paper documents ample evidence that the one-dimensional diffusion model does not apply well in the Chinese warrant market. The prices of a warrant and its underlying asset do not support the monotonicity, perfect correlation and option redundancy properties. The paper also studies the cumulated gains of a delta-hedged warrant portfolio. In the Chinese warrant market, the cumulated delta-hedged gains for almost all expired warrants are negative. The negative gains are mainly driven by the volatility risk, and the trading values of the warrants for puts and the market risk for calls. The investors are trading some other risks in addition to the underlying risk.
Keywords: Warrants, the Chinese warrant market, Option pricing model
JEL Classification: G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation