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Empirical Evidence of Pricing Efficiency in Niche Markets

Description: Unique and proprietary data of the illiquid, one-year non cancelable for three month Bermudan swaps (1Y NC 3M swaps) and one-year non callable for three months Bermudan CDs (1Y NC 3M CDs), provides evidence of market efficiency. The 1Y NC 3M swap and 1Y NC 3M CD markets efficiently reflected unexpected economic information. The 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums also followed the European one-year into three-month (1Y into 3M) swaption volatilities. Swaption premiums were computed by pricing non-optional instruments using the quoted 1Y NC 3M swap rates and the par value swap rates and taking the difference between them. Swaption premiums ranged from a slight negative premium to a 0.21 percent premium. The average swaption premium during the study period was 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent. The initial swaption premiums were over 0.20 percent while the final swaption premiums were 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent. Premiums peaked and waned throughout the study period depending on market uncertainty as reflected in major national economic announcements, Federal Reserve testimonies and foreign currency devaluations. Negative swaption premiums were not necessarily irrational or quoting errors. Frequently, traders obligated to provide market quotes to customers do not have an interest and relay that lack of interest to the customer through a nonaggressive quote. The short-dated 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums closely followed 3M into 1Y swaption volatilities, indicating the 3M into 1Y swaption market closely follows the 1Y NC 3M swaption market and that similar market factors affect both markets or both markets efficiently share information. Movements in 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums and in 3M into 1Y swaption volatilities reflected a rational response by market participants to unexpected economic information. As market uncertainty decreased in the market place, risk measured both by swaption premiums and swaption volatilities decreased; vice verse when economic factors showed ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Koch, Sandra Idelle