Applications of conic finance on the South African financial markets
Sonono, Masimba Energy
MetadataShow full item record
Conic finance is a brand new quantitative finance theory. The thesis is on the applications of conic finance on South African Financial Markets. Conic finance gives a new perspective on the way people should perceive financial markets. Particularly in incomplete markets, where there are non-unique prices and the residual risk is rampant, conic finance plays a crucial role in providing prices that are acceptable at a stress level. The theory assumes that price depends on the direction of trade and there are two prices, one for buying from the market called the ask price and one for selling to the market called the bid price. The bid-ask spread reflects the substantial cost of the unhedgeable risk that is present in the market. The hypothesis being considered in this thesis is whether conic finance can reduce the residual risk? Conic finance models bid-ask prices of cashflows by applying the theory of acceptability indices to cashflows. The theory of acceptability combines elements of arbitrage pricing theory and expected utility theory. Combining the two theories, set of arbitrage opportunities are extended to the set of all opportunities that a wide range of market participants are prepared to accept. The preferences of the market participants are captured by utility functions. The utility functions lead to the concepts of acceptance sets and the associated coherent risk measures. The acceptance sets (market preferences) are modeled using sets of probability measures. The set accepted by all market participants is the intersection of all the sets, which is convex. The size of this set is characterized by an index of acceptabilty. This index of acceptability allows one to speak of cashflows acceptable at a level, known as the stress level. The relevant set of probability measures that can value the cashflows properly is found through the use of distortion functions. In the first chapter, we introduce the theory of conic finance and build a foundation that leads to the problem and objectives of the thesis. In chapter two, we build on the foundation built in the previous chapter, and we explain in depth the theory of acceptability indices and coherent risk measures. A brief discussion on coherent risk measures is done here since the theory of acceptability indices builds on coherent risk measures. It is also in this chapter, that some new acceptability indices are introduced. In chapter three, focus is shifted to mathematical tools for financial applications. The chapter can be seen as a prerequisite as it bridges the gap from mathematical tools in complete markets to incomplete markets, which is the market that conic finance theory is trying to exploit. As the chapter ends, models used for continuous time modeling and simulations of stochastic processes are presented. In chapter four, the attention is focussed on the numerical methods that are relevant to the thesis. Details on obtaining parameters using the maximum likelihood method and calibrating the parameters to market prices are presented. Next, option pricing by Fourier transform methods is detailed. Finally a discussion on the bid-ask formulas relevant to the thesis is done. Most of the numerical implementations were carried out in Matlab. Chapter five gives an introduction to the world of option trading strategies. Some illustrations are used to try and explain the option trading strategies. Explanations of the possible scenarios at the expiration date for the different option strategies are also included. Chapter six is the appex of the thesis, where results from possible real market scenarios are presented and discussed. Only numerical results were reported on in the thesis. Empirical experiments could not be done due to limitations of availabilty of real market data. The findings from the numerical experiments showed that the spreads from conic finance are reduced. This results in reduced residual risk and reduced low cost of entering into the trading strategies. The thesis ends with formal discussions of the findings in the thesis and some possible directions for further research in chapter seven.