Cash-And-Carry-Arbitrage

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DEFINITION of 'Cash-And-Carry-Arbitrage'

A combination of a long position in an asset such as a stock or commodity, and a short position in the underlying futures. This arbitrage strategy seeks to exploit pricing inefficiencies for the same asset in the cash (or spot) and futures markets, in order to make riskless profits. The arbitrageur would typically seek to "carry" the asset until the expiration date of the futures contract, at which point it would be delivered against the futures contract. Therefore, this strategy is only viable if the cash inflow from the short futures position exceeds the acquisition cost and carrying costs on the long asset position.

BREAKING DOWN 'Cash-And-Carry-Arbitrage'

Consider the following example of cash-and-carry-arbitrage. Assume an asset currently trades at $100, while the one-month futures contract is priced at $104. In addition, monthly carrying costs such as storage, insurance and financing costs for this asset amount to $3. In this case, the trader or arbitrageur would buy the asset (or open a long position in it) at $100, and simultaneously sell the one-month futures contract (i.e. initiate a short position in it) at $104. The trader would then carry the asset until the expiration date of the futures contract, and deliver it against the contract, thereby ensuring an arbitrage or riskless profit of $1.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is arbitrage?

    Arbitrage is basically buying in one market and simultaneously selling in another, profiting from a temporary difference. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>

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