Risk Arbitrage

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DEFINITION of 'Risk Arbitrage'

A broad definition for three types of arbitrage that contain an element of risk:

1) Merger and acquisition arbitrage - The simultaneous purchase of stock in a company being acquired and the sale (or short sale) of stock in the acquiring company.

2) Liquidation arbitrage - The exploitation of a difference between a company's current value and its estimated liquidation value.

3) Pairs trading - The exploitation of a difference between two very similar companies in the same industry that have historically been highly correlated. When the two company's values diverge to a historically high level you can take an offsetting position in each (e.g. go long in one and short the other) because, as history has shown, they will inevitable come to be similarly valued.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Risk Arbitrage'

In theory true arbitrage is riskless, however, the world in which we operate offers very few of these opportunities. Despite these forms of arbitrage being somewhat risky, they are still relatively low-risk trading strategies which money managers (mainly hedge fund managers) and retail investors alike can employ.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How do I use the news to find arbitrage opportunities?

    Traders can use the news to identify special arbitrage trading opportunities known as risk arbitrage. Two types of risk arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens to the stock prices of two companies involved in an acquisition?

    When a firm acquires another entity, there usually is a predictable short-term effect on the stock price of both companies. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is a "linear" exposure in Value at Risk (VaR) calculation?

    A linear exposure in the value-at-risk, or VaR, calculation is represented by positions in stocks, bonds, commodities or ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why are the terms 'merger' and 'acquisition' always used together if they describe ...

    The terms "merger" and "acquisition" are used together because they both describe processes by which two companies become ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What level of mergers and acquisitions is common in the chemical sector?

    The level of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the chemicals sector has surged to an all-time high since the turn of ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does the risk of investing in the aerospace sector compare to the broader market?

    Investing in the aerospace sector is riskier than investing in the broader market. The most accurate measure of sector volatility, ... Read Full Answer >>
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