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.

BREAKING DOWN '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. Is my IRA/Roth IRA FDIC-Insured?

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, is a government-run agency that provides protection against losses if ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. What does a high turnover ratio signify for an investment fund?

    If an investment fund has a high turnover ratio, it indicates it replaces most or all of its holdings over a one-year period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Does index trading increase market vulnerability?

    The rise of index trading may increase the overall vulnerability of the stock market due to increased correlations between ... Read Full Answer >>

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