Risk Arbitrage


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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  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 licenses does a hedge fund manager need to have?

    A hedge fund manager does not necessarily need any specific license to operate a fund, but depending on the type of investments ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What do hedge fund analysts do?

    A hedge fund analyst primarily provides support to a portfolio manager on how to best structure the hedge fund's investment ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When are mutual funds considered a bad investment?

    Mutual funds are considered a bad investment when investors consider certain negative factors to be important, such as high ... Read Full Answer >>

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