How Do US Options Traders "Smirk" on China? Evidence from FXI Options
Motivated by the rising attention to the Chinese equity and equity options markets, we investigate the shape and dynamics of the implied volatility (IV) curve of options written on the FXI, the FTSE/Xinhua China 50 Index exchange-traded fund (ETF). The FXI options market is the largest and most active China-targeted options market. We demonstrate that the IV curve of FXI options can be quantified by three factors, the level, slope and curvature, by adopting the methodology of Zhang and Xiang (2008), and usually has a smirk shape. We further study the term structure of the IV factors and find that, on average, the smirk becomes steeper and more convex as the maturity of the options increases. Throughout our sample the level and curvature are usually positive and the slope is usually negative. The term structure of the level is upward sloping, while those of the slope and curvature are downward sloping. The implications of our findings also provide empirical features that an FXI option pricing model must be able to produce, namely the average risk-neutral volatility, skewness and excess kurtosis need to be positive, negative and slightly positive, respectively. Lastly, we provide evidence that the information in the quantified IV factors have some predictive power for the monthly FXI ETF returns, in and out of sample.
Advisor: Zhang, Jin; Gehricke, Sebastian
Degree Name: Master of Business
Degree Discipline: Department of Accounting and Finance
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: FXI options; FXI options; China equities; Implied volatility; FXI smirk; China equities; Implied volatility; FXI smirk
Research Type: Thesis