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Triangular Arbitrage in the ForexMarket: Emerging versus Developed markets
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Over the last decade, researchers have attempted to show how efficient the markets are by using Fama’s Efficiency Market Hypothesis (EMH). The theory states that an investor cannot increase his returns without taking additional risk. The markets can be efficient in different forms depending on the information included in the traded asset. It is quoted that: "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". However, the topic still remains disputable since researchers have introduced controversial findings after investigating different markets. Overall, emerging markets have been characterized with higher volatility which consequently declares for market imperfections. Commonly, these market inefficiencies are quickly captured by the eye of the investors who are lurking for potential benefits through exploiting them. These are the so called arbitrage opportunities which exist on different level of impact, depending on the attitude of the market. The existence of arbitrage is clear evidence against Fama’s theory and it has been documented in numerous studies. Unfortunately those events occur rarely and disappear in a matter of seconds, thus; is highly competitive to capitalize. Over the last decade high frequency trading (HFT) became popular on different markets and it allowed traders to make decisions and execute transactions in a matter of milliseconds using algorithms. The market we are interested in is the Forex market which is a decentralized market where currencies from all over the world are traded. Main participants include multinational banks which rely heavily on HFT. The method used to benefit from inefficiency is called triangular arbitrage and it involves selling and buying 3 sets of currency pairs in times when a parity is violated. The goal of this study is to answer the following research question, “Is there a difference in triangular arbitrage opportunities between emerging markets and developed ones?” The main objective of this research is to examine how the number of arbitrage occurrences varies considering different market characteristics. Furthermore, the originality of the research stems from the comparison between strategies using currencies from developed economies and emerging ones. Moreover, the additional academic value comes from the analysis of a new dataset that has not yet been examined. Lastly, our results make an empirical contribution into a country’s economy by reducing market inefficiencies and increasing economic stability. Our sample consists of quantitative data totaling to 2.4 million observations per quotation taken from 2011 and 2013 for currencies picked using a non-probability convenience method based on their property to be converted to EUR and USD currency and availability of information. The research revealed that differences between the two types of market exist, and indicates that the “early” markets possess higher arbitrage activity in contrast to the mature economies. These results should boost the potential for a better trading management and upgrade the profit growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
Efficient Market Hypothesis, Triangular arbitrage, Magnitude, Developed markets, Emerging markets, Forex, Currencies, High Frequency Trading, Arbitrage Opportunities.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90714OAI: diva2:730613
Educational program
Master's Programme in Finance
Available from: 2014-08-11 Created: 2014-06-28 Last updated: 2014-08-11Bibliographically approved

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