EARLY EXERCISE OPTIONS WITH DISCONTINUOUS PAYOFF

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Min Gao

Abstract

The main contribution of this thesis is to examine binary options within the British payoff mechanism introduced by Peskir and Samee. This includes British cash-or-nothing put, British asset-or-nothing put, British binary call and American barrier binary options. We assume the geometric Brownian motion model and reduce the optimal stopping problems to free-boundary problems under the Markovian nature of the underlying process. With the help of the local time-space formula on curves, we derive a closed form expression for the arbitrage-free price in terms of the rational exercise boundary and show that the rational exercise boundary itself can be characterised as the unique solution to a non-linear integral equation. We begin by investigating the binary options of American-type which are also called `one-touch' binary options. Then we move on to examine the British binary options. Chapter~2 reviews the existing work on all different types of the binary options and sets the background for the British binary options. We price and analyse the American-type (one-touch) binary options using the risk-neutral probability method. In Chapters~3 ~4 and ~5, we present the British binary options where the holder enjoys the early exercise feature of American binary options whereupon his payoff is the `best prediction' of the European binary options payoff under the hypothesis that the true drift equals a contract drift. Based on the observed price movements, if the option holder finds that the true drift of the stock price is unfavourable then he can substitute it with the contract drift and minimise his losses. The key to the British binary option is the protection feature as not only can the option holder exercise at unfavourable stock price to a substantial reimbursement of the original option price (covering the ability to sell in a liquid option market completely endogenously) but also when the stock price movements are favourable he will generally receive high returns. Chapters~3 and~4 focus on the British binary put options and Chapter~5 on call options. We also analyse the financial meaning of the British binary options and show that with the contract drift properly selected the British binary options become very attractive alternatives to the classic European/American options. Chapter~6 extends the binary options into barrier binary options and discusses the application of the optimal structure without a smooth-fit condition in the option pricing. We first review the existing work for the knock-in options and present the main results from the literature. Then we examine the method in \cite{dai2004knock} in the application to the knock-in binary options. For the American knock-out binary options, the smooth-fit property does not hold when we apply the local time-space formula on curves. We transfer the expectation of the local time term into a computational form under the basic properties of Brownian motion. Using standard arguments based on Markov processes, we analyse the properties of the value function.

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Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2018