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Is the Jump-Diffusion Model a Good Solution for Credit Risk Modeling? The Case of Convertible Bonds

Xiao, Tim (2013): Is the Jump-Diffusion Model a Good Solution for Credit Risk Modeling? The Case of Convertible Bonds.

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Abstract

Tim Xiao: This paper argues that the reduced-form jump diffusion model may not be appropriate for credit risk modeling. To correctly value hybrid defaultable financial instruments, e.g., convertible bonds, we present a new framework that relies on the probability distribution of a default jump rather than the default jump itself, as the default jump is usually inaccessible. The model is quite accurate. A prevailing belief in the market is that convertible arbitrage is mainly due to convertible underpricing. Empirically, however, we do not find evidence supporting the underpricing hypothesis. Instead, we find that convertibles have relatively large position gammas. As a typical convertible arbitrage strategy employs delta-neutral hedging, a large positive gamma can make the portfolio high profitable, especially for a large movement in the underlying stock price.

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