Badshah, Ihsan Ullah
(Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010)
Economics and Society
Modeling and forecasting of implied volatility (IV) is important to both practitioners and academics, especially in trading, pricing, hedging, and risk management activities, all of which require an accurate volatility. However, it has become challenging since the 1987 stock market crash, as implied volatilities (IVs) recovered from stock index options present two patterns: volatility smirk(skew) and volatility term-structure, if the two are examined at the same time, presents a rich implied volatility surface (IVS). This implies that the assumptions behind the Black-Scholes (1973) model do not hold empirically, as asset prices are mostly influenced by many underlying risk factors. This thesis, consists of four essays, is modeling and forecasting implied volatility in the presence of options markets’ empirical regularities.
The first essay is modeling the dynamics IVS, it extends the Dumas, Fleming and Whaley (DFW) (1998) framework; for instance, using moneyness in the implied forward price and OTM put-call options on the FTSE100 index, a nonlinear optimization is used to estimate different models and thereby produce rich, smooth IVSs. Here, the constant-volatility model fails to explain the variations in the rich IVS. Next, it is found that three factors can explain about 69-88% of the variance in the IVS. Of this, on average, 56% is explained by the level factor, 15% by the term-structure factor, and the additional 7% by the jump-fear factor. The second essay proposes a quantile regression model for modeling contemporaneous asymmetric return-volatility relationship, which is the generalization of Hibbert et al. (2008) model. The results show strong negative asymmetric return-volatility relationship at various quantiles of IV distributions, it is monotonically increasing when moving from the median quantile to the uppermost quantile (i.e., 95%); therefore, OLS underestimates this relationship at upper quantiles. Additionally, the asymmetric relationship is more pronounced with the smirk (skew) adjusted volatility index measure in comparison to the old volatility index measure. Nonetheless, the volatility indices are ranked in terms of asymmetric volatility as follows: VIX, VSTOXX, VDAX, and VXN. The third essay examines the information content of the new-VDAX volatility index to forecast daily Value-at-Risk (VaR) estimates and compares its VaR forecasts with the forecasts of the Filtered Historical Simulation and RiskMetrics. All daily VaR models are then backtested from 1992-2009 using unconditional, independence, conditional coverage, and quadratic-score tests. It is found that the VDAX subsumes almost all information required for the volatility of daily VaR forecasts for a portfolio of the DAX30 index; implied-VaR models outperform all other VaR models. The fourth essay models the risk factors driving the swaption IVs. It is found that three factors can explain 94-97% of the variation in each of the EUR, USD, and GBP swaption IVs. There are significant linkages across factors, and bi-directional causality is at work between the factors implied by EUR and USD swaption IVs. Furthermore, the factors implied by EUR and USD IVs respond to each others’ shocks; however, surprisingly, GBP does not affect them. Second, the string market model calibration results show it can efficiently reproduce (or forecast) the volatility surface for each of the swaptions markets.