Price manipulation: theoretical models and empirical investigation

Guidi, Giacomo (2022) Price manipulation: theoretical models and empirical investigation, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze statistiche, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10349.
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Understanding why market manipulation is conducted, under which conditions it is the most profitable and investigating the magnitude of these practices are crucial questions for financial regulators. Closing price manipulation induced by derivatives’ expiration is the primary subject of this thesis. The first chapter provides a mathematical framework in continuous time to study the incentive to manipulate a set of securities induced by a derivative position. An agent holding a European-type contingent claim, depending on the price of a basket of underlying securities, is considered. The agent can affect the price of the underlying securities by trading on each of them before expiration. The elements of novelty are at least twofold: (1) a multi-asset market is considered; (2) the problem is solved by means of both classic optimisation and stochastic control techniques. Both linear and option payoffs are considered. In the second chapter an empirical investigation is conducted on the existence of expiration day effects on the UK equity market. Intraday data on FTSE 350 stocks over a six-year period from 2015-2020 are used. The results show that the expiration of index derivatives is associated with a rise in both trading activity and volatility, together with significant price distortions. The expiration of single stock options appears to have little to no impact on the underlying securities. The last chapter examines the existence of patterns in line with closing price manipulation of UK stocks on option expiration days. The main contributions are threefold: (1) this is one of the few empirical studies on manipulation induced by the options market; (2) proprietary equity orderbook and transaction data sets are used to define manipulation proxies, providing a more detailed analysis; (3) the behaviour of proprietary trading firms is studied. Despite the industry concerns, no evidence is found of this type of manipulative behaviour.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Guidi, Giacomo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
market manipulation, stochastic optimal control, expiration day effects, quantitative finance
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2022

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