Exchange-traded derivative

Option, the arithmetic average of the Exchange-traded derivative contract are standardized derivative contracts such as futures and options contracts that are transacted on an organized futures exchange. They are standardized and require payment of an initial deposit or margin settled through a house. Since the contracts are standardized, accurate pricing models are often available. To understand which derivative is being traded a standardized naming convention has been developed by the exchanges, that shows the expiry month and strike price using special letter codes.

Over the Counter derivatives Exchange-traded derivative

Over the Counter (OTC) derivatives are traded between two parties (bilateral negotiation) without going through an exchange or any other intermediaries. OTC is the term used to refer stocks that trade via dealer network and not any centralized exchange. These are also known as unlisted stocks where the securities are traded by broker-dealers through direct negotiations.


Currency option (also known as a forex option) is a contract that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain currency at a specified exchange rate on or before a specified date. For this right, a premium is paid to the seller.

Currency options are one of the most common ways for corporations, individuals or financial institutions to hedge against adverse movements in exchange rates.

  • Call options provide the holder the right (but not the obligation) to purchase an underlying asset at a specified price (the strike price), for a certain period of time. If the stock fails to meet the strike price before the expiration date, the option expires and becomes worthless. Investors buy calls when they think the share price of the underlying security will rise or sell a call if they think it will Selling an option is also referred to as ''writing'' an option.
  • Put options give the holder the right to sell an underlying asset at a specified price (the strike price). The seller (or writer) of the put option is obligated to buy the stock at the strike price. Put options can be exercised at any time before the option expires. Investors buy puts if they think the share price of the underlying stock will fall, or sell one if they think it will rise. Put buyers - those who hold a "long"- put are either speculative buyers looking for leverage or "insurance" buyers who want to protect their long positions in a stock for the period of time covered by the option.
  • American option is a version of an options contract that allows holders to exercise the option rights at any time before and including the day of expiration. An American style option allows investors to capture profit as soon as the stock price moves favorably.
  • European Option is a version of an options contract that limits execution to its expiration date. In other words, if the underlying security such as a stock has moved in price an investor would not be able to exercise the option early and take delivery of or sell the shares. Instead, the call or put action will only take place on the date of option maturity.
  • Asian option (also known as average price option) is an option whose payoff is determined with respect to the (arithmetic or geometric) average price of the underlying asset over the term of the option.
  • While the payoff of a standard (American and European) option depends on the price of the underlying asset at a specific point of time e. the exercise date, the payoff of an Asian option depends on the average price of the underlying asset that prevailed over a period of time i.e. the term of the option.
  • There are two types of Asian options with respect to the method of averaging: in arithmetic Asian price of the underlying is used in payoff calculations; while in geometric Asian options, geometric average is used.
  • Asian options have relatively low volatility due to the averaging mechanism. They are used by traders who are exposed to the underlying asset over a period of time such as consumers and suppliers of commodities, etc.

Swaps Interest Rate Swaps

In an interest rate swap, the parties exchange cash flows based on a notional principal amount (this amount is not actually exchanged) in order to hedge against interest rate risk or to speculate. For example, imagine ABC Co. has just issued $1 million in five-year bonds with a variable annual interest rate defined as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 1.3% (or 130 basis points). Also, assume that LIBOR is at 2.5% and ABC management is anxious about an interest rate rise.

Commodity Swaps

Commodity swaps involve the exchange of a floating commodity price, such as the Brent Crude oil spot price, for a set price over an agreed-upon period. As this example suggests, commodity swaps most commonly involve crude oil.

Currency Swaps

In a currency swap, the parties exchange interest and principal payments on debt denominated in different currencies. Unlike an interest rate swap, the principal is not a notional amount, but it is exchanged along with interest obligations. Currency swaps can take place between countries. For example, China has used swaps with Argentina, helping the latter stabilize its foreign reserves. The U.S. Federal Reserve engaged in an aggressive swap strategy with European central banks during the 2010 European financial crisis to stabilize the euro, which was falling in value due to the Greek debt crisis.

Debt-Equity Swaps

A debt-equity swap involves the exchange of debt for equity – in the case of a publicly-traded company, this would mean bonds for stocks. It is a way for companies to refinance their debt or reallocate their capital structure.

Total Return Swaps

In a total return swap, the total return from an asset is exchanged for a fixed interest rate. This gives the party paying the fixed-rate exposure to the underlying asset-a stock or an index. For example, an investor could pay a fixed rate to one party in return for the capital appreciation plus dividend payments of a pool of stocks.

Credit Default Swap (CDS)

A credit default swap (CDS) consists of an agreement by one party to pay the lost principal and interest of a loan to the CDS buyer if a borrower defaults on a loan. Excessive leverage and poor risk management in the CDS market were primary causes of the 2008 financial crisis.