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Can I Do An Arbitrage Trade Between Two Exchanges


Ever wondered if you could make the most out of arbitrage trading between different exchanges? With arbitrage trading, you can potentially exploit price differences and seize profitable moments. However, it is essential to understand the strategies, conditions, and timing involved. 

In this article, we will provide everything you need to know about arbitrage trading so that you can carefully analyse and make calculative decisions. So, delve deep into it to explore the doors to new financial horizons. 

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What is Arbitrage Trading?

Arbitrage involves buying and selling the same asset in different markets to profit from price differences. Common in currency and stock markets, arbitrage opportunities are short-lived, lasting seconds or minutes. Despite market efficiency beliefs, supply and demand discrepancies create price disparities. Traders exploit these differences, capitalising on market inefficiencies for potential profits. 

How Does Arbitrage Trading Work?

Arbitrage hinges on traders exploiting price differences among assets listed on various stock exchanges. These price disparities are transient, lasting mere seconds or minutes. Skilled arbitragers employ advanced software programs to identify and execute trades, seizing these fleeting opportunities. 

Is Performing Arbitrage Trading Between Two Exchanges Possible?

Indeed, it is possible to engage in arbitrage trading between two exchanges, provided that the stocks are already held in the Demat account

Let’s take a scenario for illustration. Assume that Reliance stock is trading at 3000 on NSE and 3003 on BSE. Intraday arbitrage can be executed by buying on NSE at 3000 and shorting on BSE at 3003. The aim is to sell on NSE when the price difference drops below 3 (3003-3000). Then, promptly buy back the shares on BSE. Profits are realised if the price difference is less than 3, while losses may occur if it exceeds this threshold. 

Clients with Reliance shares in their Demat account can sell them on BSE at 3003 and buy them on NSE for 3000, minimising holding costs. This strategy, known as arbitrage, focuses on exploiting price discrepancies between the NSE and BSE for Reliance shares, regardless of the stock’s overall price movement. 

What Are The Conditions To Follow For Arbitrage Trading?

Two crucial conditions that govern arbitrage trading are:

  1. The same asset must exhibit different prices across markets. 
  2. Traders must execute simultaneous buying and selling of assets in different markets. As arbitrage options are fleeting, prompt transactions increase the likelihood of profitable outcomes. Timing is key in capturing these fleeting windows of arbitrage. 

Tips For Effective Arbitrage Trading

If you are considering arbitrage trading, here are some tips to guide you:

  1. Exchange-to-exchange trading involves buying on one exchange and selling on another, requiring stocks in your Demat account. Remember, a small price difference between exchanges is not always an arbitrage opportunity. Analyse bid and offer prices, focusing on the higher ones. 
  2. Transaction costs in the stock market can erode gains, so monitor them closely. 
  3. For future-based arbitrage, compare stock or commodity prices in the cash/spot market and futures contracts. 
  4. Traders watch the cost of carry (CoC) for holding positions until the futures' expiration. Negative CoC occurs when futures trade at a discount to the cash market, enabling reverse cash and carry arbitrage.
  5. Buyback arbitrage arises from price differences when a company announces share buybacks.
  6. Mergers can also present arbitrage chances due to cash and derivatives market price disparities.

Final Words

Arbitrage presents a lucrative opportunity for risk-averse traders to secure profits on stock exchanges. Yet, traders must consider the challenges that come with it, such as transaction costs and the limited time window for executing trades. Assessing these factors is crucial before venturing into arbitrage. While the potential gain may exist, understanding the associated costs and the need for timely execution is vital for successful arbitrage trading.


Related Articles: Demat Account Vs Trading Account | Types Of Demat Account & Trading Account  | Difference Between Online Trading And Offline Trading

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