Are options on exchange-traded products (ETPs) and indexes consistently priced internationally? The cross-section of international option returns exhibits a mispricing by sorting on ex-ante volatility returns. In addition, selling international ETP options and buying their corresponding index options commands a positive risk premium. Both empirical findings are economically large and pervasive internationally, whereas they are comparably small domestically. While volatility hedge funds are exposed towards domestic option products, they neglect the possibility of engaging in foreign volatility arbitrage. These findings entail that alpha seekers may expand their horizon towards international derivatives which at first glance are similar, but institutionally are not.
Keywords: systematic volatility arbitrage, cross-section of option returns, dispersion trading
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