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Constant vs. time-varying hedge ratios and hedging efficiency in the BIFFEX market

Manolis Kavussanos () and Nikos K. Nomikos

Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 2000, vol. 36, issue 4, 229-248

Abstract: This paper estimates time-varying and constant hedge ratios, and investigates their performance in reducing freight rate risk in routes 1 and 1A of the Baltic Freight Index. Time-varying hedge ratios are generated by a bivariate error correction model with a GARCH error structure. We also introduce an augmented GARCH (GARCH-X) model where the error correction term enters in the specification of the conditional covariance matrix. This specification links the concept of disequilibrium (as proxied by the magnitude of the error correction term) with that of uncertainty (as reflected in the time varying second moments of spot and futures prices). In- and out-of-sample tests reveal that the GARCH-X specification provides greater risk reduction than a simple GARCH and a constant hedge ratio. However, it fails to eliminate the riskiness of the spot position to the extent evidenced in other markets in the literature. This is thought to be the result of the heterogeneous composition of the underlying index. It seems that restructuring the composition of the Baltic Freight Index (BFI) so as to reflect homogeneous shipping routes may increase the hedging effectiveness of the futures contract. This by itself indicates that the imminent introduction of the Baltic Panamax Index (BPI) as the underlying asset of the Baltic International Financial Futures Exchange (BIFFEX) contract is likely to have a beneficial impact on the market.

Date: 2000
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