1) Single Stock Futures: An Alternative to Securities Lending
David G Downey
CEO
OneChicago, LLC
Introduction
Securities Lending is primarily a back-office function that effectively is an over-thecounter derivative transaction. Mutual funds and Pension plans (Funds) lend (actually
sell) assets today with an agreement that they will get the asset back at some point in the
future. During the interim they will not lose economic exposure to the position and will
receive additional compensation for participation. This transaction is substantially
similar to an EFP (Exchange Future for Physical) transaction using Single Stock Futures
(SSF) but with some very important differences:
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The SSF EFP is a trade on a regulated exchange.
SSF trade in a competitive environment where multiple market participants
establish finance rates.
Transparency in pricing.
No counterparty risk as all trades are cleared through the AA+ rated Options
Clearing Corporation (OCC).
Securities lending is currently an operations function. However it should be viewed as a
trading strategy and therefore be included in the investment manager’s responsibility.
There are substantial profits being ceded to intermediaries that could accrue to the funds
and their clients instead.
Securities Lending Overview
Securities lending markets has two sides. First is cash driven whereby institutions
finance their operations by borrowing cash in return for collateral. The second part is the
securities driven whereby hedge funds firms employing short delta strategies such as the
130/30 are required to borrow securities prior to shorting. This activity is increasing the
demand for the available supply of stock to borrow. The hedge funds look to the
brokerage firm to service the request. The brokerages can meet some of the demand from
their own inventory but must look to the beneficial owners (the pension and mutual
funds) to satisfy the total demand.
The beneficial owners make their supply of securities available by contracting with either
a custodian or the brokerage firms for the wholesale distribution of all or a portion of
their portfolio. For this they receive a guaranteed fee and/or a split of the reinvestment of
the cash collateral the contracted party receives.

2) The disadvantages to this arrangement are the concentration of credit risk with a sole
counterparty and the ceding of potential profits to these agents. The funds can achieve the
same end of providing the market with the assets they need but not have to split the
profits with a third party.
Funds will argue that the securities lending involves a variety of complex administrative,
operational and accounting activities including credit evaluation and cash management
which may be better handled by specialists in that field. Fair enough. However with
SSFs they can participate in this process and earn higher returns on the assets under their
management.
There are financial products that have the same economic effect, as securities lending that
do not involve any securities being exchanged. These are off-balance sheet transactions
such as equity swaps, total return swaps and Contracts for Difference. However, unlike
SSF these products still entail some counterparty risk.
SSF Pricing
While SSF are a derivative product, they are the simplest derivative of them all. The
value can be derived by using grade school mathematics. An SSFs price is the forward
value of today’s stock price which is derived by multiplying today’s price by the risk free
rate of interest out till expiration of the future and subtracting any dividend that is paid
(if any) during that time period. The formulae are as follows:
For stocks that do not pay a dividend:
Equation 1. SSF ï€½ Stock * er*((t x ï€t0 ) / 360) , where r is the effective federal funds rate, tx is
the expiration date of the future and t0 is the date of evaluation.
For stocks that do pay a dividend:
Equation 2. SSF ï€½ Stock * er*((t x ï€t0 ) / 360) ï€ Div * er*((t x ï€td ) / 360) , where r is the interest rate
prevailing starting at the ex-dividend date, tx is the futures expiration date and td is the exdividend date.
So for a $100 stock that pays no dividend in a 2% interest rate environment the six-month
SSF will have a fair value of $101. If the stock paid a 20-cent dividend then the sixmonth future would have a fair value of approximately $100.80. (Approximate only
because a higher resolution fair value could be obtained by taking the present value of the
future dividend stream into consideration but for simplicity deducting the full value
works.)
Now a trader should be ambivalent about buying the stock at $100 today or receiving the
same stock at $101 (in the no dividend example) in six months in a 2% rate environment.
The physical settlement of the SSF means that upon expiration the fund holding the long
SSF will receive the CUSIP as the future expires and the party holding the short SSF will

3) be required to deliver. One of the most fascinating aspects of the SSF is that unlike all
other futures products where the positions are offset prior to expiration more than 95% of
the SSF positions traded on OneChicago actually make or take delivery upon expiration.
So for funds who invest by buying and holding there is no difference in the two
transactions of either buying today at one price or buying a SSF for delivery of the
underlying at expiration except for the fact that they may be able to purchase the SSF at a
lower net cost and therefore reduce the price they actually pay for the resulting position.
Pricing of the EFP
An Exchange Futures for Physical (EFP) trade allows for the substitution of a long or
short stock position for a long or short SSF position. EFP’s allow one to decrease finance
charges for long stock positions or increase the interest received on short stock positions.
That is because the interest rate built into the price of an SSF and hence its EFP is
competitively determined by numerous market participants rather than by a single broker
who can set less advantageous margin loan and stock borrow rates. Accordingly EFP’s
can be used as a synthetic stock loan transaction as funds can offer their long stock out in
return for a SSF that will expire back into long stock at expiration but with returns that
are greater than those currently being received for lending the stock to an intermediary.
An EFP is a combination order to sell (buy) an amount of stock and simultaneously buy
(sell) a proportionate number of SSFs. Taking a long position in the EFP involves
buying the SSF and selling the underlying stock. The stock position becomes flat due to
the sale of the existing long stock position and the position now holds a SSF with the
same economic exposure. The EFP is priced in interest rates as there is no underlying
price risk since the stock and the SSF are equivalents but does involve interest rate risks
as the two parties are simply engaging in a loan as they switch positions. Selling the EFP
has the opposite positioning as the SSF is sold and the underlying is purchased. Hedge
funds and other short sellers who are currently short and paying for the privilege would
be able to lower their costs of financing this position by executing an EFP at a much
more favorable rate without changing their economic position vis-à-vis the stock moves.
Both parties will have the added benefit of removing their current positions from their
balance sheets without changing their market position, as SSF are off-balance sheet
items.
Cost of buying an EFP
The cost of buying an EFP in basis points is determined by solving the following
equation for the interest rate (r) that reproduces the EFP ask price from the stock trade
price given certain dates and dividend amounts.
ïƒ¬ r N exp ïƒ¼ Ndiv
ïƒ¬ r ( N exp ï€ N i ) ïƒ¼
F ï€½ S expïƒ
ïƒ½ - ïƒ¥ D i expïƒ
ïƒ½
360
ïƒ® 360 ïƒ¾ i ï€½1
ïƒ®
ïƒ¾

4) F
Price at which the SSF is bought. This price is determined by the price
at which the stock is sold plus the EFP Ask Price.
S
Price at which the stock is sold.
R
The average bank year, exponential interest rate that reconstructs the
EFP and stock trade prices.
Nexp Number of calendar days to expiration of the SSF.
Di
The ith stock dividend payment that goes ex-dividend between now and
the expiration of the SSF.
Ni
Number of calendar days to the ex-dividend date for the ith stock
dividend payment
and exp{x} = ex.
Note that F = S + EFP Ask Price.
Once the Interest Rate is know the Basis points Paid is calculated as followsBasis Points Paid ï€½ r ï‚´10,000
An approximation formula for Basis Points Paid is as follows.
360
ïƒ¦ EFP Ask Price ï€« Est. Dividends ïƒ¶
Basis Points Paid ï€½ ïƒ§
ï‚´ 10,000
ïƒ·ï‚´
Stock Trade Price
ïƒ¨
ïƒ¸ Days to expiry
This formula is valid when (r Nexp) is small compared to 360.
Amount Received Selling an EFP
The amount received on selling an EFP also takes into account the estimated dividends in
the period and is shown on an annualized basis. The cost of selling an EFP in basis points
is calculated by solving the equation below for the Interest Rate that gives us the implied
SSF Bid price from a known stock ask price and estimated dividends in the period.
ïƒ¬ r ï‚´ N exp ïƒ¼ Ndiv
ïƒ¬ r ï‚´ ( N exp ï€ N i ) ïƒ¼
SSFiBid ï€½ StockAsk ï‚´ Exp ïƒ
ïƒ½ - ïƒ¥ Di ï‚´ Exp ïƒ
ïƒ½
360
ïƒ® 360 ïƒ¾ i ï€½1
ïƒ®
ïƒ¾
Where,
SSFiBid = Implied SSF Bid Price, which is the sum of the EFP Bid Price and Stock Ask
Price
Stock Ask = Stock Ask Price
r = Interest Rate
Nexp = Number of days from the day of trade to the expiry of the futures contract
Ndiv = Estimated number of Dividends from the time an EFP is entered into till expiry
Di = Estimated Dividend in the current period
Ni = Number of days from the day on which the dividend is received till expiry

5) Once the Interest Rate is know the Basis points Received is calculated as follows:
Basis Points Received ï€½ r ï‚´10,000
An approximate calculation for Basis Points Received can be obtained by using the
formula:
360
ïƒ¦ EFP Bid Price ï€« Estimated Dividends ïƒ¶
Basis Points Received ï€½ ïƒ§
ï‚´ 10,000
ïƒ·ï‚´
Stock Ask Price
ïƒ¨
ïƒ¸ Days to expiry
Summary
Securities Lending is where buyers and sellers meet to exchange an asset for a short term
in return for basis points of compensation.
Lenders can deliver the asset to the
borrowers through an SSF transaction by either purchasing outrights for future delivery
or pricing the EFPs in such a way to increase the basis points received for the ‘loan’.
Funds have a fiduciary responsibility to their participants to maximize the returns without
exposing the assets to unnecessary risk. SSFs competitive trading in a transparent
process without counterparty risk exposure is a viable alternative.