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Valuing equity-indexed annuities with icicled barrier options. (English) Zbl 1410.91457

Summary: Inspired by the recent popularity of autocallable structured products, this paper intends to enhance equity-indexed annuities (EIAs) by introducing a new class of barrier options, termed icicled barrier options. The new class of options has a vertical (icicled) barrier along with the horizontal one of the ordinary barrier options, which may act as an additional knock-in or knock-out trigger. To improve the crediting method of EIAs, we propose a new EIA design, termed autocallable EIA, with payoff structure similar to the autocallable products except for the minimum guarantee, and further investigate the possibility of embedding various icicled barrier options into the plain point-to-point or the ratchet EIAs. Explicit pricing formulas for the proposed EIAs and the icicled barrier options are obtained under the Black-Scholes model. To the purpose, we derive the joint distribution of the logarithmic returns at the icicled time and the maturity, and their running maximum. As an application of the well-known reflection principle, the derivation itself is an interesting probability problem and the joint distribution plays a key role in the subsequent pricing stage. Our option pricing result can be easily transferred to EIAs or other equity-linked products. The pricing formulas for the EIAs and the options are illustrated through numerical examples.

MSC:

91G20 Derivative securities (option pricing, hedging, etc.)
60E10 Characteristic functions; other transforms
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References:

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