OneChicago Articles

About OneChicago:
OneChicago is an all-electronic exchange for trading Single Stock Futures (SSFs). Founded in 2002, we provide liquidity, anonymity, and market price transparency for equity alternative products. Contracts are cleared through the AA+-rated Options Clearing Corporation and regulated by both the SEC and CFTC.

Refinance—-it is that simple
If you were paying 8% on a home mortgage, what would you do? You would refinance it, of course.
If you were paying 8% on an equity margin loan, what would you do? You would refinance it, of course.

Today, many people have margin loans outstanding with their brokers at high interest rates. Those margin loans are financing their portfolio. Single stock futures can be used to provide the same stock exposure at a lower cost—in essence—refinancing your stock portfolio at a lower rate.

As a Delta One product, single stock futures have the same profit/loss profile as the underlying stock. They are priced at the stock plus interest. Generally, that interest rate today is around 50 to 75 basis points (½ to ¾ of 1%). That is significantly less than the 8% margin loan. For a $100,000 portfolio, a margin loan of $50,000 at 8% will cost you $4,000 a year in interest. That same $100,000 portfolio established in single stock futures at 75 basis points over the stock price would cost you $750 to carry for a year. OneChicago exchange fees would add an additional $385 for a grand total of $1,135–A savings of $6,865 each year. And where I come from, that is serious money.

Single Stock Futures- An Alternative to Securities Lending:
Securities lending is a process that involves both market and counterparty risk. Securities lending is similar to an EFP transaction utilizing single stock futures (SSF) with some very stark differences that simplifies the procss, significantly enhances the total return, and removes counterparty risk from the process.
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Basis Point Discussion:
When an investor buys an asset, they expect the return to be commensurate to a certain level of risk. Too often the investor is disregarding the opportunity cost of receiving a risk-free rate of return as well. Single stock futures lower this opportunity cost by enabling an investor to finance an equity position more efficiently, thus improving the risk-reward ratio of their investment.
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EFPs Using Single Stock Futures:
OneChicago has brought the financing of equity positions onto an exchange traded format through an Exchange Future for Physical (EFP) transaction. An EFP is the simultaneous selling of a stock and buying of a Single Stock Future (SSF) for a long equity position or buying of a stock and selling of a SSF for a short equity position. SSF have an interest rate built into their price that is determined by a true competitive marketplace. Like repos and reverse repos in the debt markets, EFPs provide a cheap and efficient financing vehicle.
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How futures can simplify securities lending/borrowing:
Single stock futures provide significant cost advantages and flexibility for both the lenders and borrowers of stock by enabling them to exchange positions without many of the restrictions and intermediaries that exist with existing programs. As a result, the lenders and borrowers are able to reduce revenue sharing agreements, fees, counterparty risk, and the risk of the recall of positions.
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Calculate the savings with Single-Stock Futures:
When looking to raise capital, single stock futures provide efficiency, transparency, and anonymity to the financing process. In the bond world, investors have the repo market. In the equity world, investors have the security futures market. By utilizing the security futures market, investors have the ability to utilize their equity positions as collateral for short-term loans at rates that are competitively determined by the marketplace.
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