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Showing posts from April, 2012

Natural Gas Implied Volatility: Drift Back To Normalcy

Event-specific circumstances, sometimes, create interesting situations for deploying capital. The Indian Natural Gas sector presented one such instance; in Equities and Implied Volatility, this week. 
Background note here
IVs popped across the board, principally manifesting in Indraprastha Gas (Bloomberg: IGL IN, NSE: IGL), which was the chief victim in the melee. Reacting to the adverse regulatory pronouncement, other companies in the Natural Gas space too came under fire from investors, IVs spiked as stock prices swooned. IGL stock fell over 40% within minutes and other companies shed double digit percent. Petronet LNG (Bloomberg: PLNG IN, NSE: PETRONET), however, should have escaped relatively unscathed, as the ruling is expected to have little impact on its earnings power. But fear is a pervasive force, which divorces with rationality in time of duress. Time eventually acts as an arbiter in the estrangement but the process is gradual and fraught with roadblocks.
Panic-induced sel…

Ruckus, Volatility Skews & Gap Risk

It has been quite an eventful day for the Indian Natural Gas pack, which are quite effervescent as I write. 
The ruckus was triggered by a ruling by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), fixing new tariffs for natural gas players. The PNGRB lowered gas network tariffs and compression charges by over 60% each. This prompted a free fall in stock prices of Natural Gas companies, with Indraprastha Gas (Bloomberg: IGL IN, NSE: IGL) caving in 40% within minutes of market open, on the back of rampant selling, as sell-side analysts rapidly scaled down forecasts. Other stocks shed between 5-15%.
A ruckus is generally kind to Volatility. Natural Gas Implied Volatility, which was quite tepid since mid-March '12, spiked reacting to the adverse newsflow. IV skews, which were flattish around the long weekend (April 4, 2012), have now turned into smirks as Puts have come into focus. The scramble for buying protection has pushed up Put prices. Spiking IVs offer attractive possi…

A Resurrection In Sentiment?

The Day of Resurrection is probably an opportune moment to pause and gauge the pulse of the market.
After the forgettable dalliance with 2011, risk assets seem to have found an amenable ally in 2012 so far. Tepid interest from FII towards India in 2011 has been replaced by renewed fervour ($9 billion net inflows in 1Q2012 v/s -c.$1 billion net outflow in 2011). 
Interestingly, very little has changed fundamentally. The March budget was a damn squib, with the Finance Minister hoping to walk the tight rope between taming inflation, curbing a burgeoning fiscal deficit, without fettering growth. The Budget was, however, low on major reforms and irksome issues continue to make their presence felt. Yet, FII continue to pile in. 
One of the intriguing things about human behaviour is its stickiness in altering the status quo prevailing bias. After a prolonged period of bull market, bearishness/pessimism is a rarity; likewise, after a bearish period, bullishness/optimism is a rarity. Bull markets…