A NEW METHOD OF PRICING LOOKBACK OPTIONS

Authors


  • Manuscript received August 2003; final revision received October 2003.

Address correspondence to Peter Buchen, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia; e-mail: peterb@maths.usyd.edu.au.

Abstract

A new method for pricing lookback options (a.k.a. hindsight options) is presented, which simplifies the derivation of analytical formulas for this class of exotics in the Black-Scholes framework. Underlying the method is the observation that a lookback option can be considered as an integrated form of a related barrier option. The integrations with respect to the barrier price are evaluated at the expiry date to derive the payoff of an equivalent portfolio of European-type binary options. The arbitrage-free price of the lookback option can then be evaluated by static replication as the present value of this portfolio. We illustrate the method by deriving expressions for generic, standard floating-, fixed-, and reverse-strike lookbacks, and then show how the method can be used to price the more complex partial-price and partial-time lookback options. The method is in principle applicable to frameworks with alternative asset-price dynamics to the Black-Scholes world.

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