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The Chinese Warrants Bubble

By Wei Xiong and Jialin Yu


In 2005-08, over a dozen put warrants traded in China went so deep out of the money that they were certain to expire worthless. Nonetheless, each warrant was traded nearly three times each day at substantially inflated prices. This bubble is unique, because the underlying stock prices make the zero warrant fundamentals publicly observable. We find evidence supporting the resale option theory of bubbles: investors overpay for a warrant hoping to resell it at an even higher price to a greater fool. Our study confirms key findings of the experimental bubble literature and provides useful implications for market development.

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