Alexander Valtsev
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Playing Turkey's Volatility This Month

The coup started on Friday night against president Erdogan has officially ended. In the meantime, Turkey's stock market collapsed by over 8% in a matter of hours after the news about the coup started coming out:


The ending of the coup does not automatically imply the country's capital markets will resume growth. It also does not imply volatility will come out of the market. Remember, that, besides the Friday's coup, the country recently experienced a terrorist attack in one of its key airports. Turkey is currently deemed as a risky place to invest. In my opinion, this notion will not go away quickly. 

On the other hand, I am not ready to buy options on the Turkey ETF (TUR) now as I believe they will be overpriced at the market's opening tomorrow. Instead, I want to do something interesting: I want to sell high implied volatility and hedge directional risk. To do that efficiently, I will sell a put spread using August's and November's options:


Note that the above trade results in an immediate inflow of cash. Also, keep in mind that the new option prices can be significantly different on Monday's market opening.

The trade is elegant and potentially very profitable:


As you can see, the risk-return ratio is phenomenal: it currently stands at around 6.7:1, while the "window of safety" is very narrow - around 6% of the current market prices. This means that the stock has to move around 3% in either direction by August 20 in order for the trade to make money. If I am able to get the option prices used in the calculations with my broker, I will be more than happy with this strategy. I think there is a high chance that the Turkish market will move around swiftly in the coming month. Moreover, I like the fact that this is a credit trade, so I don't have to put down any of my own money to do it. 

What do you think?