Are Immunization Strategies Effective? An Empirical Study Based on Quotations from MTS Poland Market
This paper presents results of an empirical study designed to test effectiveness of immunization strategies for a portfolio of default-free fixed-income bonds, where immunization strategy consists in selecting a portfolio for which the exposure of its terminal value to arbitrary interest rate changes is minimized. Two immunization strategies were tested: M2 minimization strategy - based on the second order duration, and M1 minimization strategy - based on the absolute value duration. Immunization strategies were applied to RP Treasury fixed-coupon bonds traded on the MTS Poland Market. Upon deriving the empirical term structure of interest rates, three types of portfolio have been constructed for 25 different investment horizons: one for each immunization strategy, while portfolios of the third type were composed of two bonds selected quasi-randomly. Next, relative changes in the terminal value. of all portfolios have' been calculated on three dates: one day after, one week after, and four weeks after portfolios were constructed. The two immunization strategies have performed equally well in terms of the relative decrease in the end-of-horizon value of portfolio, and much better than the quasi-random portfolios. Results, therefore, do not support claims of superiority of the M1 strategy over the A/2 strategy, reported by some researchers. (original abstract)
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