Putcall parity is a key idea in option pricing theory. It provides a tool for constructing equivalent positions. The previous post gives a general discussion of the putcall parity. In this post, we discuss the putcall parity for various underlying assets, i.e. the parity relations in this post are asset specific. The following is one form of the general putcall parity. This is the version (0) discussed in the previous post.
PutCall Parity
The putcall parity has four components – the price of the call, the price of the put, the present value of the strike price and the present value of the forward price. In the general form of the putcall parity, the present value of the forward price completely take the dividends and time value of money into account. For a specific type of underlying asset, in order to make the putcall parity more informative, we may have to take all the interim payments such as dividends into account. Thus in the parity relations that follow, the general forward price is replaced with the specific forward price for that asset. Synthetic assets can then be created from the assetspecific putcall parity that is obtained.
The notations used here are the same as in the previous posts. The notation is the forward price. All contracts – forward and options and other type of contracts – are set at time 0 (today) and are to end at time . The strike price for the options is . The letter denotes the riskfree annual continuous interest rate. If the strike price is paid for an asset at time , its present value at time 0 is . All options discussed here are European options, i.e. they can be exercised only at expiration.
All the parity relations that follow will obviously involve a call and a put. To make this extra clear, the call and the put in these relations have the same strike price and the same time to expiration. Thus whenever we say buying a call and selling a put, we mean that they are compatible in this sense.
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Putcall parity for stocks
Forward prices for stocks are discussed here. For a nondividend paying stock, the forward price is , i.e. the price to pay for the stock in the future is the future value of the time 0 stock price. The following is the putcall parity of a nondividend paying stock.
PutCall Parity – nondividend paying stock
The parity (S1) says that there are two ways to buy a nondividend paying stock at time 0. One is the outright stock purchase (the left side). The other way (the right hand side) is to buy a call, sell a put and lend the present value of the strike price . By buying a call and selling a put, it is certain that you will buy the stock by paying , which is financed by the lending of at time 0. In both ways, you own the stock at time . There is a crucial difference. In the outright stock purchase, you own the stock at time 0. In the “options” way, the stock ownership is deferred until time . For the nondividend paying stock, an investor is probably indifferent to the deferred ownership in the right hand side of (S1). For dividend paying stock, deferred ownership should be accounted for the parity equation.
PutCall Parity – dividend paying stock (discrete dividend)
In (S2), refers to the dividends paid during the period from time 0 to time and refers to the time 0 value of . The deferred stock ownership on the right hand side of (S2) does not have the dividend payments while the outright stock ownership has the benefit of the interim dividend payments. Thus the cost of deferred stock ownership must be reduced by the amount of the dividend payments. This is why the dividend payments are subtracted on the left hand side. The next parity relation is for a stock or stock index paying continuous dividend.
PutCall Parity – dividend paying stock (continuous dividend)
Continuous dividends are reinvested (as additional shares) where is the annual continuous compounded dividend rate. The forward price is . The present value of the forward price is , which is the left hand side of (S3). The left side of (S3) is saying that shares at time 0 will accumulate to 1 share at time . The right hand side is saying that buying a call, selling a put and lending out the present value of at time 0 will lead to ownership of 1 share at time .
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Synthetic stocks and other synthetic assets
In this section, we consider synthetic assets that can be created from the parity relations on stocks. These synthetic assets are parity relations. The left side of each of these relations is an asset that exists naturally in the financial market place. The right hand side is the synthetic asset – a portfolio that is an alternative asset that has the same cost and payoff, thus a portfolio that mimics the natural asset. For example, a synthetic stock is a combination of put and call and a certain amount of lending that will replicate the same payoff as owning a share of stock. In the next section, we will resume the discussion of putcall parity on underlying assets.
Each of the parity relation in this section is derived from an appropriate stock putcall parity by solving for the desired asset. For a synthetic stock, we put the stock on the left hand side by itself.
Synthetic stock – nondividend paying
Synthetic stock – discrete dividend paying
Synthetic stock – continuous dividend paying
Note that (Syn1) is identical to (S1) since there is no dividend. The portfolio on the right hand side is the synthetic stock. For example, for (Syn2), the strategy of buying a call, selling a put, and lending out the present values of the strike price and the interim dividends is an alternative way to own a discrete dividend paying stock. There is a crucial difference between outright stock ownership on the left hand side and the deferred stock ownership on the right hand side. The synthetic stock pays no dividends. Thus the outright stock ownership is worth more than the synthetic stock. In other words, the cost of outright stock ownership exceeds the synthetic cost. By how much? By the present value of the interim dividends. This is why the present value of the dividend payments is added to the right hand side of (Syn2) and (Syn3).
Now we consider synthetic Tbills (or synthetic riskfree asset).
Synthetic Tbill – based on nondividend paying stock
Synthetic Tbill – based on discrete dividend paying stock
Synthetic Tbill – based on continuous dividend paying stock
In (T1), (T2) and (T3), the right hand side is the synthetic way of creating a Tbill. Let’s look at (T3).

Relation (T3). In order to hold a synthetic Tbill, you buy shares of stock, sell a call and buy a put at time 0. At time , the shares become 1 share, which will be used to meet the demand of either the call option or put option. If the stock price is more than , the call buyer will want to exercise the call and you as a seller of the call will have to sell 1 share at the strike price . If the stock price is less than at time , you as the put buyer will want to sell 1 share of stock at the strike price . So in either case, you have the amount at time , precisely the outcome if you buy a Tbill with maturity value .
Next we consider synthetic call options.
Synthetic call – based on nondividend paying stock
Synthetic call – based on discrete dividend paying stock
Synthetic call – based on continuous dividend paying stock
The right hand side of the above three equations are synthetic ways to buy a stock call option. They can be derived by solving for in the putcall parity relation in respective stock. It also pays to think through the cash flows on both sides. The right hand side of each of (C1) through (C3) consists of a leveraged position (stock purchase plus borrowing) and a long put to insure the leveraged position. For example, in the right hand side of (C1), borrow and buy one share of stock (the leveraged position). Then use a purchased put to insure this leveraged position.
Another way to look at synthetic call is that the right hand side consists of a protective put and borrowing. A protective put is the combination of a long asset and a long put. For example, the right hand side of (C1) consists of (a protective put) and the borrowing of , the present value of .
Here’s the synthetic put options.
Synthetic put – based on nondividend paying stock
Synthetic put – based on discrete dividend paying stock
Synthetic put – based on continuous dividend paying stock
The right hand side of each of (P1) through (P3) is a synthetic put, a portfolio that mimics the payoff of a put option. Note that the right hand side consists of a long call and a short stock position (this is a protective call) and the lending of the present value of .
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Putcall parity for currencies
A previous post on forward prices shows that the currency forward price is where is the exchange rate (units of domestic currency per unit of foreign currency, e.g. dollars per euro), is the domestic riskfree rate and is the foreign currency riskfree rate. The present value of is then , which is the number of units of the domestic currency (e.g. dollars) at time 0 in order to have one unit of foreign currency (e.g. euro) at time . Substituting into the parity relation of (0), we have:
PutCall Parity – Currencies
In (F1) and (F2), we assume that the call and the put are denominated in dollars, i.e. both the strike price and the put premium and call premium are denominated in dollars. For ease of discussion, let’s say the foreign currency is euro. The premium discussed here is in dollars and grants the right to pay to get 1 euro. The premium discussed here is in dollars and grants the right to pay 1 euro to get . Thus the strike price is an exchange rate of USD per euro.
For example, let’s say 0.80 USD/Euro at time 0. If at time the exchange rate is 0.9 USD/Euro, the call buyer would want to exercise the option by paying 0.8 USD for 1 euro. If at time the exchange rate is 0.7 USD/Euro, then the long put position would want to exercise the put by paying 1 euro to get 0.8 USD.
The relation (F1) indicates that the difference in the call and put premiums plus lending the present value of the strike price is the same as lending the present value of the amount in dollars (the domestic currency) that is required to buy 1 euro at time .
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Putcall parity for bonds
For a zerocoupon bond, the forward price is simply the future value of the bond price. For a coupon paying bond, the future price has to reflect the value of the coupon payments. In the following parity relations, is the bond price at time 0. The amount is the present value of the coupon payments made during the life of the options.
PutCall Parity – zerocoupon bond
Note that for the zerocoupon bond, the parity relation is similar to the one for nondividend paying stock.
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Summary
The following is the list of all the asset specific putcall parity relations discussed in this post.
Forward/Futures
Nondividend paying stock
Discrete dividend paying stock
Continuous dividend paying stock
Currency
Bond
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