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Convertible Arbitrage

Convertible Arbitrage involves purchasing a portfolio of convertible securities, generally convertible bonds, and hedging a portion of the equity risk by selling short the underlying common stock. Certain managers may also seek to hedge interest rate exposure under some circumstances. Most managers employ some degree of leverage ranging from zero to 6:1. The equity hedge ratio may range from 30 to 100 percent. The average grade of bond in a typical portfolio is BB-, with individual ratings ranging from AA to CCC. However, as the default risk of the company is hedged by shorting the underlying common stock, the risk is considerably better than the unhedged bond's rating indicates.