HSBC May Have The Best Trade Of 2015 With This Structured Product Tied To The Energy Market
As we await the scary possibility that there will be a large scale energy bailout, Benzinga has been sifting through the structured paper tied to anything and everything in the energy markets. One of the best timed products in 2015 belongs to HSBC.
The UK headquartered bank pushed out a SPDR Energy Sector Fund (NYSE: XLE) Barrier Accelerated Market Participation Securities Note (Barrier AMPS) priced on May 21, 2015 at $80.49 and due in November 2018 with a threshold level (the level at which clients buying the product are basically at breakeven) is 25 percent below the price or roughly $60.
XLE ETF Daily (click to enlarge)
Imagine this: It's late May 2015 and the oil complex is collapsing, everyone is fearful and no one can seem to find a bottom. At that time, XLE was down 20 percent from its high in June 2014 . Now here comes HSBC with a product offering a limit of 25 percent to the downside before leaving investors sitting at Par and should the product slide 75 percent, well the investor is fully exposed to any losses. The upside here at maturity would be Par + 1.5x any fund gains and up to a maximum return of 45 percent. In the end HSBC is offering 45 percent upside in exchange risk of Par at 25 percent down and investment annihilation at 75 percent down.
The timing was just perfect. Above is the daily chart for XLE going back three year. The yellow circle and vertical red line are on May 21 2015 when the Barrier AMPS was priced at $80.49. The high that day was $80.60...perfectly timed. Since pricing, the XLE has lost over 32 percent, leaving investors below their 25 percent threshold. It only took 95 days to breach the par level. Should XLE close below $20.10 before November 2018 maturity then investors in this HSBC will have lost all their investment and HSBC's trade desk will record a nice gain on the trade.
The security was showing a spread of 62.58/63.58 according to data from Bloomberg. Benzinga reached out to HSBC's new issue derivatives operations and left a message. As of publication, HSBC has not returned our call.
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