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Arbitrageur: Definition, What They Do, and Examples

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How Do Arbitrageurs Work?

An investor who tries to capitalize on market inefficiencies is an arbitrageur. These inefficiencies may affect prices, dividends, regulations, or any other market component. Arbitrage in terms of pricing occurs most frequently.

Arbitrageurs take advantage of pricing inefficiencies by making simultaneous deals that cancel one other out to make risk-free gains. By purchasing the undervalued shares on one exchange while short-selling the same number of overvalued shares on another exchange, an arbitrageur would, for instance, look for price differences between stocks listed on multiple exchanges, capturing risk-free profits as the prices on the two exchanges converge.

In other cases, they aim to make money by turning personal data into arbitrage. For instance, a takeover arbitrageur could purchase a firm’s shares and benefit from the ensuing price increase using knowledge about a potential takeover.

How to Interpret an Arbitrageur

Due to the difficulty in locating arbitrage opportunities and the need for relatively quick trading, arbitrageurs are often extremely skilled investors. They must also be meticulous and at ease with danger. This is because most arbitrage bets carry a high level of risk. They are also wagers on the future direction that markets will go.

Because they work to take advantage of price inefficiencies, arbitrageurs are crucial to the functioning of capital markets because they help keep prices more accurate than they otherwise would be.

Arbitrageur plays examples

Here is a straightforward illustration of what an arbitrageur might do.

On the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the stock of Company X is now selling for $20, whereas it is currently trading for the equivalent of $20.05 on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The stock may be purchased on the NYSE and sold immediately on the LSE for a total profit of 5 cents per share, less trading expenses. The trader takes advantage of the arbitrage opportunity until the NYSE specialists run out of Company X’s shares or until the NYSE or LSE specialists modify their pricing to eliminate the opportunity.

Ivan F. Boesky is a prime example of an information arbitrageur. In the 1980s, he was regarded as a skilled takeover arbitrager. For instance, he made money by purchasing Gulf and Getty oil shares before California Standard and Texaco acquired them during that time. According to reports, he earned $50 million to $100 million from each deal.

The growth of cryptocurrencies presented arbitrageurs with yet another chance. As the price of Bitcoin rose to unprecedented heights, several chances to profit from price differences between various international exchanges opened up. For instance, South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges offered Bitcoin at a higher price than the United States. The Kimchi Premium, also known as the price discrepancy, was mostly caused by the increasing demand for cryptocurrency in these areas. Cryptocurrency traders made money by arbitraging the price differential between the two places in real time.


  • Investors who engage in market arbitrage are known as arbitrageurs. They are essential to ensuring that market inefficiencies are eliminated or kept to a minimum.
  • Arbitrageurs must be meticulous and at ease with risk because they are typically seasoned investors.
  • Arbitrageurs often profit from price differences between stocks or other assets listed on various exchanges.
  • In this case, the arbitrageur may purchase the security on one exchange and short-sell it on another, more expensive platform.

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