Headline: Retail equity options: market sector gains pace
First two paragraphs:
RETAIL investors have embraced equity warrants, single-stock futures and contracts for difference as key elements in their trading and hedging strategies. But largely absent in their derivatives armoury are equity options, a serious shortcoming that Standard Bank, the JSE and other industry players are starting to address.
"We launched our first product, covered [share] calls, in the fourth quarter of last year," says Brett Duncan, Standard Bank's director of retail derivatives. "We are seeing significant interest and already have about 500 active accounts." Duncan sees covered calls as a logical first step in the evolution of SA's "very embryonic" retail equity options market. "Covered calls are the most popular option strategy internationally," he says.