Can the Market Divide and Multiply? A Case of 807 Percent Mispricing


This paper documents a strong violation of the law of one price surrounding a large rights issue. If prices are right, the relation between the prices of shares and rights follows the outcome of a simple calculation. In the case of Royal Imtech NV in 2014, prices deviated sharply and persistently from the theoretical prediction. Throughout the term of the rights, investors were buying shares at prices that were many times what they should have been given the price of the rights. Short-selling constraints in the form of recall risk and lacking stock lending supply explain the failure of arbitrage as a safeguard of market efficiency. Still, it remains remarkable that investors were buying large volumes of shares at highly inflated prices in the presence of a cheap, perfect substitute.

Review of Behavioral Finance