YY Inc (YY) Put Players Target Multi-Year Lows

YY Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:YY) hasn't breached the round-number $40 level since September 2013

by Karee Venema

Published on May 12, 2016 at 10:52 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

YY Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:YY) is down 3.8% at $45.20, after The Wall Street Journal reported a group of investors has withdrawn their $2.5 billion bid (subscription required) for the tech stock. This comes as speculation swirls that Beijing could put pressure on the 37 U.S.-listed Chinese firms planning to move their listings back to the mainland -- a group that includes YY. Today's decline has sparked a rush of activity in YY's options pits, with total volume running at four times the average intraday pace.

Looking closer, put options have the edge over call options in early trading. Specifically, 4,638 puts have changed hands on YY thus far, compared to 3,361 calls. This put-skewed backdrop only echoes the wider trend, though, with an average of 3,670 puts traded daily on YY, versus 1,732 calls.

In fact, over the course of the past 10 sessions, YY has racked up a top-heavy put/call volume ratio of 1.73 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). What's more, this ratio ranks in the 86th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip of late.

Drilling down, YY's June 40 put has seen the biggest rise in open interest over this time frame, with 3,204 options added. According to the major options exchanges, a portion of this activity has been of the buy-to-open kind, suggesting speculators are bracing for a break of the round-number $40 mark by the close on Friday, June 17 -- when back-month options expire.

Technically, YY hasn't seen the south side of $40 since September 2013. More recently, the shares of YY Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:YY) have plunged roughly 30% since winking at the $64 level in mid-April. Regardless, even if the June 40 puts expire out of the money, the most the put buyers stand to lose is the initial premium paid.

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