Facoltà di scienze economiche

Incomplete information and the closed-end fund discount

Barone-Adesi, Giovanni ; Kim, Youngsoo

We model the closed-end fund discount/premium in a version of Merton’s (1978) asset pricing model with incomplete information. In this economy, investors trade only assets which they “know about”. The model generates a closed-end fund discount or premium, depending on risk-aversion parameters. The fund share price reverts to the net asset value on open-ending of the fund. The... Plus

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    Summary
    We model the closed-end fund discount/premium in a version of Merton’s (1978) asset pricing model with incomplete information. In this economy, investors trade only assets which they “know about”. The model generates a closed-end fund discount or premium, depending on risk-aversion parameters. The fund share price reverts to the net asset value on open-ending of the fund. The discount/premium is a result of two economic forces: (1) the fund manager’s objective is to maximize expected utility of her fee income rather than the welfare of fund shareholders. Mis-alignment of objectives of the fund manager and shareholders results in discount/premium, and (2) for given risk aversion parameters, diversification benefits to investors determine the size of the discount/premium. Pontiff (1996) documents a positive relation between discounts and unhedgeable risk. This evidence along with other findings leads Pontiff to conclude that discounts appear to be a result of mispricing. Our model provides an alternative interpretation on the positive relation found by Pontiff based on the economic forces depicted above.