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If you`re an investor looking for ways to increase your returns or reduce your risk, you may have heard of the Overseas Securities Lending Agreement (OSLA). OSLA is a popular investment strategy that allows you to borrow securities from a lender and sell them in a foreign market where demand is higher, then buy them back at a lower price.

What is OSLA?

OSLA is a legally binding agreement between a borrower (usually an investment bank) and a lender (usually a fund manager or other financial institution) that allows the borrower to borrow securities for a specified period. The borrower pays the lender a fee for this service, called a lending fee.

The borrower can then use the borrowed securities to sell them in a foreign market. If the securities increase in value during the borrowing period, the borrower can buy them back at a lower price, return the securities to the lender, and keep the profit.

Why is OSLA popular?

There are a few reasons why OSLA is popular among investors. First, it allows investors to earn higher returns, as foreign markets often offer higher yields than domestic markets. Second, it can help investors reduce risk by diversifying their portfolios. And third, because the borrower must put up collateral in the form of cash or other securities, the lender is protected if the borrower defaults on the loan.

What are the risks of OSLA?

Like any investment, OSLA carries some risks. One risk is that the value of the borrowed securities may decrease during the borrowing period, which means the borrower will have to buy them back at a higher price than they sold them for, resulting in a loss. Another risk is that the borrower may default on the loan, leaving the lender with the collateral but no securities to sell.

It`s important to note that OSLA can also be subject to regulatory and tax risks, as it involves transacting in foreign markets. Therefore, it`s essential to conduct thorough research and consult with a financial advisor before entering into an OSLA agreement.

In conclusion, while OSLA offers potentially lucrative returns and diversification benefits, it`s not without risks. As with any investment strategy, it`s important to thoroughly understand the risks and potential rewards before investing.