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Outward Arbitrage


Outward Arbitrage is a financial strategy where an investor takes advantage of price differences across two or more markets in different countries. The investor buys a security or asset at a lower price in one market and simultaneously sells it at a higher price in another market. It’s performed to gain risk-free profit from the discrepancy in international markets.


The phonetic pronunciation for “Outward Arbitrage” is:Outward: /ˈaʊtwərd/Arbitrage: /ˈɑːrbɪtrɑːʒ/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Opportunity for Profit: Outward arbitrage is primarily conducted to seize potential opportunities for profit. It involves buying an asset at a lower price in one market and simultaneously selling it at a higher price in another market.
  2. Efficient Markets: The process of outward arbitrage contributes to the overall efficiency of financial markets. It helps in eliminating price discrepancies across different markets, leading to uniformity in prices.
  3. Risk Consideration: While outward arbitrage offers potential profit opportunities, it’s important to consider various risks associated, such as transaction costs, market volatility, and the risk of one part of the trade not executing properly.



Outward Arbitrage is an important concept in finance because of its potential to generate risk-free profit and its role in maintaining market efficiency. This term refers to the act of buying a security or commodity in a domestic market at a low price and selling it in an international market at a higher price. This differential in price helps the traders to generate profits, hence, encouraging more transactions and liquidity in the market. Furthermore, these arbitrage activities contribute to price stability and uniformity across different markets by eliminating discrepancies, enabling the law of one price to hold true. Therefore, outward arbitrage plays a crucial role in capital market integration, global financial stability, and overall economic efficiency.


Outward arbitrage is a financial strategy primarily used to take advantage of pricing discrepancies in different markets, with the aim of securing a risk-free profit. It involves the simultaneous purchase and sale of an asset, where the asset is bought in a lower-priced market and sold in a higher-priced one. In financial markets, this term is typically associated with foreign exchange and it refers to the process where banks, financial firms, or individuals buy a currency domestically and sell it in the international market to capitalize on different exchange rates.The purpose of outward arbitrage is to align the prices in different markets, as these pricing disparities often shouldn’t theoretically exist due to factors such as open market forces and efficient market hypothesis. But, when they do, arbitrageurs step in to exploit these inefficiencies, which in turn helps to correct the price disparity by increasing the demand in the lower-priced market and the supply in the higher-priced one. Typically, the profits realized from outward arbitrage are small for each transaction but can become substantial when large volumes are involved or when the activity is repeated frequently.


1. Forex Market: Outward arbitrage is commonly practiced in the Forex market. Forex traders make use of the price discrepancies between different currency markets in various countries. If a trader identifies that the U.S. dollar is undervalued in the UK market compared to the U.S. market, they will buy the currency at a lower price in the UK and sell it in the U.S. market to turn a profit. 2. Commodity Trading: Another example can be found in commodity trading. For instance, if the price of gold in the Australian market is lower than in the Indian market, an arbitrageur would seek to buy the gold from Australia and then sell it in India to capitalize on the price difference.3. Stock Market: Outward arbitrage is also common in international stock markets. Assume that shares of a certain company are being traded at a lower value on the London Stock Exchange than on the New York Stock Exchange. An investor might buy the shares on the London Stock Exchange and sell them for a higher price on the New York Stock Exchange, thus exploiting the market inefficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the definition of Outward Arbitrage?

Outward Arbitrage refers to the practice of purchasing a commodity, security, or currency in a domestic market and selling it in a foreign market. This is typically done to take advantage of price differences between the markets.

How does Outward Arbitrage work?

Let’s suppose a product is sold cheaper in Country A compared to Country B. An arbitrageur would buy the product in Country A and then sell it in Country B, exploiting the price difference to make a profit.

What are the potential risks of Outward Arbitrage?

Risk includes changes in market conditions before the transaction is completed, such as price changes, shipping delays, or changes in exchange rates. It could also include legal restrictions or implications.

How does international trade benefit from Outward Arbitrage?

Outward Arbitrage can help to harmonize prices around the world by creating incentives to import from low-cost countries and export to high-cost ones. This can effectively move goods from areas of surplus to areas of scarcity.

Is Outward Arbitrage available for all types of commodities, securities, and currencies?

Outward Arbitrage is technically possible for any goods, services or commodities that have a price discrepancy between different markets, provided the legal and physical logistics of a transaction are feasible.

What kind of entities commonly engage in Outward Arbitrage?

Primarily, businesses, hedge funds, and individual investors who keep a close eye on international marketing and can quickly capitalize on price discrepancies engage in Outward Arbitrage.

Does Outward Arbitrage always guarantee profits?

No, Outward Arbitrage does not always guarantee profit. Traders have to carefully calculate the costs associated with transportation, taxes, and any legal hurdles in the export process which can significantly eat into potential profits.

How does Outward Arbitrage contribute to economic efficiency?

By taking advantage of price differences between markets, arbitrage promotes efficiency as it helps ensure that prices do not deviate substantially across different markets for long periods. This price matching contributes to the law of one price, a fundamental concept in economics.

Related Finance Terms

  • Arbitrage Opportunity: An opportunity for risk-free profit that results from differences in price, interest rate, or currency exchange rate in different markets.
  • Forex Arbitrage: This refers to the practice of taking advantage of price differences in different foreign exchange markets. Traders buy a currency at a lower price and sell it in another market at a higher price.
  • Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH): This suggests that current asset prices fully reflect all available information, implying that arbitrage should not be possible as all securities will be properly priced.
  • Financial Instrument: A real or virtual document representing a legal agreement involving any kind of monetary value. Arbitragers play with these instruments in different markets to gain profit.
  • Risk-Free Rate of Return: Refers to the theoretical rate of return of an investment with zero risk. The concept is important in regards to arbitrage as ideally, arbitrage activities are risk-free.

Sources for More Information

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