Title:

Mathematical methods for valuation and risk assessment of investment projects and real options

In this thesis, we study the problems of risk measurement, valuation and hedging of financial positions in incomplete markets when an insufficient number of assets are available for investment (real options). We work closely with three measures of risk: WorstCase Scenario (WCS) (the supremum of expected values over a set of given probability measures), ValueatRisk (VaR) and Average ValueatRisk (AVaR), and analyse the problem of hedging derivative securities depending on a nontraded asset, defined in terms of the risk measures via their acceptance sets. The hedging problem associated to VaR is the problem of minimising the expected shortfall. For WCS, the hedging problem turns out to be a robust version of minimising the expected shortfall; and as AVaR can be seen as a particular case of WCS, its hedging problem is also related to the minimisation of expected shortfall. Under some sufficient conditions, we solve explicitly the minimal expected shortfall problem in a discretetime setting of two assets driven by correlated binomial models. In the continuoustime case, we analyse the problem of measuring risk by WCS, VaR and AVaR on positions modelled as Markov diffusion processes and develop some results on transformations of Markov processes to apply to the risk measurement of derivative securities. In all cases, we characterise the risk of a position as the solution of a partial differential equation of second order with boundary conditions. In relation to the valuation and hedging of derivative securities, and in the search for explicit solutions, we analyse a variant of the robust version of the expected shortfall hedging problem. Instead of taking the loss function $l(x) = [x]^+$ we work with the strictly increasing, strictly convex function $L_{\epsilon}(x) = \epsilon \log \left( \frac{1+exp\{−x/\epsilon\} }{ exp\{−x/\epsilon\} } \right)$. Clearly $lim_{\epsilon \rightarrow 0} L_{\epsilon}(x) = l(x)$. The reformulation to the problem for L_{\epsilon}(x) also allow us to use directly the dual theory under robust preferences recently developed in [82]. Due to the fact that the function $L_{\epsilon}(x)$ is not separable in its variables, we are not able to solve explicitly, but instead, we use a power series approximation in the dual variables. It turns out that the approximated solution corresponds to the robust version of a utility maximisation problem with exponential preferences $(U(x) = −\frac{1}{\gamma}e^{\gamma x})$ for a preferenes parameter $\gamma = 1/\epsilon$. For the approximated problem, we analyse the cases with and without random endowment, and obtain an expression for the utility indifference bid price of a derivative security which depends only on the nontraded asset.
