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I would like to validate this sentence, coming from a WSJ article:

The cost of holding a Eurostoxx 50 future, for example, has climbed from an average of 0.07% of the contract value since 1998, to an average of 0.45% over the last year, according to BlackRock calculations based on broker estimates.

While my gut feeling tells me that that this indeed could be true I want to understand the exact reasons.

Lets take an equitizing strategy that rolls an EuroStoxx 50 future quarterly into the next liquid contract. What are the main factors that drive the costs of this replication strategy and how did they change in the last years to support the statement above?

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I don't have much experience in the matter, but I've been doing some related literature research recently and I think these links can be helpful:

A rather recent study from CME

A (possible a bit biased) report by BlackRock

A report by Lyxor (asset manager affialiated to Societe Generale)

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  • $\begingroup$ The CME article is great! $\endgroup$ – vanguard2k Jun 16 '15 at 15:06
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The current contract value is roughly 30k euros. The bidask spread is 1 tick, which equals 10 euros. Lets say you buy the contract and roll 3 times a year and then liquidate your position at expiry. You will hence pay 1 full bidask spread + 3 rolls, which if done via spreads with market orders, are equal to 1 tick each, hence you will pay 40 euros on bidasks + comissions, which can vary depending on the broker, but you can probably assume it is on average 5 euros per transaction. Hence over all, for the year, you can expect to pay 25+40~65 euros, which equates to roughly 65/30k ~= 0.22%

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  • $\begingroup$ In your answer you are just considering transaction costs, futures also have holding costs. $\endgroup$ – FernandoG Dec 30 '16 at 13:42

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