By David Russell
One big investor has been waiting for ICICI Bank (NYSE:IBN) to break through $40, and upped the ante today.
optionMONSTER's tracking systems detected the purchase of 20,200 March 40 calls for $2.75 and the sale of 10,100 January 40 calls for $0.65. Volume exceeded open interest in the March calls, indicating that a new position was opened, and below open interest in the January contracts, which suggests an existing position was closed.
IBN fell 0.89% to $38.96 in afternoon trading. The Indian bank reported a 76% profit growth on Oct. 30 as expenses and loan provisions declined. Today a company executive said home loans are "growing robustly."
The stock has spent the past four months consolidating between $33 and $40, and has roughly tripled from its March lows. This session's call-roll strategy gives the investor two additional months of exposure to the name. They also doubled the size of their bet.
He or she sold the January calls now because they will lose value at an accelerating pace as expiration approaches on Jan. 15.
The trade pushed overall options volume in IBN to seven times greater than average. Calls accounted for 95 percent of the activity.
(Chart courtesy of tradeMONSTER)