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Published on Sep 03, 2023


This report laid down the framework for the launch of Exchange Traded Currency Futures in terms of the eligibility norms for existing and new Exchanges and their Clearing Corporations/Houses, eligibility criteria for members of such Exchanges/Clearing Corporations/Houses, product design, risk management measures, surveillance mechanism and other related issues.

The Regulatory framework for currency futures trading in the country, as laid down by the regulators, provide that persons resident in India are permitted to participate in the currency futures market in India subject to directions contained in the Currency Futures (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2008, which have come into force with effect from August 6, 2008.

Standardized currency futures have the following features:

a. USD INR, EUR INR, JPY INR and GDP INR contracts are allowed to be traded.

b. The size of each contract is - USD 1000, EUR 1000, GDP 1000 and JPY 1,00,000.

c. The contracts shall be quoted and settled in Indian Rupees.

d. The maturity of the contracts shall not exceed 12 months.

e. The settlement price shall be the Reserve Bank's Reference Rate on the last trading day.

The membership of the currency futures market of a recognised stock exchange has been mandated to be separate from the membership of the equity derivative segment or the cash segment. Banks authorized by the Reserve Bank of India under section 10 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 as 'AD Category - I bank' are permitted to become trading and clearing members of the currency futures market of the recognized stock exchanges, on their own account and on behalf of their clients, subject to fulfi lling certain minimum prudential requirements pertaining to net worth, non-performing assets etc.

NSE was the fi rst exchange to have received an in-principle approval from SEBI for setting up currency derivative segment. The exchange lunched its currency futures trading platform on 29th August, 2008. While BSE commenced trading in currency futures on 1st October, 2008, Multi-Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) started trading in this product on 7th October, 2008 Derivative Market Of Forex Currencies

The following Forex types will be reviewed in this part:

Currency futures

Currency forwards

Currency swaps

Currency options

Derivatives play an important and useful role in the economy, but they also pose several dangers to the stability of financial markets and the overall economy. Derivatives are often employed for the useful purpose of hedging and risk management, and this role becomes more important as financial markets grow more volatile. Derivatives are also used to commit fraud and to manipulate markets.

Derivatives are powerful tools that can be used to hedge the risks normally associated with production, commerce and finance. Derivatives facilitate risk management by allowing a person to reduce his exposure to certain kinds of risk by transferring those risks to another person that is more willing and able to bear such risks.

Today, derivatives are traded in most parts of the world, and the size of these markets is enormous. Data for 2002 by the Bank of International Settlements puts the amount of outstanding derivatives in excess of $151 trillion and the trading volume on organized derivatives exchanges at $694 trillion. By comparison, the IMF's figure for worldwide output, or GDP, is $32.1 trillion.

A derivative is a financial contract whose value is linked to the price of an underlying commodity, asset, rate, index or the occurrence or magnitude of an event. The term derivative refers to how the price of these contracts is derived from the price the underlying item. Typical examples of derivatives include futures, forwards, swaps and options, and these can be combined with traditional securities and loans in order to create structured securities which are also known as hybrid instruments. Risks involved in Derivatives

• Credit Risks

• Market Risks

• Operational Risks

• Entrepreneurial Risks

• Systematic Risks

Forward deals are a form of insurance against the risk that exchange rates will change between now and the delivery date of the contract. A forward is a simple kind of a derivative - a financial instrument whose price is based on another underlying asset. The price in a forward contract is known as the delivery price and allows the investor to lock in the current exchange rate and thus avoid subsequent Forex fluctuations.

Futures contracts are like forwards, except that they are highly standardized. The futures contracts traded on most organized exchanges are so standardized that they are fungible - meaning that they are substitutable one for another. This fungibility facilitates trading and results in greater trading volume and greater market liquidity.

While futures and forward contracts are both a contract to trade on a future date, key differences include:

Futures are always traded on an exchange, whereas forwards always trade over-the-counter

Futures are highly standardized, whereas each forward is unique

The price at which the contract is finally settled is different:

Futures are settled at the settlement price fixed on the last trading date of the contract (i.e. at the end)

Forwards are settled at the forward price agreed on the trade date (i.e. at the start)

The credit risk of futures is much lower than that of forwards:

The profit or loss on a futures position is exchanged in cash every day. After this the credit exposure is again zero.

The profit or loss on a forward contract is only realized at the time of settlement, so the credit exposure can keep increasing

In case of physical delivery, the forward contract specifies to whom to make the delivery. The counterparty on a futures contract is chosen randomly by the exchange.

In a forard there are no cash flows until delivery, whereas in futures there are margin requirements and periodic margin calls.

Forward (Cash) Contract is a cash contract in which a seller agrees to deliver a specific cash commodity to a buyer sometime in the future. Forward contracts, in contrast to futures contracts, are privately negotiated and are not standardized.

Many market participants want to exchange currencies at a time other than two days in advance but would like to know the rate of exchange now. Forward foreign exchange contracts are generally used by importers, exporters and investors who seek to lock in exchange rates for a future date in order to hedge their foreign currency cash flows.

For example, if a company had contracted to purchase equipment for the price of GBP 1 million payable in 3 months time but was concerned that the GBP would rise against the Australian dollar in the interim, the company could agree today to buy the USD for delivery in 3 months time. In other words, the company could negotiate a rate at which it could buy GBP at some time in the future, setting the amount of GBP needed; the date needed etc. and hence be sure of the Australian Dollar purchasing price now

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