DBA 1754 FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES ASSIGNMENT I 1. Evolution of the financial derivatives market India Financial Derivatives Market and its Development in India Financial markets are, by nature, extremely volatile and hence the risk factor is an important concern for financial agents. To reduce this risk, the concept of derivatives comes into the picture. Derivatives are products whose values are derived from one or more basic variables called bases. These bases can be underlying assets (for example forex, equity, etc), bases or reference rates.
For example, wheat farmers may wish to sell their harvest at a future date to eliminate the risk of a change in prices by that date. The transaction in this case would be the derivative, while the spot price of wheat would be the underlying asset. Development of exchange-traded derivatives Derivatives have probably been around for as long as people have been trading with one another. Forward contracting dates back at least to the 12th century, and may well have been around before then. Merchants entered into contracts with one another for future delivery of specified amount of commodities at specified price.
A primary motivation for pre-arranging a buyer or seller for a stock of commodities in early forward contracts was to lessen the possibility that large swings would inhibit marketing the commodity after a harvest. The need for a derivatives market The derivatives market performs a number of economic functions: 1. They help in transferring risks from risk averse people to risk oriented people 2. They help in the discovery of future as well as current prices 3. They catalyze entrepreneurial activity 4.
They increase the volume traded in markets because of participation of risk averse people in greater numbers 5. They increase savings and investment in the long run The participants in a derivatives market •Hedgers use futures or options markets to reduce or eliminate the risk associated with price of an asset. •Speculators use futures and options contracts to get extra leverage in betting on future movements in the price of an asset. They can increase both the potential gains and potential losses by usage of derivatives in a speculative venture. Arbitrageurs are in business to take advantage of a discrepancy between prices in two different markets. If, for example, they see the futures price of an asset getting out of line with the cash price, they will take offsetting positions in the two markets to lock in a profit. Types of Derivatives Forwards: A forward contract is a customized contract between two entities, where settlement takes place on a specific date in the future at today’s pre-agreed price. Futures: A futures contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a certain time in the future at a certain price.
Futures contracts are special types of forward contracts in the sense that the former are standardized exchange- traded contracts Options: Options are of two types – calls and puts. Calls give the buyer the right but not the obligation to buy a given quantity of the underlying asset, at a given price on or before a given future date. Puts give the buyer the right, but not the obligation to sell a given quantity of the underlying asset at a given price on or before a given date. Warrants: Options generally have lives of upto one year, the majority of options traded on ptions exchanges having a maximum maturity of nine months. Longer-dated options are called warrants and are generally traded over-the-counter. LEAPS: The acronym LEAPS means Long-Term Equity Anticipation Securities. These are options having a maturity of upto three years. Baskets: Basket options are options on portfolios of underlying assets. The underlying asset is usually a moving average or a basket of assets. Equity index options are a form of basket options. Swaps: Swaps are private agreements between two parties to exchange cash flows in the future according to a prearranged formula.
They can be regarded as portfolios of forward contracts. The two commonly used swaps are : • Interest rate swaps: These entail swapping only the interest related cash flows between the parties in the same currency. • Currency swaps: These entail swapping both principal and interest between the parties, with the cashflows in one direction being in a different currency than those in the opposite direction. Swaptions: Swaptions are options to buy or sell a swap that will become operative at the expiry of the options.
Thus a swaption is an option on a forward swap. Rather than have calls and puts, the swaptions market has receiver swaptions and payer swaptions. A receiver swaption is an option to receive fixed and pay floating. A payer swaption is an option to pay fixed and receive floating. Factors driving the growth of financial derivatives 1. Increased volatility in asset prices in financial markets, 2. Increased integration of national financial markets with the international markets, 3. Marked improvement in communication facilities and sharp decline in their costs, 4.
Development of more sophisticated risk management tools, providing economic agents a wider choice of risk management strategies, and 5. Innovations in the derivatives markets, which optimally combine the risks and returns over a large number of financial assets leading to higher returns, reduced risk as well as transactions costs as compared to individual financial assets. Development of derivatives market in India The first step towards introduction of derivatives trading in India was the promulgation of the Securities Laws(Amendment) Ordinance, 1995, which withdrew the prohibition on options in securities.
The market for derivatives, however, did not take off, as there was no regulatory framework to govern trading of derivatives. SEBI set up a 24– member committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. L. C. Gupta on November 18, 1996 to develop appropriate regulatory framework for derivatives trading in India. The committee submitted its report on March 17, 1998 prescribing necessary pre– conditions for introduction of derivatives trading in India. The committee recommended that derivatives should be declared as ‘securities’ so that regulatory framework applicable to trading of ‘securities’ could also govern trading of securities.
SEBI also set up a group in June 1998 under the Chairmanship of Prof. J. R. Varma, to recommend measures for risk containment in derivatives market in India. The report, which was submitted in October 1998, worked out the operational details of margining system, methodology for charging initial margins, broker net worth, deposit requirement and real–time monitoring requirements. The Securities Contract Regulation Act (SCRA) was amended in December 1999 to include derivatives within the ambit of ‘securities’ and the regulatory framework was developed for governing derivatives trading.
The act also made it clear that derivatives shall be legal and valid only if such contracts are traded on a recognized stock exchange, thus precluding OTC derivatives. The government also rescinded in March 2000, the three decade old notification, which prohibited forward trading in securities. Derivatives trading commenced in India in June 2000 after SEBI granted the final approval to this effect in May 2001. SEBI permitted the derivative segments of two stock exchanges, NSE and BSE, and their clearing house/corporation to commence trading and settlement in approved derivatives contracts.
To begin with, SEBI approved trading in index futures contracts based on S&P CNX Nifty and BSE– 30(Sensex) index. This was followed by approval for trading in options based on these two indexes and options on individual securities. The trading in BSE Sensex options commenced on June 4, 2001 and the trading in options on individual securities commenced in July 2001. Futures contracts on individual stocks were launched in November 2001. The derivatives trading on NSE commenced with S&P CNX Nifty Index futures on June 12, 2000.
The trading in index options commenced on June 4, 2001 and trading in options on individual securities commenced on July 2, 2001. Single stock futures were launched on November 9, 2001. The index futures and options contract on NSE are based on S&P CNX Trading and settlement in derivative contracts is done in accordance with the rules, byelaws, and regulations of the respective exchanges and their clearing house/corporation duly approved by SEBI and notified in the official gazette. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) are permitted to trade in all Exchange traded derivative products.
The following are some observations based on the trading statistics provided in the NSE report on the futures and options (F&O): • Single-stock futures continue to account for a sizable proportion of the F&O segment. It constituted 70 per cent of the total turnover during June 2002. A primary reason attributed to this phenomenon is that traders are comfortable with single-stock futures than equity options, as the former closely resembles the erstwhile badla system. • On relative terms, volumes in the index options segment continues to remain poor.
This may be due to the low volatility of the spot index. Typically, options are considered more valuable when the volatility of the underlying (in this case, the index) is high. A related issue is that brokers do not earn high commissions by recommending index options to their clients, because low volatility leads to higher waiting time for round-trips. • Put volumes in the index options and equity options segment have increased since January 2002. The call-put volumes in index options have decreased from 2. 86 in January 2002 to 1. 32 in June.
The fall in call-put volumes ratio suggests that the traders are increasingly becoming pessimistic on the market. • Farther month futures contracts are still not actively traded. Trading in equity options on most stocks for even the next month was non-existent. • Daily option price variations suggest that traders use the F&O segment as a less risky alternative (read substitute) to generate profits from the stock price movements. The fact that the option premiums tail intra-day stock prices is evidence to this. Calls on Satyam fall, while puts rise when Satyam falls intra-day.
If calls and puts are not looked as just substitutes for spot trading, the intra-day stock price variations should not have a one-to-one impact on the option premiums. Exchange-traded vs. OTC (Over The Counter) derivatives markets The OTC derivatives markets have witnessed rather sharp growth over the last few years, which has accompanied the modernization of commercial and investment banking and globalisation of financial activities. The recent developments in information technology have contributed to a great extent to these developments.
While both exchange-traded and OTC derivative contracts offer many benefits, the former have rigid structures compared to the latter. It has been widely discussed that the highly leveraged institutions and their OTC derivative positions were the main cause of turbulence in financial markets in 1998. These episodes of turbulence revealed the risks posed to market stability originating in features of OTC derivative instruments and markets. The OTC derivatives markets have the following features compared to exchange-traded derivatives: 1. The management of counter-party (credit) risk is decentralized and located within individual institutions, . There are no formal centralized limits on individual positions, leverage, or margining, 3. There are no formal rules for risk and burden-sharing, 4. There are no formal rules or mechanisms for ensuring market stability and integrity, and for safeguarding the collective interests of market participants, and 5. The OTC contracts are generally not regulated by a regulatory authority and the exchange’s self-regulatory organization, although they are affected indirectly by national legal systems, banking supervision and market surveillance. 2. Distinguish between future and forward contract
Forward Contracts Forward Contract: ? A forward contract always involves a contract initiated at the start, with performance in accordance with the terms of the contract occurring at a later time. ? There is an exchange of assets with the price at which the exchange occurs being set at the time of the initial contracting. ? The actual payment and delivery of the asset occurs at the later time. An example of a forward contract would be a foreign currency forward contract, which would call for the exchange of some quantity of a foreign currency at a future date in exchange for a payment at that later date.
Futures Contract ? A futures contract is a type of forward contract with highly standardised and closely specified contract terms. ? As in all forward contracts, a futures contract calls for the exchange of some good at a future date for cash, with the payment for the good to be made at that future date. ? The purchaser of a Futures Contract undertakes to receive delivery of the good and to pay for it, while the seller of the Futures promises to deliver the good and receive payment. Options Option contracts are either put or call options. ? Call Option.
The owner of a Call Option has the right to purchase the underlying good at a specific price, and this right lasts until a specific date. ? Put Option. The owner of a Put Option has the right to sell the underlying good at a specific price, and this right lasts until a specific date. Option Characteristics Options are created only by buying and selling. Therefore, for every owner of an option, there is a seller. Options on futures ? An option on a futures contract (also called a futures option) is one that takes a futures option contract as its underlying good. The structure is similar to that of an option on something physical (as described above). ? For both instruments, the option owner has the right to exercise and the seller has the duty to perform on exercise. ? Upon exercising the futures option, however, the call owner receives a long position in the underlying futures at the settlement price prevailing at the time of exercise. ? The call owner also receives a payment that equals the settlement price minus the exercise price of the futures option. Swaps ? A swap is an agreement between two or more parties to exchange sequences of cash flows over a period in the future. For example, Party A may agree to pay a fixed rate of interest on a $1 million each year for five years to party B. ? In return Party B may pay a floating rate of interest on $1 million each year for five years. ? The parties that agree to the swap are known as the counterparties. ? There are two common kinds of swap, namely interest rate swaps and currency swaps. ? Swaps are generally custom-tailored to the needs of the counterparties, generally developing a contract that is completely dedicated to meeting their particular needs. Differences between Futures and Forwards
The difference between a futures contract and a forward contract In order to distinguish between a futures contract and a forward contract you first need to understand what they are. The definitions are given above. From there you will see that a futures contract is a type of a forward contract with the following characteristics: 1) Futures contracts always trade on an organised exchange. 2) Futures contracts are always highly standardised with a specified quantity of a good, with a specific delivery date and delivery mechanism. 3) Performance on futures contracts is guaranteed by a clearinghouse. ) All futures contracts require that traders post margin in order to trade. A margin is a good faith deposit made by a prospective futures trader to indicate his or her willingness and ability to fulfil all financial obligations that may arise from trading futures. 5) Futures markets are regulated by an identifiable government agency. A forward contract on the other hand trades in an unregulated market and does not require the five points above. However, futures and forwards are essentially similar contracts and have similar results.