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Launch of interest rate futures in 10-yr govt bonds okayed

Banks, stock exchanges and other market participants have been requesting for this product since a long time to deepen and broaden the derivatives market in the country.

December 06, 2013 / 08:59 AM IST

Market regulator Sebi today allowed stock exchanges to introduce cash settled interest rate futures (IRFs) on 10-year government bonds, which has been a long pending demand of market participants.


Also Read: All you need to know about investing in government bonds


"It has been decided to permit stock exchanges to introduce cash settled IRFs on 10-year Government of India (GoI) security," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular. The decision was taken after consulting Reserve Bank and feedback from market participants and stock exchanges.


An interest rate future is a contract between a buyer and a seller agreeing to the future delivery of any interest-bearing asset such as government bonds. Banks, stock exchanges and other market participants have been requesting for this product since a long time to deepen and broaden the derivatives market in the country.


Investors purchase or sell IRFs to hedge risks arising from fluctuation in interest rates, which depend on various factors including RBI policy, demand for liquidity and flow of overseas funds. "Two different designs (coupon bearing GoI security as underlying and coupon bearing notional 10-year GoI security with settlement price based on basket of securities as underlying) are permitted for cash settled futures on 10-year GoI security," it said.


The exchanges are allowed to launch contracts on either one or both of these options. This is being introduced on a pilot basis and the product features would be reviewed based on the experience gained.

Before the launch of the product, the stock exchange is required to submit the proposal to Sebi for approval giving the details of contract specifications, risk management framework, the safeguards and the risk protection mechanisms and the surveillance systems among others. Trading would be done between 9 am and 5 pm on all working days from Monday to Friday. To begin with, Sebi said that serial monthly contracts with maximum maturity of three months would be available.

first published: Dec 5, 2013 08:48 pm

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