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
options 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...