RBI announces currency futures trading norms
In the context of liberalisation of the capital accounts, as also continued development of the financial markets, it was felt that wider hedging opportunities could enhance the flexibility for the residents to manage their currency risk dynamically. International experiences have also established that the exchange traded currency futures contracts facilitate efficient price discovery, enable better counterparty credit risk management, wider participation, trading of standardized product, reduce transaction costs, etc.
Accordingly, as a part of further developing the derivatives market in India and adding to the existing menu of foreign exchange hedging tools available to the residents, it has been decided to introduce currency futures in recognized stock exchanges or new exchanges recognized by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in the country. The currency futures market would function subject to the directions, guidelines, instructions issued by the Reserve Bank and the SEBI, from time to time.
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.
(i) Currency Futures means a standardised foreign exchange derivative contract traded on a recognized stock exchange to buy or sell one currency against another on a specified future date, at a price specified on the date of contract, but does not include a forward contract.
(ii) Currency Futures market means the market in which currency futures are traded.
(i) Currency futures are permitted in US Dollar - Indian Rupee or any other currency pairs, as may be approved by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
(ii) Only ‘persons resident in India’ may purchase or sell currency futures to hedge an exposure to foreign exchange rate risk or otherwise.
Features of currency futures
Standardized currency futures shall have the following features:
a. Only USD-INR contracts are allowed to be traded.
b. The size of each contract shall be USD 1000.
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.
(i) No person other than 'a person resident in India' as defined in section 2(v) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (Act 42 of 1999) shall participate in the currency futures market.
(ii) Notwithstanding sub-paragraph (i), no scheduled bank or such other agency falling under the regulatory purview of the Reserve Bank under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 or any other Act or instrument having the force of law shall participate in the currency futures market without the permission from the respective regulatory Departments of the Reserve Bank. Similarly, for participation by other regulated entities, concurrence from their respective regulators should be obtained.
The membership of the currency futures market of a recognised stock exchange shall be separate from the membership of the equity derivative segment or the cash segment. Membership for both trading and clearing, in the currency futures market shall be subject to the guidelines issued by the SEBI.
Guidelines for banks to become trading /clearing members of SEBI-approved exchanges for Currency Futures
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