Since 2003, Indian capital markets have been receiving global attention, especially from sound investors, due to the improving macroeconomic fundamentals. The presence of a great pool of skilled labour and the rapid integration with the world economy increased India’s global competitiveness. No wonder, the global ratings agencies Moody’s and Fitch have awarded India with investment grade ratings, indicating comparatively lower sovereign risks.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory authority for Indian securities market, was established in 1992 to protect investors and improve the microstructure of capital markets. In the same year, Controller of Capital Issues (CCI) was abolished, removing its administrative controls over the pricing of new equity issues. In less than a decade later, the Indian financial markets acknowledged the use of technology (National Stock Exchange started online trading in 2000), increasing the trading volumes by many folds and leading to the emergence of new financial instruments. With this, market activity experienced a sharp surge and rapid progress was made in further strengthening and streamlining risk management, market regulation, and supervision.
The securities market is divided into two interdependent segments:
In the recent past, the Indian securities market has seen multi-faceted growth in terms of:
Broad Constituents in the Indian Capital Markets
Fund Raisers are companies that raise funds from domestic and foreign sources, both public and private. The following sources help companies raise funds:
Fund Providers are the entities that invest in the capital markets. These can be categorized as domestic and foreign investors, institutional and retail investors. The list includes subscribers to primary market issues, investors who buy in the secondary market, traders, speculators, FIIs/ sub accounts, mutual funds, venture capital funds, NRIs, ADR/GDR investors, etc.
Intermediaries are service providers in the market, including stock brokers, sub-brokers, financiers, merchant bankers, underwriters, depository participants, registrar and transfer agents, FIIs/ sub accounts, mutual Funds, venture capital funds, portfolio managers, custodians, etc.
Organizations include various entities such as MCX-SX, BSE, NSE, other regional stock exchanges, and the two depositories National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Securities Depository Limited (CSDL).
Market Regulators include the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Department of Company Affairs (DCA).
Appellate Authority: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT)
Participants in the Securities Market
SAT, regulators (SEBI, RBI, DCA, DEA), depositories, stock exchanges (with equity trading, debt market segment, derivative trading), brokers, corporate brokers, sub-brokers, FIIs, portfolio managers, custodians, share transfer agents, primary dealers, merchant bankers, bankers to an issue, debenture trustees, underwriters, venture capital funds, foreign venture capital investors, mutual funds, collective investment schemes.
History of the Market
With the onset of globalization and the subsequent policy reforms, significant improvements have been made in the area of securities market in India. Dematerialization of shares was one of the revolutionary steps that the government implemented. This led to faster and cheaper transactions, and increased the volumes traded by many folds. The adoption of the market-oriented economic policies and online trading facility transformed Indian equity markets from a broker-regulated market to a mass market. This boosted the sentiment of investors in and outside India and elevated the Indian equity markets to the standards of the major global equity markets.
The 1990s witnessed the emergence of the securities market as a major source of finance for trade and industry. Equity markets provided the required platform for companies and start-up businesses to raise money through IPOs, VC, PE, and finance from HNIs. As a result, stock markets became a people’s market, flooded with primary issues. In the first 11 months of 2007, the new capital raised in the global public equity markets through IPOs accounted for $107 billion in 382 deals out of the total of $255 billion raised by the four BRIC countries. This was a sizeable growth from $90 billion raised in 302 deals in 2006. Today, the corporate sector prefers external sources for meeting its funding requirements rather than acquiring loans from financial institutions or banks.
The emergence of the market for derivative products such as futures and forwards can be traced back to the willingness of risk-averse economic agents to guard themselves against uncertainties arising out of price fluctuations in various asset classes. By their very nature, the financial markets are marked by a very high degree of volatility. Through the use of derivative products, it is possible to partially or fully transfer price risks by locking in asset prices. However, by locking in asset prices, derivative products minimize the impact of fluctuations in asset prices on the profitability and cash flow situation of risk-averse investors. This instrument is used by all sections of businesses, such as corporates, SMEs, banks, financial institutions, retail investors, etc. According to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, more than 90 percent of the global 500 corporations use derivatives for hedging risks in interest rates, foreign exchange, and equities. In the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, interest rates (78.5%), foreign exchange (11.4%), and credit form the major derivatives, whereas in the exchange-traded segment, interest rates, government debt, equity index, and stock futures form the major chunk of the derivatives.
What are futures contracts?
Futures contracts are standardized derivative instruments. The instrument has an underlying product (tangible or intangible) and is impacted by the developments witnessed in the underlying product. The quality and quantity of the underlying asset are standardized. Futures contracts are transferable in nature. Three broad categories of participants—hedgers, speculators, and arbitragers—trade in the derivatives market.
Exchange-Traded Vs. OTC Contracts: A significant bifurcation in the instrument is whether the derivative is traded on the exchange or over the counter. Exchange-traded contracts are standardized (futures). It is easy to buy and sell contracts (to reverse positions) and no negotiation is required. The OTC market is largely a direct market between two parties who know and trust each other. Most common example for OTC is the forward contract. Forward contracts are directly negotiated, tailor-made for the needs of the parties, and are often not easily reversed.
Distinction between Forward and Futures Contracts:
|Futures Contracts||Forward Contracts|
|Meaning: A futures contract is a contractual agreement between two parties to buy or sell a standardized quantity and quality of asset on a specific future date on a futures exchange.||A forward contract is a contractual agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a future date for a predetermined mutually agreed price while entering into the contract. A forward contract is not traded on an exchange.|
|Trading place: A futures contract is traded on the centralized trading platform of an exchange.||A forward contract is traded in an OTC market.|
|Transparency in contract price: The contract price of a futures contract is transparent as it is available on the centralized trading screen of the exchange.||The contract price of a forward contract is not transparent, as it is not publicly disclosed.|
|Valuations of open position and margin requirement: In a futures contract, valuation of open position is calculated as per the official closing price on a daily basis and mark-to-market (MTM) margin requirement exists.||In a forward contract, valuation of open position is not calculated on a daily basis and there is no requirement of MTM on daily basis since the settlement of contract is only on the maturity date of the contract.|
|Liquidity: Liquidity is the measure of frequency of trades that occur in a particular futures contract. A futures contract is more liquid as it is traded on the exchange.||A forward contract is less liquid due to its customized nature.|
|Counterparty default risk: In futures contracts, the exchange clearinghouse provides trade guarantee. Therefore, counterparty risk is almost eliminated.||In forward contracts, counterparty risk is high due to the customized nature of the transaction.|
|Regulations: A regulatory authority and the exchange regulate a futures contract.||A forward contract is not regulated by any exchange.|
Benefits of Derivatives
Indian equities are traded on three major national exchanges: MCX Stock Exchange Limited (MCX-SX), Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE).
MCX Stock Exchange
MCX Stock Exchange Limited (MCX-SX), India’s new stock exchange, is recognized by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under Section 4 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956. The Exchange was granted the status of a ‘recognized stock exchange’ by the Government of India on December 19, 2012. In line with global best practices and regulatory requirements, clearing and settlement of trades is conducted through a separate clearing corporation-MCX-SX Clearing Corporation Limited (MCX-SX CCL).
MCX-SX commenced operations in Currency Futures in the Currency Derivatives segment on October 7, 2008 under the regulatory framework of SEBI and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Exchange commenced trading in Currency Options on August 10, 2012. The Exchange received permissions to deal in Interest Rate Derivatives, Equity, Futures and Options on Equity and Wholesale Debt segments, vide SEBI’s letter dated July 10, 2012. The Exchange further received permission to commence trading in these new segments, vide SEBI’s letter dated December 19, 2012. The Exchange commenced trading in the Equity segment on February 11, 2013.
Benchmark Index: SX40
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)
BSE is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The extensiveness of the indigenous equity broking industry in India led to the formation of the Native Share Brokers Association in 1875, which later became Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE).
BSE is widely recognized due to its pivotal and pre-eminent role in the development of the Indian capital market.
BSE has a nation-wide reach with a presence in more than 450 cities and towns of India. BSE has always been at par with the international standards. It is the first exchange in India and the second in the world to obtain an ISO 9001:2000 certification. It is also the first exchange in the country and second in the world to receive Information Security Management System Standard BS 7799-2-2002 certification for its BSE Online Trading System (BOLT).
Benchmark Indices futures: BSE 30 SENSEX, BSE 100, BSE TECK, BSE Oil and Gas, BSE Metal, BSE FMCG
National Stock Exchange (NSE)
NSE was recognised as a stock exchange in April 1993 under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act. It commenced its operations in Wholesale Debt Market in June 1994. The capital market segment commenced its operations in November 1994, whereas the derivative segment started in 2000. NSE introduced a fully automated trading system called NEAT (National Exchange for Automated Trading) that operated on a strict price/time priority. This system enabled efficient trade and the ease with which trade was done. NEAT had lent considerable depth in the market by enabling large number of members all over the country to trade simultaneously, narrowing the spreads significantly.
The derivatives trading on NSE commenced with S&P CNX Nifty Index futures on June 12, 2000. The futures contract on NSE is based on S&P CNX Nifty Index. The Futures and Options trading system of NSE, called NEAT-F&O trading system, provides a fully automated screen based trading for S&P CNX Nifty futures on a nationwide basis and an online monitoring and surveillance mechanism. It supports an order-driven market and provides complete transparency of trading operations.
Benchmark Indices futures: Nifty Midcap 50 futures, S&P CNX Nifty futures, CNX Nifty Junior, CNX IT futures, CNX 100 futures, Bank Nifty futures
Due to increasing globalization, the development at macro and micro levels in international markets is compulsorily incorporated in the performance of domestic indices and individual stock performance, directly or indirectly. Therefore, it is important to keep track of international financial markets for better perspective and intelligent investment.
NASDAQ is an American stock exchange. It is an electronic screen-based equity securities trading market in the US. It was founded in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). However, it is owned and operated by NASDAQ OMX group, the stock of which was listed on its own stock exchange in 2002. The exchange is monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulatory authority for the securities markets in the United States.
NASDAQ is the world leader in the arena of securities trading, with 3,900 companies (NASDAQ site) being listed. There are four major indices of NASDAQ that are followed closely by the investor class, internationally.
The London Stock Exchange was founded in 1801 with British as well as overseas companies listed on the exchange. The LSE has four core areas:
The exchange offers a range of products in derivatives segment with underlying from Russian, Nordic, and Baltic markets. Internationally, it offers products with underlying from Kazakhstan, India, Egypt, and Korea.
It is situated in Frankfurt, Germany. It is owned and operated by Deutsche Börse. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange has over 90 percent of turnover in the German market and a big share in the European market. The exchange has a few well-known trading indices of the exchange, such as DAX, DAXplus, CDAX, DivDAX, LDAX, MDAX, SDAX, TecDAX, VDAX, and EuroStoxx 50.
DAX is a blue-chip stock market index consisting of the 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Prices are taken from the electronic Xetra trading system of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
There are four main legislations governing the securities market:
In India, the responsibility of regulating the securities market is shared by DCA (the Department of Company Affairs), DEA (the Department of Economic Affairs), RBI (the Reserve bank of India), and SEBI (the Securities and Exchange Board of India).
The DCA is now called the ministry of company affairs, which is under the ministry of finance. The ministry is primarily concerned with the administration of the Companies Act, 1956, and other allied Acts and rules & regulations framed there-under mainly for regulating the functioning of the corporate sector in accordance with the law.
The ministry exercises supervision over the three professional bodies, namely Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), and the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI), which are constituted under three separate Acts of Parliament for the proper and orderly growth of professions of chartered accountants, company secretaries, and cost accountants in the country.
SEBI protects the interests of investors in securities and promotes the development of the securities market. The board helps in regulating the business of stock exchanges and any other securities market. SEBI is also responsible for registering and regulating the working of stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, bankers to an issue, trustees of trust deeds, registrars to an issue, merchant bankers, underwriters, portfolio managers, investment advisers, and such other intermediaries who may be associated with securities markets in any manner.
The board registers the venture capitalists and collective investments like mutual funds. SEBI helps in promoting and regulating self regulatory organizations.
RBI is also known as the banker’s bank. The central bank has some very important objectives and functions such as:
The DEA is the nodal agency of the Union government to formulate and monitor the country's economic policies and programmes that have a bearing on domestic and international aspects of economic management. Apart from forming the Union Budget every year, it has other important functions like: