You are on page 1of 2

Futures and Options -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Futures and options represent two of the most common form of Derivatives .

Derivati ves are financial instruments that derive their value from an underlying . The unde rlying can be a stock issued by a company, a currency, Gold etc., The derivative instrument can be traded independently of the underlying asset. The value of th e derivative instrument changes according to the changes in the value of the und erlying. Derivatives are of two types exchange traded and Over the Counter. Exchange traded derivatives, as the name signifies are traded through organized exchanges around the world. These instruments can be bought and sold through the se exchanges, just like the stock market. Some of the common exchange traded der ivative instruments are futures and options. Over the counter (popularly known as OTC) derivatives are not traded through the exchanges. They are not standardized and have varied features. Some of the popu lar OTC instruments are forwards, swaps, swaptions etc., Futures A Future is a contract to buy or sell the underlying asset for a specific price at a pre-determined time. If you buy a futures contract, it means that you promise to pay the price of the asset at a specified time. If you sell a future, you ef fectively make a promise to transfer the asset to the buyer of the future at a s pecified price at a particular time. Every futures contract has the following fe atures Buyer Seller Price Expiry

Some of the most popular assets on which futures contracts are available are equ ity stocks, Indices, Commodities and Currency. The difference between the price of the underlying asset in the spot market and the futures market is called Basis . (As spot market is a market for immediate delive ry) The basis is usually negative, which means that the price of the asset in th e futures market is more than the price in the spot market. This is because of t he interest cost, storage cost, insurance premium etc., That is., if you buy the asset in the spot market, you will be incurring all these expenses which are no t needed if you buy a futures contract. This condition of basis being negative i s called as Contango . Sometimes it is more profitable to hold the asset in physica l form than in the form of futures. For eg: if you hold equity shares in your ac count you will receive dividends, whereas if you hold equity futures you will no t be eligible for any dividend. When these benefits overshadow the expenses asso ciated with the holding of the asset, the basis becomes positive (i.e., the pric e of the asset in the spot market is more than in the futures market). This cond ition is called Backwardation . Backwardation generally happens if the price of the asset is expected to fall. It is common that, as the futures contract approaches maturity, the futures pric e and the spot price tend to close in the gap between them ie., the basis slowly becomes zero. Options

For eg: B bought a put at a strike price of Rs.619. rather than giving it to the seller of the put option for Rs.500. rather than paying Rs. Therefore the price that is paid for buying an option contract i s called as premium.450. A will not exercise his call. A call option gives the buyer. So in any options contract. As the seller of the contract bears the obligation. the seller has only the obligation and not the right. Because he can sell the same asset in the market at Rs. He does not have a right. Similarly a put option gives the buyer a right to sell the asset at the strike pric e to the buyer.619. It should be noted that while the holder of the call option has a right to demand sale of asset from the seller. the right to exercise the option is vested with the buyer of the contract. For eg: A bought a call at a strike price of Rs. The buyer of a put option will not exercise his option (to sell) if. the price of the asset in the spot market is less than the strike price of the c all. For eg: if the buyer wants to buy the as set.Options contracts are instruments that give the holder of the instrument the rig ht to buy or sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price. The buyer of a call option will not exercise his option (to buy) if. the price of the asset in the spot market is more than the strike price of the c all. This given price is called strike price . On expiry the price of the asset is Rs. on expiry. on expiry. The seller of the contract has only the obligation and no right. Because he can buy the same asset from the market at Rs. he is paid a price c alled as premium .450.600.500 to the seller of the option. the right to buy the asset at a given price. A will not exercise his put option. the seller has to sell it. An option can b e a call option or a put option.600 . Here the buyer has the right to sell and the seller has the oblig ation to buy. On expiry the price of the asset is Rs.