INTRODUCTION: The foreign exchange market is a market where foreign currencies are bought and sold. Foreign exchange means the money of a foreign country; that is, foreign currency bank balances banknotes, checks and drafts. The foreign exchange market is alternatively known as Forex (or FX) Market. The Forex market was founded in 1970 s.i t Comprises of trading and selling of currencies. It refers to buying the currency of one country, while selling the currency of another country. The FOREX market is the largest and the most liquid financial market in the world. A foreign exchange transaction is an agreement between a buyer and a seller that a fixed amount of one currency will be delivered for some other currency at a specified date. They are many types of transactions that involve the purchase and sale of different currencies. y y y Foreign exchange market is over the counter market. It operate round the clock It involves normally transaction of strong, stable and convertible currencies.

Customer buying US$ for Indian rupee

Buyers local bank

Major banks representing inter-bank market

Foreign exchange broker

Sellers local bank

Customer selling US dollar to get Indian rupees 


All Scheduled Commercial Banks (Authorized Dealers only). Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Corporate Treasuries. Public Sector/Government. Inter Bank Brokerage Houses. Resident Indians Non Residents Speculators and Arbitragers

Foreign exchange regime: 

-Austria, France, Italy, Spain 

-Thailand, S. Korea 

Managed Float:
-India, Bangladesh, Singapore 

Free Floating:
-USA, UK, Japan Short Position = supply of a currency < demand for currency Long position = supply of a currency > demand for currency Square position = supply of a currency equal to demand for currency

Features: The foreign exchange market is classified either as spot market or as forward market. It is the timing of actual delivery of foreign exchange that distinguishes between spot market and forward market transactions. In the spot market, currencies are traded for immediate delivery at a rate existing on the day of transaction. For making book-keeping entries, delivery takes tow working days after the transaction is complete although in the case of Canadian dollar the delivery of currencies takes place the very next working day. if the currency is delivered the same day, it is known as the value same day contract. If it is done the next day, the contract is known as the value next day contract.

Currency Arbitrage in Spot Market: With fast development in the telecommunication system rates are expected to be uniform in different foreign exchange markets. Buy a particular currency at cheaper rate in one market and sell it at a higher rate in the other. This process is known as currency arbitrage. This process influences the demand for and supply of the particular currency in the two markets which leads ultimately to removal of inconsistency in the value of currencies in two markets. Speculation in spot market: Speculation in the spot market occurs when the speculator anticipates a change in the value of a currency.

In the forward market, contracts are made to buy and sell currencies for future delivery, say, after a fortnight, one month, two month, and so on. The rate of exchange for the transaction is agreed upon on the very day the deal is finalized. The forward rates with varying maturity are quoted in the newspapers and those rates from the basis of the contract. Forward market hedging: The forward market is used not only by the arbitrageurs but by the hedgers too. The risk is reduced or hedged through forward market transactions. Under the process of hedging currencies are bought and sold forward. Export long position----------------- sale of foreign currency Import short position-----------------purchase of foreign currency Speculation in forward market: In addition to the arbitrageur or the hedger, speculators are also very active in forward market operations. Their purpose is not to reduce the risk but to reap profits from the changes rates. Swapping of forward contracts: The purpose of swap in the forward contract is to reap profits. There are two kinds of swap. One is known as an option forward while the other is known as a forward-forward swap. In the former, the basis of swap is the difference between the spot rate and the forward rate and in the latter; it is the difference between the two forward rates.

Besides spot and forward markets, foreign currencies are traded in the market for currency futures and the market for currency options. The market for currency futures and options is known as the market for derivatives.

Currency futures market is an organized market and not over the counter for the sale and purchase of specified amount of currencies. Currency futures are traded only in limited number of currencies. The size of contract is standardized involving a fixed amount of different currencies. The date of delivery is also fixed normally on the third Wednesday of the month.

Currency options contract confers on options buyer privilege of not exercising when exchange rate is not in his favour. TYPES OF OPTION MARKET Listed currency options market: the first such market was set up at the Philadelphia stock exchange in December 1982. Initially trading was done in British pounds, but subsequently some other currencies such as the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, deutsche mark, French franc, Japanese yen and Swiss franc were added to the list. Listed currency options are standard contracts. Currency futures options market: in this market which is basically a listed currency options market, the contracts present a mixture of currency futures and currency options. They are basically currency options because the buyer of the contract possesses the privilege of either exercising the option or letting it expire. Over-the counter options market: the second type of market for currency options is known as the interbank currency options market or the over the counter market. Such a market is centered in New York and London and the size of transactions is many times that of the market in the organized exchanges.

There are two types of options. In a call option, the buyer of the option agrees to buy the underlying currency, while in a put option contract; the buyer of the option agrees to sell the underlying currency. European options cannot be exercised before maturity. American options can be. Option buyer: a person or a firm who gets the right to buy options, is also known as the option holder. Option seller: the party having obligation to perform if option is exercised or the party who charges the premium for granting such privilege to the buyer, is also known as the option writer. Call option: an option bought by an option buyer for buying a particular currency. Put option: an option bought by an option buyer to sell a particular currency. Exercise price: the price at which options are exercised is also known as the strike price. At the money: the situation is known as the at the money when the strike price is equal to the spot price on the maturity date. In the money: the situation is known as in the money If in case of a call option the strike price is lower than the spot rate. In case of a put option, an in the money situation warrants that the spot rate should be lower than the strike price. Out the money: the spot rate should be lower than the strike rate in case of a call option, and higher than the strike rate in case of put option. Time value of money: in the case of call option, it is the excess of the current spot rate over the strike price. If S is the current spot rate and X the strike price , the intrinsic value of a call option is

I call = S-X
The intrinsic value of a put option will naturally be represented by an excess of strike price over the current spot rate. In other words the intrinsic value of put option is

I put = X-S

Payoff for buyer of call options

buyer of put option

Payoff for writer of call options

seller of put option

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