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ABSTRACT

In the empirical literature on capital market efficiency, the hypothesis that futures price is an unbiased predictor of the future spot price has been one of the most controversial topics among the researchers, analysts and academicians. The study of the efficiency of the futures market is significant in an emerging market like India as futures market serves the most important functions of competitive price discovery, management of risk, facilitating financing, and promotion of efficient resource allocation. Thus, this paper is an attempt to test the long-term efficiency of futures market in India. The application of unit root and Cointegration tests provide the evidence of the futures market efficiency in India. Efficient price discovery in the futures market implies that traders can take significant hedging positions to minimize the risk exposure in the spot market.

The index futures were introduced in the Indian stock markets in June 2000 and other products like index options. however. perceived as a market for speculators and concerns that it may have adverse impact on the volatility of the spot market are neither new nor understudied. academicians. index options and stock options have become important instruments of price discovery. In any capital market. has not always been perceived in a positive light all over the world. developed or emerging. In order to serve these functions efficiently. especially in the case of National Stock Exchange (NSE). The volumes in derivative markets. i. Efficient capital markets are commonly thought of as markets in which security prices fully reflect all relevant information that is . however.e. It is. stock futures and options and interest rate futures followed subsequently. the futures markets themselves must conform to the efficient markets hypothesis. portfolio diversification and risk hedging in stock markets all over the world in recent times.INTRODUCTION A derivative is financial instrument whose value is µderived¶ from another underlying security or a basket of securities. Derivative products like index futures. has shown a tremendous increase and presently the turnover in derivative markets is much higher than the turnover in spot markets. and promotion of efficient resource allocation. In particular futures prices should provide unbiased predictions of the subsequently observed spot price. facilitating financing. Recent research. With the introduction of all the above-mentioned derivative products in the Indian markets a wider range of instruments are now available to investors. and analysts since last few years. stock futures. futures market serves at least four functions: competitive price discovery. Traders can assume highly leveraged positions at low transaction costs using these extremely flexible instruments. strengthens the argument that introduction of these products have not only deepened the markets but have also been instrumental in reduction of volatility in the spot markets. in fact. The study of the efficient market hypothesis in its weak form in the context of the Index Futures Market has attracted the attention of researchers. management of risk. Introduction of derivative products. the prices must reflect all available information. The term market efficiency is used to explain the relationship between information and share prices in the capital market literature. This article makes an effort to study whether the volatility in the Indian spot markets ha s undergone any significant change after the introduction of index futures in June 2000.

Price discovery mechanism refers to absorbing the new information. and reflecting it into the market prices. if the futures are mispriced then hedging through arbitrage positions in the cash and the futures market will not work in the interest of the traders. In addition. Such price discovery mechanism has an important implication for the mispricing in the Futures Market. proper price discovery in the futures market entails the study of the efficient market hypothesis in the context of the futures market. Thus. If at any time the futures are mispriced then lead-lag relationship between futures and cash market may be disturbed. Therefore. . the notion of efficient market hypothesis refers to the price discovery mechanism.available about the fundamental value of the securities. which will result into wrong decision for the traders to take position in the cash market on the basis of the price movement in the futures market.

futures trading attract additional traders in the market. which allow high degrees of leverage. increased spot market volatility may simply be a consequence of the more frequent arrival and more . new information may be transmitted to the futures market more quickly. second. however. The literature is. by evaluating the impact of options and futures trading (generally proxied by trading volume) on the behaviour of cash markets. lowers the quality of information in the market.LT REVIEW The effect of introduction of derivatives on the volatility of the spot markets and in turn. as transaction costs in the futures market are lower than those in the 190 RESERVE BANK OF INDIA OCCASIONAL PAPERS spot market. Others argue that the introduction of futures actually reduces the spot market volatility and thereby. destabilises the market (Cox 1976. 1987). 1995). Prices depend on the information currently available in the market. which is characterised by high risk. according to another viewpoint. 1970. Figlewski 1981. its role in stabilising or destabilising the cash markets has remained an active topic of analytic and empirical interest. One school of thought argues that the introduction of futures trading increases the spot market volatility and thereby. Questions pertaining to the impact of derivative trading on cash market volatility have been empirically addressed in two ways: by comparing cash market volatilities during the pre-and post-futures/ options trading eras and second. However. inconclusive on whether introduction of derivative products lead to an increase or decrease in the spot market volatility. Traders with very little or no cash or shares can participate in the derivatives market. Futures trading can alter the available information for two reasons: first. Thus. Ramchander and Song.). Schwarz and Laatsch. The rationale and findings of these two alternative schools are discussed in detail in this section. misleading as it fails to recognise the link between the information and the volatility (Antoniou and Holmes. stabilises the market (Powers. which evens out price fluctuations. Thus. These uninformed traders could play a destabilising role in cash markets (Chatrath. Stein. however. The debate about speculators and the impact of futures on spot price volatility suggests that increased volatility is undesirable. This is. it is argued that the participation of speculative traders in systems. future markets provide an additional route by which information can be transmitted to the spot markets and therefore. The advocates of the first school perceive derivatives market as a market for speculators. speculation could also be viewed as a process. 1991 etc. 1995).

This study shows that unlike the findings by Antoniou and Holmes (1995) for the London Stock Exchange (LSE). the GARCH model was estimated after adjusting the stock return equation for market factors. These studies have mainly concentrated on the NSE. To eliminate the effect of factors other than stock index futures (i. Several authors have argued that trading in these products improve the overall market depth. In addition. the introduction of derivative products did not have any significant impact on market volatility in India.e. Bologna and Cavallo (2002) investigated the stock market volatility in the post derivative period for the Italian stock exchange using Generalised Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity (GARCH) class of models. According to Shenbagaraman (2003). proxied by the returns on an index DERIVATIVES AND VOLATILITY ON INDIAN STOCK MARKETS 191 (namely Dax index) on which derivative products are not introduced. arguments suggesting that the future and option markets have become important mediums of price discovery in cash markets are equally strong. Holmes and Priestley. This superiority stems from their inherent leverage and lower transaction costs. Bologna and Covalla also found that in the post Index-future period the importance of µpresent news¶ has gone up in comparison to the µold news¶ in determining the stock price volatility.rapid processing of information.. In a recent study. increase market liquidity. per se. it could also be argued that the migration of speculators would cause a decrease in the volatility of the underlying cash market by reducing the amount of noise trading. reduce informational asymmetries and compress cash market volatility (Kumar. 1995. Raju and Karande (2003) also reported a decline in volatility of S&P CNX . has actually reduced the stock price volatility. and the evidence is inconclusive in this regard. A few studies have been undertaken to evaluate the effect of introduction of derivative products on volatility of Indian spot markets. On the other hand. This hypothesis would also suggest that the advent of derivatives trading would be accompanied by a decrease in trading volume in the underlying security. 1998). the introduction of index future. While Thenmozhi (2002) showed that the inception of futures trading has reduced the volatility of spot index returns due to increased information flow. Antoniou. It has been argued that the introduction of derivatives would cause some of the informed and speculative trading to shift from the underlying cash market to derivative market given that these investors view derivatives as superior investment instruments. the macroeconomic factors) determining the changes in volatility in the post derivative period. enhance market efficiency. The migration of informed traders would reduce the information asymmetry problem faced by market makers resulting in an improvement in liquidity in the underlying cash market. Sarin and Shastri.

since the key issue addressed here is the volatility of the cash market as affected or unaffected by the derivative market. However. We use BSE-200 and Nifty Junior as surrogate indices to capture and study the market wide factors contributing to the changes in spot market volatility. the studies in then Indian context have evaluated the trends in NSE and not on the Stock Exchange. Mumbai (BSE) for the reason that the turnover in NSE Ncaptures an overwhelmingly large part of the derivatives market.Nifty after the introduction of index futures. the importance of evaluating the trends in BSE as well was felt and the empirical analysis was carried out likewise. causing a decrease in volatility of indices on which derivative products have been introduced. This gives a better idea as to: whether the introduction of index futures in itself caused a decline in the volatility of spot market or the overall market wide volatility has decreased. and thus. Finally. following Bologna and Cavallo (2002) a NGARCH model has been used to empirically evaluate the effects on volatility of the Indian spot market and to see that what extent the change (if any) could be attributed to the of introduction of index futures. In the present study. .

In some relational database management systems. Clustered and non-clustered indexes Index architectures are classified as clustered or non-clustered. values in the column or columns that comprise the index are checked for uniqueness. load. and set integrity. Instead. Clustered indexes are indexes whose order of the rows in the data pages correspond to the order of the rows in the index. the index creation process fails. Both clustered and non-clustered indexes contain only keys and record IDs in the index structure. Thus . import. a unique index can also be used to improve data retrieval performance during query processing. if the table contains rows with duplicate key values. and clustered and non-clustered indexes.TYPES OF INDEXES There are five types of indexes: unique and non-unique indexes. non-unique indexes are used solely to improve query performance by maintaining a sorted order of data values that are used frequently. Non-unique indexes. and system generated block indexes for multidimensional clustered (MDC) tables . whereas. to name a few. update. The record IDs always point to rows in the data pages. Unique and non-unique indexes Unique indexes are indexes that help maintain data integrity by ensuring that no two rows of data in a table have identical key values. on the other hand. are not used to enforce constraints on the tables with which they are associated. When attempting to create a unique index for a table that already contains data.) In addition to enforcing the uniqueness of data values. not a pointer to data that resides elsewhere. (This includes insert. The only difference between clustered and non-clustered indexes is that the database manager attempts to keep the data in the data pages in the same order as the corresponding keys appear in the index pages. many non-clustered indexes can exist in the table. Once a unique index has been defined for a table. uniqueness is enforced whenever keys are added or changed within the index. the leaf node of the clustered index corresponds to the actual data. This is why only one clustered index can exist in a given table.

prefetching is usually more efficient when clustering indexes are used. clustering is more effectively maintained if the clustering index is unique. Reorganizing a table with respect to a chosen index re-clusters the data. clustering indexes cannot be specified as part of the table definition used with the CREATE TABLE statement. For more information. it will be inserted into the data pages in the order of the index keys. The database manager uses a combination of a unique index and the NOT NULL constraint to implement the relational database concept of primary and unique key constraints. only one of the indexes in a table can have a high degree of clustering. Improving performance with clustering indexes Clustering indexes can improve the performance of most query operations because they provide a more linear access path to data. Instead.the database manager will attempt to insert rows with similar keys onto the same pages.) . This results in fewer page fetches. However. because rows with similar index key values are stored together. This clustering index will then be used as the table's primary key index. clustering indexes are only created by executing the CREATE INDEX statement with the CLUSTER option specified. see the ALTER TABLE statement and Generally. (Although null values represent unknown values. If the table is reorganized. Note: Setting PCTFREE in the table to an appropriate value using the ALTER TABLE statement can help the table remain clustered by leaving adequate free space to insert rows in the pages with similar values. Differences between primary key or unique key constraints and unique indexes It is important to understand that there is no significant difference between a primary unique key constraint and a unique index. In addition. since like values are on the same data page In general. unique indexes do not enforce primary key constraints by themselves because they allow null values. when it comes to indexing. a null value is treated as being equal to other null values. A clustered index is most useful for columns that have range predicates because it allows better sequential access of data in the table. which has been stored in pages. Then the ALTER TABLE statement should be used to add a primary key that corresponds to the clustering index created to the table. Therefore.

in the order defined at index creation time and in the opposite (or reverse) order. Thus. The system of fixed prices came under stress from the 1970s onwards. Even the developed economies operated under the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates. Bi-directional indexes By default. Rise of Derivatives The global economic order that emerged after World War II was a system where many less developed countries administered prices and centrally allocated resources. economists do not view volatility as necessarily harmful. (But physically it will be exactly the same as an ALLOW REVERSE SCANS index. This option allows you to: y y y Facilitate MIN and MAX functions Fetch previous keys Eliminate the need for the database manager to create a temporary table for the reverse scan y Eliminate redundant reverse order indexes If DISALLOW REVERSE SCANS is specified then the index cannot be scanned in reverse order. In other cases. if a unique index consists of a single column. users failed to understand why and how they were taking positions in the derivatives. The Bretton Woods system was . The ALLOW REVERSE SCANS clause of the CREATE INDEX statement enables both forward and reverse index scans.) Price volatility may reflect changes in the underlying demand and supply conditions and thereby provide useful information about the market. that is. There have been some well-publicized cases of large losses from derivatives trading. a specific combination of values and nulls can be used only once. 1. Similarly. as they do with other securities. only one null value is allowed±more than one null value would violate the unique constraint. these losses stemmed from fraudulent behavior that went undetected partly because companies did not have adequate risk management systems in place. bi-directional indexes allow scans in both the forward and reverse directions.Therefore. In some instances. 3 Speculators face the risk of losing money from their derivatives trades. if a unique index consists of multiple columns. High inflation and unemployment rates made interest rates more volatile.

such as forwards and swaps. Another motive for derivatives trading is speculation (i. In the Appendix. Less developed countries like India began opening up their economies and allowing prices to vary with market conditions. I describe some simple types of derivatives: forwards. Definition and Uses of Derivatives A derivative security is a financial contract whose value is derived from the value of something else. an exchange rate.e. A derivative enables a trader to hedge some preexisting risk by taking positions in derivatives markets that offset potential losses in the underlying or spot market. or even an index of prices. I conclude by assessing the outlook for Indian derivatives markets in the near and medium term.2 Derivative securities provide them a valuable set of tools for managing this risk. They argue that lack of knowledge. options and swaps. Exchange-Traded and Over-the-Counter Derivative Instruments OTC (over-the-counter) contracts. are bilaterally negotiated between two parties. In India. This article describes the evolution of Indian derivatives markets. and the main users of derivatives in India. Derivatives may be traded for a variety of reasons. it may be difficult to distinguish whether a particular trade was for hedging or speculation. taking positions to profit from anticipated price movements). most derivatives users describe themselves as hedgers (FitchRatings. Jogani and Fernandes (2003) describe India¶s long history in arbitrage trading. profit from discrepancies in the relationship of spot and derivatives prices. and thereby help to keep markets efficient. In practice. and active markets require the participation of both hedgers and speculators.3 A third type of trader. OTC derivatives are generally prohibited with some exceptions: those that are specifically allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or. which is the risk that the counterparty that owes money defaults on the payment. OTC contracts have substantial credit risk. called arbitrageurs. futures. 2. in the case of commodities . the popular derivatives instruments. freeing exchange rates to fluctuate. The terms of an OTC contract are flexible. 2004) and Indian laws generally require that derivatives be used for hedging purposes only. with line operators and traders arbitraging prices between exchanges located in different cities. an interest rate. market frictions and regulatory impediments have led to low levels of capital employed Derivatives OUP 2 3. Their study of Indian equity derivatives markets in 2002 indicates that markets were inefficient at that time. and between two exchanges in the same city.dismantled in 1971. In India. such as a stock price. Price fluctuations make it hard for businesses to estimate their future production costs and revenues. a commodity price. and are often customized to fit the specific requirements of the user.

and national electronic commodity exchanges were created. Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned it for good in 2001. A series of reforms of the stock market between 1993 and 1996 paved the way for the development of exchange-traded equity derivatives markets in India. In 1996. An exchange-traded contract. NSE improved the efficiency and transparency of the stock markets by offering a fully automated screen-based trading system and real-time price dissemination.6 However. NSE now accounts for virtually all exchange-traded derivatives in India. such as a futures contract. Contract performance is guaranteed by a clearinghouse. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NSE. has a standardized format that specifies the underlying asset to be delivered. In the area of commodities. The ban on futures trading of many commodities was lifted starting in the early 2000s. the NSE sent a proposal to SEBI for listing exchange-traded derivatives. In 1952 the government banned cash settlement and options trading and derivatives trading shifted to informal forwards markets. They trade on organized exchanges with prices determined by the interaction of many buyers and sellers.5 4. accounting for more than 99% of volume in 2003-2004. The report of the L. recommended a phased introduction of derivative products. two exchanges offer derivatives trading: the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). However. In 1995. and . the system led to a number of undesirable practices and it was prohibited off and on till the Securities and Derivatives OUP 7 Volatility is measured as the yearly standard deviation of the daily exchange rate series. government policy has changed. and the logistics of delivery. relative to OTC contracts. In 1993. the government created the NSE in collaboration with state-owned financial institutions. the size of the contract. those that trade informally in ³havala´ or forwards markets. In recent years. Development of Derivative Markets in India Derivatives markets have been in existence in India in some form or other for a long time. allowing for an increased role for market-based pricing and less suspicion of derivatives trading.(which are regulated by the Forward Markets Commission). Gupta Committee. C. a system of trading called ³badla´ involving some elements of forwards trading had been in existence for decades. the Bombay Cotton Trade Association started futures trading in 1875 and. a prohibition on trading options was lifted. set up by SEBI.4 Margin requirements and daily marking-to-market of futures positions substantially reduce the credit risk of exchange-traded contracts. by the early 1900s India had one of the world¶s largest futures industry. In India. In the equity markets.

. or SC(R)A. A system of market-determined exchange rates was adopted by India in March 1993. was amended so that derivatives could be declared ³securities. As of 2005.S. but only if they are traded on exchanges. and options and futures on individual securities in July 2001 and November 2001. self-regulation by exchanges with SEBI providing a supervisory and advisory role). Finally. and created a need to manage currency risk.´ This allowed the regulatory framework for trading securities to be extended to derivatives. In August 1994. worked out various operational details such as the margining systems. Index futures were introduced in June 2000. In 1999. 5. based on daily exchange rate data. The Act considers derivatives to be legal and valid. the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act of 1956.bi-level regulation (i.e. by the J.. Figure 1 shows how the volatility of the exchange rate between the Indian Rupee and the U. Varma Committee in 1998. followed by index options in June 2001. dollar has increased since 1991. the rupee was made fully convertible on current account. Source: Author¶s calculations. R. The economic liberalization of the early nineties facilitated the introduction of derivatives based on interest rates and foreign exchange. These reforms allowed increased integration between domestic and international markets. the biggest success story has been derivatives on equity products. respectively. a 30-year ban on forward trading was also lifted in 1999. Another report.7 The easing of various restrictions on the free movement of interest rates resulted in the need to manage interest rate risk. Derivatives Instruments Traded in India In the exchange-traded market. the NSE trades futures and options on 118 individual stocks and Derivatives .

Importers. . where instruments such as interest rate swaps and forward rate agreements are thriving. A forward rate agreement allows a company to lock in a particular interest rate. As interest rates in India have fallen.e. Single stock options are less popular than futures. companies have swapped their fixed rate borrowings into floating rates to reduce funding costs. NSE has the highest volume (i. Figure 2 illustrates the growth in volume of futures and options on the Nifty index. even though they have been around for longer. Some banks may have further equity exposure on account of equities collaterals held against loans in default. 2004). there has been little trading in them. Foreign exchange derivatives are less active than interest rate derivatives in India.8 Settlement represents the exchange of a security and its payment. with daily value of trading estimated to be Rs. resulting in the underlying interest rate deviating erratically from the reference rate used by market participants.8 Derivatives on stock indexes and individual stocks have grown rapidly since inception. banks¶ direct or indirect (through mutual funds) exposure to capital markets instruments is limited to 5% of total outstanding advances as of the previous yearend. 9 Nifty is an index of 50 stocks comprising 60% of NSE¶s total market capitalization as of March 31 2005. exporters and banks use the rupee forward market Derivatives OUP 5 11 Under RBI directive. and accounted for close to 40% of traded value in October 2005.9 NSE launched interest rate futures in June 2003 but. Index futures are increasingly popular. number of contracts traded) in the single stock futures globally. in contrast to equity derivatives. One problem with these instruments was faulty contract specifications. All these derivative contracts are settled by cash payment and do not involve physical delivery of the underlying product (which may be costly). single stock futures have become hugely popular. a company may receive a floating rate (linked to a benchmark rate) and pay a fixed rate. Institutional investors have preferred to trade in the OTC markets. enabling it to rank 16 among world exchanges in the first half of 2005. 30 billion in 2004 (FitchRatings. In fact. In particular. accounting for about half of NSE¶s traded value in October 2005. 3 stock indices. and shows that index futures have grown more strongly than index options. OTC instruments in currency forwards and swaps are the most popular.10 Activity in OTC markets dwarfs that of the entire exchange-traded markets. 10 In an interest rate swap.

with their contribution to total value of NSE trades being less than 8% in October 2005. In a currency swap. Turnover and liquidity in this market has been increasing. or vice versa. Non-financial institutions are regulated differently from financial institutions. and derivatives to manage credit risk. or to rebalance their existing portfolios. domestic financial institutions and mutual funds have shown great interest in OTC fixed income instruments. 2005). Corporations are active in the currency forwards and swaps markets. Trading in OTC currency options is still muted. Financial institutions. Total volume of commodity derivatives is still small. trading is fragmented over multiple market venues. However. they are likely to use derivatives on interest rates and currencies. as indicated by the growing share of index derivatives (which are used more by institutions than by retail investors). financial institutions have not been heavy users of exchange-traded derivatives so far. less than half the size of equity derivatives (Gorham et al. 2003). Exchange-traded commodity derivatives have been trading only since 2000. brokerages. 6. banks and corporations may swap its rupee denominated debt into another currency (typically the US dollar or Japanese yen). Transactions between banks dominate the market for interest rate derivatives. including central and regional exchanges. There are no exchange-traded currency derivatives in India. market insiders feel that this may be changing. while the value of trading has increased almost four times in the same period (Nair. for example.to hedge their foreign currency exposure. Derivatives Users in India The use of derivatives varies by type of institution. while state-owned banks remain a small presence (Chitale. However. 2003). although trading is mainly in shorter maturity contracts of one year or less (Gambhir and Goel. many contracts barely trade and. and the growth in this market has been uneven. and this affects their incentives to use derivatives. Why do institutions not participate to a greater extent in derivatives markets? Some institutions such as banks and mutual funds are only allowed to use derivatives to hedge their existing positions in the spot market. Since banks . The number of commodities eligible for futures trading has increased from 8 in 2000 to 80 in 2004. are yet to issue guidelines relating to the use of derivatives by insurance companies. such as banks. and are exposed to different risks of default from their borrowers. have assets and liabilities of different maturities and in different currencies. In contrast to the exchange-traded markets. Indian insurance regulators. buying these instruments from banks. 2004). Thus. of those that are active. and unregulated forwards markets. In India.

they can incorporate locally as a Derivatives.11 Foreign investors must register as foreign institutional investors (FII) to trade exchange-traded derivatives. . they have little incentive to trade equity derivatives.have little exposure to equity markets due to banking regulations. Alternatively. and be subject to position limits as specified by SEBI.

12 FIIs have a small but increasing presence in the equity derivatives markets. according to NSE. Another reason may be the small size of the futures contracts. Retail investors also dominate the markets for commodity derivatives. accounting for about 60% of turnover in October 2005. as this instrument has generally failed in most other countries.broker-dealer. 2003). They have no incentive to trade interest rate derivatives since they have little investments in the domestic bond markets (Chitale. using a local proprietary trader as a front (Lee. One reason for this success may be retail investors¶ prior familiarity with ³badla´ trades which shared some features of derivatives trading. due in part to their long-standing expertise in trading in the ³havala´ or forwards markets. 2004). It is possible that unregistered foreign investors and hedge funds trade indirectly. . compared to similar contracts in other countries. The success of single stock futures in India is unique. Retail investors (including small brokerages trading for themselves) are the major participants in equity derivatives.

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