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Index Futures


Derivatives are financial securities whose value is derived from another "underlying" financial security i.e. it derives its value from some underlying. Options, futures, swaps, swaptions, structured notes are all examples of derivative securities. Derivatives can be used for hedging, protecting against financial risk, or can be used to speculate on the movement of commodity or security prices, interest rates or the levels of financial indices. The valuation of derivatives makes use of the statistical mathematics of uncertainty, which is very complex.Examples


A derivative financial product is a contrived instrument, the value of which depends indirectly on the price of a cash instrument. The price of the cash instrument is referred to as the "underlying" price, quite often. Examples of cash instruments include actual shares in a company, physical stocks of commodities, cash foreign exchange, etc.

a) Why use derivatives and not just cash instruments ?

The key to understanding derivatives is the notion of a premium. Some derivatives are compared to insurance. Just as you pay an insurance company a premium in order to obtain some protection against a specific event, there are derivative products that have a payoff contingent upon the occurrence of some event for which you must pay a premium in advance.

b) What is the difference between derivatives and shares ?

The difference is that while shares are assets, derivatives are usually contracts (the major exception to this are warrants and convertible bonds, which are similar to shares in that they are assets).

We can define financial assets (e.g. shares, bonds) as: claims on another person or corporation; they will usually be fairly standardised and governed by the property or securities laws in an appropriate country.

On the other hand, a contract is merely: an agreement between two parties, where the contract details may not be standardised.

Due to their great flexibility, many different types of investors use derivatives. A good toolbox of derivatives allows the modern investor the full range of investment strategy: speculation, hedging, arbitrage and all combinations thereof.

What is a futures contract?

A futures contract is an exchange-traded contract to buy or sell a pre-determined quantity and quality of a physical commodity or financial instruments (quality is not applicable to futures) on a pre-determined future date at a pre-determined price.

a) Forward contracts v/s Future contracts

Forward contracts

  • A forward contract is one to one bi-partite contract, to be performed in the future, at the terms decided today. ( E.g. forward currency market in India ).
  • Forward contracts offer tremendous flexibility to the parties to design the contract in terms of the price, quantity, quality ( in case of commodities ), delivery time and place.
  • Forward contracts suffer from poor liquidity and default risk.
  • Not traded on exchanges but are traded over the counter
  • Contract Specifications differ from trade to trade as they are individually agreed between two counter parties.
  • Counter party Risk exists
  • Liquidation Profile : Poor Liquidity as contracts are tailor maid contracts.
  • Price Discovery : Poor ; as markets are fragmented

Future contracts

  • Future contracts are organized / standardized contracts, which are traded on the exchanges.
  • These contracts, are standardized by the exchanges are very liquid in nature.
  • In futures market, clearing corporation/ house provides the settlement guarantee.
  • Not traded on exchanges but are traded over the counter
  • Counter party risk exists, but is assumed by the Clearing Corporation/ house reducing the risk to almost nil.
  • Counter party Risk exists
  • Liquidation Profile : Very high Liquidity as contracts are standardized contracts.
  • Price Discovery : Better; as fragmented markets are brought to the common platform whereby the price is much more transparent due to the standardization and market reporting of volumes and prices.
  • Where a forward contract can only be reversed with the same counter party with whom it was entered into, a futures contract can be reversed with any member of the exchange.

b) Standardized terms in futures

  • Quantity of the underlying
  • TQuality of the underlying ( not required in financial futures )
  • The date and month of delivery
  • The units of price quotation ( not the price itself ) and minimum change in price ( tick size )

c) Every futures contract is a forward contract

They :

  • are entered into through exchange, traded on exchange and clearing corporation/house provides the settlement guarantee for trades.
  • are of standard quantity; standard quality ( in case of commodities ).
  • have standard delivery time and place.

d) Commodity V/s Financial Futures

Examples of Commodity Futures:

  • Wheat
  • Cotton
  • Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Soybeans
  • Orange juice
  • Crude oil
  • Deposits, etc.

  • Natural gas
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Pork bellies, etc.
  • Treasuries
  • Bonds
  • Stocks
  • Stock-index
  • Foreign exchange
  • Euro-dollar

Note: quality matters in the former, not in the latter.

What's an Index?

An Index is a number used to represent the changes in a set of values between a base time period and another time period.

a) Whats a stock index ? A Stock Index is a number that helps you measure the levels of the market. Most stock indices attempt to be proxies for the market they exist in. Returns on the index thus are supposed to represent returns on the market i.e. the returns that you could get if you had the entire market in your portfolio.

b) What are the different kinds of market indices ? Broad-based index is geared to provide overall picture of stock markets movements. Examples of these indices are S&P 500, Value Line Index and NYSE Composite. In addition to specialized indices like sector specific ones, track the performance of individual sectors. Similarly different types of indices can be created depending on the companies included in the set. Example: S&P Midcap 400 represents companies in the U.S.A. whose value is in the middle range of all firms and does not include any stock, which is part of S&P 500.

c) What's the financial theory behind the market index being a good barometer for the overall market ? Stock prices get impacted by two separate factors, which include :

  • Company specific events like results bonus announcements, product launches, accidents, tie-ups, etc.
  • Events that impact overall economy or sector like diesel price hike, tax rates, etc.Deposits, etc.

To elucidate suppose the government announces a corporate tax hike, we expect the index to be negatively impacted.

On the same day, if a company announces financial results much better than expected, its stock price should increase. In practice the price movement in the companies stock is a combination of its news of better financial results and the disappointing news about the performance of the economy. The role of an effective index is to reflect only that component which affects the state of the overall market.

d) Why do we need an index ?

Students of Modern Portfolio Theory will appreciate that the aim of every portfolio manager is to beat the market. In order to benchmark the portfolio against the market we need some efficient proxy for the market. indices arose out of this need for a proxy; they act as an effective barometer, which gauges the prevalent market sentiment and behaviour.

e) What does the number mean ?

The index value is arrived at by calculating the weighted average of the prices of a basket of stocks of a particular portfolio. This portfolio is called the index portfolio and attempts a high degree of correlation with the market. indices differ based on the method of assigning the weightages to the stocks in the portfolio.

f) But why a portfolio? Why not the entire market ?

This is because for someone who wishes to replicate the return on the market it is infinitely more expensive to buy the whole market and for small portfolio sizes it is almost impossible. The alternative is to choose a portfolio that has a high degree of correlation with the market.

g)How are the stocks in the portfolio weighted ?

There are basically three types of weighing :

  • Market Capitalisation weighted
  • Price weighted
  • Equal weighted

Market Capitalisation Method

The number of shares issued to outstanding multiplied by the market price of company's share determines its weightage in the index.The total of market capital of all shares in the index is linked to an index number. The shares with the highest market capitalization are most influential in this type of index. Examples: S&P 500 Index in the U.S., BSE Sensex and S&P CNX Nifty in India

Modification 1: the number used as out standing shares is adjusted to reflect only those shares that are freely available for trade (floating stock) ignoring those shares which are not expected to be traded in the market (like promoters holding). Example: RUSSEL 100

Modification 2: it seeks to limit the influence of the largest stocks in the index, which otherwise would dominate the entire index this is done by setting a limit on the percentage weight of the largest stock or a group of stocks.

Example: NASDAQ 100

Price Weighted Method

The type of index sums up the price of each stock in the index, which is then equated to an index starting value. The shares with the highest price are not influential in this type of index. If a stock splits, its market price falls resulting in less weight in the index. Examples: Nikkei 225 average of Japanese Stocks, Dow Jones Industrial Average and PSE Technology indices in U.S.

Equal Weightage Method

Each Stock's percentage weight in the index is equal and therefore all stocks have equal influence on the index movement. Examples; Value line index at KCBT

As may be discerned, the stocks in the index could be weighted based on their individual prices, their market capitalisation or equally.

h) What is the better weighing option ?

The market capitalisation weighted model is the most popular and widely considered to be the best way of determining the index values.

In India both the BSE-30 Sensex and the S&P CNX Nifty are market capitalisation weighted indices.

i) Who owns the index? Who computes it ?

Typically exchanges around the world compute their own index and own it too. The Sensex and the Nifty are case in point.

There are notable exceptions like the S&P 500 Index in the U.S. (owned by S&P which is a credit rating company) and the Strait Times Index in Singapore (owned by the newspaper of the same name).

j) Who decides what stocks to include? How?

Most index providers have a index committee of some sort that decides on the composition of the index based on standardised selection and elimination criteria.

The criteria for selection of course depends on the philosophy of the index and its objective

k) Selection criteria

Most indices attempt to strike a balance between the following criteria.

  • Better Industry representation
  • Maximum coverage of market capitalisation
  • Higher Liquidity or Lower Impact cost.

Industry Representation

Since the objective of any index is to be a proxy for the market it becomes imperative that the broad industry sectors are faithfully represented in the Index too.

Though this seems like an easy enough task, in practice it is very difficult to achieve due to a number of issues, not least of them being the basic method of industry classification.

Market Capitalisation

Another objective that most index providers strive to achieve is to ensure coverage of some minimum level of the capitalisation of the entire market. As a result within every industry the largest market capitalisation stocks tend to select themselves. However it is quite a balancing act to achieve the same minimum level for every industry.

Liquidity or Impact Cost

It is important from the point of usability for all the stocks that are part of the index to be highly liquid. The reasons are two-fold.

illiquid stock has stale prices and this tends to give a flawed value to the index. Further for passive fund managers, the entry and exit cost at a particular index level is high if the stocks are illiquid. This cost is also called the impact cost of the index.

l) What is a benchmark index ?

An index that acts as the benchmark in the market has an important role to play.

While it has to be responsive to the changes in the market place and allow for new industries or give up on dead industries, at the same time it should also maintain a degree of continuity in order to survive as an benchmark index.

m) What are the popular indices in India ?

  • BSE-30 Sensex
  • BSE-100 Natex
  • BSE Dollex
  • BSE-200
  • BSE-500
  • S&P CNX Nifty
  • S&P CNX Nifty Jr.
  • S&P CNX Defty
  • S&P CNX Midcap
  • S&P CNX 500

n) What are sectoral indices ?

These indices provide the benchmark for sector specific funds.

Fund managers and other investors who track particular sectors of the economy like Technology,

Pharmaceuticals, Financial Sector, Manufacturing or Infrastructure use these indices to keep track of the sector performance.

o) What are the uses of an Index ?

Index based funds

These funds tend to replicate the index as it is in order to match the returns on the market. This is also known as passive management. Their argument is that it is not possible to beat the market over a sustained period of time through active management and hence it's better to replicate the index. Examples in India are

  • UTI's fund on the Sensex
  • IDBI MF's fund on the Nifty

Exchange traded funds (ETFs)

These are similar to index funds that are traded on an exchange. They are pretty popular world wide with non-resident investors who like to take an exposure to the entire market. S&P's SPDRs and MSCI's WEBS products are amongst the most popular products.

Index futures

Index futures are possibly the single most popular exchange traded derivatives products today. The S&P 500 futures products are the largest traded index futures product in the world.

In India both the BSE and NSE are due to launch their own index futures product on their benchmark indices the Sensex and the Nifty.

What is the trend abroad ?

Although we have a whole host of popular exchange owned indices abroad including the DAX 30, the CAC 40 and the Hang Seng we see an increasing trend where global index providers are seen to have more influence among the foreign funds and investing community.

What do Global Index providers bring ?

In the age of cross border capital flows and global funds, global index provider provide the uniformity and standardization in their index philosophy and methodologies that allows a global fund to compare performance across regions or sectors. By following a common industry classification standard in all the countries that they operate in,

index providers hope to wean away liquidity from the more popular and home grown indices. Also global providers are currently, the only ones in a position to provide pan-continental or pan-global indices.

What does the future look like ?

The future in India looks pretty exciting with Index futures being launched and Index options expected to follow.

Hopefully with the growing popularity of ETF's we might see SEBI allowing them in India too. Globally while the debate between active and passive fund management still rages, we see standardised indices growing in popularity.

What are Index Futures ?
  • Index futures are the future contracts for which underlying is the cash market index.
  • For example: BSE may launch a future contract on "BSE Sensitive Index" and NSE may launch a future contract on "S&P CNX NIFTY".
  • Frequently used terms in Index Futures market

  • Contract Size - is the value of the contract at a specific level of Index. It is Index level * Multiplier.
  • Multiplier - It is a pre-determined value, used to arrive at the contract size. It is the price per index point.
  • Tick Size - It is the minimum price difference between two quotes of similar nature.
  • Contract Month - is the month in which the contract will expire.
  • Expiry Day - is the last day on which the contract is available for trading.
  • Open interest - it's the total outstanding long or short positions in the market at any specific point in time. As total long positions for market would be equal to total short positions, for calculation of open Interest, only one side of the contracts is counted.
  • Volume - Number of contracts traded during a specific period of time - During a day, during a week or during a month.
  • Long position- Outstanding/unsettled purchase position at any point of time.
  • Short position - Outstanding/ unsettled sales position at any point of time.
  • Open position - is the outstanding/unsettled long or short position at any point of time.
  • Physical delivery - Open position at the expiry of the contract is settled through delivery of the underlying. In futures market, delivery is low.
  • Cash settlement - Open position at the expiry of the contract is settled in cash. These contracts are designated as cash settled contracts. Index Futures fall in this category.
  • Alternative Delivery Procedure (ADP) - Open position at the expiry of the contract is settled by two parties - one buyer and one seller, at the terms other than defined by the exchange. World wide a significant portion of the energy and energy related contracts (crude oil, heating and gasoline oil) are settled through Alternative Delivery Procedure.

a) Concept of basis in futures market

  • Basis is defined as the difference between cash and futures prices:
  • Basis = Cash prices - Future prices.
  • Basis can be either positive or negative (in Index futures, basis generally is negative).
  • Basis may change its sign several times during the life of the contract.
  • Basis turns to zero at maturity of the futures contract i.e. both cash and future prices converge at maturity

b) Life of the contract

c) Gearing

Gearing or leverage results where initial cash outflow in taking a position is less than the value of the position. In case only 5% margin is paid for taking a futures position, the gearing factor is 20 i.e. on a given capital 20 times in value a position may be taken. Thus, higher the gearing higher the risk.

d) Pricing Futures

Cost and carry model of Futures pricing

  • Fair price = Spot price + Cost of carry - Inflows
  • FPtT = CPt + CPt * (RtT - DtT) * (T-t)/365 oFPtT - Fair price of the asset at time t for time T.
  • CPt - Cash price of the asset.
  • RtT - Interest rate at time t for the period up to T.
  • DtT - Inflows in terms of dividend or interest between t and T.
  • Cost of carry = Financing cost, Storage cost and insurance cost.
  • If Futures price > Fair price; Buy in the cash market and simultaneously sell in the futures market.
  • If Futures price < Fair price; Sell in the cash market and simultaneously buy in the futures market.
This arbitrage between Cash and Future markets will remain till prices in the Cash and Future markets get aligned.

Set of assumptions

  • No seasonal demand and supply in the underlying asset.
  • Storability of the underlying asset is not a problem.
  • The underlying asset can be sold short.
  • No transaction cost; No taxes.
  • No margin requirements, and so the analysis relates to a forward contract, rather than a futures contract.
Index Futures and cost and carry model

In the normal market, relationship between cash and future indices is described by the cost and carry model of futures pricing.

Expectancy Model of Futures pricing

S - Spot prices. F - Future prices. E(S) - Expected Spot prices.

  • Expectancy model says that many a times it is not the relationship between the fair price and future price but the expected spot and future price, which leads the market. This happens mainly when underlying is not storable or may not be sold short. For instance in the commodities market.
  • E( S ) can be above or below the current spot prices. ( This reflects markets the expectations )
  • Contango market- Market when Future prices are above cash prices.
  • Backwardation market - Market when future prices are below cash prices.

e) Relationship between forward & future markets

  • Analyze the different dimensions of Forward and Future Contracts : ( Risk; Liquidity; Leverage; Margining etc....)
  • Assign value to each factor to arrive at the contract price. ( Perception plays a crucial role in price determination )
  • Any substantial difference in the Forward and Future prices will trigger arbitrage.

f) What are stock specific futures ?

There are very few countries that offer stock specific futures, since these instruments in general aren't very popular. Price volatility in individual stocks is much higher than the index, which results in an increase in the risk of the Clearing Corporation and higher margin requirements. These instruments also suffer from lack of depth and liquidity in trading. In most cases, Futures based on individual stocks often have a physical settlement, which leads to more complex regulatory requirements. Since it's a lot more difficult to manipulate an index than individual stocks leading to price manipulations. The L.C.Gupta committee did not promote futures on individual stocks as a possible derivative contract.

g) What do you mean by closing out on contracts ?

A long position in futures can be closed out by selling futures while buying futures can close out a short position. Once apposition is closed out, only the net difference needs to be settled in cash, without any delivery of the underlying. Most contracts are not held to expiry but are closed out before that. If held until expiry, some are settled for cash others for physical delivery. What's the difference between the settlement mechanism for cash and physical delivery ? In case it is not possible or practical to give physical delivery. Open positions, (open long positions always being equal to open short positions) are closed out on the last day of trading at a price determined by the spot "cash" market of the underlying asset. This price is called "Exchange Delivery Settlement Price" or EDSP. In case of physical settlement short side delivers to the specified location while long side takes delivery from the specified location of the specified quantity / quality of the underlying asset. In case of physical settlement short side delivers to the specified location while long side takes delivery from the specified location of the specified quantity / quality of the underlying asset. The long side pays the EDSP to the clearing house/corporation which in turn is received by the short side.

h) Risk management through Futures ?

Which risk are we going to manage through Futures ?

  • Basic objective of introduction of futures is to manage the price risk.
  • Index futures are used to manage the systemic risk, vested in the investment in securities.

i) Risk management through Futures ?

  • Long hedge- When you hedge by going long in futures market.
  • Short hedge - When you hedge by going short in futures market.
  • Cross hedge - When a futures contract is not available on an asset, you hedge your position in cash market on this asset by going long or short on the futures for another asset whose prices are closely associated with that of your underlying.
  • Hedge Contract Month- Maturity month of the contract through which hedge is accomplished.
  • Hedge Ratio - Number of future contracts required to hedge the position.

j) Some specific uses of Index Futures

  • Portfolio Restructuring - An act of increasing or decreasing the equity exposure of a portfolio, quickly, with the help of Index Futures.
  • Index Funds - These are the funds which imitate/replicate index with an objective to generate the return equivalent to the Index. This is called Passive Investment Strategy.

Speculation in the Futures market

  • Speculation is all about taking position in the futures market without having the underlying. Speculators operate in the market with motive to make money. They take:
  • Naked positions - Position in any future contract.
  • Spread positions - Opposite positions in two future contracts. This is a conservative speculative strategy.

Speculators bring liquidity to the system, provide insurance to the hedgers and facilitate the price discovery in the market. Arbitrageurs in Futures market

Arbitrageurs facilitate the alignment of prices among different markets through operating in them simultaneously.

k) Margining in Futures market

The whole system dwells on margins:

  • Daily Margins
  • Initial Margins
  • Special Margins
  • Additional Margins
Please note: Compulsory collection of margins from clients including institutions. Also collection of margins on Portfolio basis is not allowed by L. C. Gupta committee.

Daily Margins

  • Daily margins are collected to cover the losses that have already taken place on open positions.
  • Price for daily settlement - Closing price of futures index.
  • Price for final settlement - Closing price of cash index.
  • For daily margins, two legs of spread positions would be treated independently.
  • Daily margins should be received by CC/CH and/or exchange from its members before the market opens for the trading on the very next day.
  • Daily margins would be paid only in cash.

Initial Margins

  • Margins to cover the potential losses for one day.
  • To be collected on the basis of value at risk at 99% of the days.
  • Different initial margins on: oNaked long and short positions.
  • Spread positions.

The concept of cross margining ?

This is a method of calculating margins after taking into account combined positions in Futures, options, cash market, etc. Hence the total margin requirement reduces to cross Hedges, though this very unlikely to be introduced in India.

Naked positions

Short positions 100 [exp (3st ) - 1] Long positions 100 [1 - exp (3st)] Where (st)2 = l(st-1)2 + (1-l)(rt2)

  • st is today's volatility estimates.
  • st-1 is the volatility estimates on the previous trading day.
  • l is decay factor which determines how rapidly volatility estimates change and is taken as 0.94 by Prof. J. R. Varma.
  • rt is the return on the trading day [log(It/It-1)]
  • Because volatility estimate st changes everyday, Initial margin on open position will change every day. (for first 6 months of futures trading, minimum initial margin on naked positions shall be 5%)
  • Spread positions
  • Flat rate of 0.5% per month of spread on the far month contract.
  • Min. margin of 1% and maximum margin of 3% on spread positions.
  • A calendar spread would be treated as open position in the far month contract as the near month contract approaches maturity.
  • Over the last five days of trading of the near month contract, following percentages of the spread shall be treated as naked position in the far month contract:
  • 100% on the day of expiry
  • 80% one day before the expiry
  • 60% two days before the expiry
  • 40% three days before the expiry
  • 20% four days before the expiry

Margins on the calendar spread are to be reviewed after 6 months of futures trading.

Additional Margins

In case of sudden higher than expected volatility, additional margin may be called for by the exchange. Its generally imposed when the exchange fears that the markets have become too volatile and may result in some crisis, like payment crisis, etc. this is a preemptive move by the exchange to prevent breakdown.

l) Liquid assets and Broker's net worth

  • Liquid assets
  • Cash, fixed deposits, bank guarantee, government securities and other approved securities.
  • 50% of Liquid assets must be cash or cash equivalents. Cash equivalents means cash, fixed deposits, bank guarantee and government securities.
  • Liquid net-worth = Liquid asset - Initial margin
  • Continuous requirement for a clearing member:
  • Minimum liquid net-worth of Rs.50 Lacs.
  • The mark to market value of gross open position shall not exceed 33.33 times of member's liquid net worth.

m) Basis for calculation of Gross Exposure

  • For the purpose of the exposure limit, a calendar spread shall be regarded as an open position of one third of the mark to market value of the far month contract. As the near month contract approaches expiry, the spread shall be treated as a naked position in the far month contract in the same manner as defined in slide no. 49.

Margining in Futures market

Initial Margin (Value at risk at 99% of the days)

Daily Margin

Special Margins

  • Striking an intelligent balance between safety and liquidity while determining margins, is a million dollar point.

Position limits in Index Futures

Customer level

No position limit. Disclosure to exchange, if position of people acting in concert is 15% or more of open interest.

Trading member level

  • 15% of open interest or 100 crore whichever is higher.
  • to be reviewed after 6 months of futures trading.

Clearing member level

  • No separate position limit. However, C.M. should ensure that his own positions (if C.M. is a T.M. also) and the positions of the T.Ms. clearing through him are within the limits specified above for T.M.
  • Market level
  • No limit. To be reviewed after 6 months of trading in futures.

Operators in the derivatives market

  • Hedgers - Operators, who want to transfer a risk component of their portfolio.
  • Speculators - Operators, who intentionally take the risk from hedgers in pursuit of profit.
  • Arbitrageurs - Operators who operate in the different markets simultaneously, in pursuit of profit and eliminate mispricing.

Expected Advantages Of Derivatives To The Cash Market

  • Higher liquidity
  • Availability of risk management products attracts more investors to the cash market.
  • Arbitrage between cash and futures markets fetches additional business to cash market.
  • Improvement in delivery based business.
  • Lesser volatility
  • Improved price discovery.

What makes a contract click ?

What makes a contract click ?

  • Risk in the underlying market.
  • Presence of both hedgers and speculators in the system.
  • Right product specifications.
  • Proper margining.


  • Multiple indices trading on the same exchange even the same index with different contract designs
  • Dedicated funds-

Future funds

Options funds

Hybrid funds

n) What are general hedging strategies ?

The basic logic is " If long in cash underlying: Short Future; If short in cash underlying: Long Future"

Example: if you have bought 100 shares of company A and want to hedge against market movements, you should short an appropriate amount of Index Futures. This will reduce your overall exposure to events affecting the whole market (systematic risk). In case a war breaks out, the entire market will fall (most likely including Company A). so your loss in company a would be offset by the gains in your short position in Index Futures.

Some instances where hedging strategies are useful include:

  • Reducing the equity exposure of a Mutual Fund by selling Index Futures;
  • Investing funds raised by new schemes in Index Futures so that market exposure is immediately taken, and
  • Partial liquidation of portfolio by selling the index future instead of the actual shares where the cost of transaction is higher.
Accounting of Index Futures

This note is a rough guide to possible accounting practices that could develop in India. The note covers only accounting of index futures and does not extend to other instruments like options and swaps. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has set up a committee to set up accounting practices in this area. There are currently no guidelines available for accounting of these transactions. In most cases in India, securities are valued at lower of cost or market value, applying the principles of conservatism. Further, in the interim period till the ICAI issues its guidelines, the following accounting practices could be considered:

All futures transactions, irrespective of whether they are hedging transactions or speculative transactions would be treated uniformly as under:

  • Unrealised losses on derivative transactions should be recognised, while unrealised profits should not be accounted until realisation. This follows from the principle of conservatism.
  • Realised profits and losses would be carried to the Profit & Loss Account. Margins paid against Futures will be reflected as Assets. Mere payment of margins will not qualify as profits or losses, though in most cases, the amounts of such margins will be based on the price movements of the futures in the market.

There is a controversy currently on whether daily payment of margins and daily 'settlement' as proposed in India would amount to daily 'realisation' of profits or losses for the purposes of accounting. The ICAI view on the issue is awaited. If the daily 'settlement' is construed as daily 'realisation', then the question of 'unrealised' profits or losses will not arise.

a) Commonly followed international accounting practises International practices vary from country to country and could apply differently to various types of derivatives transactions, for example, those that seek to use index futures as against those that attempt to protect cash flow regularity. What follows is a very general and rough guide to commonly followed practices, and should not be construed as rigid application of accounting regulations. It is important to first recognise whether the index future is a 'hedge' or not. If the transaction is not a 'hedge', it would be treated as a 'trading' transaction.

b) Hedge Accounting Accounting for hedges differs significantly from regular accounting practices,

as the recognition of profits and losses on the hedge is intricately connected with the fluctuations in the market values of the underlying securities. Hence, the profits or losses on hedge transactions are adjusted in the carrying amount of the underlying securities instead of being taken to the Profit & Loss Account. For this purpose, the definition of what constitutes a 'hedge' is important. The British Bankers Association in their Statement of Recommended Practice on hedge accounting have laid down the following criteria, which should be satisfied so as to be able to apply hedge accounting to a situation:

  • The derivative transaction must be intended to be a hedge, and must, in fact, provide a reasonable hedge.
  • The derivative transaction must match or eliminate a substantial portion of the market risk inherent in the hedged position.
  • Adequate evidence of such intention to hedge should be established at the outset of the transaction.
  • Hedge accounting can be applied only to specific hedges, that is, transactions where the hedge can be identified with a specific underlying asset or liability or commitment.

The application of hedge accounting principles will also depend on the method of valuation used for the underlying security. Where the underlying security is valued at cost, the hedge will also be valued at cost. Where the underlying security is marked to market, the hedge will also be marked to market. Where the underlying security is valued at lower of cost or market value, the hedge and the underlying security will be bundled together to ascertain the aggregate cost and market values respectively, and the lower of the two of the bundle will be considered for valuation.

c) Trading Transactions

Internationally, trading transactions are marked to market. Accordingly, both unrealised losses and profits are taken to the Profit & Loss Account. This is a significantly different practice, vis-à-vis the most common Indian conservative accounting practice of recognising only unrealised losses. Trading transactions will include general hedges, i.e. those hedging transactions which are not specifically related to specific assets or liabilities or commitments. Further, trading transactions will also include those specific hedge transactions which do not meet all the defined criteria and hence cannot follow hedge accounting principles. Some examples are provided below. These are intended to be suggestive rough guides and should not be construed as authoritative pronouncements on the subject.

Example - 1 First Year

Underlying securities purchased for Rs 200,000 Index futures sold for Rs 200,000 and margin of Rs 12,000 paid Further margins of Rs 2,500 paid from time to time Year end values of underlying securities Rs 1,93,000 Year end value of future Rs 205,000

Example - 2

Above transactions continued effects in the Second Year if the underlying securities are sold underlying Securities are sold for Rs 2,15,000 Futures contract has not expired and closing price comes to Rs 202,000 Future Margin paid are Rs 7,000

Example - 3

Above transactions continued effects in the Second Year the Futures Transaction Expires Margins Paid further Rs 7,000

Futures Contract expires at a closing value of Rs 2,10,000 - amount receivable is immediately received.

Indian Conditions

In the scheme of accounting entries outlined below, it is assumed that daily 'settlement' of futures is not treated as daily 'realisation' of profits and losses in the Indian context. As stated above, this issue needs the guidance of the ICAI.

An attempt is made to provide a simple scheme of entries so as to enable readers to understand the gist of accounting quickly. Various refinements are possible in practice. For example, when investments are acquired, it may be regular practice to credit the broker (to whom the amounts are due) rather than crediting the bank account from where payments are effected.

Example 1:First Year

Investments (Assets) Dr 200,000 To Bank 200,000 Margins (Assets) Dr 12,000 To Bank 12,000 Margins (Assets) Dr 2,500 To Bank 2,500 Year End Dimunition in Investment (Expense) Dr 7000 To Investments (Assets) 7,000 Unrealised gains on Futures are not to be accounted Balance Sheet Impact Investments will be reflected at Rs 1,93,000 Profit & Loss Impact Dimunition in Investments will reduce profits by Rs 7,000

Example 2: Second Year

Bank Dr 2,15,000 To Investments(Assets) 1,93,000 To Profit on sale of Investments (Gain) 22,000 No entry for Futures as no profits realised so far Margins(Assets) Dr 7,000 To Bank 7,000

Example 3: Second Year

Margins Dr 7,000 To Bank 7,000 Bank Dr 31,500 To Profits on Futures 10,000 To Margins (released) 21,500

The realised Profit on Futures will be taken to the Profit & Loss Account in the absence of specific guidelines on Hedge accounting in India currently.

Options - A beginner's guide


A few weeks back, capital markets regulator, SEBI, decided to introduce options from July 2, 2001. While trading on index-based options has begun, that on scrip- based options would begin from July 2. The introduction of options came in the wake of a concomitant ban on the 135-year old carry forward system, popularly called badla. The introduction of options is yet another milestone in India's march toward globalisation and the adoption of international systems and best practices. Much like stocks, options can be used to take a position on the market in an effort to capitalize on an upward or downward market move. Unlike stocks, however, options can provide an investor the benefits of leverage over a position in an individual stock or basket of stocks reflecting the broad market. Enumerated below are some basics on options:-

What is Options?

A stock option is a contract which gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell shares of the underlying security or index at a specific price for a specified time. Stock option contracts generally are for 100 shares of the underlying stock. There are two types of options, calls and puts.

What is a call option?

call option gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying security at a specific price for a specified time. The seller of a call option has the obligation to sell the underlying security should the buyer exercise his option to buy.

What is a put option?

A put option gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell an underlying security at a specific price for a specified time. The seller of a put option has the obligation to buy the underlying security should the buyer choose to exercise his option to sell.

What is the option premium?

The premium is the price at which the contract trades. The premium is the price of the option and is paid by the buyer to the writer, or seller, of the option. In return, the writer of the call option is obligated to deliver the underlying security to an option buyer if the call is exercised or buy the underlying security if the put is exercised. The writer keeps the premium whether or not the option is exercised.

What is a strike price?

The strike, or exercise, price of an option is the specified share price at which the shares of stock can be bought or sold by the buyer if he exercises the right to buy (in the case of a call) or sell (in the case of a put).

What is an at-the-money option? An in-the-money option? An out-of- the money option?

When the price of the underlying security is equal to the strike price, an option is at-the-money. A call option is in-the-money if the strike price is less than the market price of the underlying security. A put option is in-the-money if the strike price is greater than the market price of the underlying security. A call option is out-of- the-money if the strike price is greater than the market price of the underlying security. A put option is out-of-the money if the strike price is less than the market price of the underlying security.

What is a contract size of an equity option?

The amount of the underlying asset covered by the options contract. This is 100 shares for one option unless adjusted for a special event, such as a stock split or a stock dividend.

What is open interest?

Open interest refers to the number of outstanding option contracts in the exchange market or in a particular class or series.

What does it mean to be exercised or assigned on an option transaction?

When you buy an option you have the right to either purchase or sell stock at a predetermined price. When and if you choose to purchase or sell stock at that predetermined price you are said to be " exercising your right".When you sell an option you now have the obligation to sell or purchase stock. You have or may not have to fulfill that obligation. You are considered to be "assigned" if you are being required to fulfill that obligation. Typically this occurs when the option is in-the-money

What happens to my option if I do nothing?

If you bought a call or put you would lose the premium you paid for the option plus whatever commissions and fees incurred on that transaction. If you sold a call or a put and your option is in-the-money you will most likely be assigned and you will have to sell or buy stock.

What is a European-style and American-style option?

American-style is an option contract that can be exercised at any time between the date of purchase and the expiration date. Most exchange-traded options are American-style. All stock options are American-style. European-style is an option contract that can only be exercised on the expiration date.

What is the expiration date?

The last day (in the case of American-style) or the only day (in the case of European-style) on which an option may be exercised.

What is a strike price and how are they determined?

A strike price is the actual numeric value of the option. For example, a May option may have strike prices of 45, 50 and 55. Strike prices are determined when the underlying reaches a certain numeric value and trades consistently at or above that value. If, for example, XYZ stock was trading at 49, hit a price of 50 and traded consistently at this level, the next highest strike may be added.

How options work?

If you anticipate a certain directional movement in the price of a stock, the right to buy or sell that stock at a predetermined price, for a specific duration of time can offer an attractive investment opportunity. The decision as to what type of option to buy is dependent on whether your outlook for the respective security is positive (bullish) or negative (bearish). If your outlook is positive, buying a call option creates the opportunity to share in the upside potential of a stock without having to risk more than a fraction of its market value. Conversely, if you anticipate downward movement, buying a put option will enable you to protect against downside risk without limiting profit potential. Buying an XYZ July 50 call option gives you the right to purchase 100 shares of XYZ common stock at a cost of Rs50 per share at any time before the option expires in July. The right to buy stock at a fixed price becomes more valuable as the price of the underlying stock increases. Assume that the price of the underlying shares was Rs50 at the time you bought your option and the premium you paid was 3 1/2 (or Rs350). If the price of XYZ stock climbs to Rs55 before your option expires and the premium rises to 5 1/2, you have two choices in disposing of your in-the-money option: You can exercise your option and buy the underlying XYZ stock for Rs50 a share for a total cost of Rs5,350 (including the Option premium) and simultaneously sell the shares on the stock market for Rs5,500 yielding a net profit of Rs150. You can close out your position by selling the option contract for Rs550, collecting the difference between the premium received and paid, Rs200.In this case, you make a profit of 57% (200/350), whereas your profit on an outright stock purchase, given the same price movement, would be only 10% (55-50/50).

Bullish Outlook

The profitability of similar examples will depend on how the time remaining until expiration affects the premium. Remember, time value declines sharply as an option nears its expiration date. Also influencing your decision will be your desire to own the stock. If the price of XYZ instead fell to Rs45 and the option premium fell to 7/8, you could sell your option to partially offset the premium you paid. Otherwise, the option would expire worthless and your loss would be the total amount of the premium paid or Rs350. In most cases, the loss on the option would be less than what you would have lost had you bought the underlying shares outright, Rs262.50 versus Rs500 in this example. Put options may provide a more attractive method than shorting stock for profiting on stock price declines, in that, with purchased puts, you have a known and predetermined risk. The most you can lose is the cost of the option. If you short stock, the potential loss, in the event of a price upturn, is unlimited.

Bearish Outlook

Another advantage of buying puts results from your paying the full purchase price in cash at the time the put is bought. Shorting stock requires a margin account, and margin calls on a short sale might force you to cover your position prematurely, even though the position still may have profit potential. As a put buyer, you can hold your position through the option's expiration without incurring any additional risk. Buying an XYZ July 50 put gives you the right to sell 100 shares of XYZ stock at Rs50 per share at any time before the option expires in July. This right to sell stock at a fixed price becomes more valuable as the stock price declines. Assume that the price of the underlying shares was Rs50 at the time you bought your option and the premium you paid was 4 (or Rs400). If the price of XYZ falls to Rs45 before July and the premium rises to 6, you have two choices in disposing of your in-the-money put option: You can buy 100 shares of XYZ stock at Rs45 per share and simultaneously exercise your put option to sell XYZ at Rs50 per share, netting a profit of Rs100 (Rs500 profit on the stock less the Rs400 Option premium). You can sell your put option contract, collecting the difference between the premium paid and the premium received, Rs200 in this case. If, however, the holder has chosen not to act, his maximum loss using this strategy would be the total cost of the put option or Rs400. The profitability of similar examples depends on how the time remaining until expiration affects the premium. Remember, time value declines sharply as an option nears its expiration date. If XYZ prices instead had climbed to Rs55 prior to expiration and the premium fell to 1 1/2 , your put option would be out-of-the-money . You could still sell your option for Rs150, partially offsetting its original price. In most cases, the cost of this strategy will be less than what you would have lost had you shorted XYZ stock instead of purchasing the put option, Rs250 versus Rs500 in this case. This strategy allows you to benefit from downward price movements while limiting losses to the premium paid if prices increase.

Mutual Fund - A beginner's guide


Different investment avenues are available to investors. Mutual funds also offer good investment opportunities to the investors. Like all investments, they carry certain risks. The investors should compare the risks and expected yields after adjustment of tax on various instruments while taking investment decisions. The investors may seek advice from experts and consultants including agents and distributors of mutual funds schemes while making investment decisions. With an objective to make the investors aware of functioning, of mutual funds, an attempt has been made to provide information in question-answer format which may help the investors in taking investment decisions.

What is a Mutual Funds?

Mutual fund is a Mechanism for pooling the resources by issuing units to the investors and investing funds in securities in accordance with objectives as disclosed in offer document. Investments in securities are spread across a wide cross-section and sectors thus the risk is reduced. Diversification reduces the risk because all stocks may not move in the same direction in the same proportion at the same time. Mutual fund issues units to the investors in accordance with quantum of money invested by them Investors of mutual funds are known as unit holders. The profits or losses are shared by the investors in proportion to their investments. The mutual funds normally come out with a number of schemes with different investment objectives, which are launched from time to time. A mutual fund is required to be registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which regulates securities markets before it can collect funds from the public.

What is the history of Mutual Funds in India and role of SEBI in mutual funds industry?

Unit Trust of India was the mutual fund set up in India in the year 1963. In early 1990s, Government allowed public sector banks and institutions to set up mutual funds. In the year 1992, Securities and exchange Board of India (SEBI) Act was passed. The objectives of SEBI are - to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market. As far as mutual finds are concerned, SEBI formulates policies and regulates the mutual funds to protect the interest of the investors. SEBI notified regulations for the mutual funds in 1993. Thereafter, mutual funds sponsored by private sector entities were allowed to enter the capital market. The regulations were fully revised in 1996 and have been amended there after from time to time. SEBI has also issued guidelines to the mutual funds from time to time to protect the interests of investors. All mutual funds whether promoted by public sector or private sector entities including those promoted by foreign entities are governed by the same set of Regulations. There is no distinction in regulatory requirements for these mutual funds and all are subject to monitoring and inspections by SEBI. The risks associated with the schemes launched by the mutual funds sponsored by these entities are of similar type. It may be mentioned here that Unit Trust of India (UTI) is not registered with SEBI as-a mutual fund (as on January 15, 2002).

How is a mutual fund set up?

A mutual fund is set up in the form of a trust, which has sponsor, trustees, asset management company (AMC) and custodian. The trust is established by a sponsor/s who is like promoter of a company. The trustees of the mutual fund hold its property for the benefit of the unitholders. Asset Management Company (AMC) approved by SEBI manages the funds by making investments in various types of securities. Custodian, who is also registered with SEBI, holds the securities of various schemes of the fund in its custody. The trustees are vested with the general power of superintendence and direction over AMC. They monitor the performance and compliance of SEBI Regulations by the mutual fund. SEBI Regulations require that at least two thirds of the directors of trustee company or board of trustees must be independent i.e. they should not be associated with the sponsors. Also, 50% of the directors of AMC must be independent. All mutual funds are required to be registered with SEBI before they launch any scheme. However, Unit Trust of India (UTI) is not registered with SEBI (as on January 15, 2002).

What is Net Asset Value (NAV) of a scheme?

The performance of a particular scheme of a mutual fund is denoted by Net Asset Value (NAV). Mutual funds invest the money collected from the investors, in securities markets. In simple words, Net Asset Value is the market value of the securities held under the scheme. Since market value of securities changes every day, NAV of a scheme also varies on day to day basis. The NAV per unit, is the market value of securities of scheme divided by the total number of units of the scheme on any particular date. For example, if the market value of securities of a mutual fund scheme is Rs 200 lakhs and the mutual fund has issued 10 lakhs units at Rs. 10 each to the investors, then the NAV per unit of the fund is Rs. 20. NAV is required to be disclosed by the mutual funds on a regular basis - daily or weekly - depending on the type of scheme.

What are the different types of mutual fund schemes?

Schemes according to Maturity Period : A mutual fund scheme can be classified into open-ended scheme or close-ended scheme depending on its period. Open-ended Fund/ Scheme An open-ended fund or scheme is one that is available for subscription and repurchase on a continuous basis. These schemes do not have a fixed maturity period. Investors can conveniently buy and sell units at Net Asset Value (NAV) related prices, which are declared on a daily basis. The key feature of open-ended schemes is liquidity. Close-ended Fund/Scheme A close-ended fund or scheme has a stipulated maturity period e.g. 5-7 years. The fund is open for subscription only during a specified period at the time of launch of the scheme. Investors can invest in the scheme at the time of the initial public issue and thereafter they can buy or sell the units of the scheme on the stock exchanges where the units are listed. In order to provide an exit route to the investors, some close-ended funds give an option of buying back the units to the mutual fund at NAV related price. Regulations stipulate that at least one of the two exit routes is provided to the investor i.e. either repurchase facility or through listing on stock exchanges. These mutual funds schemes disclose NAV generally on weekly basis. Schemes according to Investment Objective : A scheme can also be classified as growth scheme, income scheme or balanced scheme considering its investment objective. Such schemes may be open-ended or close-ended schemes as described earlier. Such schemes may be classified mainly as follows: Growth / Equity Oriented Scheme The aim of growth funds is to provide capital appreciation over the medium to long term. Such schemes normally invest a major part of their corpus in equities. Such funds have comparatively high risks. These schemes provide different options to the investors like dividend option, capital appreciation, etc. and the investors may choose an option depending on their preferences. The investors must indicate the option in the application form. The mutual funds also allow the investors to change the options at a later date. Growth schemes are good for investors having a long-term outlook seeking appreciation over a period of time. Income / Debt oriented Scheme The aim of income funds is to provide regular and steady income to investors. Such schemes generally invest in fixed income securities such as bonds, corporate debentures, Government securities and money market instruments. Such funds are less risky compared to equity schemes. These funds are not affected because of fluctuations in equity markets. However, opportunities of capital appreciation are also limited in such funds. The NAVs of such funds are affected because of change in interest rates in the Country. If interest rates fall, NAVs of such funds are likely to increase in the short run and vice versa. However, long term investors may not bother about these fluctuations. Balanced Fund The aim of balanced funds is to provide both growth and regular income as such schemes invest both in equities and fixed income securities in the proportion indicated in their offer documents. These are appropriate for investors looking for moderate growth. They generally invest 40-60% in equity and debt instruments. These funds are also affected because of fluctuations in share prices in the stock markets. However NAVs of such funds are likely to be less volatile compared to pure equity funds. Money Market or Liquid Fund These funds are also income funds and their aim is to provide easy liquidity, preservation of capital and moderate income. These schemes invest exclusively in safer short-term instruments such as treasury bills, certificates of deposit, commercial paper and inter-bank call money, government securities, etc. Returns on these schemes fluctuate much less compared to other funds. These funds are appropriate for corporate and individual investors, as a means to park their surplus funds for short periods. Gilt Fund These funds invest exclusively in government securities. Government securities have no default risk. NAVs of these schemes also fluctuate due to change in interest rates and other economic factors as is the case with income or debt oriented schemes. Index Funds Index Funds replicate the portfolio of a particular index such as the BSE Sensitive index, S&P NSE 50 index (Nifty), etc. These schemes invest in the securities in the same weightage comprising of an index. NAVs of such schemes would rise or fall in accordance with the rise or fall in the index, though not exactly by the same percentage due to some factors known as "tracking error" in technical terms. Necessary disclosures in this regard are made in the offer document of the mutual fund scheme. There are also exchange traded index funds launched by the mutual funds which are traded on the stock exchanges.

What are sector specific funds/schemes?

These are the funds/schemes which invest in the securities of only those sectors or industries as specified in the offer documents. e.g. Pharmaceuticals, Software, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Petroleum stocks, etc. The returns in these funds are dependent on the performance of the respective sectors/industries. While these funds may give higher returns, they, are more risky compared to diversified funds. Investors need to keep a watch on the performance of those sectors/industries and must exit at an appropriate time. They may also seek advice of an expert.

What are Tax Saving Schemes?

These schemes offer tax rebates to the investors under specific, provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as the Government offers tax incentives for investment in specified avenues. e.g. Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS). Pension schemes launched by the mutual funds also offer tax benefits. These schemes are growth oriented and invest predominantly in equities. Their growth opportunities and risks associated are like any equity-oriented scheme.

What is a Load or no-load Fund?

A Load Fund is one that charges a percentage of NAV for entry or exit. That is, each time one buys or sells units in the fund, a charge will be payable. This charge is used by the mutual fund for marketing and distribution expenses. Suppose the NAV per unit is Rs. 10. If the entry as well as exit load charged is 1%, then the investors who buy would be required to pay Rs. 10.10 and those who offer their units for repurchase to the mutual fund will get only Rs.9.90 per unit. The investors should take the loads into consideration while making investment as these affect their yields/returns. However, the investors should also consider the performance track record and service standards of the mutual fund which are more important. Efficient funds may give higher returns in spite of loads. A no-load fund is one that does not charge for entry or exit. It means the investors can enter the fund/scheme at NAV and no additional charges are payable on purchase or sale of units.

Can a mutual fund impose fresh load or increase the load beyond the level mentioned in the offer documents?

Mutual funds cannot increase the load beyond the level mentioned in the offer document. Any change in the load will be applicable only to prospective investments and not to the original investments. In case of imposition of fresh loads or increase in existing loads, the mutual funds are required to amend their offer documents so that the new investors are aware of loads at the time of investments.

What is a sales or repurchase/redemption price?

The price or NAV a unitholder is charged while investing in an open-ended scheme is called sale price. It may include sales load, if applicable. Repurchase or redemption price is the price or NAV at which an open-ended scheme purchases or redeems its units from the unitholders. It may include exit load, if applicable.

What is an assured return scheme?

Assured return schemes are those schemes that assure a specific return to the unitholders irrespective of performance of the scheme. A scheme cannot promise returns unless such returns are fully guaranteed by the sponsor or AMC and this is required to be disclosed in the offer document. Investors should carefully read the offer document whether return is assured for the entire period of the scheme or only for a certain period. Some schemes assure returns one year at a time and they review and change it at the beginning of the next year.

Can a mutual fund change the asset allocation while deploying funds of investors?

Considering the market trends, any prudent fund managers can change the asset allocation i.e. he can invest higher or lower percentage of the fund in equity or debt instruments compared to what is disclosed in the offer document. It can be done on a short term basis on defensive considerations i.e. to protect the NAV. Hence the fund managers are allowed certain flexibility in altering the asset allocation considering the interest of the investors. In case the mutual fund wants to change the asset allocation on a permanent basis, they are required to inform the unitholders and giving them option to exit the scheme at prevailing NAV without any load.

How to invest in a scheme of a mutual fund?

Mutual funds normally come out with an advertisement in newspapers publishing the date of launch of the new schemes. Investors can also contact the agents and distributors of mutual funds who are spread all over the country for necessary information and application forms. Forms can be deposited with mutual funds through the agents and distributors who provide such services. Now a days, the post offices and banks also distribute the units of mutual funds. However, the investors may please note that the mutual funds schemes being marketed by banks and post offices should not be taken as their own schemes and no assurance of returns is given by them. The only role of banks and post offices is to help in distribution of mutual funds schemes to the investors. Investors should not be carried away by commission/gifts given by agents/distributors for investing in a particular scheme. On the other hand they must consider the track record of the mutual fund and should take objective decisions.

Can non-resident Indians (NRls) invest in mutual funds?

Yes, non-resident Indians can also invest in mutual funds. Necessary details in this respect are given in the offer documents of the schemes.

How much should one invest in debt or equity oriented schemes?

An investor should take into account his risk taking capacity, age factor, financial position, etc. As already mentioned, the schemes invest in different type of securities as disclosed in the offer documents and offer different returns and risks. Investors may also consult financial experts before taking decisions. Agents and distributors may also help in this regard.

How to fill up the application form of a mutual fund scheme?

An investor must mention clearly his name, address, number of units applied for and such other information as required in the application form. He must give his bank account number so as to avoid any fraudulent encashment of any cheque/draft issued by the mutual fund at a later date for the purpose of dividend or repurchase. Any changes in the address, bank account number, etc at a later date should be informed to the mutual fund immediately

What should an investor look into an offer document?

An abridged offer document, which contains very useful information, is required to be given to the prospective investor by the mutual fund. The application form for subscription to a scheme is an integral part of the offer document. SEBI. has prescribed minimum disclosures in the offer document. An investor, before investing in a scheme, should carefully read the offer document. Due care must be given to portions relating to main features of the scheme, risk factors, initial issue expenses and recurring expenses to be charged to the scheme, entry or exit loads, sponsor's track record, educational qualification and work experience of key personnel including fund managers, performance of other schemes launched by the mutual fund in the past, pending litigations and penalties imposed, etc.

When will the investor get certificate or statement of account after investing in a mutual fund?

Mutual funds are required to dispatch certificates or statements of accounts within six weeks from the date of closure of the initial subscription of the scheme. In case of close-ended schemes, the investors would get either a demat account statement or unit certificates as these are traded in the stock exchanges. In case of open-ended schemes, a statement of account is issued by the mutual fund within 30 days from the date of closure of initial public offer of the scheme. The procedure of repurchase is mentioned in the offer document.

How long will it take for transfer of units after purchase from stock markets in case of dose-ended schemes?

According to SEBI Regulations, transfer of units is required to be done within thirty days from the date of lodgment of certificates with the mutual fund.

WAs a unitholder, how much time will it take to receive dividends/repurchase proceeds?

A mutual fund is required to dispatch to the unitholders the dividend warrants within 30 days of the declaration of the dividend and the redemption or repurchase proceeds within 10 working days from the date of redemption or repurchase request made by the unitholder. In case of failures to dispatch the redemption/repurchase proceeds within the stipulated time period, Asset Management Company is liable to pay interest as specified by SEBI from time to time (15% at present).

Can a mutual fund change the nature of the scheme from theone specified in the offer document?

Yes. However, no change in the nature or terms of the scheme, known as fundamental attributes of the scheme e.g. structure, investment pattern, etc. can be carried out unless a written communication is sent to each unitholder and an advertisement is given in one English daily having nationwide circulation and in a newspaper published in the language of the region where the head office of the mutual fund is situated. The unitholders have the right to exit the scheme at the prevailing NAV without any exit load if they do not want to continue with the scheme. The mutual funds are also required to follow similar procedure while converting the scheme from close-ended to open-ended scheme and in case of change in sponsor.

How will an investor come to know about the changes, if any, which may occur in the mutual fund?

There may be changes from time to time in a mutual fund. The mutual funds are required to inform any material changes to their unitholders. Apart from it, many mutual funds send quarterly newsletters to their investors. At present, offer documents are required to be revised and updated at least once in two years. In the meantime, new investors are informed about the material changes by way of addendum to the offer document till the time offer document is revised and reprinted.

How to know the performance of a mutual fund scheme?

The performance of a scheme is reflected in its net asset value (NAV) which is disclosed on daily basis in case of open-ended schemes and on weekly basis in case of close-ended schemes. The NAVs of mutual funds are required to be published in newspapers. The NAVs are also available on the web sites of mutual funds. All mutual funds are also required to put their NAVs on the web site of Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) and thus the investors can access NAVs of all mutual funds at one place The mutual funds are also required to publish their performance in the form of half-yearly results which also include their returns/yields over a period of time i.e. last six months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and since inception of schemes. Investors can also look into other details like percentage of expenses of total assets as these have an affect on the yield and other useful information in the same half-yearly format. The mutual funds are also required to send annual report, or abridged annual report to the unitholders at the end of the year. Various studies on mutual fund schemes including yields of different schemes are being published by the financial newspapers on a weekly basis. Apart from these, many research agencies also publish research reports on performance of mutual funds including the ranking, of various schemes in terms of their performance. Investors should study these reports and keep themselves informed about the performance of various schemes of different mutual funds. Investors can compare the performance of their schemes with those of other mutual funds under the same category. They can also compare the performance of equity oriented schemes with the benchmarks like BSE Sensitive Index, S&P CNX Nifty, etc. On the basis of performance of the mutual funds, the investors should decide when to enter or exit from a mutual fund scheme.

How to know where the mutual fund scheme has invested money mobilised from the investors?

The mutual funds are required to disclose full portfolios of all of their schemes on half-yearly basis which are published in the newspapers. Some mutual funds send the portfolios to their unitholders. The scheme portfolio shows investment made in each security i.e. equity, debentures, money market instruments, government securities, etc. and their quantity, market value and % to NAV. These portfolio statements also required to disclose illiquid securities in the portfolio, investment made in rated and unrated debt securities, non-performing assets (NPAs), etc. Some of the mutual funds send newsletters to the unitholders on quarterly basis which also contain portfolios of the schemes.

Is there any difference between investing in a mutual fund and in an initial public offering (IPO) of a company?

Yes, there is a difference. IPOs of companies may open at lower or higher price than the issue price depending on market sentiment and perception of investors. However, in the case of mutual funds, the par value of the units may not rise or fall immediately after allotment. A mutual fund scheme takes some time to make investment in securities. NAV of the scheme depends on the value of securities in which the funds have been deployed.

If schemes in the same category of different mutual funds are available, should one choose a scheme with lower NAV?

Some of the investors have the tendency to prefer a scheme that is available at lower NAV compared to the one available at higher NAV. Sometimes they prefer a new scheme which is issuing units at Rs. 10 whereas the existing schemes in the same category are available at much higher NAVs. Investors may please note that in case of mutual funds schemes, lower or higher NAVs of similar type schemes of different mutual funds have no relevance. On the other hand, investors should choose a scheme based on its merit considering performance track record of the mutual fund, service standards, professional management, etc. This is explained in an example given below. Suppose scheme A is available at a NAV of Rs. 15 and another scheme B at Rs.90. Both schemes are diversified equity oriented schemes. Investor has put Rs. 9,000 in each of the two schemes. He would get 600 units (9000/15) in scheme A and 100 units (9000/90) in scheme B. Assuming that the markets go up by 10 per cent and both the schemes perform equally good and it is reflected in their NAVs. NAV of scheme A would go up to Rs. 16.50 and that of scheme B to Rs. 99. Thus, the market value of investments would be Rs. 9,900 (600* 16.50) in scheme A and it would be the same amount of Rs. 9900 in scheme B (100*99). The investor would get the same return of 10% on his investment in each of the schemes. Thus, lower or higher NAV of the schemes and allotment of higher or lower number of units within the amount an investor is willing to invest, should not be the factors for making investment decision. Likewise, if a new equity oriented scheme is being offered at Rs. 10 and an existing scheme is available for Rs. 90, should not be a factor for decision making by the investor. Similar is the case with income or debt-oriented schemes. On the other hand, it is likely that the better managed scheme with higher NAV may give higher returns compared to a scheme which is available at lower NAV but is not managed efficiently. Similar is the case of fall in NAVs. Efficiently managed scheme at higher NAV may not fall as much as inefficiently managed scheme with lower NAV. Therefore, the investor should give more weightage to the professional management of a scheme instead of lower NAV of any scheme. He may get much higher number of units at lower NAV, but the scheme may not give higher returns if it is not managed efficiently.

How to choose a scheme for investment from a number of schemes available?

As already mentioned, the investors must read the offer document of the mutual fund scheme very carefully. They may also look into the past track record of performance of the scheme or other schemes of the same mutual fund. They may also compare the performance with other schemes having similar investment objectives. Though past performance of a scheme is not an indicator of its future performance and good performance in the past may or may not be sustained in the future, this is one of the important factors for making investment decision. In case of debt oriented schemes, apart from looking into past returns, the investors should also see the quality of debt instruments which is reflected in their rating. A scheme with lower rate of return but having investments in better rated instruments may be safer. Similarly, in equities schemes also, investors may look, for quality of portfolio. They may also seek advice of experts.

Are the companies having names like mutual benefit the same as mutual funds schemes?

Investors should not assume some companies having the name "mutual benefit" as mutual funds. These companies do not come under the purview of SEBI. On the other hand, mutual funds can mobilise funds from the investors by launching schemes only after getting registered with SEBI as mutual funds.

Is the higher net worth of the sponsor a guarantee for better returns ?

In the offer document of any mutual fund scheme, financial performance including the net worth of the sponsor for a period of three years is required to be given. The only purpose is that the investors should know the track record of the company which has sponsored the mutual fund. However, higher net worth of the sponsor does not mean that the scheme would give better returns or the sponsor would compensate in case the NAV falls.

Where can an investor look out for information on mutual funds?

Almost all the mutual funds have their own web sites. Investors can also access the NAVs, half-yearly results and portfolios of all mutual funds at the web site of Association of mutual funds in India (AMFI) AMFI has also published useful literature for the investors. Investors can log on to the web site of SEBI and go to “Mutual Funds” section for information on SEBI regulations and guidelines, data on mutual funds, draft offer documents filed by mutual funds, addresses of mutual funds, etc. Also, in the annual reports of SEBI available on the web site, a lot of information on mutual funds is given. There are a number of other web sites which give a lot of information of various schemes of mutual funds including yields over a period of time. Many newspapers also publish useful information on mutual funds on daily and weekly basis. Investors may approach their agents and distributors to guide them in this regard.

If mutual fund scheme is wound up, what happens to money invested?

In case of winding up of a scheme, the mutual fund pays a sum based on prevailing NAV after adjustment of expenses. Unitholders are entitled to receive a report on winding up from the mutual funds, which gives all necessary details.

How can the investors redress their complaints?

Investors would find the name of contact person in the offer document of the mutual fund scheme whom they may approach in case of any query, complaints or grievances. Trustees of a mutual fund monitor the activities of the mutual fund. The names of the directors of asset management company and trustees are also given in the offer documents. Investors can also approach SEBI for redressal of their complaints. On receipt of complaints, SEBI takes up the matter with the concerned mutual fund and follows up with them till the matter is resolved. Investors may send their complaints to:

Securities and Exchange Board of India

Mutual Funds Department
Mittal Court 'B' wing, First Floor,
224, Nariman Point,
Mumbai - 400 021.
Phone : 2850451-56, 2880962-70
Website :
AMFI Postal Address
Association of Mutual Fund in India
‘B’ Wing, Dalamal Tower,
Free Press Journal Marg,
Nariman Point,
Mumbai - 400 021.
Tel. : 232 4524/25
E-mail :
Website :

List of Funds

Alliance Capital Mutual Fund
Bench Mark Mutual Fund
Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund
BOB Mutual Fund
Bank of India Mutual Fund
Canbank Mutual Fund
Chola Mutual Fund
D S P Merrill Lynch Investments Managers
Dundee Mutual Fund
Escorts Mutual Fund
First India Mutual Fund
GIC Mutual Fund
HDFC Mutual Fund
IDBI Principal
IL & FS Mutual Fund
Indian Bank Mutual Fund
ING Savings Trust
J. M. Mutual Fund
J. F. Mutual Fund
Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund
LIC Mutual Fund
Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund
Pioneer ITI Mutual Fund
PNB Mutual Fund
Prudential ICICI Mutual Fund
Reliance Capital Mutual Fund
SBI Mutual Fund
Shriram Mutual Fund
Standard Chartered Mutual Fund
Sun F&C Mutual Fund
Sundaram Mutual Fund
Tata Mutual Fund
Taurus Mutual Fund
Templeton Mutual Fund
Unit Trust of India
Zurich India Mutual Fund

Book Building

  • About Book Building
  • The Process
  • Initial Public Offerings
About Book Building

Book Building is basically a capital issuance process used in Initial Public Offer (IPO) which aids price and demand discovery. It is a process used for marketing a public offer of equity shares of a company. It is a mechanism where, during the period for which the book for the IPO is open, bids are collected from investors at various prices, which are above or equal to the floor price. The process aims at tapping both wholesale and retail investors. The offer/issue price is then determined after the bid closing date based on certain evaluation criteria.

The Process:

The Issuer who is planning an IPO nominates a lead merchant banker as a 'book runner'. The Issuer specifies the number of securities to be issued and the price band for orders. The Issuer also appoints syndicate members with whom orders can be placed by the investors. Investors place their order with a syndicate member who inputs the orders into the 'electronic book'. This process is called 'bidding' and is similar to open auction. A Book should remain open for a minimum of 5 days. Bids cannot be entered less than the floor price. Bids can be revised by the bidder before the issue closes. On the close of the book building period the 'book runner evaluates the bids on the basis of the evaluation criteria which may include - Price Aggression Investor quality Earliness of bids, etc. The book runner and the company conclude the final price at which it is willing to issue the stock and allocation of securities. Generally, the number of shares are fixed, the issue size gets frozen based on the price per share discovered through the book building process. Allocation of securities is made to the successful bidders. Book Building is a good concept and represents a capital market which is in the process of maturing.

Initial Public Offerings

Corporates may raise capital in the primary market by way of an initial public offer, rights issue or private placement. An Initial Public Offer (IPO) is the selling of securities to the public in the primary market. This Initial Public Offering can be made through the fixed price method, book building method or a combination of both. In case the issuer chooses to issue securities through the book building route then as per SEBI guidelines, an issuer company can issue securities in the following manner: 100% of the net offer to the public through the book building route. 75% of the net offer to the public through the book building process and 25% through the fixed price portion Under the 90% scheme, this percentage would be 90 and 10 respectively.

Difference between shares offered through book building and offer of shares through normal public issue :
Features Fixed  Price process Book Building process
Pricing Price at which the securities are offered/allotted is known in advance to the investor. Price at which securities will be offered/allotted is not known in advance to the investor. Only an indicative price range is known.
Demand Demand for the securities offered is known only after the closure of the issue Demand for the securities offered can be known everyday as the book is built.
Payment Payment if made at the time of subscription wherein refund is given after allocation. Demand for the securities offered can be known everyday as the book is built.

Investor awareness The right & Obligation of the investor - BSE


The Stock Exchange, Mumbai established in 1875 as the "Native Share and Stock Brokers' Association is one of the oldest stock exchanges in Asia. The Exchange not only provides an efficient market but also upholds the interests of the Investors' and ensures redressal of their grievances, whether against the companies or its Member-brokers. It strives to educate and enlighten the Investors' by making available to them the necessary information. The Exchange popularly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) provides all the market related information by issuing press release and these are also available on the website (i.e. www.bseindia

Investor's Service Cell

Protecting the interest of Investors' dealing in securities is one of the main objectives of the Exchange. In pursuit of this objective, an Investors' Services Cell (ISC) was set up in 1986 by Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The grievances of Investors against listed companies and members of the Exchange are redressed by the Exchange. The Exchange also assists in arbitration process both between Members & Investors. The capital market can grow only when the Investors' find it safe for them to invest in the capital market and they are assured that the rules governing the market are fair and just to all the players in the market. With a view to ensure speedy and effective resolution of claims, differences and disputes between non-members, the Exchange has laid down a set of procedures for arbitration thereof. These procedures are duly embodied in the Rules, Bye-laws and Regulations of the Exchange, which have been duly approved by the Government of India / Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Safeguards' for Investors'

These are some of the safe-guards that needs to be adhered to by the Investors' before trading in the securities market.

While Selecting the Broker/ Sub-Broker

Deal with only SEBI registered Broker / Sub-broker after due diligence. Details of List of Brokers' can be procured from the Member's List published by the Exchange and from the website:

Enter into an Agreement

Fill in a Client registration form with Broker / Sub - broker Enter into Broker / Sub-broker - Client Agreement. This agreement is mandatory for all Investors for registering as a client of a BSE Trading Member. The Client should ensure the following before entering into an agreement: Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the agreement, before executing the same on a valid stamp paper of the requisite value. Agreement to be signed on all the pages by the Client and the Member or their representative who has the authority to sign the agreement. Agreement has also to be signed by the witnesses by giving their name and address.

While Transacting

Specify to the Broker / Sub- broker, Exchange through which your trade is to be executed and maintain separate account per Exchange. Obtain a valid Contract Note (from Broker) / Confirmation Memo (from Sub-broker) within 24 hours of the execution of the trade. Contract note is a confirmation of trade(s) done on a particular day for and on behalf of a client in a format prescribed by the Exchange. It establishes a legally enforceable relationship between the Member and Client in respect of settlement of trades executed on the Exchange as stated in the Contract note. Contract notes are made in duplicate, and the Member and Client both keeps one copy each. The Client is expected to sign on the duplicate copy of the contract note for having received the original. Contract Note - Form 'A' - Contract Note issued where Member is acting for constituents as brokers and agents. Contract Note - Form 'B' - Contract note issued by Members dealing with constituents as Principals. Confirmation Memo - Form 'C' - Confirmation Memo issued by registered Sub-brokers acting for Clients / Constituents as Sub-brokers.

Ensure that the Contract Note / Confirmation Memo contains:

SEBI registration number of the Member/ Sub-broker. Details of trade such as, Order no, trade no., trade time, quantity, price, brokerage, settlement number, and details of other levies. The trade price should be shown separately from the brokerage charged. As stipulated by SEBI, the maximum brokerage that can be charged is 2.5% of the trade value. This maximum brokerage is inclusive of the brokerage charged by the sub-broker (Sub-brokerage cannot exceed 1.5% of the trade value.) Any additional charges that the member can charge are Service tax @5% of the brokerage and any penalties arising on behalf of client (Investor). The brokerage and service tax is indicated separately in the contract note. Signature of authorized representative. Arbitration clause stating that the trade is subject to the jurisdiction of Mumbai must be present on the face of the Contract note.

Ensuring Settlement.

Ensure delivery of securities /payment of money to the broker immediately upon getting the contract note for sale / purchase but in any case, before the prescribed pay-in-day. The Member should pay the money or securities to the Investor within 48 hours of the payout.

Open demat account

Preferably opt for buying and selling demat shares. For delivery of shares from Demat a/c, give the Depository Participant (D P) 'Delivery out' instructions to transfer the same from the beneficiary account to the pool account of broker through whom shares and securities have been sold. The following details to be given to the DP: details of the pool a/c of broker to which the shares are to be transferred, details of scrip, quantity etc. As per the requirements of depositories the Delivery out Instruction should be given atleast 48 hours prior to the cut-off time for the prescribed securities pay-in. For receiving shares in your Demat a/c, give the Depository Participant (D P) 'Delivery in' instructions to accept shares in beneficiary account from the pool account of broker through whom shares have been purchased. If physical deliveries are received - check the deliveries received as per Good/Bad delivery guidelines issued by SEBI. Bad delivery cases should be sorted out through Exchange machinery immediately. All registration of shares for ownership of physical shares should be executed by a valid, duly completed and stamped transfer deed.

Process of solving investors grievances

Access to the Exchange arbitration facilities in case of dispute with brokers. Contact : The Investors' Service Cell, The Stock Exchange, 1st Floor , Rotunda Bldg, Mumbai - 400 001 For complaint against listed Companies/brokers contact: The Investors' Service Cell, The Stock Exchange,1st Floor, Rotunda Bldg, Mumbai -400 001. BSE has established a full-fledged Investors' Services Cell (ISC) to redress Investor's grievances. Since its establishment in 1986, the Cell has played a pivotal role in enhancing and maintaining Investors' faith and confidence by resolving their grievances either against listed companies or against Members of the Exchange. The services offered by the ISC are as under :

Investor's grievances against Listed Companies

ISC forwards the Complaints to the respective company and directs them to solve the matter within 15 days. In spite of the above efforts, if the company fails to resolve the Investor's Complaints and the total no. of pending complaints against the company exceed 25 and if these complaints are pending for more than 45 days , after issue of show cause notice for 7 days the Scrip of the company is suspended from trading till grievances are resolved. ISC also transfer's such Scrip's to 'Z' category for non-resolution of Investors' Complaints. ISC takes many other pro-active measures to resolve the Investor's grievance such as: Calling the Company representative to the Exchange to interact with Investor's / Members to resolve the complaints. Calling major Registrar & Transfer agent to the Exchange to interact and resolve the grievances of the Investor's and Members of the Exchange. Issuing monthly press release listing top 25 companies against whom maximum complaints are pending for resolution. The same is also released on the website of the Exchange. Pursuing Mumbai based companies to depute their representative to the Exchange to take the pending list of complaints & resolve the same immediately. Investor's grievances against Member's The nature of complaints received by the Exchange can be broadly classified into the following categories: Non-receipt of delivery of shares/ Non removal of objection/Non-receipt of sale proceeds of shares/ Non-receipt of dividend/ Non-receipt of Rights, Bonus shares Disputes regarding Rate Difference Disputes relating to non-settlement of Accounts

Miscellaneous Items

The complaints are forwarded to the concerned members to reply /settle the complaints within 7days from the receipt of the letter. If no reply is received or reply received is not satisfactory, the matter is placed before the IGRC (Investor's Grievance Redressal Committee) headed by Retd. High court Judge. IGRC is constituted by the Governing Board to resolve the Complaints of non-members against Members through the process of reconciliation. The parties are heard and the matter is tried to be solved amicably or it is referred for Arbitration under the Rules, Bye-laws & Regulations of the Exchange.


The Investors complaints referred by IGRC can be against the (i) active members of the Exchange as well as the (ii) defaulter-members of the Exchange. The process of solving the Investors complaints through the arbitration procedure are as mentioned below:

Arbitration Procedure

For the purpose of resolution of grievances between Investors and Member-brokers, the Exchange has constituted an Arbitration Committee with the approval of SEBI. The non-member arbitration panel consists of retired High Court and City Civil Court judges, Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Solicitors and other professionals having in-depth knowledge of the capital market. On receiving the direction for arbitration from the IGRC, the complainant (applicant) files relevant supporting documents for arbitration. A set of the arbitration documents is sent to the other party (respondent) for giving his counter reply. After completion of the formalities, the matter is fixed for hearing before arbitrators. For claims less than Rs.10 lakhs, the applicant has/have to propose the name of three arbitrators and the respondent(s) has/have to consent on the name of one of the arbitrators. In case the respondent(s) does/do not consent on the arbitrator, the exchange appoints the arbitrator to adjudicate the matter. For claims above Rs.10 lakhs, a panel of three arbitrators, one each to be appointed by the applicant(s) and respondent(s) and the presiding arbitrator has to be appointed by the exchange to adjudicate the matter. The date for hearing is fixed and the concerned parties are informed about the date through notices. After hearing both the parties and taking the submissions and the documents on record, the arbitrator(s) close the reference and the award (decision) is given. Appeal If the applicant is not satisfied with the award he can appeal against the same in the Exchange within 15 days of the receipt of the award. The appeal bench of five arbitrators hears the matter and gives the award. However, the aggrieved party has to deposit the awarded amount given by the Arbitral Tribunal with the Exchange unless and until the appeal bench exempts it partly or wholly. If the award is in favour of the applicant, the active member has to abide by the decision. If he fails to abide by the award, the Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC) takes necessary action against him. The award becomes a decree after three months from the date on which it is given and can be executed as a court decree through a competent court of jurisdiction. The same can be challenged only in the High Court of Judicature, Mumbai.

Arbitration Procedure against Defaulter Member of the Exchange

Any complaint against defaulter Members of the Exchange can directly be filed in arbitration. However the same has to be filed within 6 months from the date of declaring the Member as defaulter by the Exchange. The rest of the process is the same as above. An award obtained against a defaulter member are scrutinized by the Defaulters committee (DC), a standing committee constituted by the Exchange, to ascertain their genuineness, etc. The awarded amount or Rs.10 lakhs whichever is lower is paid from the Customer's Protection Fund (CPF). After the approval of the DC & Trustee of CPF, the amount is distributed to the clients who have obtained the award against defaulter member.

Investor's or Customer's Protection Fund

BSE is the first Exchange to have set up the 'Stock Exchange Customer's Protection Fund in the interest of the customer's of the defaulter members of the Exchange. This fund was set up on 10th July, 1986 and has been registered with the Charity Commissioner, Government of Maharashtra as a Charitable Fund. BSE is the only Exchange in India, which offers the highest compensation of Rs.10 lakhs in respect of the approved claims of any Investor against the defaulter members of the Exchange. The members at present contribute Rs.1.50 per Rs.10 lakhs of turnover. The Stock Exchange contributes 2.5% of the listing fees collected by it. Also the entire interest earned by the Exchange on 1% security deposit kept by with it by the companies making public / rights issues is credited to the Fund.

Trade Guarantee Fund

In order to introduce a system of guaranteeing settlement of trades and ensure that market equilibrium is maintained in case of payment default by the Members the Trade Guarantee Fund was constituted and it came into force with effect from May 12, 1997. The main objectives of the fund are as given below: To guarantee settlement of bonafide transactions of members of the Exchange inter se which form part of the Stock Exchange settlement system, so as to ensure timely completion of settlements of contracts and thereby protect the interest of Investors and the Members of the Exchange. To inculcate confidence in the minds of secondary market participants generally and global Investors', particularly to attract larger number of domestic and international players in the capital market. To protect the interest of Investors' and to promote the development of and regulation of the secondary market. The Fund is managed by the Defaulters' Committee, which is a standing Committee constituted by the Exchange, the constitution of which is approved by SEBI.

Investor Awareness & Education

Investor Awareness Program Investor Awareness programs are being regularly conducted by BSE to educate the investors and to create awareness among the Investors regarding the working of the capital market and in particular the working of the Stock Exchanges. These programs have been conducted in Gujarat, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana and within Maharashtra. The Investor Awareness program covers extensive topics like Instruments of Investment, Portfolio approach, Mutual funds, Tax provisions, Trading, Clearing and Settlement, Rolling Settlement, Investors' Protection Fund, Trade Guarantee Fund, Dematerialisation of shares, information on Debt Market, Investors' Grievance Redressal system available with SEBI, BSE & Company Law Board, information on Sensex and other Indices, workshops and Information on Derivatives, Futures and Options etc. The Bombay Stock Exchange has also earmarked an amount of Rs.1 crore for assistance to Investor Associations for conducting Investor Awareness and education seminars etc. During the year 2000 - 2001 an amount of Rs.20 lakhs has been disbursed to the SEBI recognized Investors Association. Further, for the benefit of the Investors' the Bombay Stock Exchange has : BSE Training Institute which organises Investor Education programs periodically on various subjects like comprehensive program on Capital Markets, Fundamental Analysis, Technical Analysis, Derivatives, Index Futures and Options, Debt Market etc. Further, for the Derivatives market BSE also conducts the compulsory BCDE certification for members and their dealers to impart basic minimum knowledge of the derivatives markets. For any enquiries Contact : The Training Institute, 21st Floor, P.J.Tower, Dalal Street, Mumbai- 400 001. BSE's official Website which is the focal point for information dissemination and updates Investors with the latest information on Stock Markets on a daily basis through real time updation of statistical data on Market activity, corporate information and results. Educative articles on various products and processes are also available on the site. Publications: BSE regularly comes out with publications for Investor education on various products and processes like Quick reference guide for Investors .

Rights of Investors

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  • To receive all benefits/ material information declared for the Investors’ by the Company.
  • Prompt Services from the Company such as transfers, Sub-divisions and consolidation of holdings in the Company.
  • Equity holders have a right to subscribe to further issue of Capital by the Company.
  • Brokerage not to exceed 2.5 per cent of the Contract Price.
  • Receipt of the Contract note from the broker in the specified format showing transaction price and brokerage separately.
  • Investors can expect delivery of shares purchased/value of shares sold within 2 days after the pay-out day.
  • Access to the Exchange arbitration facilities in case of dispute with brokers.Contact : The Investors’ Service Cell, The Stock Exchange, 1st Floor , Rotunda Bldg, Mumbai – 400 001 8.For complaint against listed Companies/brokers contact: The Investors’ Service Cell, The Stock Exchange,1st Floor, Rotunda Bldg, Mumbai –400 001.

Depository services

  • Register for CDSL's internet based facility 'easi' to monitor your demat account yourself. Contact LKP DP for details.
  • Accept the DIS book from LKP DP only if each slip has been pre-printed the a serial number along with your demat account number and keep it in safe custody.
  • Always mention the details like ISIN, number of securities accurately. In case of any queries, please contact LKP DP or broker.
  • Ensure that all demat account holder(s) sign on the DIS.
  • Please strike out the any blank space on the slip.
  • Cancellations or corrections on the DIS should be initialed or signed all the account holder(s).
  • Submit the DIS ahead of the delivery date for all type of market transactions. DIS can be issued with a future execution date.
  • Intimate any change of address or change in bank account details to LKP DP immediately.
  • Check the demat performance of the issuer company with LKP DP before deciding to send certificates for demat. The list of companies whose demat request are pending is published at
  • Before sending securities for demat, record the distinctive numbers of the securities sent.
  • Before granting Power of Attorney to anyone, to operate your demat account, carefully examine the scope & implications of powers being granted.
  • The demat account has a nomination facility and it is advisable to appoint a nominee, in case of sole account holders.
  • Ensure that, both, your holding and transaction statements are received periodically as instructed to LKP DP. You are entitled to receive a transaction statement every month if you have any transactions and once a quarter if there have been no transactions in your account.
  • Check your demat account statement on receipt. In case you notice any unauthorized debits or credits, contact LKP DP for clarification.


  • Do not leave your instruction slip book with anyone else.
  • Do not sign blank DIS as it is equivalent to a bearer cheque.
  • Avoid over-writing, cancellations, misspellings, changing of the name and quantity of securities.
  • We request you to meticulously follow the above instructions, to avoid any problems in operation of your demat account.

General Do's and Don’t's for Investors

  • Don’t deal with unregistered intermediaries, as this would expose you to counter party risk.
  • Give clear and unambiguous instructions to your Broker / Sub–broker.
  • Keep a record of all instructions issued to the Broker / Sub–broker.
  • Confirm with your Broker / Sub–broker whether delivery is in physical or demat form before selling shares.
  • Don’t fall prey to promises of unrealistic high returns.
  • Don’t indulge in speculative trading, go by fundamentals.
  • Trade within your predetermined limits.
  • Use the Investors’ Grievance Redressal system of the Exchanges to redress your grievances if any.
  • Understand the working of the Investor Service Cell for complaint against listed companies / Brokers
  • You can trade on your own through Internet based trading by registering with a Broker.

Registered Office: 203,Embassy Centre,Nariman Point,Mumbai - 400021.
Tel: +91 22 4002 4785/4002 4786 Fax: +91 22 2287 4787
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Research Analyst registration number: INH00001758
DP registration number: IN-DP-CDSL-206-2003
PMS registration number: INP000005299
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For linking your Demat/trading account with Aadhaar, submit the self-attested copy
of your Aadhaar Card along with a written request signed by all the holders.
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Filing Complaints on SCORES- Easy & Quick :

  • A. Register on SCORES portal
  • B. Mandatory details for filing complaints on SCORES:
    • 1) Name
    • 2) PAN
    • 3) Address
    • 4) Mobile Number & Email ID
  • C. Benefits:
    • 1) Effective Communication
    • 2) Speedy redressal of the grievances

Attention Investors

  • Stock Brokers can accept securities as margin from clients only by way of pledge in the depository system w.e.f. September 1, 2020.
  • Update your mobile number & email Id with your stock broker/depository participant and receive OTP directly from depository on your email id and/or mobile number to create pledge.
  • Pay 20% upfront margin of the transaction value to trade in cash market segment.
  • Investors may please refer to the Exchange's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) issued vide circular reference NSE/INSP/45191 dated July 31, 2020 and NSE/INSP/45534 dated August 31, 2020 and other guidelines issued from time to time in this regard.
  • Check your Securities /MF/ Bonds in the consolidated account statement issued by NSDL/CDSL every month. .......... Issued in the interest of Investors