IRF: Exchanges clock Rs 9,000-cr trading volume in first week

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 26 2014, 18:08pm hrs
Interest rate futures (IRFs) seem to have caught the fancy of investors as exchanges recorded turnover of close to Rs 9,000 crore in the first week of trading of the product.

NSE Nifty and MCX-SX launched IRFs last week, while BSE would start trading in the product from January 28.

Check stock: Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd

NSE, which launched trading in IRF on January 21, clocked a turnover of Rs 5,599 crore with a traded volume of 2,75,561 in the first four days.

MCX-SX began IRF trading on January 20 and recorded a turnover of Rs 3,330 crore with a volume of 1,63,942 in the week ended Friday last.

The IRF contract is cash settled and is based on the benchmark 10-year government bond, one of the most liquid debt paper instruments in the country.

The bond futures is based on the 10-year government bonds, with underlying 7.16 per cent and 8.83 per cent coupon rate.

According to experts, the product is expected to become the most sought after hedging tool in its latest avatar after failing twice in the past. Turnovers are also likely to rise in the coming weeks, they added.

IRFs were launched twice earlier (in 2003 and 2009) but failed to pick up because of their complex structure.

An IRF is a contract between a buyer and a seller for future delivery of an interest-bearing security such as government bonds.

The cash-settled IRFs would provide market participants with a better option to hedge against risks arising from fluctuations in interest rates.

The product would benefit banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies and primary dealers, among others.

In December 2013, Sebi allowed the stock exchanges to introduce cash-settled IRFs on 10-year government bonds, a long-pending demand of market participants.