PDF document (191 kb)
Draft Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2019

Notification No. FMRD.DIRD.XX /2019 dated April XX, 2019

Draft Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2019

The Reserve Bank of India (hereinafter called the Reserve Bank) having considered it necessary in public interest and to regulate the financial system of the country to its advantage, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 45W of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (RBI Act) and of all the powers enabling it in this behalf, hereby gives the following directions to all persons dealing in Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives in India.

1. Short title and commencement of the directions-

These directions may be called the Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2019 and shall supersede all other Directions indicated in Annex-I.

2. Definitions-

  1. Benchmark Interest Rates refer to interest rates administered by a benchmark administrator.

  2. Electronic Trading Platform (ETP) shall mean any electronic system, other than a recognized stock exchange, on which transactions in interest rate derivatives, among other instruments, are contracted.

  3. European Interest Rate Options are interest rate option contracts that can be exercised only on the expiration date.

  4. Forward Rate Agreement (FRA) is an interest rate derivative contract that involves exchange of interest payments on a notional principal amount, on a future date, at agreed rates, for a defined forward period.

  5. Hedging is the activity of undertaking a derivative transaction to reduce an identifiable and measurable risk. For the purpose of these directions, the relevant risk is Rupee interest rate risk.

  6. Interest Rate Derivative (IRD) is a financial derivative contract whose value is derived from one or more benchmark interest rates, price, interest rate instruments, or interest rate indexes.

  7. Interest Rate Futures (IRF) are standardized interest rate derivative contracts traded on a stock exchange to buy or sell a notional security or any other interest- bearing instrument or an index of such instruments or interest rates at a specified future date, at a price determined at the time of the contract. Interest Rate Futures include Money Market Futures.

  8. Interest Rate Option (IRO) is an option contract whose value is based on Rupee interest rates or interest rate instruments.

  9. Interest Rate Swap (IRS) is a derivative contract that involves exchange of a stream of agreed interest payments on a `notional principal’ amount during a specified period.

  10. Interest Rate Swaptions are options on interest rate swaps.

  11. Market-makers provide bid and offer prices to users and other market makers. Market-maker need not have an underlying risk.

  12. Money Market Futures are interest rate futures based on any Rupee denominated money market interest rate or money market instrument.

  13. Non-retail users shall include (a) entities regulated by the Reserve Bank; (b) insurance companies; (c) mutual funds, pensions funds and other collective investment vehicles; (d) All India Financial Institutions (AIFIs), viz., Exim Bank, NABARD, NHB and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI); and, (e) listed companies/entities or unlisted companies/entities with net-worth of ₹5 billion or equivalent.

  14. Option is a financial derivative contract that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to either buy (call option) or sell (put option) an asset at a pre-determined price (known as the strike price) by a specified date (known as the expiration date).

  15. Overnight Indexed Swap (OIS) is an interest rate swap based on the Overnight Mumbai Interbank Outright Rate (MIBOR) benchmark published by Financial Benchmarks India Pvt. Ltd (FBIL).

  16. Person resident in India is as defined in Section (v) of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

  17. Permitted non-residents means persons resident outside India permitted to invest in securities under the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident Outside India) Regulations, 2017 (FEMA 20(R)) as amended from time to time. For this purpose, person resident outside India is as defined in Section (w) of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

  18. Recognized stock exchanges shall have the meaning assigned under Section 2 (f) of the Securities Contract Regulation Act, 1956.

  19. Regulated entity means any person, other than an individual or HUF, whose activities are regulated by any one of the financial regulators in India viz., Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), National Housing Bank (NHB) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

  20. Retail users refer to all eligible participants in IRD markets, other than non-retail users.

  21. Users refer to entities that undertake derivative transactions but not as a market maker.

  22. The words and expressions used but not defined in these Directions shall have the meaning assigned to them in the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

3. Trading Venues

Interest rate derivatives (IRDs) contracts can trade on either (i) Recognised Stock Exchanges (referred hereafter as exchanges), or (ii) Over-the-Counter (OTC). OTC transactions shall refer to all transactions done outside of recognized stock exchanges and shall include transactions on Electronic Trading Platforms (ETP). The directions governing activities in IRDs in each of these trading venues, viz., exchanges or OTC markets, are laid down separately, as below.

4. Eligible Participants

Any person resident in India and any permitted non-resident is eligible to participate in IRDs. All regulated entities shall participate in IRDs with the permission of and subject to the terms and conditions, if any, fixed by their respective regulators.

5. Interest Rate Derivatives Transacted on Recognized Stock Exchanges

IRD transactions carried out on exchanges shall be subject to the following directions:-

  1. Exchanges are permitted to offer any Interest Rate Futures (IRF) or Interest Rate Options (IRO) products, including swaptions.

  2. The product design, eligible participants and other details of the IRD product may be decided by the exchanges.

  3. Exchanges shall obtain prior approval of the Reserve Bank before introducing any new IRD contract or before carrying out modifications to an existing contract.

6. Interest Rate Derivatives in the OTC Market

IRD transactions carried out in the OTC market shall be subject to the following directions: ‑

(a) Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Local Area Banks and Regional Rural Banks), Primary Dealers (PDs) and All-India Financial Institutions (FIs) are eligible to act as market-makers for IRD products in OTC markets.

(b) For the purpose of offering interest rate derivative contracts to a user, market- makers shall classify a user either as a retail user or as a non-retail user:-

  1. Any user who is otherwise eligible to be classified as a non-retail user shall have the option to get classified as a retail user.

(c) Market makers shall ensure that transactions undertaken by retail users are for the purpose of hedging an underlying interest rate risk. Resident non-retail users can undertake transactions in permitted products for both hedging and otherwise.

(d) Participation of permitted non-residents in IRD markets shall be in terms of the Reserve Bank Directions No. FMRD.DIRD.14/2019 dated March 27, 2019 and RBI/2018-19/135 A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 21 dated March 01, 2019 on Voluntary retention Route’ (VRR) for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) investment in debt, as amended from time to time.

(e) Market-makers may offer the following products to retail users:-

  1. Forward Rate Agreement (FRA),

  2. Interest Rate Swap (IRS), and

  3. European Interest Rate Options (IRO).

(f) In addition to the products listed in (e) above, market-makers may offer swaptions and structured derivative products, excluding leveraged derivatives, to non-retail users.

(g) Any floating interest rate or price or index used in IRDs in the OTC market shall be a benchmark published by FBIL or any other authorised benchmark administrator.

(h) IRD transactions shall be settled bilaterally or through any clearing arrangement approved by the Reserve Bank for the purpose.

(i) Settlement basis and other market conventions for IRD transactions shall be specified by FIMMDA, in consultation with market participants.

(j) Market-makers in OTC transactions shall report all transactions within 30 minutes of the transactions to the Trade Repository of Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL).

7. Conditions applicable to IRDs on both exchanges and in the OTC market

The following conditions shall apply to all IRDs, whether traded on an exchange or in the OTC market:-

  1. Market makers in IRDs sold in OTC markets shall comply with the ‘suitability and appropriateness’ requirements contained in the circular on Comprehensive Guidelines on Derivatives issued by the Reserve Bank, as amended from time to time. Exchanges shall ensure that clients participating on exchanges are adequately made aware of the risks associated with the derivative instrument.

  2. Accounting and capital requirement for IRDs shall be as specified by the respective regulators of participants or as per the applicable accounting standards prescribed by ICAI or other standard setting organisation.

8. Regulatory reporting

All users whose notional outstanding amount for all outstanding IRDs taken together reaches ₹10 billion at any point of time during a quarter shall report details of their risk positions at the end of that quarter in the prescribed format as furnished in Annex II.

9. The list of previous circulars issued by the Reserve Bank that are repealed and withdrawn with immediate effect are given at Annex I hereunder. However, the directions contained in those circulars shall continue to apply to contracts undertaken in accordance with the said directions till the expiry of those contracts.

(T. Rabi Sankar)
Chief General Manager

Annex I

List of circulars repealed and withdrawn

  1. Circular No. MPD.BC.187/07.01.279/1999-2000 dated July 7, 1999

  2. Circular No. IDMC.PDRS.4802/03.64.00/2002-03 dated June 3, 2003

  3. Circular No. IDMD.PDRS.4802(A)/03.64.00/2002-03 dated June 11, 2003

  4. Circular No. DBOD.BP.BC.No.56/21.04.157/2008-09 dated October 13, 2008

  5. Circular No. FMD.MSRG No.39/02.04.003/2009-10 dated August 28, 2009

  6. Circular No. IDMD.PDRD.No.1056/03.64.00/2009-10 dated September 1, 2009

  7. Circular No. DNBS.PD.CC.No.161/3.10.01/2009-10 dated September 18, 2009

  8. Circular No. UBD (PCB) BPD Cir No.17/13.01.000/2009-10 dated October 28, 2009

  9. Circular No. IDMD.PCD. 28/14.03.01/ 2010-11 dated March 7, 2011

  10.  Circular No. IDMD.PCD.17/14.03.01/2011-12 dated December 30, 2011

  11.  Circular No. IDMD.PCD.16 /14.03.01/2011-12 dated December 30, 2011

  12.  Circular No. IDMD.PCD. 08/14.03.01/2013-14 dated December 5, 2013

  13.  Circular No. IDMD.PCD.09 /14.03.01/2013-14 dated December 19, 2013

  14.  Circular No. DNBS.CC.PD.No.406/03.10.01/2014-15 dated August 12, 2014

  15.  Circular No. FMRD.DIRD.10/14.03.01/2014-15 dated June 12, 2015

  16.  Circular No. FMRD.DIRD.10/14.03.01/2016-17 dated October 28, 2016

  17.  Circular No. FMRD.DIRD.12/14.01.011/2016-17 dated December 29, 2016

  18.  Circular No. FMRD.DIRD.9/14.01.020/2017-18 dated June 14, 2018

Annex II

Interest Rate Risk Positions for the quarter ended____ As on ____ (Date)

Market Segment Price Value of a Basis Point (PVBP)
Beginning of quarter During the quarter End of quarter
High Low Average
(i) Interest Rate Derivatives          
(ii) Investment in Rupee interest rate sensitive securities