Exclusive-India cenbank’s stance on underlying exposure for FX derivatives unchanged, sources say By Reuters

By Swati Bhat and Nimesh Vora

MUMBAI (Reuters) -The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not materially changed its stance on exchange-traded rupee derivatives and neither has it asked brokerages for proof of their clients’ underlying forex exposure, two sources aware of the central bank’s thinking said.

The RBI had said in January that from April, exchanges may offer forex derivative contracts involving the rupee to users “for the purpose of hedging contracted exposure.”

“The underlying exposure requirement was always there. There has been no change in that,” the first source aware of the central bank’s thinking said.

However, the RBI’s circular from three months back had led brokers to believe that they will need to ensure proof of underlying exposure before allowing clients to make such trades.

The rule, which comes into effect on April 5, was reiterated by exchanges on Monday, following concerns raised by brokers about its impact on volumes.

A day later, some brokers asked their clients to submit such proof of underlying exposure if they wanted to hold their existing positions beyond April 4.

These brokerages are doing so of their own volition and have not been instructed to do so by the central bank, the second source aware of the central bank’s thinking said.

The sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media. The RBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© Reuters. A police officer walks past the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) logo inside its headquarters in Mumbai, India, April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

The need to prove underlying exposure, brokers had feared, would effectively shut out most market participants from trading in the segment.

Proprietary traders and individual investors, who will most likely be unable to furnish proof of underlying forex exposure, were responsible for 80% of the turnover in rupee derivatives in the month of February, according to a recent publication by NSE.

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