India Money Market

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Scope of India Money Market

The India money market is a monetary system that involves the lending and borrowing of short-term funds. India money market has seen exponential growth just after the globalization initiative in 1992. It has been observed that financial institutions do employ money market instruments for financing short-term monetary requirements of various sectors such as agriculture, finance and manufacturing. The performance of the India money market has been outstanding in the past 20 years.

Central bank of the country - the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has always been playing the major role in regulating and controlling the India money market. The intervention of RBI is varied - curbing crisis situations by reducing the cash reserve ratio (CRR) or infusing more money in the economy.

Types of Money Market instruments in India -

Money market instruments take care of the borrowers' short-term needs and render the required liquidity to the lenders. The varied types of India money market instruments are treasury bills, repurchase agreements, commercial papers, certificate of deposit, and banker's acceptance.

  • Treasury Bills (T-Bills) - Treasury bills were first issued by the Indian government in 1917. Treasury bills are short-term financial instruments that are issued by the Central Bank of the country. It is one of the safest money market instruments as it is void of market risks, though the return on investments is not that huge. Treasury bills are circulated by the primary as well as the secondary markets. The maturity periods for treasury bills are respectively 3-month, 6-month and 1-year. The price with which treasury bills are issued comes separate from that of the face value, and the face value is achieved upon maturity. On maturity, one gets the interest on the buy value as well. To be specific, the buy value is determined by a bidding process, that too in auctions.
  • Repurchase Agreements - Repurchase agreements are also called repos. Repos are short-term loans that buyers and sellers agree upon for selling and repurchasing. Repo transactions are allowed only among RBI-approved securities like state and central government securities, T-bills, PSU bonds, FI bonds and corporate bonds. Repurchase agreements, on the other hand, are sold off by sellers, held back with a promise to purchase them back at a certain price and that too would happen on a specific date. The same is the procedure with that of the buyer, who purchases the securities and other instruments and promises to sell them back to the seller at the same time.
  • Commercial Papers - Commercial papers are usually known as promissory notes which are unsecured and are generally issued by companies and financial institutions, at a discounted rate from their face value. The fixed maturity for commercial papers is 1 to 270 days. The purposes with which they are issued are - for financing of inventories, accounts receivables, and settling short-term liabilities or loans. The return on commercial papers is always higher than that of T-bills. Companies which have a strong credit rating, usually issue CPs as they are not backed by collateral securities. Corporations issue CPs for raising working capital and they participate in active trade in the secondary market. It was in 1990 that Commercial papers were first issued in the Indian money market.
  • Certificate of Deposit - A certificate of deposit is a borrowing note for the short-term just similar to that of a promissory note. The bearer of a certificate of deposit receives interest. The maturity date, fixed rate of interest and a fixed value - are the three components of a certificate of deposit. The term is generally between 3 months to 5 years. The funds cannot be withdrawn instantaneously on demand, but has the facility of being liquidated, if a certain amount of penalty is paid. The risk associated with certificate of deposit is higher and so is the return (compared to T-bills). It was in 1989 that the certificate of deposit was first brought into the Indian money market.
  • Banker's Acceptance - A banker's acceptance is also a short-term investment plan that comes from a company or a firm backed by a guarantee from the bank. This guarantee states that the buyer will pay the seller at a future date. One who draws the bill should have a sound credit rating. 90 days is the usual term for these instruments. The term for these instruments can also vary between 30 and 180 days. It is used as time draft to finance imports, exports.
It depends on the economic trends and market situation that RBI takes a step forward to ease out the disparities in the market. Whenever there is a liquidity crunch, the RBI opts either to reduce the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) or infuse more money in the economic system. In a recent initiative, for overcoming the liquidity crunch in the Indian money market, the RBI infused more than Rs 75,000 crore along with reductions in the CRR.

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