Derivatives are financial instruments which derive their value from the underlying assets or securities. For example if a Buyer enters into a contract with a Seller to buy a specified number of shares (or Index/ Commodity) of a particular company at a specified price after a specified period, the buyer is said to have entered into a Futures contract.
It is interested to note that Buyer has bought the contract and not the stock of shares(or Index/ Commodity) under reference. This type of Future contract is called Derivative. There are many other type of Derivatives commonly used all over the world like Options, Convertibles and Warrants etc.What are Futures
It is an Agreement between the Buyer and the Seller for the Purchase or Sell of a Particular Asset ( like Equity Stock/ Index etc) at a Specified Price and on a specified future date (1 Month/ 2 Months/ 3 Months). It conveys an OBLIGATION on both Buyer and Seller to Fulfill the Terms of the Agreement. Futures are Settled on Last Thursday of the Specified Month and both buyer and seller have to pay minimum Initial Margin as per the requirement of stock exchange and account between buyer and seller is settled Everyday till the expiry of the Futures contract.
Nifty Future contract have a multiplier of 200 whereas in case of BSE Sensex, the multiplier is 50 that means Nifty Futures contract gives rise to an obligation to deliver at settlement cash payment equal to 200 times ( 50 times in case of BSE Sensex Futures) the difference between the Nifty Index value at the close of the last trading day of the contract and the price at which the Futures Contract was negotiated.Example
Suppose 'A' enters (Buys) a Nifty futures contract at 11000 for July (expiring on last Thursday of July) with 'B'. Both 'A' & 'B' will deposit the required margin with the Stock exchange. Profit / Loss will be as per lot size of Futures at the end of contract or at square off position.
But their account will be credited or debited from their Margin Account and their position will be 'marked to market' at the end of session each day. In case the Margin account falls below the maintenence level, cash is sought from the customer to replenish the margin account back to original level. Either of the customers having surplus margin beyond original margin can withdraw the funds.What are Options
An option is a contract, which gives the Buyer of Option (holder) the right, but not the obligation, to Buy or Sell specified quantity of the underlying assets, at a Specific (Strike) Price on or before a Specified Time (expiration date) i.e 1 Month/ 2 Months/ 3 Months etc. The underlying may be physical commodities like wheat/ rice/ cotton/ gold/ oil or financial instruments like equity stocks/ stock index/ bonds etc.
There are 2 types of Options i.e. Call Options and Put Options.CALL OPTIONS
A Call Option gives the holder (buyer/ one who is long call), the right (No obligation) to buy specified quantity of the underlying asset at the strike price on or before expiration date. The seller (one who is short call) however, has the obligation to sell the underlying asset if the buyer of the call option decides to exercise his option to buy.
Option buyer or option holder - Buys the right (No obligation) to buy the underlying asset at the specified price Option seller or option writer - Has the obligation to sell the underlying asset (to the option holder) at the specified pricePUT OPTIONS
A Put Option gives the holder (buyer/ one who is long Put), the right (No obligation) to sell specified quantity of the underlying asset at the strike price on or before a expiry date. The seller of the put option (one who is short Put) however, has the obligation to buy the underlying asset at the strike price if the buyer decides to exercise his option to sell.
Option buyer or option holder - Buys (No obligation) the right to sell the underlying asset at the specified price
Option seller or option writer - Has the obligation to buy the underlying asset (from the option holder) at the specified price.When to Buy a Call Option.
If you are Bullish on a particular Scrip/Index. For example, you are Bullish on Reliance (CMP- Rs.350/-) and expecting it to touch 450 in a month's time (or any particular period say 2/3 months). So you will Buy Reliance Call Option for 1 month (or any particular period) by paying a premium of Rs.10/share (Say). During the course of month, you will get Right to exercise your Call Option to Buy Reliance at 350 from the seller of Call Option. Suppose it does not move up, you are free NOT to exercise your option to Buy and your loss is limited to the Premium you have paid.When to Buy a Put Option.
If you are Bearish on a particular Scrip/Index. For example, you are Bearish on ACC (CMP -Rs.150/-) and expecting it to touch 100/- in a month's time. So you will Buy ACC Put Option for 1 month by paying a premium of Rs.5/share (Say). During the course of month (you are Free to Buy ACC from market any time at lower price) you will get Right to exercise your Put Option to Sell ACC at 150/- to the seller of Put Option. Suppose it does not decline, you are free NOT to exercise your option to Sell and your loss is limited to the Premium you have paid.When to Sell a Call Option.
If you are Bearish on a particular Scrip/Index. For example, you are Bearish on Infosys (CMP- Rs.3800/-) and expect that it will not move up significantly(or rather decline) in a month's time. So you will Sell Infosys Call Option at a strike rate Rs.3900/- (say) for 1 month and Receive the Premium. (Say Rs.100/share). During the course of month Buyer of Call Option will have Right (Not the Obligation) to take Infosys at 3900/- from you and you are obliged to honor your commitment. Remember that you are Holding risk of unlimited loss if Price of Infosys moves up significantly just at the cost of Premium you have received.(you should sell Call Option Only if you are sure that Price of Share will Fall/or not move up or you are holding shares with you to part with, if required)When to Sell a Put Option.
If you are Bullish on a particular Scrip/Index. For example, you are Bullish on Satyam (CMP - Rs.200/-) and expect that it will not Decline significantly (or rather move up) in a month's time. So you will Sell Satyam Put Option at a strike rate Rs.215/- (say) for 1 month and Receive the Premium. (Say Rs.12/share). During the course of month Buyer of Put Option will have Right (Not the Obligation) to Sell Satyam at 215/- to you and you are obliged to honor your commitment. Remember that you are Holding risk of unlimited loss if Price of Satyam goes down at the cost of Premium you have received. (you should Sell Put Option Only if you are sure that Price of Share will Move up or you will take Delivery of shares, if required)How are Options different from Futures
The significant differences in Futures and Options are as under:
1. Futures are agreements/contracts to buy or sell specified quantity of the underlying assets at a price agreed upon by the buyer & seller, on or before a specified time. Both the buyer and seller are obligated to buy/sell the underlying asset.
2. In case of Options the buyer enjoys the right & not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset.
3. Futures Contracts have symmetric risk profile for both the buyer as well as the seller, whereas options have asymmetric risk profile. In case of Options, for a buyer (or holder of the option), the downside is limited to the premium (option price) he has paid while the profits may be unlimited. For a seller or writer of an Options however, the downside is unlimited while profits are limited to the premium he has received from the buyer.
4. The Futures contracts prices are affected mainly by the prices of the underlying asset. The prices of Options are however, affected by prices of the underlying asset, time remaining for expiry of the contract & volatility of the underlying asset.
5. It costs nothing to enter into a Futures contract whereas there is a cost of entering into an Options contract, termed as Premium.What is Assignment
When holder of an option exercises his right to buy/ sell, a randomly selected option seller is assigned the obligation to honor the underlying contract, and this process is termed as Assignment.What are European & American Style of options
An American style option is the one which can be exercised by the buyer on or before the expiration date, i.e. anytime between the day of purchase of the option and the day of its expiry. The European kind of option is the one which can be exercised by the buyer on the expiration day only & not anytime before that.What is an Option Calculator
An option calculator is a tool to calculate the price of an Option on the basis of various influencing factors like the price of the underlying and its volatility, time to expiry, risk free interest rate etc. It also helps the user to understand how a change in any one of the factors or more, will affect the option price.Who are the likely players in the Options Market
Financial institutions, Mutual Funds, Domestic & Foreign Institutional Investors, Brokers, Retail Participants are the likely players in the Options Market.What are Stock Index Options
The Stock Index Options are options where the underlying asset is a Stock Index for e.g. Options on S&P 500 Index/ Options on BSE Sensex etc. Index Options were first introduced by Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) in 1983 on its Index S&P 100. As opposed to options on Individual stocks, index options give an investor the right to buy or sell the value of an index which represents group of stocks.What are the uses of Index Options
Index options enable investors to gain exposure to a broad market, with one trading decision and frequently with one transaction. To obtain the same level of diversification using individual stocks or individual equity options, numerous decisions and trades would be necessary. Since, broad exposure can be gained with one trade, transaction cost is also reduced by using Index Options. As a percentage of the underlying value, premiums of index options are usually lower than those of equity options as equity options are more volatile than the Index.Who would use index options
Index Options are effective enough to appeal to a broad spectrum of users, from conservative investors to more aggressive stock market traders. Individual investors might wish to capitalize on market opinions (bullish, bearish or neutral) by acting on their views of the broad market or one of its many sectors. The more sophisticated market professionals might find the variety of index option contracts excellent tools for enhancing market timing decisions and adjusting asset mixes for asset allocation. To a market professional, managing the risk associated with large equity positions may mean using index options to either reduce their risk or to increase market exposure.What are Options on individual stocks
Options contracts where the underlying asset is an equity stock, are termed as Options on stocks. They are mostly American style options cash settled or settled by physical delivery. Prices are normally quoted in terms of the premium per share, although each contract is invariably for a larger number of shares, e.g. 100.What are Over the Counter Options
OTC ("over the counter") options are those dealt directly between counter-parties and are completely flexible & customized . There is some standardization for ease of trading in the busiest markets, but the precise details of each transaction are freely negotiable between buyer and seller.What is the underlying in case of Options being introduced by BSE
The underlying for the index options is the BSE 30 Sensex, which is the benchmark index of Indian Capital markets, comprising of 30 scrips.What will be the new margining system in the case of Options and futures
A portfolio based margining model (SPAN), would be adopted which will take an integrated view of the risk involved in the portfolio of each individual client comprising of his positions in all the derivatives contract traded on the Derivatives Segment. The Initial Margin would be based on worst-case loss of the portfolio of a client to cover 99% VaR over two days horizon. The Initial Margin would be netted at client level and shall be on gross basis at the Trading/Clearing member level. The Portfolio will be marked to market on a daily basis.
Underlying - The specific security / asset on which an options contract is based.
Option Premium - Premium is the price paid by the buyer to the seller to acquire the right to buy or sell
Strike Price or Exercise Price - The strike or exercise price of an option is the specified/ pre-determined price of the underlying asset at which the same can be bought or sold if the option buyer exercises his right to buy/ sell on or before the expiration day.
Expiration date -The date on which the option expires is known as Expiration Date. On Expiration date, either the option is exercised or it expires worthless.
Exercise Date - is the date on which the option is actually exercised. In case of European Options the exercise date is same as the expiration date while in case of American Options, the options contract may be exercised any day between the purchase of the contract & its expiration date (see European/ American Option)
Open Interest - The total number of options contracts outstanding in the market at any given point of time.
Option Holder - is the one who buys an option which can be a call or a put option. He enjoys the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price on or before specified time. His upside potential is unlimited while losses are limited to the Premium paid by him to the option writer.
Option seller/ writer - is the one who is obligated to buy (in case of Put option) or to sell (in case of call option), the underlying asset in case the buyer of the option decides to exercise his option. His profits are limited to the premium received from the buyer while his downside is unlimited.
Option Class - All listed options of a particular type (i.e., call or put) on a particular underlying instrument, e.g., all Sensex Call Options (or) all Sensex Put Options
Option Series - An option series consists of all the options of a given class with the same expiration date and strike price. E.g. BSXCMAY3600 is an options series which includes all Sensex Call options that are traded with Strike Price of 3600 & Expiry in May. (BSX Stands for BSE Sensex (underlying index), C is for Call Option , May is expiry date & strike Price is 3600)