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Debt Segment

Introduction

The capital market comprises of equities market and debt market. Debt market is a market for the issuance, trading and settlement in debt instruments of various types. Debt instruments called fixed income securities are issued by a wide range of organizations like the Central and State Governments, statutory corporations or bodies, banks, financial institutions and corporate bodies.

Introduction to Fixed Income Securities

Fixed Income securities are one of the most innovative and dynamic instruments evolved in the financial system ever since the inception of money. Based as they are on the concept of interest and time-value of money, Fixed Income securities personify the essence of innovation and transformation, which have fueled the explosive growth of the financial markets over the past few centuries.

Fixed Income securities offer one of the most attractive investment opportunities with regard to safety of money invested, adequate liquidity, and flexibility in structuring a portfolio, easier monitoring, long term reliability and certainty of returns from investment made. They are an essential component of any portfolio of financial and real assets, whether in the form of pure interest-bearing bonds, varied type of debt instruments or asset-backed mortgages and securitised instruments.

Fixed Income Markets - Powering the World

The Fixed Income Securities market was the earliest of all the securities markets in the world and has been the forerunner in the emergence of the financial markets as the engine of economic growth across the globe. The Fixed Income Securities Market, also known as the debt market or the bond market, is easily the largest of all the financial markets in the world today in terms of market capitalisation. The Debt Market has, as such, a very prominent role to play in the efficient functioning of the world financial system and in catalyzing the economic growth of nations across the globe.

Indian Debt Market - Pillars of the Indian Economy

The Debt Market plays a very critical role for any growing economy which needs to employ a large amount of capital and resources for achieving the desired industrial and financial growth. The Indian economy which has grown at more than 7% p.a. in the last decade and is on the take off stage for double digit growth would have to meet its resources requirements from robust and active debt market in India.

The Indian debt markets with an outstanding issue size of Government securities (Central and state) close to Rs. 19,74,467 crores (USD 421.35 billion) and a secondary market turnover of around Rs. 30 lakh crores (USD 640.20 billion) for the year 2009 is the largest segment of the Indian financial markets. [Source Reserve Bank of India (RBI) & Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL)].

The Government Securities market called 'G-Sec' market is the oldest and the largest component of the Indian debt market in terms of market capitalization, outstanding securities and trading volumes. The G-Secs market plays a vital role in the Indian economy as it provides the benchmark for determining the level of interest rates in the country through the yields on the government securities which are referred to as the risk-free rate of return in any economy.

Besides G-Sec market, there is an active market for corporate debt papers in India which trade in short term instruments such as commercial papers and certificate of deposits issued by Banks and long term instruments such as debentures, bonds, zero coupon bonds, step up bonds etc. The outstanding issue size of listed corporate debt paper was Rs. 2.2 lakh crores in 2009 (USD 46.95 billion). [Source Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI)].

Transformations in the Market Structure

The Indian Debt Markets are today poised on the threshold of momentous change and transition to an efficient, transparent and vibrant market with significant retail participation. The first half of the twentieth century had witnessed a significant amount of retail interest and participation in the G-Sec market with more than half the holdings of G-Secs issued being held by retail investors, a trend which continued until the early sixties. The administered interest rate regime and the emergence of other equity and debt instruments led to a gradual diminution in the investor interest and participation in the G-Sec market and made G-sec market a wholesale market with participation largely restricted to the Banks, Institutions and the Primary Dealers. The rapidly expanding volumes in the Wholesale Debt Market over the past few years bear the promise of an immense and attractive financial market with a strong potential for retail participation.

The Hon'ble Union Finance Minister, while presenting the Union Budget for 2006-2007, accepted the recommendations of the High Level Committee on Corporate Bonds and Securitization and made a significant policy announcement about creation of a single, unified exchange-traded market for corporate bonds in India. An internal committee under the chairmanship of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Whole Time Member Dr. T.C. Nair was constituted to chalk out a plan for implementation of a Unified Exchange Traded Corporate Bond Market in India. Pursuant to the recommendations of the Committee, SEBI issued a circular on December 12, 2006, entrusting to BSE Limited the task of rolling out a Unified Reporting Platform for all corporate bonds traded in India with an aggressive target date of January 1, 2007. SEBI has subsequently taken several steps towards creation of a vibrant Corporate Bond market. On July 2, 2007 SEBI permitted BSE to launch a trade matching platform with essential features of an OTC Market. Several other initiatives like simplification of the Debt listing agreement, Settlement of Corporate Bonds through clearing corporation of stock exchanges and introduction of Repos on Corporate Bonds have been taken by RBI and SEBI.

InvestorsBSE's Bond with Investors

BSE Limited, the premier stock exchange in the country, has heralded the capital market revolution in India and has contributed immensely towards the achievement of global standards of efficiency and safety by the Indian capitals market.
BSE, with its rich experience of 135 years in the Indian capital market, offers investors an efficient and transparent nation-wide platform for trading in Equities, Debt and Derivative products.

offered by BSE for trading in Fixed Income Instruments

Wholesale Debt Market Segment (WDM)

As stated earlier Government securities market the largest and oldest component of Indian debt market was very active segment on BSE since beginning of the 19th century. Government papers were traded actively at BSE however wholesale debt market segment for government securities for institutional investors was further introduced by BSE pursuant to following notifications issued by RBI.
  • DBOD. FSC. BC. No. 39 /24.76.002/2000 dated October 25, 2000
  • IDMC. PDRS. PDS. No PDS-2 /03.64.00/2000-01 dated November 13, 2000
  • DBS. FID No. C 10 / 01.08.00 / 2000-0122 dated November, 2000

The above notifications permitted Banks, Primary Dealers and Financial Institutions in India to undertake transactions in debt instruments among themselves or with non-bank clients through the members of BSE Limited. The Wholesale Debt Market Segment of BSE commenced its operations on June 15, 2001. All existing cash market members of the Exchange who fulfill the networth criteria of Rs. 30 Lacs are eligible for Wholesale Debt Market (WDM) membership.

Growth in the WDM

The BSE WDM Debt Segment has shown a gradual but consistent growth in turnover in the past few years with increased participation from the mainstream banking and institutional players. This Segment expects a sustained rise in turnover and participation in the coming years with the initiation of activity by new members and the continued support and participation of major Banks, Primary Dealers and financial institutions.

Retail Debt Market Segment (RDM)

The Retail Debt Market, in the new millennium, presents a vast kaleidoscope of opportunities for the Indian investor whose knowledge and participation hitherto has been restricted to the equity market.
The development of the Retail Debt Market has engaged the attention of policy makers, regulators and the Government in the past few years. The potential of the Retail Debt Market can be gauged from the investor strength of more than 40 million in the Indian equity market who have powered the tremendous growth and transformation of the stock markets in recent times. Recognizing this opportunity at a very early stage, BSE has consistently been in the forefront of the campaign for the creation of a Retail Debt Market and has expounded the potential and need for the retail trading in G-Secs in the past few years in various important forums and to the key regulatory authorities.

Emergence of the Retail Debt Market

It would surprise many to know that a retail debt market was at one point of time very much present in India. Right through the forties and the fifties and until the early sixties, a good proportion of the holdings of Government securities were concentrated with individual investors; available statistics indicate that more than half of the holdings in Government securities were concentrated with retail investors in the early 50s.Today, there exists an inherent need for households to diversify their investment portfolio so as to include various debt instruments, including Government securities. Retail investors would have a natural preference for fixed income returns and especially so in the current situation of increasing volatility in the financial markets. The Government Securities (G-Secs) are the one of the best investment options for an individual investor today in the financial markets due to the following factors:
  • Zero default risk - due to their sovereign guarantee, ensures the total safety of all investments in G-Secs
  • Lower average volatility in bond prices
  • Greater returns as compared to the conventional safe investment avenues like Bank Deposits and Fixed Deposits, which also contain credit risk
  • Higher leverage -Greater borrowing capacity against G-Secs due to their zero risk status
  • Wider range of innovations in the nature of securities like TBills, Index linked Bonds, Partly Paid Bonds and others like STRIPS and securities with call and put options to follow soon
  • Better and greater features to suit a large range of investment profiles and investor requirements
  • Growing liquidity and the increased turnover in recent times in the Indian Debt Markets

Retail Trading in G-Secs

The Government of India and RBI, recognizing the need for retail participation had in early 2000 announced a scheme for enabling retail participation through a non-competitive bidding facility in the G-Sec auctions with a reservation of 5% of the issue amount for non-competitive bids by retail investors.
The Retail Trading in G-Secs. commenced on January 16, 2003 in accordance with the SEBI Circular bearing ref. no. SMD/Policy/GSEC/776/2003 dated January 10, 2003. The Indian Fixed Income Markets, which until some time ago was the mainstay of the wholesale investors, were made accessible to the retail investors, thanks to some path-breaking initiatives by the Government of India - Ministry of Finance, RBI and SEBI to enable retail trading in G-Secs through stock exchanges. BSE has, for long, been an ardent advocate of the need to enable the participation of the 28 million Indian investor multitude in the Indian Fixed Income Markets. The Indian Investor is today able to buy or sell G-Secs through more than 800 active BSE members spread across 44 cities around the country.
The Retail Debt Market Module of BSE aims at providing an efficient and reliable trading system for Gsec. The key features of the system are:
  • Trading: by electronic order matching based on price-time priority through the BOLT (BSE OnLine Trading) System with the continuous trading sessions from 9.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m as is operational in the Equities Segment. Retail Trading in G-secs is on a Rolling Settlements basis with a T+2 Delivery Cycle.
  • Clearing and Settlement: The Clearing and Settlement mechanism for the Retail trading in G-Secs is based on the existing institutional mechanism available at BSE. The trades executed throughout the continuous trading sessions are netted out at the end of the trading hours through a process of multilateral netting. The transactions are netted out member-wise and then security-wise so as to determine the net settlement and payment obligations of the members.
    The Delivery obligations and the payment orders in respect of these members are generated by the Clearing and Settlement system of BSE. These statements indicate the pay-in and pay-out positions of the Members for securities and funds who then give the necessary instructions to their Clearing Banks and depositories.
    The entire risk management and the clearing and settlement activities for the trades executed in the Retail Debt Market System are undertaken by BSE Exchange Clearing House.
  • Holding and Transfer of G-Secs: The G-secs for retail trading through BSE can be held by investors in the same Demat account as is used for equity at the Depositories. NSDL and CDSL hold the combined quantity of G-Secs in their SGL-II A/cs of RBI, meant only for client holdings.

Indian Corporate Debt Market (ICDM)

Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram, in his 2006 budget speech had announced the intention of the Government to create a single, unified exchange-traded market for corporate bonds in India. Subsequently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) vide its circular dated December 12, 2006, entrusted the responsibility of setting up a reporting platform for all corporate debt transactions executed in the country to the BSE Limited.
BSE developed a reporting platform - Indian Corporate Debt Market (ICDM), for reporting of all corporate deals done in respect of debt that is listed on any Indian stock exchange , are in demat form and are over Rs. 1 lakh in face value as prescribed by SEBI. The platform, currently implemented through Internet, called ICDM, is being used by over 400 participants (as on March 2010) in the Debt Market.
On observing wide participation and depth in the Corporate Bond market, SEBI vide its circular dated April 13, 2007, granted permission to BSE to launch a trading platform. In compliance to the circular BSE launched the platform with essential features of an Over the Counter (OTC) Market in July 2008. ICDM shall gradually migrate into an anonymous order matching system.

BSE - Bonding with the Future

The BSE Debt segment would seek to pave the way for the development of a healthy, efficient and active debt market mechanism and market structure in line with world class standards and greater integration with the global economy. The BSE vision for the Indian Debt Market foresees the markets growing in leaps and bounds in the near future, soon attaining global benchmarks of safety, efficiency and transparency. This will truly help the Indian capital markets to attain a place of pride among the leading capital markets of the world.


For further information,
contact Hetal Kotak Phone: 022 22728701 or
Laish Roy Phone: 022 22728528 or
Anuj Doshi Phone : 022 22728562
Email: debtinfo@bseindia.com