June 12, 2023
Durga Prasad

RBI: Permit Rupee Non-Deliverable Derivative Contracts

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently made an important announcement regarding the development of the onshore non-deliverable derivative market. In a move aimed at enhancing flexibility for residents and hedging programs, the RBI has permitted banks operating International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to offer non-deliverable derivative contracts (NDDCs) utilizing the Indian rupee (INR) to resident non-retail users for hedging purposes. 

With the current regulatory framework, banks operating IFSC Banking Units (IBUs) were already able to offer NDDCs to non-residents, with these contracts being settled in foreign currency. The most recent RBI decision, however, broadens the application by enabling banks to provide NDDCs involving INR to resident non-retail users. These transactions will be cash-settled in INR, giving participants the freedom to effectively plan their hedging strategies.

Benefits of the RBI's Decision:

1. Eliminating Arbitrage: By permitting banks to offer rupee NDDCs to Indian residents, the RBI aims to eliminate potential arbitrage opportunities between domestic and overseas markets. This move contributes to creating a level playing field and reducing market distortions.

2. Enhanced Flexibility: The RBI's decision provides residents with greater flexibility in managing their currency exposure and hedging requirements. It empowers them to design effective hedging strategies using NDDCs denominated in INR, aligning with their specific needs.

3. Development of Onshore INR NDDC Market: The introduction of onshore INR NDDCs opens up new avenues for market development. It encourages participation from a wider range of market participants, including residents, while promoting liquidity and depth in the domestic currency derivatives market.

Impact on the Indian Financial Landscape:

The RBI's decision to permit rupee NDDCs for resident non-retail users is expected to have several positive impacts on the Indian financial landscape:

1. Realistic Forward Rates: Bringing NDF (Non-Deliverable Forward) markets to the International Financial Services Area is anticipated to result in more realistic forward rates for the rupee against most currencies. This development facilitates efficient price discovery and reflects the true market sentiment.

2. Strengthened Hedging Capabilities: Residents will now have access to a wider range of hedging instruments denominated in INR. This enables them to manage currency risks more effectively and safeguard their financial positions against adverse market movements.

3. Market Efficiency and Competitiveness: By expanding the onshore INR NDDC market, the RBI aims to enhance market efficiency and competitiveness. Increased participation from residents and the availability of a wider range of hedging instruments contribute to a more vibrant and robust financial ecosystem.


The RBI's decision to allow IFSC-operating banks to provide rupee NDDCs to resident non-retail users for hedging purposes represents a crucial step in the development of the onshore INR NDDC market. By eliminating arbitrage opportunities and enhancing resident flexibility, this regulatory change makes India's financial system more effective and competitive. Stakeholders can anticipate improved risk management capabilities and increased stability in currency markets as the market adapts to these changes.


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