Margin: A Risk Mitigation Technique


The construct of ‘margin’ is one in all the first factors to contemplate and perceive for any merchant WHO aims to trade the share markets. this method is one in all the key premises on that risk management is controlled once the market tends to urge volatile. The margin quantity helps one serve any kind of worth volatility. It conjointly ensures that there’s no counter-party default whereas mercantilism.

What is margin?

Margin, in straightforward terms, is AN exchange introduced risk management procedure. allow us to perceive the construct well through a straightforward example.

An capitalist incorporates a optimistic read on the market and purchases a pair of,000 shares of ‘ABC’ company at Rs100 on March 05, 2018. to finish the dealing, he/she must build a payment of Rs2,00,000 (2,000×100) to his broker on or before March 06, 2018. The broker, in turn, must offer this cash to the several stock market through that the dealing occurred by March 07, 2018. during this state of affairs, there’s forever a risk that that the capitalist might not be during a position to oblige the trade by the desired date.

In order to contend with this issue, the broker collects AN direct token quantity from the consumer. The stock market then collects an identical quantity from the broker upon execution of the order. this first quantity that was collected is understood as ‘margin’.

Margin quantity is collected for each the customer and therefore the trafficker of the shares so as confirm that each parties oblige to the contract. it’s collected from the vendor to confirm that he delivers the shares sold-out, whereas it’s collected from the customer so he brings the money and is serious regarding the dealing.

Consider the subsequent situations:


SharePrice at 10am when 1,000 shares purchasedPrice at the end of the session
Jubilant Life SciencesRs.1,000Rs.800

Let us think about a state of affairs wherever the margin quantity collected is twelve-tone music. the customer needs to build a payment of Rs.1,20,000 (10,00,000*0.12) to the broker at the time of the dealing. Assume that Jubilant Life Sciences closes at Rs800 because of marketing pressure. With this, the full price of the shares comes all the way down to Rs.8,00,000. The notional loss that the customer suffers is Rs.2,00,000, that is over the margin quantity provided. In such a state of affairs, the customer might not need to pay Rs.10,00,000 for the shares whose price has return all the way down to 8,00,000.


SharePrice at 10am when 1,000 shares soldPrice at the end of the session
Jubilant Life SciencesRs.1,000Rs.1,200

Similarly, if the worth of the security goes up Rs.200 by the top of the mercantilism session, the vendor might not need to tender the shares at Rs.1,000 and should even think about forfeiting the margin quantity of 12-tone system.

To ensure that each patrons and sellers fulfill their obligations no matter the worth movements, notional losses are collected. As share costs amendment a day, margins make sure that patrons bring cash and sellers bring shares to finish the dealing despite the fact that the costs have affected against them.

Impact of volatility on margins

Price movement varies significantly from one security to a different. Some stocks witness giant worth swings whereas others trade a slim vary.

StockDaily historical volatility
Jubilant FoodWorks1.82

In the higher than example, we’ve the historical volatility of 4 stocks. Historical volatility provides Associate in Nursing estimation of stock worth movement supported past worth movement. No analyst would be ready to predict the terms of the stock on a given day. However, historical volatility numbers would facilitate America tell that DLF could move up or down by a bigger proportion compared to the remainder of the stocks, whereas HUL may even see the smallest amount variation from its previous day’s terms.

Since the uncertainty in worth movement (risk) is that the highest for DLF, it might conjointly attract the very best initial margin, whereas shares of HUL and ITC would attract lower initial margin, since their volatility is low.

Margins levied within the money market section

a) worth in danger (VaR): volt-ampere is that the main margining system within the money market. it’s collected at the time of inserting the order. It provides data concerning what proportion a security is probably going to maneuver over following commerce session. it’s a method wont to estimate the chance of loss of Associate in Nursing plus or cluster of assets, supported applied mathematics analysis of historical worth trends and volatilities. It tries to Associate in Nursingswer what’s the most worth that an plus or portfolio may lose over following commerce session with ninety nine confidence.

Consider that Associate in Nursing capitalist has purchased shares value one large integer. Through the volt-ampere methodology, the capitalist could say that the one-day volt-ampere is Rs.5 large integer at ninety nine confidence level. this means that underneath traditional commerce conditions, the stock won’t fall quite Rs5 large integer inside following commerce session. this will be declared confidently.

Put simply, volt-ampere could be a margin supposed to hide the biggest loss (in %) that a private faces on his / her shares (both purchases and sales) on one day.

b) Extreme loss margin: Extreme loss margin tries to hide the margin that falls outside the coverage of volt-ampere margin. the acute loss margin for a security is one.5 times the quality deviation of daily log returns of the stock’s worth within the last six months or five you look after the worth of the position, whichever is higher.

Suppose the quality deviation of daily log returns of the safety is four-dimensional, then 1.5 times the quality deviation would be 6 June 1944. Then 6%, that is above five-hitter, would be taken because the extreme loss margin.

Therefore, the whole margin that is paid direct is ‘VaR + Extreme loss margin’.

c) Mark to plug (M2M) margin: This margin has got to be paid before the beginning of following commerce session not like the higher than 2, that have to be compelled to be paid at the time of the dealing.

MTM is computed by taking the distinction between the dealing worth and also the terms of the share for the day. MTM is collected so the client and marketer deliver on the dealing notwithstanding the trade goes against them by the top of the session.

Considering the instance we tend to had seen at the beginning of the chapter:

MTM Profit/Loss = [(Total obtain Qty x shut price) – Total obtain worth] – [Total Sale Value – (Total Sale Qty X shut price)]

Margin within the derivatives market

Margin plays a vital role within the derivatives market, that is very leveraged and speculative in nature. Shares listed within the money market square measure settled in 2 days, whereas by-product contracts might need a extended time to expire. Since by-product market margins ought to address the uncertainty over a extended amount of your time, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of Republic of India (SEBI) has prescribed a special methodology to calculate margin within the phase.

Margin within the derivatives phase contains of the following:

a) Initial margin

b) M2M settlement

Let’s have a better look into them.

Initial margin

The initial margin is sort of a deposit on a loan. even as we’ve got to pay a smallest quantity to shop for one thing with a loan, within the case of exchange listed derivatives, we’d like to pay an explicit quantity within the variety of associate degree initial margin. Initial margin may be a proportion of the contract worth, that is calculated at the time of initiating the contract.

  1. At the time of making the futures position, initial margin gets blocked within the commercialism account
  2. The initial margin is formed from 2 parts, i.e. SPAN margin and therefore the exposure margin

Initial margin = SPAN margin + exposure margin

SPAN margin: SPAN, that stands for traditional Portfolio Analysis of Risk, may be a product developed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Leading stock exchanges across the planet extensively use this product, that uses a situation primarily based approach to reach margin amounts.

Value of futures and choices positions rely upon, among different things, the value of the safety within the money market and its volatility. Since the value of the safety and its volatility perpetually modification, SPAN generates regarding sixteen totally different|completely different} eventualities by assumptive different values to the value and volatility.

The doable loss that the portfolio would suffer is calculated in every of those eventualities. The initial margin needed to be paid by the capitalist would be capable the very best loss the portfolio would suffer in any of the eventualities thought-about. The margin is monitored and picked up at the time of putting the get / sell order. SPAN margins square measure revised half dozen times during a day – once at the start of the day, fourfold throughout market hours, and eventually at the tip of the day (NSE).

Exposure margin: Exposure margin, in respect of index futures and index choice sell positions, square measure three-dimensional of the notional worth.

For futures on individual securities and sell positions in choices on individual securities, the exposure margin is higher of fifty, or 1.5x the quality deviation of the log traditional returns of the safety (in the underlying money market) over the last six months and is applied on the notional worth of the position (NSE).

  1. Initial margin is blocked within the commercialism account until you sq. of your position.


Index scriptMarket lotClosing price on March 12, 2018Indicative SPAN marginExposure marginTotal initial margin
Nifty7510,4325%3%75*10432*0.08= 62,592
ACC4001,5668%5%400*1566*0.13= 81,432

Mark to Market

We know that F&O prices fluctuate on a daily basis, on virtue of which you either stand to make a profit or a loss. Mark to market (M2M) is a simple accounting procedure which involves adjusting the profit or loss you have made for the day and entitling you the same. As long as your futures position is open, M2M is applicable.

Let us take up a simple example to understand this well

Nifty future closing price on Feb 2810,519
Lot size75
Contract value (future price * lot size)7,88,925
SPAN margin @5%39,446
Exposure margin @3%23,667
Total initial margin (in Rs.)63,113

M2M: Long position

Initial margin: Rs.63,113

Maintenance margin is usually set at SPAN margin. If loss incurred is higher, margin call is triggered. I.e. if the margin amount dips below 39120 (10519*75*0.05)

DayBeginning balanceFunds depositedNifty closeSettlement priceFuture price changeGain / LossEnding balance

In the on top of example, the dealer has initiated a protracted position in good futures on March one, 2018. The initial margin that he pays is Rs.63,113. sadly for the dealer, his read doesn’t go needless to say and also the market witnesses a correction within the following days. On the fourth commerce day, the dealer receives a demand as his initial margin dips below the minimum maintenance margin set by the broker i.e. 18,933 (30% of sixty three,113). At this time, the dealer has 2 choices i.e. either shut out his position or prime up his account back to the initial margin. The dealer feels that the market would get better and considers to continue holding his long position by infusing recent capital.

Initial margin would currently be calculated taking the value on March half-dozen and must be deposited before the beginning of subsequent commerce session.

Initial margin = ten,171 (Nifty damage on March 6)*0.08 (total margin) = Rs.61,026

Since there’s already a balance of Rs.37,013 within the account, the extra infusion that must be done is Rs.24,013.

The initial margin are going to be discharged the instant the dealer squares off his position within the market.

A similar M2M settlement procedure is followed once a dealer initiates a brief position in good futures.

SEBI’s latest directives on margin in derivatives

SEBI, on May 02, 2018, came out with a circular on extra risk management measures within the derivatives phase.

From Gregorian calendar month one, 2018, onwards, purchasers commerce in futures or writing choices would need to maintain a margin quantity that covers ‘SPAN+Exposure’ once considering any mark to promote losses. Until now, some brokers accustomed charge solely the SPAN margin from purchasers to require a brand new position.

In the on top of example of good Futures, the shopper was needed to fulfill the demand once his M2M losses swayback below his SPAN margin, i.e. 39,120, or he would invite a penalty from the exchange or need to shut his position. Going forward, from June, the shopper can need to maintain a complete margin of Rs.63,113 in the least times to continue holding his derivatives position long while not having to pay the short margin penalty, one thing that exchanges accustomed charge earlier whenever margins fell below stipulated SPAN levels.

DayBeginning balanceNifty closeSettlement priceFuture price changeGain / Loss
(75*Future price change)
BalanceFunds depositedEnding balance

From the above example, we see that the client would have to maintain an initial margin that covers both SPAN and exposure margins at all times, according to the new SEBI guidelines. Each time his/her margin dips below the initial margin because of M2M losses, he/she would have to top it up by the same amount each day to carry forward his position.

Further clarification on the circular is awaited.

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