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Risk Management & Inter-bank Dealings: Permitting NRIs access to Exchange Traded Currency Derivatives (ETCD) market

RBI A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 30 dated February 2, 2017 to all Category – I Authorised Dealer Banks

1. Attention of Authorised Dealers Category – I (AD Category – I) banks is invited to the Foreign Exchange Management (Foreign Exchange Derivative Contracts) Regulations, 2000 dated May 3, 2000 (Notification No. FEMA. 25/RB-2000 dated May 3, 2000) issued under clause (h) of sub-section (2) of Section 47 of FEMA, 1999 (Act 42 of 1999), as amended from time to time and Master Direction on Risk Management and Inter-Bank Dealings dated July 5, 2016, as amended from time to time.

2. Currently NRIs are permitted to hedge their Rupee currency risk through OTC transactions with AD banks. With a view to enable additional hedging products for NRIs to hedge their investments in India, it has been decided to allow them access to the exchange traded currency derivatives market to hedge the currency risk arising out of their investments in India under FEMA, 1999. An announcement to this effect was made in the Monetary Policy Statement on April 5, 2016.

3. NRIs may access the ETCD market as per the following terms and conditions:
i. NRIs shall designate an AD Cat-I bank for the purpose of monitoring and reporting their combined positions in the OTC and ETCD segments.
ii. NRIs may take positions in the currency futures / exchange traded options market to hedge the currency risk on the market value of their permissible (under FEMA, 1999) Rupee investments in debt and equity and dividend due and balances held in NRE accounts.
iii. The exchange/ clearing corporation will provide details of all transactions of the NRI to the designated bank.
iv. The designated bank will consolidate the positions of the NRI on the exchanges as well as the OTC derivative contracts booked with them and with other AD banks. The designated bank shall monitor the aggregate positions and ensure the existence of underlying Rupee currency risk and bring transgressions, if any, to the notice of RBI / SEBI.
v. The onus of ensuring the existence of the underlying exposure shall rest with the NRI concerned. If the magnitude of exposure through the hedge transactions exceeds the magnitude of underlying exposure, the concerned NRI shall be liable to such penal action as may be taken by Reserve Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.
4. Necessary amendments (Notification No.FEMA 378/2016-RB dated October 25, 2016) to Foreign Exchange Management (Foreign Exchange Derivatives Contracts) Regulations, 2000 (Notification No. FEMA.25/RB-2000 dated May 3, 2000) (Regulations) have been notified in the Official Gazette vide G.S.R.No. 1005 (E) dated October 25, 2016 a copy of which is given in the Annex I to this circular. These regulations have been issued under clause (h) of sub-section (2) of Section 47 of FEMA, 1999 (42 of 1999).

5. The Notifications No. FMRD.13 / CGM (TRS) dated February 2, 2017 and No. FMRD. 14/CGM (TRS) – 2017 dated February 2, 2017 viz., Currency Futures (Reserve Bank) (Amendment) Directions, 2017 and Exchange Traded Currency Options (Reserve Bank) (Amendment) Directions, 2017 amending the Directions notified vide Notifications No. FED.1 / DG (SG) – 2008 dated August 6, 2008 and Notifications No. FED. 1/ ED (HRK) – 2010 dated July 30, 2010 respectively have been issued. Copies of the Directions are enclosed (Annexes II & III). These Directions have been issued under Section 45W of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

6. This circular has been issued under Sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and is without prejudice to permission / approvals, if any, required under any other law.

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