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Sunday, Apr 14, 2002

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Futures guide

Spot Index Value (SIV): Represents the closing value of the index on which the futures are based. In this case, this represents the closing value of the Nifty and the Sensex respectively.

Fair Value: Fair Value is the theoretical futures price. This is calculated based on the spot index value. The latter is multiplied by a compounding factor. The factor used is the rate on the 91-day treasury bill rate (proxy for risk-free rate). The compounding period is linked to maturity period of the contracts.

B-1 refers to the difference between the fair value and the spot index value.

B-2 refers to the difference between the actual futures price and the spot index value.

Inference (B2-B1): A positive difference indicates that the futures are overpriced and it may be a good time to sell futures contracts. A negative difference indicates that the futures are underpriced indicating that contracts can be purchased.

Open interest is the number of open contracts in a given maturity contract. A full open interest consists of a long position in combination with short position. It becomes an open contract when it is not closed by a counter position or when it has not expired. One unit of open interest represents always two parties, one buyer (long) and one seller (short).

In the case of Nifty contracts, the value of the contract is equal to the index value multiplied by 200, which is the minimum number of contracts that must be traded.

In the case of the Sensex futures, the value of the contract is equal to the index value multiplied by 50, which is the minimum number of contracts that must be traded.

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