Money Market Instruments

09/10/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Money Market’ is used to define a market where short-term financial assets with a maturity up to one year are traded. The assets are a close substitute for money and support money exchange carried out in the primary and secondary market. In other words, the money market is a mechanism which facilitate the lending and borrowing of instruments which are generally for a duration of less than a year. High liquidity and short maturity are typical features which are traded in the money market. The non-banking finance corporations (NBFCs), commercial banks, and acceptance houses are the components which make up the money market.

Money market is a part of a larger financial market which consists of numerous smaller sub-markets like bill market, acceptance market, call money market, etc. Besides, the money market deals are not out in money / cash, but other instruments like trade bills, government papers, promissory notes, etc. But the money market transactions can’t be done through brokers as they have to be carried out via mediums like formal documentation, oral or written communication.

Features of Money Market Instruments

  • Safety: Since the issuers of money market instruments have strong credit ratings, it automatically means that the money instruments issued by them will also be safe.
  • Liquidity: They are considered highly liquid as they are fixed-income securities which carry short maturity periods of a year or less.
  • Discounted price: One of the main features of money market instruments is that they are issued at a discount on their face value.

Purpose of a Money Market

Provides Funds at a Short Notice

Money Market offers an excellent opportunity to individuals, small and big corporations, banks of borrowing money at very short notice. These institutions can borrow money by selling money market instruments and finance their short-term needs.

It is better for institutions to borrow funds from the market instead of borrowing from banks, as the process is hassle-free and the interest rate of these assets is also lower than that of commercial loans. Sometimes, commercial banks also use these money market instruments to maintain the minimum cash reserve ratio as per the RBI guidelines.

Maintains Liquidity in the Market

One of the most crucial functions of the money market is to maintain liquidity in the economy. Some of the money market instruments are an important part of the monetary policy framework. RBI uses these short-term securities to get liquidity in the market within the required range.

Utilisation of Surplus Funds

Money Market makes it easier for investors to dispose off their surplus funds, retaining their liquid nature, and earn significant profits on the same. It facilitates investors’ savings into investment channels. These investors include banks, non-financial corporations as well as state and local government.

Helps in monetary policy

A developed money market helps RBI in efficiently implementing monetary policies. Transactions in the money market affect short term interest rate, and short-term interest rates gives an overview of the current monetary and banking state of the country. This further helps RBI in formulating the future monetary policy, deciding long term interest rates, and a suitable banking policy.

Aids in Financial Mobility

Money Market helps in financial mobility by allowing easy transfer of funds from one sector to another. This ensures transparency in the system. High financial mobility is important for the overall growth of the economy, by promoting industrial and commercial development.

Money Market Instrument

  • Banker’s Acceptance

A financial instrument produced by an individual or a corporation, in the name of the bank is known as Banker’s Acceptance. It requires the issuer to pay the instrument holder a specified amount on a predetermined date, which ranges from 30 to 180 days, starting from the date of issue of the instrument. It is a secure financial instrument as the payment is guaranteed by a commercial bank.

Banker’s Acceptance is issued at a discounted price, and the actual price is paid to the holder at maturity. The difference between the two is the profit made by the investor.

  • Treasury Bills

Treasury bills or T- Bills are issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the Central Government for raising money. They have short term maturities with highest upto one year. Currently, T- Bills are issued with 3 different maturity periods, which are, 91 days T-Bills, 182 days T- Bills, 1 year T – Bills.

T-Bills are issued at a discount to the face value. At maturity, the investor gets the face value amount. This difference between the initial value and face value is the return earned by the investor. They are the safest short term fixed income investments as they are backed by the Government of India.

  • Repurchase Agreements

Also known as repos or buybacks, Repurchase Agreements are a formal agreement between two parties, where one party sells a security to another, with the promise of buying it back at a later date from the buyer. It is also called a Sell-Buy transaction.

The seller buys the security at a predetermined time and amount which also includes the interest rate at which the buyer agreed to buy the security. The interest rate charged by the buyer for agreeing to buy the security is called Repo rate. Repos come-in handy when the seller needs funds for short-term, s/he can just sell the securities and get the funds to dispose. The buyer gets an opportunity to earn decent returns on the invested money.

  • Certificate of Deposits

A certificate of deposit (CD) is issued directly by a commercial bank, but it can be purchased through brokerage firms. It comes with a maturity date ranging from three months to five years and can be issued in any denomination.

Most CDs offer a fixed maturity date and interest rate, and they attract a penalty for withdrawing prior to the time of maturity. Just like a bank’s checking account, a certificate of deposit is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

  • Commercial Papers

Commercial paper is an unsecured loan issued by large institutions or corporations to finance short-term cash flow needs, such as inventory and accounts payables. It is issued at a discount, with the difference between the price and face value of the commercial paper being the profit to the investor.

Only institutions with a high credit rating can issue commercial paper, and it is therefore considered a safe investment. Commercial paper is issued in denominations of $100,000 and above. Individual investors can invest in the commercial paper market indirectly through money market funds. Commercial paper comes with a maturity date between one month and nine months.