Indian money market: market structure, covered parity and term structure
Varma, Jayanth R.
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In the context of the relatively recent deregulation of interest rates in India, this paper analyses the structure and inter-relationships of money market interest rates and studies the extent to which covered interest parity holds in India. The paper shows that there was a major structural break in September 1995 when in the wake of turmoil in the foreign exchange markets, covered interest arbitrage came into play in a big way for the first time. Even after September 1995, the forward premia continue to violate covered parity in systematic ways. These violations are shown to be related partly to the distortions in the foreign exchange market as measured by the premium in the unofficial foreign exchange market. Partly, however, covered parity violations also reflect distortions in the money market rates and in the formation of expectations. Though the money market is free from interest rate ceilings, structural barriers and institutional factors continue to create distortions in the market. Apart from the overnight inter-bank (call market) rate, the other interest rates in the money market are sticky and appear to be set in customer markets rather than auction markets. A well-defined yield curve does not therefore exist in the Indian money market.
- Working Papers