The term derivative signifies that it has no independent value. Its value is entirely derived from the value of the underlying asset. The underlying asset can be securities, commodities, bullion, currency, live stock or anything else. Derivative means a forward, future, option or any other cross contract of pre determined fixed duration, linked for the purpose of contract fulfilment.
The Securities Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 1999, has been included derivatives in the definition of Securities.
The term Derivative has been defined in Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act, as:-
A Derivative includes:
a security derived from a debt instrument, share, loan, whether secured or unsecured, risk instrument or contract for differences or any other form of security;
a contract which derives its value from the prices, or index of prices, of underlying securities;
The term futures contract means a legally binding agreement to buy or sell the underlying security on a future date. Future contracts are the standardized contracts in terms of quantity, quality, delivery time and place for settlement on any date in future. The contract expires on a specified date known as the “expiry date of the contract”. On expiry, futures can be settled by delivery of the underlying asset or cash.
Derivative products have been introduced in a synchronized manner which started with Index Futures Contracts in June 2000. Index Options and Stock Options were introduced in June 2001 and July 2001 followed by Stock Futures in November 2001. Sectoral indices have been allowed for derivatives trading in December 2002.