A financial market is a broad term describing any marketplace where buyers and sellersparticipate in the trade of assets such as equities, bonds, currencies and derivatives.
Financial markets are typically defined by having –
• Transparent pricing
• Basic regulations on trading, costs and fees
• Market forces determining the prices of securities that trade.
Functions of financial Markets
1. Mobilization of saving & channelize them into more productive uses
2. Facilitate price discovery
3. Provide liquidity to financial assets
4. Reduces the cost of transaction & save time & efforts
A financial market consists of two major segments:
1. Money Market – the money market deals in short-term credit
2. Capital Market – the capital market handles the medium term and long-term credit
The money market is that part of a financial market which deals in the borrowing and lending of short term loans generally for a period of less than or equal to 365 days. It meets the short term requirements of borrowers and provides liquidity or cash to the lenders.
• It is a place where short term surplus investible funds at the disposal of financial institutions and individuals are bid by borrowers, again comprising institutions and individuals and also by the government.
• The Indian money market consists of Reserve Bank of India, Commercial banks, Co-operative banks, and other specialized financial institutions. The Reserve Bank of India is the leader of the money market in India.
• Money market does not refer to any specific market place. Rather it refers to the whole networks of financial institutions dealing in short-term funds, which provides an outlet to lenders and a source of supply for such funds to borrowers.
• It should be noted that money market does not deal in cash or money but simply provides a market for credit instruments such as bills of exchange, promissory notes, commercial paper, treasury bills, etc. These financial instruments are close substitute of money.
• Some Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and financial institutions like LIC, GIC, UTI, etc. also operate in the Indian money market.
Structure of Indian Money Market
Indian money market is characterized by two sectors –
• Organized sector- The organized sector is within the direct purview of RBI regulations.
• Unorganized sector – The unorganized sector consists of indigenous bankers, money lenders, non-banking financial institutions, etc.
Major functions of money market
1. To maintain monetary equilibrium – It means to keep a balance between the demand for and supply of money for short term monetary transactions.
2. To promote economic growth – Money market can do this by making funds available to various units in the economy such as agriculture, small scale industries, etc.
3. To provide help to Trade and Industry – Money market provides adequate finance to trade and industry. Similarly, it also provides facility of discounting bills of exchange for trade and industry.
4. To help in implementing Monetary Policy – It provides a mechanism for an effective implementation of the monetary policy.
5. Money market provides non-inflationary sources of finance to government. It is possible by issuing treasury bills in order to raise short loans.
Instruments of Money Market
• Call Money
a. Call money is mainly used by the banks to meet their temporary requirement of cash. It is also known as money at call and money at short notice.
b. In this, market money is demanded for an extremely short period. The duration of such transactions is from a few hours to 14 days. These transactions help stock brokers and dealers to fulfill their financial requirements. The rate at which money is made available is called as call rate. Rate is fixed by the market forces such as the demand for and supply of money.
• Treasury Bill
a. It is a market for sale and purchase of short-term government securities.
b. These securities are called as Treasury Bills, which are promissory notes or financial bills issued by the RBI on behalf of the Government of India.
c. There are two types of treasury bills:
i. Ordinary or Regular Treasury Bills
ii. Ad Hoc Treasury Bills.
d. Treasury bills are highly liquid instruments. At any time the holder of treasury bills can transfer or get it discounted from RBI.
e. The maturity period of these securities range from as low as 14 days to as high as 364 days.
f. They have become very popular due to high level of safety involved in them.
• Cash Management Bills
a. The Government of India, in consultation with the RBI, decided to issue a new short-term instrument, known as Cash Management Bills (CMBs), to meet the temporary mismatches in the cash flow of the Government.
b. The CMBs have the generic character of T-bills but are issued for maturities less than 91
• Certificate of Deposits (CDs)
a. The certificate of deposits is issued by the Commercial Banks
b. They are worth the value of Rs. 25 lakh and in multiple of Rs. 25 lakh
c. The minimum subscription of CDs should be worth Rs. 1 Crore.
d. The maturity period of CD is as low as 3 months and as high as 1 year.
e. These are the transferable investment instrument in a money market.
f. The government initiated a market of CDs in order to widen the range of instruments in the money market and to provide a higher flexibility to investors for investing their short term money.
• Commercial Papers (CPs)
a. Commercial paper (CP) is an investment instrument which can be issued by a listed company having working capital more than or equal to Rs. 5 cr.
b. The CPs can be issued in multiples of Rs. 25 Laths. However, the minimum subscription should at least be Rs. 1 cr.
c. The maturity period for the CP is a minimum of 3 months and maximum 6 months.
d. Commercial paper (CP) is a popular instrument for financing working capital requirements of companies.
e. It can be issued for period ranging from 15 days to one year. Commercial papers are transferable by endorsement and delivery.
• Repurchase Agreements
a. A repurchase agreement, also known as a repo, is the sale of securities together with an agreement for the seller to buy back the securities at a later date.
b. The repurchase price should be greater than the original sale price, the difference effectively representing interest, sometimes called the repo rate.
c. The party that originally buys the securities effectively acts as a lender. The original seller is effectively acting as a borrower, using their security as collateral for a secured cash loan at a fixed rate of interest
• Short Term Loan
a. It is a market where the short term loan requirements of corporate are met by the Commercial banks
b. Banks provide short term loans to corporates in the form of cash credit or in the form of overdraft. Cash credit is given to industrialists and overdraft is given to businessmen.
• Capital Market is a market dealing in medium and long-term funds. It is an institutional arrangement for borrowing medium and long-term funds and which provides facilities for marketing and trading of securities.
• So it constitutes all long-term borrowings from banks and financial institutions, borrowings from foreign markets and raising capital by issuing various securities such as shares, debentures, bonds, etc.
• Capital market can be classified into – Primary and Secondary Market
– Primary – The primary market is a market for new shares. The companies have to follow well defined procedures when they are auctioning their shares for the first time. This is called Initial Public Offer. At this stage, the investment banks are involved in setting a price for the shares which the company is issuing. The major players in the primary market are merchant bankers, mutual funds, financial institutions, and individual investors.
– Secondary markets – The secondary market is a market for trading of existing securities. The secondary market known as stock market or stock exchange plays an equally important role in mobilizing long-term funds by providing the necessary liquidity to holdings in shares and debentures. It is an organized market where shares and debentures are traded regularly with high degree of transparency and security.
FUNCTIONS OF THE CAPITAL MARKET
1. Mobilization of Savings: Capital market is an important source for mobilizing idle savings from the economy. It activates the ideal monetary resources and puts them in proper investments.
2. Capital Formation: Capital market helps in capital formation. Capital formation is net addition to the existing stock of capital in the economy.
3. Speed up Economic Growth and Development: Capital market enhances production and productivity in the national economy. As it makes funds available for a long period of time, the financial requirements of business houses are met by the capital market.
4. Proper Regulation of Funds: Capital market also helps in proper allocation of these resources. It can have regulation over the resources so that it can direct funds in a qualitative manner.
5. Continuous Availability of Funds: Capital market is place where the investment avenue is continuously available for long-term investment. This is a liquid market as it makes funds available on continues basis. Both, buyers and sellers can easily buy and sell securities.
STRUCTURE OF THE CAPITAL MARKET
The capital market can be divided into two constituents
1. Financial institutions – The financial institutions provide long term and medium term loans.
1.a Development Financial Institutions
• Development financial institutions were set up to meet the medium and long-term requirements of industry, trade and agriculture.
• These are IFCI, ICICI, IDBI, SIDBI, IRBI, UTI, LIC, GIC etc.
• All these institutions have been called Public Sector Financial Institutions.
1.b Financial Intermediaries
• Financial Intermediaries include Merchant banks, Mutual Fund, Leasing companies, etc.
• They help in mobilizing savings and supplying funds to capital market.
2. Securities market – The securities market is divided into
a. Government Securities Market – The gilt edged market
b. Corporate or industrial securities market.
2.a Government Securities Market – Gilt-Edged market
• The gilt-edged market is also known as the securities guaranteed (both principal and interest) by the government apart from government securities. The government securities are risk free because the government can’t default on its payment obligations and are hence known as gilt-edged (which means ‘of the best quality’).
• The important characteristics of the government securities are:
– It is without risk and returns are guaranteed.
– Government securities market consists of the new issues market and the secondary market
– R.B.I. is responsible for all the new issues of government loans, as it manages entirely the public debt operations of both the central and state governments.
– The secondary market deals in old issues.
– Government securities are the most liquid debt instruments.
– The transactions in the government securities market are large.
2.b Industrial Securities Market
Securities issued by firms (i.e. shares, bonds and debentures) can be bought and sold freely in corporate securities market. It comprises the new issues market (the primary market) and the secondary market (stock exchanges).
• Primary Market
– The new issues market is concerned with the issue of new securities-bonds debentures, shares and so on.
– Funds are often raised by the public limited companies from the primary market for setting up or expanding their business. However, the company has to fulfill various requirements and decide upon the appropriate timing and method of issue for selling its securities.
– The various methods through which capital can be raised are: By Prospectus, By Offer for Sale, By Private Placing, By offering Rights Issue
• Secondary Market/ Stock Exchange
– The stock exchange or the secondary market is a highly organized market for the purchase and sale of second-hand quoted or listed securities.
– Quoting or listing of a particular security implies incorporating that security in the register of the stock exchange so that it can be bought and sold there.
– A stock exchange is an association or a body of individuals, established for the purpose of assisting, regulating and controlling business in buying, selling and dealing in securities
The companies registered under the Companies Act, 2013 are of three types as follows:
1. Unlimited Company: The unlimited company is a company where there is no limit on the liability of its members. This means that if the company suffers a loss and the company’s property is not enough to pay off its debts, the private property of its members is used to meet the claims of the creditors. This means that there is a huge risk in such companies.
2. Company Limited by Guarantee: In such a company, the liability of the members is limited to the extent of guarantee given by them in the event of winding up of the company.
3. Company Limited by Shares: In this the liability of the members is strictly limited to the extent of nominal value of shares held by each of them. If a member has already paid the full amount of the shares, he shall not be liable to pay any amount. If a member has partly paid the shares, he can be forced to pay the remaining amount during the existence of the company as well as during the winding up. Such companies are of two kinds, private and public.
a) Private Company: A private company is the one which has a minimum paid up share capital of Rs.100000 or such higher capital as prescribed by the Companies Act. Its Article of association mentions that the company –
• Restricts the right to transfer its shares.
• Limits the number of its members from 2 to 50.
• Cannot go for invitation from public to subscription to any of its shares.
• Cannot accept deposits from persons other than its members, directors and relatives.
b) Public Company: A public company means a company which is not a private company and has minimum of 7 shareholders/subscribers. It has to have a minimum paid-up share capital of 5 Lakh.
Types of Share Capital of the Company
There are various terms used in connection with the share capital of the company. They are as follows:
• Authorized / Registered / Nominal Capital: This is the Maximum Capital which the company can raise in its life time. This is mentioned in the Memorandum of the Association of the Company. This is also called as Registered Capital or Nominal Capital.
• Issued Capital: This is the part of the Authorized Capital which is issued to the public for Subscription. The act of creating new issued shares is called issuance, allocation or allotment. After allotment, a subscriber becomes a shareholder. The number of issued shares is a subset of the total authorized shares and
[Shares authorized = Shares issued + Shares unissued]
• Subscribed Capital: The issued Capital may not be fully subscribed by the public. Subscribed Capital is that part of issued Capital which has been taken off by the public i.e. the capital for which applications are received from the public. So, it is a part of the Issued Capital as follows
[Issued Capital = Subscribed Capital + Unsubscribed Capital]
Once the shares have been issued and purchased by investors and are held by them, they are called Shares Outstanding.
These outstanding shares have rights and represent ownership in the corporation by the person that holds the shares.
• Called – up Capital: The Company may not need to receive the entire amount of capital at once. It may call up only part of the subscribed capital as and when needed in installments. Thus, the called – up Capital is the part of “subscribed capital which the company has actually called upon the shareholders to pay.
• Paid-up Capital: The Called-up Capital may not be fully paid. Some Shareholders may pay only part of the amount required to be paid or may not pay at all. Paid-up Capital is the part of called-up capital which is actually paid by the shareholders. The remaining part indicates the default in payment of calls by some shareholders, known as Calls in Arrears.
Paid-up Capital = Called-up Capital – Calls in Arrears
• Reserve Capital: As mentioned above, the company by special resolution may determine that a portion of the uncalled capital shall not be called up, except in the event of the winding up of the company. This part is called Reserved Capital. It is kept reserved for the Creditors in case of the winding up of the company.
• A stock market or equity market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks and shares
• A stock exchange is a place to trade stocks.
• Companies may want to get their stock listed on a stock exchange. Other stocks may be traded “over the counter”, that is, through a dealer.
• To be able to trade a security on a certain stock exchange, it must be listed there.
• A large company will usually have its stock listed on many exchanges across the world.
Comparison between Bull Market and Bear Market
• There are two ways to describe the general conditions of the stock market. It can be a bull market or a bear market.
• A bear market indicates the continuous downward movement of the stock market. Conversely, a bull market indicates the constant upward movement of the stock market.
• A particular stock that seems to be increasing in value is described to be bullish while a stock that seems to be decreasing in value is described to be bearish.
• A bear market is the stock market wherein the prices of the key stocks have fallen by 20% or more over a period of at least two months.
• Bull markets, being the opposite of bear markets, indicate a rise in the prices of the key stocks over a certain period of time.
Stock Indices and Stock Exchanges
A. S&P BSE SENSEX
a. The S&P BSE SENSEX (S&P Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index), also called the BSE 30 or simply the SENSEX, is a free-float market-weighted stock market index of 30 well-established and financially sound companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange.
b. The 30 component companies which are some of the largest and most actively traded stocks are representative of various industrial sectors of the Indian economy.
c. Published since 1 January 1986, the S&P BSE SENSEX is regarded as the pulse of the domestic stock markets in India.
d. The base value of the S&P BSE SENSEX is taken as 100 on 1st April 1979, and its base year as 1978-79.
e. On 25 July 2001 BSE launched DOLLEX-30, a dollar-linked version of S&P.
B. Nifty 50
a. The CNX Nifty, also called the Nifty 50 or simply the Nifty, is National Stock Exchange of India’s benchmark Index for Indian Equity market. ‘CNX’ in its name stands for ‘CRISIL NSE Index’.
b. The CNX Nifty covers 22 sectors of the Indian economy.
c. Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) is a global analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services.
C. Carbon Index: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in collaboration with the UK government has launched the first ever ‘Carbon Indexing Project’. The Carbon Indexing Project will rate BSE-listed companies on the basis of their carbon emissions and compare it to their performance on the stock exchange.
D. Over the Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI): The Over the Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI), incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act 1956, is a public limited company. It allows listing of small and medium sized companies. OTCEI is promoted by the Unit Trust of India, Industrial Development Bank of India, the Industrial Finance Corporation of India and others and is a recognized stock exchange.
Instruments of stock market
1. Forward contracts- A customized contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a future date. A forward contract can be used for hedging or speculation, although its non-standardized nature makes it particularly apt for hedging. Unlike standard futures contracts, a forward contract can be customized to any commodity, amount and delivery date.
2. Futures contracts- A contractual agreement, generally made on the trading floor of a futures exchange, to buy or sell a particular commodity or financial instrument at a pre-determined price in the future. Futures contracts detail the quality and quantity of the underlying asset; they are standardized to facilitate trading on a futures exchange.
3. Options contracts- A contract that allows the holder to buy or sell an underlying security at a given price, known as the strike price. The two most common types of options contracts are put and call options, which give the holder-buyer the right to sell or buy respectively, the underlying at the strike if the price of the underlying crosses the strike. Typically each options contract is written on 100 shares of the underlying.
4. Debentures- Debentures are bonds that are not secured by specific property or collateral. Instead, they are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuer, and bondholders have a general claim on assets that are not pledged to other debt.
Buying and selling of stocks is called stock trading. Mainly there are two ways of doing stock trading.
• Online Stock Trading: Doing stock trading with help of computer, internet connection and with trading/demat account is called Online Stock Trading.
• Offline Stock Trading: Doing stock trading with the help of broker or through phone is called Offline trading. In other words trading will be done by another person on your behalf based on the instructions given by you, and then the other person can be a broker. The broker will do buying and selling of stocks on your behalf depending on the instructions given by you. If you want to do offline stock trading then you need to open the dematerialization account.
Investment in Short term, Mid-term and Long term trading
1. Short-term Trading – Stock trading done from one week to couple of months is called short term. Companies or sectors having some breaking news will be used for short term trading.
2. Mid-term Trading – Stock trading done from one month to couple of months, say six to eight months is called midterm trading. Companies’ announcements of quarterly results or some big foreign acquisitions will be used for midterm trading.
3. Long-term Trading – Stock trading done form couple of months to couple of years is called long term trading. Companies whose fundamentals are good and have good future plans then the stocks of these companies are used for long term trading. Generally traders having good capital go for long term trading.
Stock Market Regulator
The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the regulator for the securities market in India. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 12 April 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992. The SEBI is managed by its members, which consists of a Chairman who is nominated by Union Government of India; two members who are officers from Union Finance Ministry; one member from The Reserve Bank of India and the remaining 5 members are nominated by Union Government of India, out of them at least 3 are whole-time members.
The role or functions of SEBI are discussed below:
• To protect the interests of investors through proper education and guidance as regards their investment in securities.
• To regulate and control the business on stock exchanges and other security markets.
• To make registration and to regulate the functioning of intermediaries such as stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, merchant bankers and other intermediaries operating on the securities market.
• To register and regulate the working of mutual funds including UTI (Unit Trust of India).
• To promote self-regulatory organization of intermediaries. SEBI is given wide statutory powers. However, self-regulation is better than external regulation.
• To regulate mergers, takeovers and acquisitions of companies in order to protect the interest of investors.
• To prohibit fraudulent and unfair practices of intermediaries operating on securities markets.
• To issue guidelines to companies regarding capital issues. Separate guidelines are prepared for first public issue of new companies, for public issue by existing listed companies and for first public issue by existing private companies.
• To conduct inspection, inquiries & audits of stock exchanges, intermediaries and self-regulating organizations and to take suitable remedial measures wherever necessary.
• To restrict insider trading activity through suitable measures.
Terminologies associated with capital market
1. Floating Rate Bonds: Floating Rate Bonds are securities which do not have a fixed coupon rate. The coupon is re-set at pre-announced intervals (say, every six months or one year) by adding a spread over a base rate. Floating Rate Bonds were first issued in September 1995 in India.
2. State Development Loans: State Governments also raise loans from the market. SDLs are dated securities issued through an auction similar to the auctions conducted for dated securities issued by the Central Government. Interest is serviced at half-yearly intervals and the principal is repaid on the maturity date. Like dated securities issued by the Central Government, SDLs issued by the State Governments qualify for SLR. They are also eligible as collaterals for borrowing through market repo as well as borrowing by eligible entities from the RBI under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF).
3. Equity: Equity is the money invested in a firm to finance its operations. It generally has a lock-in period during which they are not traded on the stock exchange. When listed, equity is in the form of shares and provides ownership of the company to the shareholder.
4. Debt: To finance its operations, the company can resort to either infusing equity or raising debt. Debt is essentially borrowing from an institution or an individual which necessarily has to be paid at a future date.
5. Mutual Funds: An investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. Mutual funds are operated by money managers, who invest the fund’s capital and attempt to produce capital gains and income for the fund’s investors.
6. Venture capital: It is the money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has the potential for above-average returns. Most venture capital comes from a group of wealthy investors, investment banks and other financial institutions that pool such investments or partnerships..
7. Angel investors: An angel Investor or angel (also known as a business angel or informal investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
8. External Commercial Borrowings: Any money that has been borrowed from foreign sources for financing the commercial activities in India is called External Commercial Borrowings.
9. Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds: FCCBs mean a bond issued by an Indian company expressed in foreign currency, and the principal and interest in respect of which is payable in foreign currency. The ECB policy is applicable to FCCBs..
10. American Depository Receipts: Introduced to the financial markets in 1927, an American Depository Receipt (ADR) is a stock that trades in the United States but represents a specified number of shares in a foreign corporation. ADRs are bought and sold on American markets just like regular stocks, and are issued/sponsored in the U.S. by a bank or brokerage.
11. Global Depository Receipts: In order to ensure that investors from different countries and not one country alone may invest in a corporate entity, it was essential to make available stocks on an international level. A Global Depository Receipt (GDR) is when a bank issued certificate in more than one country for shares in a foreign company. The shares are held by a foreign branch of an international branch.
12. Euro issues: Euro issues are simply means of raising finances in the international market. It is a misnomer as initially they were aimed at European markets and were located on the Luxemburg or London exchanges but now they have expanded to tap the global market. They include ADRs, GDRs and FCCBs.
13. Buy-back of shares: The repurchase of outstanding shares by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. Companies will buy back shares either to increase the value of shares still available (reducing supply), or to eliminate any threats by shareholders who may be looking for a controlling stake.
14. Foreign Institutional Investors: FII is an investor or investment fund that is from or registered in a country outside of the one in which it is currently investing. Institutional investors include hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds and mutual funds. The term is used most commonly in India to refer to outside companies investing in the financial markets of India. International institutional investors must register with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to participate in the market.
The recent boom in the stock market was due to huge FII inflows because of a bullish market. Due to their high volatility, FIIs are sometimes called as Hot Money. Such a scenario was seen during the East Asian crisis in 1997 when FIIs withdrew investments from ASEAN nations resulting in a financial crisis.
15. Qualified Foreign Investors: A QFI is an individual, group or association resident n a foreign country that is compliant with the Financial Action Task Force standards. Till 2012, they were investing in India trough the FIIs registered with SEBI. From 2012, they are allowed to invest directly for which SEBI and RBI have made the necessary rules.
16. P-Notes: Participatory Notes — or P-Notes or PNs — are instruments issued by registered foreign institutional investors to overseas investors, who wish to invest in the Indian stock markets without registering themselves with the market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India. P-Notes are issued to the real investors on the basis of stocks purchased by the FII. The registered FII looks after all the transactions, which appear as proprietary trades in its books. It is not obligatory for the FIIs to disclose their client details to the SEBI, unless asked specifically.
17. Hedge funds: Hedge funds, which invest through participatory notes, borrow money cheaply from Western markets and invest these funds into stocks in emerging markets. Financial instruments used by hedge funds that are not registered with Sebi to invest in Indian securities.
18. Initial Public Offering: An initial public offering (IPO) is the first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking the capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.
19. Offer for Sale: OFS mechanism facilitates the promoters of an already listed company to sell or dilute their existing shareholdings through an exchange based bidding platform.
20. Follow on Public Offer: A follow on public offer (FPO) is an issuing of shares to investors by a public company that is already listed on an exchange. An FPO is essentially a stock issue of supplementary shares made by a company that is already publicly listed and has gone through the IPO process.
Insurance sector is one the most important financial intermediary in India. This sector helps in mobilizing savings of general public to financial assets. Insurance sector also act as a stabilizer and it helps people in the situation of crisis. Insurance penetration is very low in India; it is well below the standards of U.S.A.
Before liberalization Public sector insurance companies had the monopoly over the market. Due to lot of private sector Company’s entry post liberalization number of people with insurance cover have improved significantly but it still fall below the satisfactory levels.
Indian insurance sector at present has 52 companies. Insurance sector can be broadly divide into two sectors
• Life insurance Sector
• Non-life insurance sector.
Out of these 52 companies 24 are working in life insurance sector and 28 are working in non-life sector. Private sector entry in insurance sector was allowed in 1999. Before that sector had only public sector players like life insurance cooperation, General insurance cooperation etc.
Who can make laws on Insurance?
• Insurance is a subject listed in the Union list in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India.
• That means only Union Government can make laws on insurance (a state Government cannot make law on this subject)
Insurance Policies: Types
Two main types: General Insurance and Life Insurance
• General Insurance means Every Insurance plan EXCEPT life insurance plan
• Personal Insurance policies – medical insurance, accident, property and vehicle insurance
• Rural Insurance policies protection against natural and climatic disasters for agriculture and rural businesses
• Industrial Insurance policies – coverage for project, construction, contracts, fire, equipment loss, theft, etc.
• Commercial Insurance policies protection against loss and damage of property during transportation, transactions, marine insurance etc.
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the benefit) in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person.
Life Insurance Types
1. Whole life plan
2. Endowment Plan
3. Term Plan
4. ULIP (Unit Linked Insurance Policy)
• Life Insurance Corporation of India
• Started in 1956 and 100% owned by Government.
• Provides Life Insurance, Health Insurance
Reforms of 1999 in insurance sector can be divided as following:
• Opening of sector for private companies.
• Foreign direct investment up to 26 percent was allowed in this sector.
• IRDA – Insurance regulatory and development authority was created to regulate and develop this sector.
• After reforms first decade of 21st century has been very good for the insurance sector in India. Insurance sector witnessed many remarkable changes after the reforms. In the case of general insurance industry the premium had grown from Rs.9450 crs in 1999-2000 to Rs.25,000crs in 2006-07.
• The private sector has acquired a market share of 40% and most of it came by reducing the percentage share of the public sector. Insurance sector faces new challenges of 21st century and it is in dire need for another set of reforms.
Major problems in insurance sector are:-
• Rising cost of insurance products.
• Slowing growth and insufficient penetration throughout India.
• No new major reforms for almost a decade.
In order to remove the shortcomings of insurance sector government in 2012 announced 12-point revival package for this sector. Important among those are:-
• IRDA to consider 30-Day norm for clearing the product.
• All banking correspondents will be allowed to sell the insurance products.
• Reduction in service tax on first year regular premium as well as single premium policies.
• Some insurance products will be used for tax exemption.
• Exemption of premium for social security insurance schemes from service tax.
• IRDA to evolve and notify guidelines for reduction in arbitrage between UNITS and traditional products
49% FDI allowed in Insurance Industry
• The government has relaxed FDI norms for the insurance sector to attract more foreign investment, by permitting overseas companies to buy 49 per cent stake in domestic insurers without prior approval.
• Earlier, up to 26 per cent FDI was permitted through the automatic approval route.
• Now, the foreign investment proposals up to 49 per cent of the total paid up equity of the Indian insurance company shall be allowed on the automatic route subject to verification by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. There are 52 insurance companies operating in India, of which 24 are in the life insurance business and 28 in general insurance.
IRDA – Insurance Market Regulators
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA)
• Created on the recommendations of the Malhotra Committee report
• Started in 2000, it is a statutory body (i.e. made through an Act of parliament).
What are the functions of IRDA?
• To run insurance businesss, a company has to register itself with IRDA.
• IRDA regulates the insurance industry and protects the customers.
• IRDA has the power to frame regulations regarding Insurance market (just like SEBI for Capital market)
• promotion of competition so as to enhance customer satisfaction through increased consumer choice and lower premiums. (for example IRDA allowed Health Insurance Portability).