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Money Market, Concept, Objectives, Types, Instruments, Structure

Money Market

Money Markets refer to the segment of the financial market where short-term borrowing and lending of funds take place. It primarily deals with highly liquid and low-risk instruments that have maturities typically ranging from overnight to one year. Money markets play a vital role in facilitating the efficient allocation of funds and meeting the short-term funding requirements of various participants in the economy.

Money Market Objectives

The objectives of the Money Market can be summarized as follows:

  • Short-term financing: Facilitating borrowing and lending for immediate funding needs.
  • Liquidity management: Providing a platform for efficient management of cash positions.
  • Low-risk investments: Offering secure investment options with stable returns.
  • Benchmark interest rates: Establishing reference rates for pricing other financial instruments.
  • Monetary policy implementation: Supporting central banks in managing liquidity and interest rates.
  • Market stability and transparency: Ensuring a stable and transparent marketplace through regulations and oversight.

Read about: Monetary System

Money Market Characteristics

Key characteristics of money markets include:

Characteristics Details
Short-term Maturity Money market instruments have short durations, providing quick access to funds and flexibility in cash management.
High Liquidity Money market instruments can be easily bought or sold without significant price impact, meeting immediate cash needs and serving as a benchmark for short-term interest rates.
Low Risk Money market instruments are considered low-risk due to their short maturities and high credit quality, often comprising government securities and high-quality corporate instruments.
Diverse Participants Money markets attract banks, financial institutions, corporations, mutual funds, insurance companies, and individual investors, each with unique objectives like managing liquidity, short-term funding, or investing idle cash.
Market Regulation Money markets are regulated by central banks or financial authorities, ensuring stability, transparency, and fair practices through guidelines for issuance, trading, and settlement.

Read about: Financial Market

Money Market Instruments 

Common Money Market Instruments include:

 Instruments Description
Treasury Bills (T-bills) Short-term debt securities are issued by governments to fund short-term cash requirements. Issued at a discount to face value. Maturity typically in three months, six months, or one year.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs) Time deposits issued by banks and financial institutions. Fixed maturities range from a few days to one year. Offer fixed interest rates. Negotiable instruments are tradable in the secondary market.
Commercial Papers (CPs) Unsecured promissory notes are issued by corporations to raise short-term funds. Fixed maturities range from a few days to one year. Typically issued at a discount to face value.
Repurchase Agreements (Repos) Short-term agreements are where one party sells securities with an agreement to repurchase at a later date. Commonly used for short-term borrowing or lending of funds. Government securities are often used as collateral.
Money Market Mutual Funds Investment funds that pool money from individual investors and invest in a diversified portfolio. Provide access to money market investments with relatively low investment amounts. Invest in a variety of money market instruments.

Read about: Broad Money and Narrow Money

Money Market in India Evolution

The beginning of the money market in India can be traced back to the late 19th century during the colonial era. The establishment of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 1875 played a crucial role in the development of the money market. Initially, the market operated as a platform for trading stocks and shares, but it gradually expanded to include short-term borrowing and lending activities.

The evolution of the money market in India can be divided into different phases:

Pre-Independence Era (Late 19th century to 1947)

During this period, the money market was largely unregulated and informal. Indigenous bankers, known as Shroffs and Mahajan, facilitated short-term borrowing and lending transactions. The bill market, comprising of treasury bills, commercial bills, and promissory notes, started gaining prominence.

Post-Independence Era (1947 to 1991)

After India gained independence, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was established as the central bank in 1935 and took on a more prominent role in regulating the money market. The RBI introduced various measures to develop and regulate the money market, including the issue of Treasury Bills, the establishment of the Discount and Finance House of India (DFHI) in 1988, and the introduction of Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and Commercial Papers (CPs) in 1990.

Liberalization and Reforms (1991 Onwards)

In the early 1990s, India initiated economic reforms and liberalization. These reforms aimed to modernize the financial sector and promote market-oriented policies. The money market underwent significant changes during this period. The RBI introduced new money market instruments, such as inter-bank call money, term money, and the introduction of the Negotiated Dealing System (NDS) for trading government securities. The reforms also led to the establishment of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as the regulatory authority for the securities market.

Technological Advancements and Integration (Late 1990s to present)

With the advancement of technology and the implementation of electronic trading platforms, the money market in India witnessed further evolution. The introduction of the Negotiated Dealing System-Order Matching (NDS-OM) in 2002 facilitated the electronic trading of government securities. Additionally, the introduction of the Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL) in 2001 brought efficiency and transparency to the settlement of money market transactions.

Furthermore, the money market in India has expanded to include various participants, including banks, financial institutions, corporates, mutual funds, and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). The RBI continues to play a crucial role in regulating and developing the money market by implementing policies and measures to ensure stability and liquidity.

Read about: Kuznets Curve

Types of Money Market

There are different types of money markets that cater to specific segments and requirements within the financial system. These include:

Interbank Money Market

This refers to the market where banks and financial institutions engage in short-term borrowing and lending among themselves. It facilitates liquidity management and helps banks meet their reserve requirements or bridge temporary funding gaps.

Treasury Bill Market

This market deals with short-term government securities known as Treasury Bills (T-bills). T-bills are issued by governments to raise funds for short-term cash requirements. They are considered low-risk investments and serve as benchmarks for short-term interest rates.

Commercial Paper Market

The commercial paper market is where corporations issue unsecured promissory notes to raise short-term funds. Commercial papers (CPs) are typically issued by companies with good credit ratings and have fixed maturities ranging from a few days to one year.

Certificate of Deposit Market

The Certificate of Deposit (CD) market involves banks and financial institutions issuing time deposits with fixed maturities, offering a fixed interest rate. CDs provide a secure investment option for individuals and institutions with surplus funds.

Money Market Mutual Funds (MMMFs)

MMMFs are investment funds that pool money from individual investors and invest in a diversified portfolio of money market instruments. MMMFs offer individuals an opportunity to access money market investments with relatively low investment amounts.

Repo (Repurchase Agreement) Market

The repo market involves short-term agreements where one party sells securities to another party with an agreement to repurchase them at a later date at a slightly higher price. Repos are commonly used for short-term borrowing or lending of funds, with government securities often used as collateral.

Foreign Exchange Money Market

This market deals with short-term borrowing and lending of different currencies. It provides a platform for participants to manage their foreign exchange liquidity needs, including banks, corporations, and central banks.

Read about: Green Accounting

Money Market Structure

The money market structure enables short-term financing, liquidity management, and risk mitigation in the financial system. The money market structure comprises:

Structure Details
Participants Banks, financial institutions, corporations, mutual funds, NBFCs, and individual investors.
Regulators Central banks or financial regulatory authorities.
Instruments Treasury Bills, Certificates of Deposit, Commercial Papers, Repurchase Agreements, CBLO, and MMMFs.
Market Infrastructure Electronic trading systems, and clearing entities like CCIL.
Interbank Market Short-term borrowing and lending among banks and financial institutions.
Market Pricing Based on interest rates, creditworthiness, and market dynamics.
Transparency Disclosure of transaction information and regulatory oversight.

Read about: Phillips Curve

Money Market UPSC

The topic of the money market is important for UPSC preparation as it falls under the Economics part of the UPSC syllabus, provides insights into the Indian economy and government policies, relates to current affairs, enhances analytical skills. Aspirants can join UPSC online coaching and UPSC mock tests to improve their understanding and make their exam preparation comprehensive.

Read about: Gini Coefficient

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Money Market FAQs

What is money market in simple words?

Money market is a marketplace where short-term borrowing, lending, buying, and selling of financial instruments occur.

What is money market and its types?

Money market includes various types of short-term instruments like Treasury Bills, Certificates of Deposit, Commercial Papers, and Repurchase Agreements.

How money markets work?

Money markets work by facilitating the borrowing and lending of funds among participants, providing liquidity and short-term financing.

What are 4 characteristics of money markets?

Characteristics of money markets include short-term instruments, high liquidity, low risk, and diverse participants.

What are the 5 functions of money market?

Functions of money market include providing short-term financing, liquidity management, offering low-risk investments, benchmarking interest rates, and supporting monetary policy implementation.


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