Intermediary participants in the derivatives market

The intermediary participants in the derivatives market are as follows:

1. Brokers

For any purchase and sale, brokers perform an important function of bringing buyers and sellers together. As a member in any futures exchanges, may be any commodity or finance, one need not be a speculator, arbitrageur or hedger. By virtue of a member of a commodity or financial futures exchange one get a right to transact with other members of the same exchange. This transaction can be in the pit of the trading hall or on online computer terminal. All persons hedging their transaction exposures or speculating on price movement, need not be and for that matter cannot be members of futures or options exchange. A non-member has to deal in futures exchange through member only. This provides a member the role of a broker. His existence as a broker takes the benefits of the futures and options exchange to the entire economy all transactions are done in the name of the member who is also responsible for final settlement and delivery. This activity of a member is price risk free because he is not taking any position in his account, but his other risk is clients default risk. He cannot default in his obligation to the clearing house, even if client defaults. So, this risk premium is also inbuilt in brokerage recharges. More and more involvement of non-members in hedging and speculation in futures and options market will increase brokerage business for member and more volume in turn reduces the brokerage. Thus more and more participation of traders other than members gives liquidity and depth to the futures and options market. Members can attract involvement of other by providing efficient services at a reasonable cost. In the absence of well functioning broking houses, the futures exchange can only function as a club.

2. Market makers and jobbers

Even in organized futures exchange, every deal cannot get the counter party immediately. It is here the jobber or market maker plays his role. They are the members of the exchange who takes the purchase or sale by other members in their books and Then Square off on the same day or the next day. They quote their bid-ask rate regularly. The difference between bid and ask is known as bid-ask spread. When volatility in price is more, the spread increases since jobbers price risk increases. In less volatile market, it is less. Generally, jobbers carry limited risk. Even by incurring loss, they square off their position as early as possible. Since they decide the market price considering the demand and supply of the commodity or asset, they are also known as market makers. Their role is more important in the exchange where outcry system of trading is present. A buyer or seller of a particular futures or option contract can approach that particular jobbing counter and quotes for executing deals. In automated screen based trading best buy and sell rates are displayed on screen, so the role of jobber to some extent. In any case, jobbers provide liquidity and volume to any futures and option market.

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