Purpose and Methods of Margin Collection by Stock Exchanges

Margin collection plays a crucial role in maintaining the stability and integrity of stock exchanges. It is a mechanism employed by exchanges to manage risks arising from members’ unduly large outstanding positions or volatile scrips.

The Purpose of Margin Collection

In any financial market, excessive exposure to risk can have severe consequences. The purpose of margin collection is two-fold:

  • Managing Large Outstanding Positions: Stock exchanges closely monitor members’ outstanding positions to prevent excessive exposure and mitigate the risk of potential defaults. By collecting margins from members with unduly large outstanding positions, exchanges aim to ensure that market participants have sufficient collateral to cover potential losses.
  • Addressing Volatile Scrips: Certain stocks or securities exhibit high volatility, which can lead to significant price fluctuations and increased risks for investors. To safeguard against such market volatility, exchanges impose ad-hoc margins on these scrips to protect the integrity of the market and the interests of participants.

Margin Collection Methods

Stock exchanges employ different methods to collect margins from their members, depending on the nature of the risks involved:

  • Initial Margin: Exchanges generally impose an initial margin requirement, which is a predetermined percentage of the transaction value. This margin acts as a collateral for the trade and protects against potential losses. The initial margin is typically calculated based on historical price movements and the inherent volatility of the scrip.
  • Mark-to-Market Margin: To account for changes in market prices, exchanges employ mark-to-market margins. These margins are collected periodically, usually on a daily basis, and ensure that members maintain sufficient collateral to cover potential losses resulting from adverse price movements.

Margin Collection

  • A Risk Management Perspective: Margin collection serves as a vital risk management tool for stock exchanges. It helps in:
  • Mitigating Counterparty Risk: By collecting margins, exchanges reduce the risk of defaults by members, ensuring that they have adequate resources to honor their obligations. This, in turn, promotes financial stability and protects the interests of other market participants.
  • Safeguarding Against Market Volatility: The imposition of ad-hoc margins on volatile scrips acts as a protective measure during periods of heightened market volatility. It helps to minimize the potential for market manipulation and ensures that trading activities remain orderly and transparent.


Latest E-Books