GIFT Nifty begins India journey as new hedging option for investors

By Sethuraman N R and Jayshree P Upadhyay

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Trading volumes at GIFT Nifty, a dollar-denominated derivative contract of the Nifty 50 index previously called SGX Nifty, hit about $1.2 billion in the first half of its debut in India on Monday, NSE’s chief executive and managing director, Ashishkumar Chauhan, said.

The SGX Nifty, which was previously traded on the Singapore Exchange’s (SGX) platform, will now trade in NSE’s International Exchange (NSE IX) formed in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT City, a tax-neutral international financial centre in western India.

Investors who were taking cues on the movement of the NSE’s blue-chip Nifty 50 index ahead of its opening from the SGX Nifty will now do so with GIFT Nifty.

The derivative will trade in two sessions, with the first half from 6:30 a.m. IST to 3:40 p.m. and the second from 4:35 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. IST, NSE said.

About $9.4 billion of open interest from SGX Nifty was absorbed by GIFT Nifty in its transfer to India, Chauhan said at an event marking the launch of the contract.

“As GIFT Nifty will be traded for 21 hours, overlapping major trading hours in Europe, Asia and the U.S., retail investors will be able to easily hedge their positions now,” said Shrey Jain, founder of discount broker SAS Online.

To begin with, market participants can access GIFT Nifty 50, GIFT Nifty Bank, GIFT Nifty Financial Services and GIFT Nifty IT while other indexes will be rolled out gradually, the NSE had said earlier.

The blue chip indexes Nifty 50 and Sensex ended at fresh highs for the third consecutive session on Monday. [.BO]

(Reporting by Sethuraman NR in Bengaluru and Jayshree P Upadhyay in Mumbai; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)