Friday, October 31, 2008

Standard Chartered might do an Indian Depository Receipt

George Smith Alexander has a story in Economic Times about a possible `Indian Depository Receipt' issue by Standard Chartered.

If this works out, it would be a major achievement for the impending internationalisation of Indian finance. In an IDR issue, the Indian primary market process obtains an international customer (and revenues for financial firms operating in India). After that, the secondary market ecosystem kicks into play. A wide variety of domestic and international players could send orders into NSE and BSE for trading the IDR, thus delivering revenues for financial firms operating in India. Analyst reports about Standard Chartered would get written and consumed in India, and I'm sure that the reports written in India would be good by world standards so that a person trading the stock anywhere in the world would have an incentive to look at these reports.

There are policy impediments that come in the way of this coming about properly. FIIs can now participate in trading of IDRs. I think NRIs are still prohibited from doing so. I hope trading in futures and options on IDR also commences.

IDRs would also help improve the Sharpe's ratio of domestic portfolios by reducing home bias, that is either rooted in mistakes on the part of fund managers or in capital controls. You might like to see this.

1 comment:

  1. This news came some time back... and yes, of course having an IDR is something like equivalent to seeing the financial tectonic plates shifting.

    I think too much of hope of futures trading and other shindig is riding, which makes me think twice since the matter is on the courts of Indian policy makers


    Soham
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