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Initial Margin (IM)

Category — Derivatives

Initial Margin (IM) is a return premium charged by an exchange when opening a derivative position. For the exchange, the IM is insurance against the failure of the parties to perform their obligations under the contract. The Initial Margin is charged to both the buyer and the seller of the derivative.

The Initial Margin is mainly 2—10% of the current market value of the underlying asset. Thus, high-leverage positions can be opened with a relatively small investment.

The exchange calculates the IM based on a number of factors, such as the financial instrument’s volatility, liquidity, maturity, date of execution, etc. The level of initial margin will obviously be lower for a more liquid contract.

The level of initial margin will differ also in derivative types. The level of initial margin for options is usually higher than for futures due to the higher volatility.

On Cbonds website, the IM level and IM date are displayed in a separate "Fees and Warranties" data block on the contract page.

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