DEFINITION of 'Mumbai Interbank Forward Offer Rate - MIFOR'

A rate that Indian banks and other derivative market participants used as a benchmark for setting prices on forward rate agreements and interest rate derivatives. MIFOR was a mix of the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) and a forward premium derived from Indian forex markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mumbai Interbank Forward Offer Rate - MIFOR'

Initially, the intention of MIFOR was for hedging purposes. However, many corporate entities used MIFOR for currency speculation.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) grew concerned over the potential economic downside risk by having an abundance of speculative off-balance-sheet entities (such as currency swaps). The RBI did ban the use of MIFOR and other non-rupee denominated benchmarks on May 20, 2005 in hopes that doing so will lower the amount of currency speculation. However, the RBI did relax the ban somewhat on the following May 30 and allowed MIFOR to be only used in interbank related transactions.

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