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Why is the margin blocked on Kite different from what I see on the margin calculator?

The margin blocked on Kite is different than the margin shown in the margin calculator as the required margins change throughout the day as per the margin files released by the exchange. However, the updated Margin required can be seen on the order window. See What does the margin required amount on the Kite order window mean?

SPAN and exposure margins on the margin calculator are updated once, at the beginning of the trading day.  However, the actual margins required and blocked on Kite are dependent on the margin (SPAN, exposure) files released by the exchange. Also, additional margins are blocked for open positions for the F&O, CDS and MCX segments as per the discretion of Zerodha. Additional margins blocked for open positions are as follows:

F&O – 4%
MCX – 3%
CDS – 3%

SPAN margins change during the day based on the following factors:
  • Price change (% change during the day)
  • Change in volatility(increase in volatility of the contract increase the margin required)
  • Time to expiry.
While time to expiry has very little effect on the SPAN margins, price change and volatility can change the margin requirement drastically if there has been a significant change in price during the day.