Indian options traders are paying the most in three years to protect against a drop in bank shares as a gauge of lenders jumped to a record for a sixth straight day.

Current-month put options with a strike price 10 percent below the CNX Bank Nifty index cost 36.5 points more than calls priced 10 percent above at 11:38 a.m in Mumbai. The spread, known as skew, is the highest since Jan. 24, 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Put options were on average 5.8 points more expensive than calls over the past three years.

The Bank Nifty index, the second-most popular security for equity derivatives trading in India after the CNX Nifty Index, has jumped 8 percent this year, adding to a 65 percent surge in 2014. The Bank Nifty trades at 14.9 times its 12-month projected earnings, compared with a multiple of 8.7 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Asia Financials Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“We expect the Bank Nifty to underperform the broader markets in the near term,” Manoj Vayalar, assistant vice president of derivatives at Religare Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview. “Volatility is rising” after the index’s sharp rally over the past two weeks, he said.

The India VIX Index, a gauge of protection against stock market swings using options, increased 2.8 percent to 18.39. The 50-stock CNX Nifty index was little changed.

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