Financial Tech falls nearly 20 percent; NSEL halts electronics trading

MUMBAI Tue Aug 6, 2013 4:11pm IST

A broker looks at a computer screen while trading at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai November 11, 2008. REUTERS/Arko Datta/Files

A broker looks at a computer screen while trading at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai November 11, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Arko Datta/Files

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Shares of Financial Technologies(FITE.NS) lost as much as a quarter of its value on Tuesday after its commodity exchange unit National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) halted its electronics trading services.

The suspension of "e-series" contracts comes after NSEL stopped trading in one-day forward contracts last week citing a fall in volumes after the commodities regulator asked the exchange not to launch new forwards contracts, sending shares of owner Financial Technologies down 73 percent over Thursday and Friday.

The halt in electronics trading, which is focused mainly on precious and base metals such as gold, silver and platinum, according to NSEL's website, comes after media reports on Tuesday said the government was likely to ban trading in such contracts, citing unnanmed government officials.

NSEL said in a brief statement it had not received any government order but said "as abundant precaution", trading in "e-series" contracts would be halted as of 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

"We will check with the authorities to find out the facts," NSEL said, adding that it was ready to "fully comply" with any government orders.

Ramesh Abhishek, chairman of the Forward Markets Commission, which regulates commodity futures markets, was not immediately reachable on his mobile phone.

Financial Technologies shares closed 19.7 percent lower, compared with a 2.5 percent fall in Nifty.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar and Himank Sharma; Editing by Rafael Nam and Jacqueline Wong)

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