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NSE stake in MCX up for sale; LSE in talks with MCX's new exchange
March 30, 2009 / 1:30 PM / 9 years ago

NSE stake in MCX up for sale; LSE in talks with MCX's new exchange

NSE is reportedly interested in selling its 1% stake in MCX. Meanwhile London Stock Exchange is in talks with MCX SX.

National Stock Exchange (NSE), one of the major stock exchanges in India, is planning to offload its stake in the Financial Technologies promoted commodity bourse, Multi Stock Exchange (MCX). NSE no longer sees any strategic importance in the investment in MCX, PTI reported, quoting an official as saying. Financial Technologies has agreed to the offer and has said that it will facilitate the transaction at an appropriate time, the report added. NSE holds 1% stake in MCX.

MCX too holds 1% stake in NSE. But the privately owned exchange said it would not sell its stake in NSE. It seems NSE’s decision is following MCX’s proposed foray into equity trading. MCX has set up MCX SX which currently undertakes currency derivatives trading. It’s awaiting SEBI approval for beginning equity trading on the new exchange. This could compete with NSE’s business.

Besides, NSE has also become the anchor investor in NCDEX, which is MCX’s rival commodity bourse.

Reports also suggest that MCX is planning an IPO and may soon approach the regulator for the same. MCX had planned an IPO last year as well but had to shelve the plans in the wake of adverse market conditions. MCX could hit the markets in the second half of this year as it generally takes about 3-6 months for the IPO to start from the time of filing a draft prospectus with SEBI. Last year, MCX was looking at raising Rs 500 crore through the IPO. The amount that it would look at raising with this IPO is not yet known.

It also believed that MCX’s plans to revive the IPO may have resulted from the increasing pressure from its shareholders such as Fidelity and Citigroup, who wanted to exit after MCX’s listing. Last week, reports of Fidelity and Citi planning to sell their stakes in MCX had also surfaced, to which Financial Technologies had clarified saying that Fidelity and Citi continue to be stakeholders in the commodity exchange. Last Friday, Fidelity-affiliated mutual funds sold 8.20% of its 10.65% stake in Financial Technologies in a block deal to Reliance Capital.

LSE Eyes Stake In MCX SX

In another development, the London Stock Exchange (LSE), has initiated talks with Financial Technologies to buy a stake in its stock exchange, MCX-SX, reports Business Standard. The information has not been independently verified. The new exchange has to start divesting its stake by the end of the first year of operations to comply with the licensing conditions. MCX is already in discussions with various global investors for the same, and LSE happens to be one of them.

According to the SEBI regulations, overseas investors can only hold up to 5% stake in Indian exchanges. LSE is too understood to have asked for a 5% stake in MCX-SX. LSE is world’s third largest Stock exchange in terms of market cap.

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