This Article is From Sep 16, 2014

Fair Trade Regulator Clears Kotak's 15 Per Cent Stake Buy in MCX

Fair Trade Regulator Clears Kotak's 15 Per Cent Stake Buy in MCX

New Delhi: Kotak Mahindra Bank's proposed Rs 459-crore deal to acquire a 15 per cent stake in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) on Monday received approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), making the financial sector conglomerate a major player in exchange business.

According to the fair trade regulator, the proposed deal "is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India".

On July 20 this year, Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) had announced that it has signed an agreement to sell 15 per cent in MCX to Kotak Mahindra Bank for Rs 459 crore.

As mandatory, Kotak had approached CCI for its approval on August 1, 2014.

In its order released on Monday, the commission observed that Kotak has 40 per cent equity interest in Ace Derivatives and Commodity Exchange (ACE) a national multi-commodity exchange.

This stake would have to further brought down to 15 per cent by the year 2019 in accordance with the revised norms by the Forward Market Commission (FMC), CCI noted.

Besides, the fair trade watchdog also said "that neither Kotak nor any of its subsidiaries, affiliates or joint venture, either directly or indirectly, has any investment in any other commodity exchanges in India".

As per the details in the CCI order, post combination Kotak would hold a 15 per cent non-controlling equity interest in MCX and as per the norms by FMC, the bank would not have any contractual right to appoint directors to the board of MCX, in proportion to its shareholding in the exchange.

FTIL originally held a 26 per cent stake in MCX. The Jignesh Shah-led company is divesting stake in MCX after commodity market regulator FMC had declared the company unfit to run any exchange in the wake of a Rs 5,600-crore payment crisis at group company National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).

The regulator had asked FTIL to reduce its stake in MCX to 2 per cent from 26 per cent.

Before the Kotak deal, FTIL had sold a 6 per cent stake in MCX in two rounds for about Rs 220 crore, bringing down its shareholding to 20 per cent.

After the agreement with Kotak Mahindra bank to sell 15 per cent stake, FTIL would be left with 5 per cent stake in MCX.