The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has summoned executives of three commodity exchanges to explain the fall in their net worth to levels below the statutory requirement of Rs 100 crore. Next week, FMC would meet executives from Reliance Group-controlled Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX), Kotak Group-anchored Ace Derivatives & Commodity Exchange (Ace) and Ahmedabad-based National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE). It is likely the exchanges would seek time to meet the mandatory net worth criterion. An FMC official said, “Yes, we have called them to seek an explanation on the factors behind the fall in net worth and what they are doing to beef that up.” The revised guidelines for national commodity exchanges framed by FMC on July 9, 2009, state these must have paid-up equity capital of at least Rs 50 crore and net worth of at least Rs 100 crore on a continuous basis. ICEX’s net worth has fallen below Rs 100 crore. Managing Director Rajnikant Patel attributed this to uncertainty in commodity futures trading. “We will come to know the exact issue behind it only after discussions with the regulator,” said Patel. After ICEX’s turnover fell to Rs 3,562 crore between October 1 and October 15, it recovered to Rs 5,708 crore during January 1-15 this year. During the corresponding period two years ago, it stood at Rs 13,274 crore.
In January 2011, Reliance Capital had acquired 26 per cent stake in ICEX from Indiabulls Financial Services. Crude oil, copper, silver and natural gas are the major commodities traded on the exchange and contribute about 80 per cent of the turnover. NMCE also has various issues to resolve. “We engaged several investors in talks to achieve the minimum statutory requirement of Rs 100 crore. But investors want clarity on our legal battle currently underway with the regulator. Since the issue is pending in the Supreme Court, no investor has shown willingness to invest in our exchange,” said Anil Mishra, NMCE’s managing director. The net worth of NMCE, which offers futures trade in commodities such as coffee, raw jute, mustard seed, isabgol, rubber and soy oil, currently stands at Rs 72 crore. “We are meeting the regulator to analyse a strategy to overcome the deficit,” said Mishra. Ace’s net worth stands at about Rs 80 crore. The exchange largely offers futures trade in agricultural commodities.