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PK Singhal, who sailed through MCX crisis, retires

Singhal had been at the helm of the exchange's affairs since founder Jignesh Shah's exit in the aftermath of the NSEL fiasco

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Praveen Kumar Singhal
Praveen Kumar Singhal

Parveen Kumar Singhal, the man who saved the (MCX) during the most difficult phase in its 14 years of existence, retired on October 13 as the bourse’s joint managing director. Singhal had been at the helm of affairs since the exchange faced a leadership crisis following founder Jignesh Shah’s exit amid regulatory pressure. 

A financial market veteran of 42 years, Singhal steered firmly even as top management personnel left it in quick succession after a special audit of the exchange was ordered in the aftermath of the Rs 5,500-crore scam at group entity National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). 

Before joining MCX, where he spent nine years, Singhal had worked at commodity market regulator Forward Commission, where he even handled various scam cases in his capacity as the head of management. 

In 2001-02, when the Ketan Parekh scam broke out, he was the chief executive of the Delhi Stock Exchange (DSE), the only exchange that was not affected by the scam. Recollecting those days, Singhal says, “Neither the Ketan Parekh scam nor the NSEL one could affect the exchange I was heading when these scams broke out. That is because I interacted directly with people and focused on maintaining compliance and regulatory discipline.” 

The 2013 NSEL scam had spelt the downfall of Jignesh Shah, then considered the czar of global exchange industry. When Shah decided to leave MCX, which he had set up in 2003, there was a need for someone who could ably steer the exchange through the crisis. In such a time, Singhal, who came from Ambala and started his career as a banker, was someone the exchange fell back on. 

S C Aggarwal, managing director of SMC Global, says: “Singhal ji saved during the NSEL crisis. He won our confidence by constantly interacting with us to continue doing business with ” 

Acknowledging this, Singhal says, “Brokers, especially those from North India, stood by me when was trying to come out of the after-effects.” According to Singhal, this was one of the most difficult times he faced in his career. “On the one hand, brokers had lost confidence in the exchange and were withdrawing margins, and on the other, the regulator was asking to do more on compliance and address the issues raised in PwC’s special audit report on the exchange after the NSEL crisis.”

First Published: Tue, October 17 2017. 16:44 IST