India’s sixth nationwide commodity futures trading platform — Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX) — is set to go live on Friday, the auspicious day of Ram Navmi with trading facility in both agri and non agri contracts. Confirming the development, Ketan Sheth, managing director of Commex Technologies, the promoter of UCX, said, “We will focus on gold, silver and crude among non agri sector while refined soya oil, chana, pepper and turmeric would be available contracts in agri sector.” With the successful launch, UCX would be another hedging platform for commodity traders for both, contracts and inter-exchange arbitrage. Currently, Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), Ace Derivatives and Commodity Exchange (Ace) and Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) are existing commodity derivatives trading platforms offering futures trading in a wide gamut of products including the ones proposed by UCX. The exchange has appointed B C Khatua, ex-chairman of the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) as the chairman of the Advisory Committee and P H Ravikumar, ex-managing director of NCDEX as one of the members of the committee. The exchange got nod from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs in August last year. Since then, UCX has been steadily getting approval for contracts. Recently, the commodity derivatives market regulator the FMC approved the appointment of Praveen Pillai, as the Managing Director & CEO of the exchange for three years effective from July 1, 2012. When asked about innovation, Sheth said, “We would be like one in the lot.
Contracts would be similar to what are currently available on other platforms.” The launch of new exchange, however, is set to intensify competition among themselves. Interestingly, traders would benefit from inter-exchange and inter-contract arbitrage opportunities.