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Action to be taken after seeking legal advice: Vikram Limaye on Sebi order

Limaye has said there will be no bearing on the functioning of the Exchange

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Vikram Limaye
NSE chief Vikram Limaye

National Stock Exchange chief Limaye Wednesday said there is "light at the end of the tunnel" after the Sebi orders in co-location case and all legal options will be explored before deciding the future course of action.

A day after the market watchdog passed orders in the high profile co-location case, wherein the exchange has also been directed to disgorge profits worth over Rs 1,000 crore, Limaye also asserted that there would be no bearing on the functioning of the

"When you look at the orders, you see that there is no evidence of any unfair trade practice or fraudulent trade practice... We are not being charged of any unfair or fraudulent practices," he said in an interview.

On Tuesday, Sebi directed the country's largest exchange to disgorge profits worth over Rs 1,000 crore in the co-location case, wherein some entities allegedly got preferential access in high frequency trading.

The bourse has also been banned from launching any new as well as from accessing the securities market directly or indirectly for six months.

Strict action has also been taken against some present and past executives of the exchange and some stock brokers.

Limaye, who is the managing director and chief executive officer, noted that there is nothing pending from the regulatory perspective in the co-location matter.

"It is certainly positive because till this point of time, we had no closure of the matter in terms of an order or some decision from the regulator... There is at least light at the end of the tunnel. From Sebi's perspective, this is the end of the matter," he said.

Alleged lapses in high-frequency trading offered through NSE's co-location facility came under the scanner of the watchdog after a complaint was filed in 2015.

Limaye said that currently, all legal options are available and the exchange has to get legal advice in a holistic way in terms of what is in the best interest of the institution as well as the pros and cons of different options.

"We have to get legal advice on the employees situation and on the IPO situation, depending on what course of action we might take," he added.

When asked about the current system, Limaye said it was "very robust" and various things have been put in place from a risk management perspective. "Significant revamp and clean up that has already happened," he added.

With the regulator barring the bourse from launching any new for six months, the chief said that now some of the new product plans have to be put on hold.

"We had some plans for new contracts in commodities etc because that is a new segment for us. Some of those will have to be delayed for six months based on what our original plans were," Limaye said.

On whether the disgorgement would have a financial impact on the NSE, he said that Rs 1,100 crore was not a small amount for any company.

"We have been escrowing colo revenues for sometime now. From that perspective, cash is available since we are keeping it in a separate account," he added.

In a statement, the exchange said that normal trading would continue in all segments from Thursday and that Sebi's orders do not affect its functioning as a recognised stock exchange.

First Published: Wed, May 01 2019. 19:45 IST