Cut 'umbilical' MCX, Financial Technologies relationship: Reliance Capital

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: May 6 2014, 00:00am hrs
Financial TechnologiesReliance Capital said that the extracts of PWC report confirm bidders' concern over MCX and Financial Technologies. (PTI)
Raising fresh concerns over Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) "umbilical dependence" on Jignesh Shah- led Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), the bourse's main suitor Reliance Capital has asked regulator FMC to annul all agreements between MCX and its erstwhile promoter.

MCX, country's largest commodity bourse, was set up by Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL), but problems at National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) -- also promoted by the same group -- have eventually led to regulators ordering complete overhaul of board and governance structures at the exchange.

Jignesh Shah-FTIL

Commodities markets regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) late last year had ordered divestment of FTIL's 24 per cent stake (out of its total 26 per cent equity) in MCX and bids were subsequently invited for the same.

In its second letter to FMC in this regard, the highest bidder Reliance Capital Ltd has now asked the regulator to annul all agreements between MCX and FTIL without any penalties.

Reliance Capital, financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, has also said that all issues of related party contracts be resolved prior to final bids.

In a five-page letter to FMC, copies of which have been sent to FTIL, MCX and the Finance Ministry, Reliance Capital has also said that sweeping changes were required in governance, management and operational structure of MCX.

While FTIL is no more involved in running of the bourse, its technology solutions still provide a key base for MCX operations, as also for some other exchanges in the country.

Reliance Capital has also requested FMC to facilitate induction of new technology and support partners through global competitive tender, while engaging independent global third party consultants to advise on transition plan.

MCX is said to be in the process of renegotiating related party contracts with FTIL and other group companies.

The new letter, dated May 2, comes on the backdrop of MCX releasing extracts of a special audit report prepared by PwC about the exchange in the aftermath of NSEL crisis.

Reliance Capital said that the extracts of PWC report confirm bidders' concern and PWC has raised extremely serious issues and violation of Sebi and FMC guidelines.

Reliance Capital, which had earlier complained about "unreasonable and non-transparent manner in which FTIL and MCX were conducting the divestment process", has again asked FMC to ensure transparency and level playing for all bidders.

Reliance Capital has now asked FMC to direct MCX to place entire PWC report in public domain and allow bidders to conduct full due diligence of MCX accounts and operations.

FMC has also been requested to assume full control of the proposed divestment process.

Following recent exit of MCX CEO Manoj Vaish, Reliance Capital has asked FMC to take immediate steps for appointment of a new CEO.

"... FTIL and MCX are summarily brushing aside all concerns of potential bidders, like ourselves, and acting in a manner designed to completely frustrate FMC's binding order, and prevent the induction of a new anchor investor in a fair manner," Reliance Capital said.