FMC allows Financial Technologies to cross-examine NSEL's auditor Grant Thornton

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 16 2013, 03:01am hrs
FMCNSEL is in the thick of a Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis (Reuters)
Commodity market regulator FMC today said it has allowed FTIL and top officials of the group's bourse MCX to cross-examine auditor Grant Thornton before issuing the final order on whether they are 'fit' to run the listed exchange.

Forward Markets Commission had relied on the forensic audit of crisis-hit NSEL that was prepared by Grant Thornton while issuing show cause notices questioning the 'fit and proper' status of FTIL, its founder Jignesh Shah and others.

NSEL is in the thick of a Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis.

FMC had issued show cause notices last month. FTIL and its group companies' officials met the regulator last week to defend themselves. They sought cross-examination of Grant Thornton, which in its report found that NSEL had diverted margin money of clients and investors for its own business.

Asked as to when it would issue final order on the 'fit and proper status' issue, FMC Chairman Ramesh Abhishek said that the decision will be taken after cross-examining.

"We have already heard these persons and entities (whome the showcause notices were issued) and now we have also allowed them to cross-examine the Grant Thornton, the forensic auditor, on 25th of this month," he told reporters on the sidelines of Ficci event here.

"They would like to also cross examine the forensic auditor. We has also relied on forensic auditors report in our show cause notice," he said.

Abhishek said that NSEL will not cross-examine the Grant Thornton but persons and entity FTIL are going to do it so. "I don't think there is any problem there."

FMC had issued showcause notices questioning 'fit and proper' status to FTIL, its founder Jignesh Shah, MCX MD and CEO Shreekant Javalgekar and MCX Stock Exchange MD and CEO Joseph Massey -- to be part of commodity bourse MCX.

Asked about the status of the special audit of MCX, Abishek said that an auditor for the MCX will be appointed in a few days to examine trade on the listed commodity exchange by related parties especially IBMA.

"The Board of Directors and their audit committee are working on selecting an auditor for the special auditor of MCX. I think the appointment of the auditors will take place in the next few days," he said.

The special terms of reference for the audit have been decided and it will focus on detailed examination of trades on MCX by related parties and also expenditure items such as donations and warehousing charges, he added.

FMC has directed MCX to conduct a special audit after it ordered the sacking of MCX Managing Director and CEO Shreekant Javalgekar, who was also on the Board of NSEL-promoted Indian Bullion Markets Association (IBMA) that was found trading on the MCX.

On the forensic audit of NSEL e-series transactions as directed by Bombay High Court, FMC chief said it would take place by next week.

"We have short listed two Mumbai-based firms. We have sent them 'terms of reference' and asked them for their offer. Next week, definitely, we are going to appoint an auditor for the e-series," Abhishek added.