Only a year into its equity operations, MCX-SX — a Financial Technologies (FTIL) group company — is seeing its cash volumes dry up. The average daily turnover for March stood at R20 crore, or 85% below its peak of R148 crore recorded in June 2013.
According to market players, ownership concerns over the exchange have kept investors away. “Any business in its initial stages needs owners taking charge, but that has been lacking since the NSEL crisis broke out. Apart from this, MCX-SX does not offer anything new than what existing bourses are already offering to equity investors,” said Deven Choksey, MD, KR Choksey Securities.
“The product offering needs differentiation. The exchange is going to struggle in the coming days,” Choksey added. The exchange has been at the centre of a series of controversies in the recent past.
The promoters of the exchange are under investigation after a R5,600-crore payment crisis surfaced in July last year at the National Spot Exchange (NSEL), in which FTIL holds a 99.99% stake.
On March 19, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said the Jignesh Shah-led FTIL is not “fit & proper” to own stakes in any stock exchange and directed the company to divest its entire stake in MCX-SX and four other entities. FTIL, along with its subsidiary MCX, hold 4.99% stake each in the form of equity shares in the exchange.
On March 13, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a preliminary enquiry (PE) against former Sebi chairman CB Bhave for giving approval to MCX-SX in 2008 to run its operations. A PE has also been launched against KM Abraham who was the whole-time member of Sebi then.
The NSEL crisis has also had an impact on MCX-SX’s currency derivative volumes. The average daily turnover in the currency derivative segment for March stood at R3,755.51 crore, down from R22,73.93 crore posted in June 2013.