NSEL scam derailed commodity market in 2013

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Commodity futures market's dream run came to a halt in 2013 as a Rs 5,600 cr scam in Jignesh Shah-led spot exchange NSEL and imposition of transaction tax on non-farm items hampered the growth of business. Reuters Commodity futures market's dream run came to a halt in 2013 as a Rs 5,600 cr scam in Jignesh Shah-led spot exchange NSEL and imposition of transaction tax on non-farm items hampered the growth of business. Reuters
SummaryCommodity futures market's dream run came to a halt in 2013 as NSEL scam hampered the growth of business.

charge of being the `highest beneficiary¿ in the scam, Shah has challenged this order in the Bombay High Court, which will hear the matter early next year.

"Investors confidence was at an all-time low in 2013," said a analysts with a major brokerage firm while referring to the adverse impact of NSEL scam and imposition of CTT.

"Returns from the commodities market was lower as compared to the equity markets. Gold, silver and a few agri-commodities performed badly in the year," brokerage firm SMC Comtrade Chairman and Managing Director D K Aggarwal said.

Controversies were not limited to MCX and its group firm FTIL alone and two other bourses, the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) and National Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (NMCE) also had their share during the year.

Kailash Gupta, who pioneered the first electronic bourse NMCE in India in 2003, was arrested for alleged multi-crore fraud. He was charged with abusing his position to favour family -run companies. NCDEX was dragged into court by traders for alleged delivery of poor quality pepper.

Concerned over these issues, FMC has taken number of steps to boost the markets confidence and ensure that NSEL like scam does not get replicated in future exchanges.

Major reforms taken by FMC included mandatory registration of warehouses by bourses under the Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA), banning exchanges from offering portfolio management services (PMS) and tightening guidelines for appointment of Board members.

The only positive sign in the market was launch of sixth national commodity bourse Universal Commodity Exchange (UCX) in April but the bourse has received lukewarm response due to CTT and negative sentiment after NSEL fiasco.

The negative sentiments got reflected in the business with combined turnover of all commodity exchanges estimated to fall by 30 per cent to Rs 125 lakh crore in 2013 calendar year from nearly Rs 175 lakh crore last year. The turnover at all 21 bourses remained sluggish during the year.

The year 2013 would remain an unforgettable year and in fact a black spot in the history of Indian commodity markets due to the NSEL scam. However, the market players and brokerage firms are of the view that reforms being undertaken by FMC is expected to provide a firm ground for revival of the market in 2014.

Stating that the year was "challenging" for the industry, NCDEX CEO and Managing Director Samir Shah said, "I think

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