Goldman Sachs Investment (Mauritius), the arm of the New York-based investment bank, and Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc have approached the commodity market regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC), to partially offload their holdings in NCDEX. Confirming the development, sources in FMC said they had received an application from Goldman and ICE for offloading two per cent and three per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, Shree Renuka Sugars has reportedly evinced interest in picking up the stake sold by the foreign investors. It has placed its bid for the stake but the board, which is meeting on Tuesday, will take the final decision. The company recently raised Rs 506 crore through issue of 3.96 crore shares at Rs 137 a share to qualified institutional investors.
In 2006, Goldman Sachs Investment and Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE) bought 7 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, stake in NCDEX from its original promoter, ICICI. Goldman Sachs paid $23.1 million and ICE paid $37 million.
The Government guidelines issued last year stipulate that foreign investors’ combined holding in commodity exchange can be no more than 49 per cent, with 26 per cent reserved for foreign direct investors and 23 per cent for foreign institutional investors. However, no single foreign investor can own more than 5 per cent in an exchange.
In response to various representations, the Government has set September 30 as the deadline for foreign investors to offload their excess stakes in exchanges. The current shareholders in NCDEX include NSE, LIC and UTI with 15 per cent stake each, while Crisil and Iffco hold 12 per cent each. Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank each have 8 per cent.crackcrack