Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday granted an extension on stay of Singapore Exchange Ltd’s (SGX) launch of Nifty-based products till Saturday, after the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) challenged the move.
“This an extension of the earlier stay granted on 21 May, which was till Wednesday."
SGX proposed the launch of its India-focussed products on 4 June.
NSE, during arguments on Wednesday, wanted SGX to publish the stay order on its website and make a statement to investors that the product launch has been challenged. The matter will be heard next on Saturday.
On 9 February, Indian exchanges decided to bar overseas bourses from trading in Nifty derivatives in an attempt to check migration of trades away from them. Two months later, on 11 April, SGX announced a new product which works just like the Nifty index, bypassing the Indian exchanges.
The new products are called India futures and India options, and SGX will use the closing Nifty price to settle its new contracts.
Subsequently on 21 May, NSE’s subsidiary India Index Services and Products, which provides indices and index-related services, sought an interim relief from the court to stop the launch of these products.
NSE has contended that SGX “is attempting to violate the existing licence agreement by the proposed launch of new derivatives contracts".
SGX counsel argued that the product is not based on the NSE’s index but on the value (settlement price).
“Till the time the arbitrator decides on the matter, SGX is willing to park the licensing fees in an account which would be about $3-4 million," said Shiraz Rustomjee, counsel for SGX.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, arguing for NSE, said they wanted the product launch to be stalled. “We have been married for 17 years and now once the license is cancelled, SGX is asking investors to go to Singapore when it is our product," said Singhvi.
Law firm Naik Naik and Co. is advising SGX and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is advising NSE.
“The question is whether it is an IP infringement or not. If it is public data, then it cannot be referred to as copyrighted work. But if live data feed is being used, then of course, it is infringement of IP rights. As far as foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) are concerned, it is a factor of how attractive India is an investment destination convenience of investing just increases the attractiveness but is not the sole factor," said .U.R. Bhatt, managing director of Dalton Capital.