MCX sells 9.5% stake to ICICI, Kotak, IL&FS

MCX sells 9.5% stake to ICICI, Kotak, IL&FS

Mumbai: Officials from Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), part owned by Fidelity International Ltd and Citigroup Inc., said the exchange sold a 9.55% stake to ICICI Venture, Kotak Group and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS).

ICICI Venture, a unit of India’s biggest lender, ICICI Bank Ltd, by market value, bought a 3.55% stake, MCX officials said. IL&FS acquired a 5% holding and Kotak 1%, the exchange said.

The transaction values MCX at as much as $1.1 billion (Rs4,334 crore), the exchange said, without disclosing the sale price. MCX is the world’s third biggest gold bourse and accounts for more than four-fifths of gold futures traded in the South Asian nation.


Land demarcation, survey for Posco site

Bhubaneswar: Unfazed by protests over the proposed plant site of Pohang Steel Co. (Posco) at Jagatsinghpur village near Paradip, the Orissa government has asked district authorities to begin land demarcation and conduct a socio-economic survey at the site from next week, officials said.

While the government has already asked district officials to begin preparatory work before going to the field, the actual date for starting the survey would be taken by the Jagatsinghpur collector.

“The survey work is likely to start from next week," said a senior district administration official, who did not want to be identified. The Orissa government had involved local leaders of different political parties to make sure that the people do not oppose the survey.


RBI asks UTISEL to hive off broking arm

Kolkata: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked UTI Securities Exchange Ltd (UTISEL) to hive off the commodity broking arm STCI Commodities Ltd within three months.

Sources close to the development told PTI that while RBI had cleared Standard Chartered Bank Mauritius Ltd’s proposal to acquire 49% stake in UTISEL, it had also asked the securities broking firm to separate the commodity platform. STCI Commodities is a 100% subsidiary of UTISEL, which, in turn, is a wholly-owned arm of Securities Trading Corp. of India (STCI).

Standard Chartered Mauritius inked an agreement with UTISEL in August to pick up 49% stake in the latter, subject to regulatory approvals. The RBI approval came few days back, sources said.


FM critical of Gujarat govt for heavy debt

Ahmedabad: The last day of campaign for the second and last phase of Gujarat Assembly elections on Friday, Union finance minister P. Chidambaram attacked and criticized the “development" plank of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

Chidambaram said Gujarat is one of the six most “debt-stressed" states in the country,

“In 2001-02, the debt of Gujarat was 5,301 crore," he said. “This has risen to 94,009 crore in the year 2007-08.

Sunil Raghu

Gautier, Ebony JV for home decor stores

New Delhi: French home furnishing retailer Gautier and domestic firm Ebony Retail Holdings Ltd on Friday announced a joint venture (JV) to set up exclusive home decor stores, with an initial investment of Rs120 crore in the next two years.

The Ebony-Gautier JV will set up around 20 home adornment stores,. The outlets, which would be between 20,000- and 40,000-sq.ft, will come up in north and west India and sell contemporary furniture, furnishing and home decor products.


RBI limits bank loans to mutual funds

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced bank loans to mutual funds by mandating that such amounts would be treated as the lenders’ direct investments in stock and bond markets.

Banks are required to limit investments in capital markets to less than 40% of their net worth. Funds may borrow from banks only to meet “temporary liquidity needs" and as per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) guidelines, RBI said on its website. Records show some banks had extended “large loans to various mutual funds and also issued irrevocable payment commitments to stock exchanges on behalf of mutual funds and foreign institutional investors," RBI said.