CCI penalises NSE for abusing dominant market position

As a penalty, NSE has been asked to pay 5% of its three-year average annual turnover and also ‘cease and desist’ of unfair trade practices in the currency derivative trading

New Delhi: In the long-running tussle between the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and its younger rival MCX-SX, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is believed to have penalised NSE for abusing its dominant market position, reports PTI.

As a penalty, NSE has been asked to pay 5% of its three-year average annual turnover and also ‘cease and desist’ of unfair trade practices in the currency derivative trading, sources said.

According to the order, NSE has to stop subsidising its currency derivatives operations and refrain from pursuing any anti-competitive practices.

While sources said that CCI passed the order on Thursday, an NSE official said they have not got any order as yet.

Along with the majority the CCI order on 25th May, the commission had issued a notice to the bourse before quantifying the penalty.

Last month’s order was passed with a majority vote of five members of the seven-member commission.

Two members—Anurag Goel and Geeta Gouri—had dissented with the majority order, where NSE was found guilty of abusing its market dominance and following unfair trade practices in the currency derivatives market.

However, CCI had already made its stand clear that the dissent note of the two members, which has been issued as per a court direction pursuant to a petition filed by NSE, would not affect its ruling, as a majority order is considered enforceable under the regulations.

NSE entered currency derivatives in August 2008, followed by MCX-SX in October 2008 and later by USE in September 2010.

The CCI order came after a year-long probe by CCI, which began after MCX-SX filed a complaint on 16 November 2009. The CCI sought a detailed probe into the matter by its director general (DG), which submitted its report in September 2010.

After the DG’s report found NSE to be guilty of anti-competition practices, the CCI conducted its further inquiry with various parties and issued a show-cause notice to NSE on April 29 this year and later its majority order on 25th May.

The matter had also reached Delhi High Court after the NSE approached the court with a plea that it could reply to the notice only after reviewing the complete order.

The court, on 31st May, asked CCI to provide NSE by 3rd June its complete order, including views of members dissenting with the majority ruling.

NSE has an option to challenge CCI’s order at the Competition Appellate Tribunal.

As per the court direction, NSE would now have to reply by 10th June to the CCI’s penalty notice, after which the competition watchdog will decide on the penal actions to be taken against the bourse.

During the court hearing on NSE’s petition, the MCX-SX counsel had alleged that attempts are being made to complicate the matter as the current CCI chairman was retiring on the coming 3rd June.

Incidentally, the name of Anurag Goel was doing the rounds as one of the candidates to succeed Dhanendra Kumar as CCI chairman.

“They are complicating the situation by delaying.

Chairman is retiring and then they will plead ‘forum non-judice’ (re-decide the issue from beginning)” MCX-SX counsel had said on NSE’s petition seeking dissent notes before replying to the CCI notice.

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SEBI directs Sahara to refund money raised via OFCDs with 15% interest

“The companies have kept their issues open for more than three years or two years, as the case may be, in contravention of the prescribed time limit of ten working days under the regulations,” the SEBI order said

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday asked two Sahara group entities to return money collected from millions of investors through an instrument named Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCD), citing violation of regulatory norms, reports PTI.

As per a SEBI order, Sahara Commodity Services Corporation (earlier known as Sahara India Real Estate Corporation) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHICL) will be required to refund the money raised from hybrid instrument OFCD to investors along with 15% interest.

The two companies and its promoter Subrata Roy Sahara, and the directors—Vandana Bhargava, Ravi Shankar Dubey and Ashok Roy Choudhary—jointly and severally, shall refund the money collected, the order said.

Besides, the regulator has also restrained the entities from accessing the securities market for raising funds, till the time payments are made to the satisfaction of the SEBI.

Although the total amount raised by the two companies is not known, Sahara Commodity has been raising money since 2008, while SHICL began fund collection in 2009. The companies have been collecting money through different schemes from investors which has been estimated at several millions.

“The companies have kept their issues open for more than three years or two years, as the case may be, in contravention of the prescribed time limit of ten working days under the regulations,” it said.

The two companies have failed to apply for and obtain listing permission from recognised stock exchanges, it said.

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COMMENTS

Vijay

5 years ago

Much hue and cry has been raised by SEBI with respect to issuance of OFCDs by two unlisted public companies of Sahara Group. The litigation is ensuing in the Lucknow bench of Hon’ble High Court as well as Hon'ble Supreme Court. The matter is sub-judice and it is not appropriate for SEBI to go public by putting its order dated 23/06/2011 on its website and issuing a press note, inspite of the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court that order of SEBI will not be given effect to. For a regulator where the matter is sub-judice, media trial is not warranted and not expected from SEBI as is being done in this case. It was expected of SEBI to simply place the order before the Hon’ble Supreme Court and maintain the sanctity of the order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme court.

SEBI has been vindictive and malicious towards the Sahara Group and this has been apparent from the chain of events, since last one and a half years. Such act is really not expected from such responsible regulator institution. Of course it is not SEBI it is by some wrong people of SEBI.

Investors are being ensured that there interest is absolutely protected by Sahara. Further the matter is still subjudice and there is no direction/order of the Hon’ble courts against Sahara.

Responsible regulator SEBI is meant for protecting the interest of the investors but in our case from November 2010 with baseless reasons they are continuously scaring the investors. The concerned person of SEBI should think on their basic responsibility.

jitendra

5 years ago

Source : Timesofindia.com
A Sahara India statement also said that Sebi has been vindictive and malicious towards the Sahara Group and this has been apparent from the chain of events, over the last one and a half years. "Over the last many years we have been facing a lot of oppressive, restrictive, unfair and unreasonable actions from various government authorities," it said. It is definitely the prime duty of the government to go deep into the matter and do justice to us, said the statement.

It said investors are being ensured that there interest is protected. It also emphasized that the matter is still subjudice and there is no direction/ order of the Hon'ble courts against Sahara. The Sahara release claimed that in last 32 years of its operation, the Group has never acted against the law or the sprit of the law or earned even a rupee illegally. The release also went to add that "unjustified acts of various regulators, departments are now forcing us (Sahara) to come out with every detail...all names...at an appropriate time."

Govt allows additional sugar exports of 5 lakh tonnes

While Planning Commission deputy chairman and EGoM member Montek Singh Ahluwalia is believed to have pushed for additional exports of up to 10 lakh tonnes, food minister KV Thomas insisted that exports of only five lakh tonnes may be permitted keeping in view of high demand in the coming festive season and high retail prices

New Delhi: Amid estimates of sugar output exceeding demand this year, the government on Thursday allowed exports of additional 5 lakh tonnes of sugar under the Open General Licence (OGL), reports PTI.

“The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has approved additional export of 5 lakh tonnes of sugar,” food minister KV Thomas told PTI after a meeting of the EGoM on food here.

Some members of the EGoM, including Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, are s believed to have pushed for additional exports of up to 10 lakh tonnes.

According to sources, Mr Thomas insisted that exports of only five lakh tonnes may be permitted keeping in view of high demand in the coming festive season and high retail prices.

They added that the food minister noted that interests of both farmers and consumers need to be protected as well.

Besides Mr Ahluwalia and Mr Thomas, home minister P Chidambaram and rural development minister Vilasrao Deshmukh were among those who were present in the meeting of the EGoM, which is headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar was not present as he is away in Paris to attend the Group of Twenty (G-20) meeting.

The sugar sector is fully controlled by the government which allows exports under OGL from time to time after taking into account the supply-demand situation.

According to government estimates, sugar output in India, the world’s second largest producer and biggest consumer, is projected at 24.2 million tonnes (mt) in the 2010-11 (October- September).The annual domestic demand stands at 22-22.5 mt.

In view of projected output, the industry has been pressing for additional sugar exports of 15 lakh tonnes.

At present, retail sugar prices are ruling in the range of Rs30-Rs32 per kg and in some parts are still ruling at Rs40 a kg.

Last week, MR Pawar had written to prime minister Manmohan Singh urging him to allow further export of sugar as India only had a month to cash in on high global prices of the sweetener.

There is a case for more export of sugar, as domestic production is high and global prices are ruling firm at a premium of Rs500-Rs600 per quintal vis-à-vis domestic sugar prices, he had said.

Mr Pawar had reasoned that additional export of sugar will reduce the burden on sugar mills of the high stocks and improve their cash flows to tide over the ensuring financial crisis and payment to farmers.

The food minister informed the EGoM that it would take an informed decision on removing stock holding limit on sugar in September as retail prices are not declining in the pace of ex-mill prices, sources added.

In April, the government had allowed 5,00,000 tonnes of sugar exports under OGL, which enables shipment without any restrictions.

In view of higher sugar output, the industry had been pressing for additional sugar export of 15 lakh tonnes.

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