GBOT will offer a basket of commodities and currency derivative products, including a global first for African currencies, on its platform regulated by Financial Services Commission of Mauritius.
Global Board Of Trade Ltd (GBOT), promoted by Financial Technologies Ltd, said it launched its first international multi-asset class exchange based out of Mauritius. The traditional sounding of the gong by Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius, marked the symbolic launch of GBOT. Trading on GBOT's state-of-the-art electronic platform will go Live on Monday 18th October, it said in a release. Over 300 global leaders from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, the United States and Mauritius were present to witness the launch.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ramgoolam said, "We welcome currency derivatives segment as part of GBOT, with the Mauritian Rupee (MUR)against the US Dollar (USD), as well as other currency pairs. This will offer possibility to hedge in fluctuations on exchange rates, particularly for both importers and exporters and other companies. This is a small step for GBOT but a big stride for the Mauritian economy".
Jignesh Shah, vice chairman, GBOT and chairman, Financial Technologies Group, said, "The launch of GBOT will be a landmark development in redefining Africa's commodity and currency derivatives landscape. GBOT is well poised to cater to the demand for a transparent and efficient exchange that will ensure price discovery, risk management and hedging in tune with world benchmarks. Our new exchange will be instrumental in unifying the fragmented African financial markets and in bringing the world to Africa and the African potential to the world and to its own people."
GBOT will offer commodity as well as currency derivatives products on its state-of-the-art electronic exchange platform with efficient clearing and settlement systems to ensure counterparty guarantee for all trades. As it commences trading on 18th October, GBOT will offer trading in Gold and Silver futures as well as USD/MUR, South African Rand (ZAR)/USD, Euro (EUR)/USD, British pound or pound sterling (GBP)/USD and Japanese Yen (JPY)/USD futures. For the first time worldwide, two African currency futures will be traded, GBOT said.
GBOT has a growing list of members and partners such as State Bank of India (Mauritius) Ltd., Bank One, Arab Global, One Financial, Afrasia Bank, Mauritius Commercial Bank, Banque des Mascareignes, Barclays Bank and Bramer Banking Corporation and global media corporations namely Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.
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Savita Narayan highlights a powerful initiative in Kotwalwadi, Maharashtra
The year: 1942. The place: Siddhagad, Maharashtra. Young patriots Bhai Kotwal and Hiraji Goma Patil were shot dead on 2nd January during the freedom struggle. To commemorate their martyrdom, Haribhau Bhadsavle donated 45 acres of land in 1947 to found the Kotwalwadi Trust. Today, the Trust works towards the objective of social and economic progress of adivasis and the poor through primary education, basic literacy, community health and employment.
Adivasis are encountering changes in several areas of their lives as deforestation has depleted income from traditional forestry. “They need self-respect and confidence. Self-reliance is important,” says Sandhya Deosthale, trustee and daughter of Haribhau Bhadsavle. To supplement its finances, the Trust runs Hathmag Kendra whose handloom products have found a ready market in urban areas.
Children of 15 adivasi villages around Neral go to the town for schooling. The Trust runs a hostel that can accommodate 40 of these economically-deprived students. The monthly expense of the hostel is around Rs25,000 and this covers the students food, clothing, educational equipment and medical needs. The Trust is looking for a sponsor for schoolbags and uniforms.
The Trust has also set up Vidhyarthi Sahayak Nidhi (VSN) to give financial help to adivasi children who want to pursue studies beyond class X and for vocational training programmes as laboratory assistants, tailors and such others. Many students, who have availed of loans from VSN, are now voluntarily paying back the money in instalments. The Bank of Maharashtra offers vocational training. The Trust takes its students to the Hadapsar centre of the Bank to provide them training in zardosi embroidery, beauty-care and motorcycle maintenance. There is also a three-month construction training programme for students over 18, conducted by Larsen & Toubro Charitable Trust, on Kotwalwadi farm. This would qualify them for more remunerative jobs.
Rice is cultivated on about five acres of the Trust land during the monsoon, but lack of a perennial source of water makes year-round cultivation impractical. Some seasonal vegetables are also grown. Nakshatra ban or the ‘Garden of Stars’ has plants that are associated with each birth star. These plants have medicinal value and each child is given the care of a plant. These initiatives give the children hands-on experience of agricultural practices and have taught them the value of farming. This five-year old garden has full-grown plants and trees and more facilities are being added for visitors.
Every year, about 100 undergraduate college students of the National Service Scheme (NSS) visit the centre for a week. It is an exercise that serves to motivate both students and teachers. It is also an excellent occasion to underline the issues of environment protection, water conservation and prevention of soil erosion. NSS activists have been involved in building bunds on the hillsides to prevent rainwater running off and the water harvested is being used for drinking and irrigation. The Trust runs a tailoring class for women in the surrounding villages.
One product is godhadi, a quilt—that is made from used saris. The shopping bags, the women make from cloth, are also popular. A health programme focused on women has also motivated young girls to take up paramedical training. The children’s dehydration prevention programme has been successful largely due to the education of mothers and care-givers.
Kotwalwadi is now looking forward to setting up its own knowledge centre on environment, in collaboration with professionals and technical experts. It is envisaged as a practical resource for NSS activists and local students. “I want children to realise how important it is to love their country and to work to see it prosper,” avers Ms Deosthale. In the 64th year of India’s freedom, as adivasi children explore new opportunities they may not have even dreamed of, the hopes of two Kotwalwadi freedom-fighters are being fulfilled.