Investor Issues
Financial Technologies proposal for spot exchange traders

The settlement is proposed with the traders who lost their money while dealing on the exchange

 

The ongoing battle over the merger of Financial Technologies India Ltd and the now inoperational National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) took a new turn on Tuesday with the former's management proposing a settlement with traders who lost their money while dealing at the commodity bourse.
 
"We believe that a resolution or settlement path is better alternative for all including the brokers and trading clients of National Spot Exchange," a statement from Prashant Desai, chief executive and managing director of Financial Technologies said.
 
"We have proposed a solution that ensures that 94 percent trading clients receive between 50 and 100 percent of their claims. We sincerely hope all affected parties will opt for this path than the long legal litigation route, which is anyways being pursued by one and all," he said.
 
"We also hope that the government will also provide its guidance and assistance to help recover dues from defaulters to whom all money trails have been established," added Desai, who is among those opposed to the amalgamation proposal, floated by the government.
 
The settlement is proposed with the traders who lost their money while dealing on the exchange. Financial Technologies, which promotes the NSEL in the first place, has made the following proposal:
 
- Payment of 100 percent dues to claimants below Rs.10 lakh (7,053 in number) 
 
- Payment of 50 percent of dues to claimants between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.1 crore (4,901 in number) 
 
- Payment of 100 percent of the dues to state-run companies.
 
- Payment of 50 percent of dues to high net-worth trading clients (781 in number)
 
The government-mandated merger of National Spot Exchange and Financial Technologies, companies founded by Jignesh Shah, the prime accused in the Rs.5,600-crore commodity markets case, scaled into a major discord among the investors and the traders -- one in favour, the other opposed.
 
The investor forum formed by the exchange, among the aggrieved parties that is seeking government intervention in facilitating the merger, says the merger is the only option top address the woes of its 13,000-odd members, each one of whom it claims has been a genuine investor.
 
On the other hand, the board of Financial Technologies that is opposed to the merger feels the Ministry of Corporate is being unfair to the company's 63,000 shareholders and that this should be kept in abeyance till such time the courts do not take a decision on their pleas.
 
The connection between the two companies is thanks to the founder of the group, Jignesh Shah. Financial Technologies India is the flagship company of the group. And it, in turn, co-promoted the National Spot Exchange with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation.
 
The Financial Technologies board says investigating agencies have established the money trail to 22 defaulting members of National Spot Exchange and that it is imperative for them to honour their ‘pay-in’ obligations. 
 
"While eight defaulters account for Rs.4,823 crore of the pay-in, constituting 86 percent of the outstanding, Rs.513 crore worth decrees have been obtained against five defaulters from the Bombay High Court," it said.
 
The payment crisis at exchange came to light in July 2013, due to the non-payment of money or the non-delivery of purchased commodities to investors. Although these commodities were traded on the exchange, there was no physical existence of the items in warehouses.
 
The modus operandi was: Investors bought commodities through the exchange from sellers. For that, they were given what are called warehousing receipts -- an assurance that the stocks physically exist in the warehouses of the exchange. 
 
When the time of delivery came, some investors were compensated with monetary returns, rather than physical delivery of stocks. But some suspicion arose, it was found that the warehousing receipts were allegedly forged. This led to immediate suspension of trading.

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Facebook 'logs' into sprawling, garden-roofed office
The 2,800-strong Facebook workforce has another reason to press the 'like' button: The social networking site has moved some of them into a 430,000 sq ft sprawling complex with a nine-acre roof garden in California, the mere sight of which could leave anyone out of breath -- literally.
 
Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the new Facebook building, called MPK 20, houses sweeping murals and art installations.
 
The works of about 15 local artists, including famous sculpture-maker Evan Shively, already adorn MPK 20 and more are to follow, Wired.com reported.
 
The roof of the new Facebook building, about 70 feet up, offers a winding walk through nine acres of greenery.
 
This walkway sits above the marshlands of Menlo Park, California.
 
According to Gehry, the man who fashioned the sail-like silver walls of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the floating battleship that is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in northern Spain, "Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wanted a space that was unassuming, matter-of-fact and cost effective".
 
"He did not want it overly designed," Gehry said in a statement.
 
The interior is really just one giant space - a space designed to foster the free exchange of ideas.
 
"It reinforces our open and transparent culture," John Tenanes, Facebook's vice president of global real estate, was quoted as saying.
 
"It is a place where people can collaborate. You can pretty much see all the way down the building," Tenanes added.
 
Though it stands on the other side of an expressway, the new building is meant as an extension of the company's current headquarters.
 
A tunnel runs between the two - under the highway. One could traverse on foot, bicycle or tram from one side to the other.
 
"Our buildings are a kind of like an industrial canvas," Tenanes said.

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SBI to dilute stake in life insurance wing by 10 percent
Following passage of the law increasing the maximum limit of foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday said it is reducing its existing stake in SBI Life Insurance by a maximum of ten percent.
 
"The Executive Committee of the Central Board (ECCB) has on March 30, 2015 authorised divestment of SBI's stake in SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. by upto 10 percent," the bank said in a regulatory filing with the National Stock Exchange.
 
SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between SBI and French insurer BNP Cardif where SBI has a 74 percent stake with the 26 percent holding belonging to the foreign partner.
 
Last week, SBI, India's largest bank, said it would also be reducing its existing stake in the general insurance venture, SBI General Insurance from the present 76 percent to 51 percent. It is likely that stakes of the foreign partner for this venture, Insurance Australia Group would rise from 26 percent to 49 percent.
 
From April to December last year, SBI Life Insurance's net profit grew by 14 percent to Rs.615 crore while SBI General Insurance suffered a loss of Rs.63 crore for the same time period.
 
The life insurance wing has an authorised capital of Rs.2,000 crore and a paid-up capital of Rs.1,000 crore.

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