NSE to levy charges for currency derivatives trading

The CCI had felt that NSE should levy a charge and we are abiding by that suggestion, an NSE official said, but asserted that the exchange would still challenge the CCI order

New Delhi: Within two months of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) holding it guilty of abusing its dominant market position with subsidised and unfair pricing, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday said it will start levying charges for currency derivatives trading from 22nd August, reports PTI.

However, NSE would still challenge the CCI order, which on 23 June 2010 imposed a Rs55.5 crore fine on the country's largest bourse for abusing its dominant market position and asked it to stop unfair pricing practices.

In its order passed pursuant to an inquiry after a complaint filed by rival exchange MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX), CCI said NSE's move towards subsidising its services was at the cost of rivals.

"This is a very positive development for the currency derivatives market and would encourage healthy competition. We welcome this move by NSE to implement the decision of CCI," Joseph Massey, MD and CEO, MCX-SX said.

MCX-SX has been saying that it was not being able to levy a charge despite suffering huge business losses, as NSE was not charging for the product.

Sources said that MCX-SX would soon decide on its transaction charges, while no immediate comments could be obtained from United Stock Exchange-the third player present in this market.

NSE said it had earlier waived the charges for the benefit of the market and the consumers, and all market players-including exchanges, members and consumers have benefited from the move.

While NSE would be challenging the CCI order, it decided to levy the charge out of respect for the commission. The CCI had felt that NSE should levy a charge and we are abiding by that suggestion, an NSE official said, but asserted that the exchange would still challenge the CCI order.

The NSE commenced currency derivatives trading on 29 August 2009, becoming the first bourse to offer this product. However, it has not levied any charge for this till now.

Trading in currency futures segment has seen a rapid growth ever since its launch and the daily average trading volume has crossed Rs18,000 crore, from a turnover of Rs291 crore in the first day of trading on 29 August 2009.

NSE said it has decided to levy the transaction charges "in deference to the order of the Competition Commission of India against NSE and without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the Exchange in the matter."

Besides transaction charges based on total turnover value, of up to Rs1.15 per lakh in currency futures and of up to Rs40 per lakh in options market, NSE has also asked its members to contribute for its Investor Protection Fund Trust.

NSE would levy an advance transaction charge of Rs50,000 per member per annum and would charge admission fee of Rs1 lakh for its existing members and Rs5 lakh for others.

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EGoM clears additional 5 lakh tonnes of sugar for exports

The decision to allow export was taken in view of higher output than domestic demand as this would help mills in making payments to sugarcane farmers. With Friday's decision, the government has allowed exports of 1.5 million tonnes of sugar in three equal tranches under the Open General Licence

New Delhi: Ahead of festive season, the government on Friday allowed additional five lakh tonnes of sugar exports and said the decision will not affect the retail prices of the sweetener, reports PTI.

The decision to allow export was taken by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, in view of higher output than domestic demand as this would help mills in making payments to sugarcane farmers.

"The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has approved export of 5,00,000 tonnes of sugar," a highly placed source said.

"Even after exports, there will be enough stocks to meet the festival demand and the retail prices will remain stable," he said. The retail sugar prices are stable since the last six months at Rs32-Rs33 per kg.

With Friday's decision, the government has allowed exports of 1.5 million tonnes of sugar in three equal tranches under the Open General Licence (OGL).

Sugar production of India is estimated at 24.2 million tonnes in the 2010-11 season against 18.8 million tonnes in the previous season. The annual demand is pegged at 21-21.5 million tonnes.

The food ministry estimates closing stock of sugar at 5.67 million tonnes in the 2010-11 season ending September.

"We expect another 1.7 million tonnes of sugar from the new season. So there will be sufficient supply," sources said.

Hailing the EGoM's decision, ISMA director general Abinash Verma told PTI: "The international prices offer a premium of Rs4-Rs5 per kg over a low domestic ex-mill price."

"The opportunity to export will not only help mills in clearing sugarcane arrears to farmers as well as enabling them to start the next season on time," he added.

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Bombay HC grants bail to Hassan Ali in money laundering scam

“There are no ingredients of proceeds of crime in the case made out by the ED against Hassan. He deserves to be released on bail,” justice AM Thipsay observed while granting bail to 53-year-old Mr Khan on a surety of Rs5 lakh

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday granted bail to Pune stud farm owner Hassan Ali Khan, arrested in March for alleged involvement in multi-crore money laundering scam, observing that there is nothing in Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) case to show that the money amassed by him are proceeds of crime.

“There are no ingredients of proceeds of crime in the case made out by the ED against Hassan. He deserves to be released on bail,” justice AM Thipsay observed while granting bail to 53-year-old Mr Khan on a surety of Rs5 lakh.

Mr Khan was arrested by the ED and booked under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The court, however, directed him to appear before ED everyday and stay either in Mumbai or Pune.

Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata, appearing for ED, requested the court to stay the bail order for a week to enable the agency to appeal against the judgement in the Supreme Court.

Justice Thipsay, however, turned down the plea saying, “There is no apprehension that he (Hassan) would abscond or tamper with evidence. Hence there is no necessity to stay the bail order.”

The court had earlier said that ED should find out if the money allegedly amassed by Mr Khan are proceeds of crime. “There cannot be a presumption on this,” the court had said.

Mr Khan’s lawyer IA Bagaria had argued that he had been falsely implicated in the case. He had contended that Mr Khan had no links with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and had no accounts in foreign banks.

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