NYSE Euronext to buy 5% equity in MCX

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (UNI) Owner of the New York Stock Exchange and four European bourses NYSE Euronext today said it will buy a five per cent stake in the country's largest commodity bourse, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) for Rs 240 crore.

''The transaction, which requires regulatory approval, will probably be completed by June,'' the companies said in a joint statement.

Investing in commodity exchanges is the only way foreign funds can tap the surge in trading in the country as overseas funds are barred from trading commodity futures.

Trading in the Indian commodity exchanges is expected to reach Rs 50,000 crore mark by the end of the fiscal, as rule changes boost trading in sugar and soybean oil, according to the Forward Markets Commission, the market regulator.

The government had last month capped foreign ownership for a single investor in commodities exchanges at five percent, with a 49 percent overall limit.

MCX accounts for more than four-fifths of the value of commodities traded in the South Asian nation, and offers futures trading in 56 commodities.

Fidelity International already has a nine per cent stake in MCX, while Citigroup and Merrill Lynch each own five per cent.

Three Indian investors including a unit of ICICI Bank had bought 9.55 per cent of the exchange in December.

''MCX will produce new business opportunities for NYSE Euronext,'' NYSE Euronext Chief Executive Officer Duncan L Niederauer said, adding that the transaction underscores their long-standing commitment to India and is consistent with its strategic business goal of aligning NYSE Euronext with partners globally and diversifying the product portfolio.

Last year, the NYSE and Goldman Sachs Group Inc led a group of investors in buying 20 per cent of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd.

UNI SR SG BST1541

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