RBI, Sebi for diversified ownership of exchanges

"A diversified ownership is very necessary in a market infrastructure company. Ultimately, exchanges are public utilities. (It) is a means of good governance," Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor, Shyamala Gopinath, said during the inauguration of the United Stock Exchange (USE) here.

Endorsing her views, market regulator Sebi Chief, C B Bhave, said, "I am happy that USE is coming with a diversified ownership...we need to see that they serve the purpose that they are supposed to serve." USE is a unique public-private partnership with 21 public sector banks, five top private banks, the BSE, trading companies like the state-owned trading entity MMTC, Jaypee Capital, gold importer Riddhi Siddhi and a leading garment exporter as stakeholders.

Bhave said Sebi has also formed a committee to look into exchange ownership limits and listing in April 2010. Exchanges are systemically important institutions and at the core of functioning of financial institutions, Gopinath said.

The statements assume significance as Financial Technologies' exchange for equity trading, the MCX-SX's desire of beginning operations is stuck for want of approval from Sebi which is insisting on full compliance of ownership norms in letter and spirit. MCX-SX has moved the Bombay High Court against the delay.

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