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Reliance Money plans SME exchange

Pradeep Gooptu & Namrata Acharya in Kolkata | February 02, 2009 11:38 IST

Reliance Money, a Reliance Capital [Get Quote] company and a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is planning to float a stock exchange for small and medium enterprises, with 26 per cent stake, and is scouting for partners to start the venture in about a year's time.

The company is also mulling to enter the currency futures space through the exchange. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India had issued guidelines for SME exchange, and had set a minimum net worth criteria of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) for entity willing to start it.

"We are looking at starting SME exchange, and currency futures can be a part of it. We had discussions with Sebi in this regard. We will apply for starting the exchange to the regulator," said Sudip Bandyopadhyay, director and chief executive officer of Reliance Money.

To start with, the company will have 26 per cent stake in the exchange, which will come down to 15 per cent, in accordance with the guidelines, he added.

The company is also in discussions with Nigeria-based non-resident Indian business group, Chellaram, for starting a stock exchange in Nigeria. The company is also eying to partner government agencies to start the exchange.

"The biggest attraction for us in Nigeria is that it is is the largest country in Africa, sixth largest producer of oil and rich in minerals. The government there is also keen and open to set up an exchange, Chellarams are already our partners in the distribution business, so we will be happy to partner them for the exchange.

"We can start it with 100 per cent equity, but our idea is to get relevant government agencies as partner. Our stake in it could around 26 per cent," said Bandyopadhyay.

Relaince Money has been active in the exchange business for quite some time, as recently it had pick up 15 per cent stake in Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange.

This apart, it had 10 per cent stake in National Multi-Commodity Exchange, which would go up to 26 per cent, said Bandyopadhyay.

The company has also forayed into spot exchange business with the launch of new company, Reliance Spot Exchange Infrastructure Ltd, which has a paid-up capital of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million). The company is planning to start spot exchange for agri-commodities, as well like non agri ones like metals, including, steel, copper and zinc.

The spot exchange is likely to begin operations in three months, and has got approvals for state governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

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