SEBI imposed ban on trading of indices of foreign bourses


Stock exchanges on Friday said they will immediately stop the trading of indices of Indian securities on foreign bourses as part of a joint effort to stymie migration of liquidity to overseas markets.

The decision of the three exchanges — BSE, NSE and Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) — came after Sebi asked them to suspend trading of their indices in international markets, officials in the know said.

The coordinated move from the bourses assumes significance at a time when Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) has launched trading in single-stock futures in 50 of India’s top companies that are part of the Nifty index — a development that has triggered concerns about liquidity moving out of the country.

“The existing licensing agreements for licensing indices/ prices of Indian securities for trading derivatives on foreign exchanges and/or trading platforms shall be terminated with immediate effect,” the bourses said in a joint statement.

The termination of pacts would be subject to notice periods required in respective licensing agreements.

It has been noticed that for various reasons the volumes in derivative trading based on Indian securities, including indices, have reached “large proportions in some of the foreign jurisdictions, resulting in migration of liquidity from India, which is not in the best interest of Indian markets–the statement said.

Issued hours after the markets closed for the day, it did not mention the SGX issue. According to the bourses, any other arrangement that is part of the licensing pacts would be grandfathered for a period of one month.

In apparent efforts to further ring-fence the domestic market from liquidity migration, the exchanges would also stop providing market data, including prices of securities traded on their platform, to any  foreign bourse for trading or settling any products including derivatives. Currently, Indian stock exchanges through a licensing arrangement provide their market data at various levels to index providers for creating Indices.

Such indices are licensed by the index providers to prospective licensees, including foreign stock and derivatives exchanges and other foreign trading platforms for enabling them to provide products for trading and settlement on such foreign exchanges. The curbs would not be applicable for indices trading in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat’s Gift City.

“End of day and final settlement prices of securities shall be displayed on the exchange website and forwarded to media organisations, two hours after close of the market,” the statement noted.

On February 5, SGX introduced single-stock futures of Nifty 50 companies despite reservations expressed by the NSE. Prior to the launch by the Singapore exchange, NSE chief Vikram Limaye had flagged such a move would shift liquidity out of the Indian markets.



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