Foreign funds set to enter India commodities market
India plans to throw open its restricted commodities market to foreign funds and allow trading in commodity index futures and options to help lure institutional investors with a wider array of products for higher volume.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which will now oversee commodities in addition to stocks after bringing the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) under its fold, will bring about these changes “gradually in a few months,” chairman U.K. Sinha said at an event marking the merger of the two regulators in Mumbai on Monday.
“There’s no reason why options and index futures trading should not be allowed in commodity derivatives markets,” he said. “There’s no reason why banks and foreign portfolio investors that are not allowed today should not be allowed.”
India is seeking to boost trading in commodity futures as FMC data show total volume more than halved to Rs28.8 trillion ($435 billion) in the five months through August from Rs59 trillion in the same period in 2013. More products and participants will help expand the market beyond small brokers, said B.C. Khatua, a former chairman of FMC. Details