May 29, 2018 / 1:27 PM / 19 days ago

Singapore Exchange postpones launch of Indian derivatives products

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Singapore Exchange (SGX) (SGXL.SI) has postponed the launch of a set of India derivatives products after an Indian court on Tuesday referred a dispute around the proposed offerings to an arbitrator.

FILE PHOTO: An SGX sign is pictured at Singapore Stock Exchange July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

“We will reschedule the launch of our new India derivatives products, pending the outcome of the arbitration,” SGX said in a statement.

SGX has been locked in a dispute with India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) after the country’s three main bourses unexpectedly announced in February they would stop licensing their indexes to foreign bourses from August.

In response, SGX said it would launch successor products to its flagship Indian equity derivative products on June 4.

The NSE, however, sought an interim injunction against the launch, saying the proposed products infringed the intellectual property rights of India Index Services and Products (IISL), its unit that runs the Nifty index.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday referred the matter for arbitration to a senior retired judge, who it said would attempt to resolve the issue by June 16. Until then, the court barred SGX from launching the proposed products.

    “SGX will contest the interim injunction and reserves all rights in respect of damages caused by IISL’s action,” the SGX said.

    In the meanwhile, SGX said it will continue listing SGX Nifty contracts until August.

    The NSE said in a statement late on Tuesday that it was committed to protecting and preserving its proprietary rights and that investors should use licensed and legally permissible products to access Indian markets.

    Over the past two decades, SGX has become the most popular market for foreign investors to bet on Indian equity indexes, with Nifty 50 futures SINc1 tracking the NSE's main index .NSEI.

    But NSE, BSE Ltd (BSEL.NS) and Metropolitan Stock Exchange took steps to end licensing deals with foreign bourses to prevent the loss of trades to overseas rivals, after SGX moved to introduce trading in single-stock futures contracts.

    According to sources, the decision was endorsed by the Indian government, which is keen to draw investor interest to an international financial center being developed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

    Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Euan Rocha, David Holmes and Jane Merriman

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