Leading private sector lenders HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have emerged among entities interested in buying over 30 per cent stake in the proposed commodity exchange by financial services conglomerate Indiabulls and state-run trading firm MMTC.
While HDFC Bank is said to have evinced interest in picking up around 10 per cent strategic stake in the bourse, Yes Bank is believed to be looking for 5-10 per cent equity, sources said.
Besides, India Potash has also sought a stake in the exchange, sources added.
Earlier, foreign players Citigroup and Chicago Mercantile Exchange were believed to have interest in equity participation in the upcoming exchange but it could not be confirmed if they figure among potential partners as proposed by Indiabulls to commodity marker regulator FMC.
Officials at HDFC Bank and other parties could not be reached for their comments.
Yesterday, Indiabulls Financial Services CEO Gagan Banga had said that the company was in the process of reducing its stake to 40 per cent from 74 per cent and has identified various stakeholders as per existing guidelines.
Banga, however, did not reveal names of the stakeholders.
Forward Markets Commission officials also confirmed that proposal has been submitted, but did not divulge any names.
"As per Forward Markets Commission (FMC) guidelines, we need to have a government organisation, banks or financial institutions as stakeholders for the commodity bourse. We have identified these players," Banga had said.
The names will be announced in a few days as these stakeholders are in the process of getting approvals from the Reserve Bank and other organisations, he added.
Last month, FMC had given a month's time to Indiabulls Financial Services and state-run trading company MMTC, the promoters of the International Commodity Exchange, to rejig their shareholding pattern.
Indiabulls Financial Services presently holds a 74 per cent stake, while MMTC holds the rest 26 per cent.
As per the guidelines framed by the regulator on May 14 this year, an individual promoter should not have more than one per cent stake, while a single entity must not hold more than 40 per cent of equity in the exchange.
According to the guidelines, a shareholder having more than 40 per cent equity in a new national exchange should bring it down to the 40 per cent limit.
FMC had also said that institutions connected with financial and commodity markets may be allowed to hold up to 20 per cent, while foreign investors may be allowed to hold maximum five per cent equity in Indian exchanges.
The exchange, to be located near Gurgaon, would facilitate trading in commodities across all sectors.
The new exchange would offer trading facilities in the entire spectrum of commodities, including plantation crops, metals and precious metals like gold and silver.
Multi-Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) and National Multi-Commodity Exchange of India (NMCE) are the other three national level exchanges operating in the country.