Dubai exchange explores options as India stops licensing securities abroad

India-related contracts have been a major reason for growth in the DGCX’s business over recent months

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) said on Monday it was working with Indian counterparts to explore alternatives after India’s three main stock markets announced they would stop licensing their indexes and securities abroad.

India’s decision appears to threaten several products offered by the DGCX, which trades futures based on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex index; futures based on single Indian stocks; and Indian rupee and US dollar-based futures for an Indian index compiled using methodology from MSCI.

“DGCX is working very closely with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as well as India International Exchange (INX) to explore alternative offerings, which will be communicated in due course,” it said.

The BSE, the National Stock Exchange and the Metropolitan Stock Exchange said on Friday that they would terminate their foreign licensing agreements with immediate effect, subject to notice periods, because they wanted to prevent trading in Indian assets from migrating outside the country.

The DGCX said trade in its equity-related contracts was continuing for now, but did not elaborate on what arrangements might be made if notice periods expired.

The United Arab Emirates and the Gulf have large populations of Indian expatriates, and India-related contracts have been a major reason for growth in the DGCX’s business over recent months.

The exchange reported earlier that last month was its best January ever for trading volumes and value, with volume across its business surging 40 percent from a year earlier to 1.91 million lots valued at $47bn. The main drivers of the growth were the Indian rupee, other currency pairs, Indian single stock futures and Sensex futures, it said.

Last November, the DGCX said it was adding 44 blue-chip Indian companies to its range of single stock futures. Between July and October, it traded 851,108 of the contracts, up ten-fold from 2016, with a value of $5.4bn, it said.