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Commodity futures lures UK player

Mumbai, Sept. 30: The UK-based ED&F Man Commodities plans to enter India’s futures market soon.

ED&F is a privately owned company engaged in the sourcing, refining, warehousing, shipping and distribution of commodities.

The global firm is present in India for more than two years through ED&F Commodities India Pvt Ltd.

The subsidiary imports and trades commodities such as white sugar, molasses, industrial alcohol, cocoa, coffee and other deregulated items. It also exports products such as raw and white sugar and molasses.

The company has filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to start trading on a proprietary or principal basis in the commodity exchanges.

In its application, ED&F said it would not indulge in broking or any retail trade activity, but its subsidiary would apply for registration in the commodity exchanges.

The board has set several conditions while giving its tentative approval. The company was told that it should not carry out retail trading under any form. Trading should be done only through registered brokers.

The board also decided that applications such as those from ED&F should take the automatic route, provided these two conditions are met with.

Futures trading in India began five years ago. Experts, however, complain of a lack of investor interest even though several commodities have been added to the trading list.

Experts say there has been no participation from banks, foreign institutional investors, mutual funds and non-resident Indians.

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