Ashmore Buying Citi’s Stake in India’s MCX

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Citigroup’s (C.N) Mauritius arm is selling its 5 percent stake in Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) to Ashmore Group Plc for $40 million, the Mint newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the deal.

The deal values the Indian commodity exchange at about $800 million, less than the $1 billion value at which MCX sold stakes to private equity investors in 2007, the report said.

Ashmore Group, the British private equity fund with emerging markets focus, has approached India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board to purchase the 3.9 million shares from Citigroup Mauritius Strategic Holdings Ltd, the report said.

Citigroup is selling its stake in brokerage and asset management businesses worldwide as chief executive officer Vikram Pandit seeks to raise capital and cut losses.

A spokesperson for Ashmore Investment Advisors (India) Pvt Ltd declined comment, the report said.

A Citigroup India spokesman declined comment when contacted by Reuters.

“We do not comment on third party information processes or action and we also do not do selective disclosure nor comment on speculation or rumours and hence we would not like to comment,” a spokesman for MCX told Reuters. (Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Malini Menon)