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Botswana

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Jignesh Shah: Anatomy of a Crumbling Titan

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Jignesh Shah, Chairman of FTIL. Photo: Norbert Schiller

There was a time when Jignesh Shah was a rising star in the commodities and futures industry. Today this isn’t the case.

Jignesh Shah, Chairman of FTIL. Photo: Norbert Schiller

He has lost control over his financial empire. The number of nominees on the MCX board is down to one and institutional shareholders have all but taken over the MCX-SX board. At one point, Jignesh Shah was an important player in Bahrain. As the Chairman of BFX and BFX Clearing and Depository Corporation (BCDC) he received the special attention of Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa in Feb 2011. Touted as the first exchange platform in West Asia, BFX offered equities, commodities, bonds, currencies, Islamic financial instruments and Sharia-compliant products. But three years later, the BFX website displays just three board of Directors. There is no mention of Jignesh Shah on the website.

FTIL had to sell off its 100% stake in Singapore Mercantile Exchange, launched with much fanfare three years ago, to ICE Singapore Holdings, owned by Atlanta-based ICE group, for $150 million USD. FTIL’s sudden exit from SMX and SMX Clearing Corporation was allegedly masterminded by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the financial regulator in Singapore. MAS reportedly has a way of telling exchange owners to do things their way or lose their licenses. FTIL Group’s entire ecosystem is in a state of flux, but nothing can be worse than Dubai Gold Commodity Exchange a 50:50 joint ventures between Dubai Multi Commodities Centre DMCC and DGCX. DGCX prospered with the support of Indian bullion and diamond merchants in the Emirates and became the first bourse to offer dollar-rupee forex trading. FTIL held two of the five nominated seats on the board —Shah (Vice-chairman), Joseph Massey (Director).

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