Alka Banerjee, Managing director, S&P Dow Jones Indices, and CEO of Asia Index (a joint venture company between S&P Dow Jones Indices and the BSE), spoke to Pravin Palande about her plans for the new company as well her views on the BSE indices. Asia Index was incorporated on September 16, 2013.
You had a tie-up with NSE before you started this JV with BSE. How did that happen?
For a very long time we had a sales and marketing tie-up with NSE-IISL. We were agents for commercialising their indices outside India. There was a limited scope to our partnership and we are a full service index provider. We felt that we could contribute far more to the index business by having a bigger role.
We tried working on our arrangement with IISL but that did not work out. That alliance expired in February this year.
But we wanted to be here for the long term. So we had a few meetings with BSE and formed a joint venture company with them. BSE has contributed in terms of the indices and we have used our technical expertise for not only commercialising existing indices but also to build new ones.
Is the Sensex being actively traded in other countries?
Not really. There was an ETF in Hong Kong and a listing in Dubai recently. But we believe that this will change. Right now we are looking at the BSE indices and trying to find out if there are any gaps in the way they are maintained or the manner in which they are designed. We plan to bring in global level practices before we take the indices to the international markets.
But ETFs based on the Sensex are not as popular as the Nifty?
It is not about the Sensex vs the Nifty. It is about the whole commercial package. Now we are in a position to take the Sensex to more of a leadership position and market it in the right way.