Tlway Texco Sdn Bhd (TTSB) plans to set up a Malaysian-based Asian Cotton Exchange (ACE), an international electronic market for investors to trade cotton "SPOT" contracts.
The exchange would be established with the help of Uzbekistan, the world’s second biggest cotton exporter, and it could trade more than 1 billion Malaysia ringgits [about US$293 million] worth of cotton a year.
CEO K. Ramamurthi said TTSB is in discussions with the Uzbekistan Commodity Exchange and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Affairs of Uzbekistan on the parameters of collaboration.
"The return of investment from the ACE is expected to be more than 600%, targeting a profit before tax of 10 million Malaysia ringgits in the first year of operation, and a turnover reaching RM1 billion by the fifth year," Ramamurthi said.
Ramamurthi told Business Times in Kuala Lumpur that TTSB has formalised MOUs with two Uzbekistan companies into contracts. The contracts are for TTSB to expand its textile-making business in Uzbekistan and for it to secure rights to import or trade cotton fibre from Uzbekistan.
He said TTSB also plans to tie up with government-owned Dubai Multi-Commodity Centre, a one- stop Multi- Commodity Exchange centre, with electronic warehousing receipts and Islamic Banking.
This partnership would help it to cater to its customers in UK, France and China. Malaysia has extended trade lines to the National Bank of Uzbekistan via EXIM Bank Malaysia Bhd, amounting to US$20 million (RM68 million). Ramamurthi said apart from local bankers, TTSB has met with leading French bankers which has existing trade lines extended to Uzbekistan of approximately 100 million euros (RM467 million), to discuss the possibilities of forging synergies to complement the ACE. ACE will complement and enhance the traditional cotton fibre trading by improving cross-border transactions, increased risk mitigation for both ultimate buyers and sellers, and real time pricing.
"With the entry of Uzbekistan on the ACE, TTSB is banking on the potential marketing of 3.5 million tonnes of cotton fibre for the year-round shipments supplied to predominantly the Far East," he added.