MUMBAI (Reuters) - Investment bank Goldman Sachs is close to buying up to 10 percent in an Indian commodity exchange in probably its biggest deal after it decided to go alone in India, a source involved in the talks said on Thursday.

Goldman, which said in March it aimed to invest $1 billion in private equity over the next two years in India, is likely to buy the stake from one of the shareholders in National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), he said.

There will be no fresh issue of shares by the unlisted exchange, which offers trading in about 48 commodities including coffee, palm oil, gold and silver.

"The negotiations are in an advanced stage, I would not be surprised if a formal announcement of the deal comes out in the next 48 hours," the source said. "ICICI would be selling between 5-10 percent."

In January, Fidelity Funds-India Focus Funds bought a 9 percent stake in NCDEX's rival, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd., for 2.16 billion rupees ($47 million), valuing the bourse at about $518 million.

"Moreover, Goldman is going to be a strategic investor, and not a financial investor," the source said. "Goldman is in commodities, what Citibank is in banking."

Goldman ended a more than decade long partnership with India's Kotak Mahindra group in March, selling its 25 percent stake in both merchant banking and broking ventures to Kotak Mahindra Bank for $74 million.

Other big shareholders in NCDEX include, India's National Stock Exchange, state-run Punjab National Bank, unlisted National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and government-owned Life Insurance Corp. of India.

This is cache, read story here