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Sebi board approves relaxing minimum public offer norms, repealing underwriters regulations

·3-min read

New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Continuing efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the securities market, Sebi on Wednesday approved a slew of proposals, including relaxing minimum public offer requirements and amending norms for portfolio managers.

Besides, the watchdog cleared repealing of Sebi (Underwriters) Regulations, 1993 and amendments to the Sebi (Merchant Bankers) Regulations, 1992 and the SEBI (Stock Brokers) Regulations, 1992.

The watchdog's board also gave its nod for merger of Sebi (Regulatory Fee on Stock Exchanges) Regulations, 2006 with Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2018, according to a release.

In a significant decision, the watchdog will relax minimum public offer requirements for large issuers.

Currently, issuers with post issue market capital of at least Rs 4,000 crore are required to offer to public a minimum of 10 per cent of its post issue market capital.

Also, such issuers are required to achieve a minimum public shareholding of at least 25 per cent within three years from the date of listing.

On Wednesday, the board approved changes in the relevant regulations and for issuers with post issue market capital of more than Rs 1,00,000 crore, the minimum public offer requirement will be reduced.

The same will be reduced from '10 per cent of post issue market capital (existing provision) to Rs 10,000 crores + 5 per cent of the incremental amount beyond Rs 1,00,000 crore'.

'These issuers shall be required to achieve at least 10 per cent public shareholding in two years and at least 25 per cent public shareholding within five years from the date of listing,' the release said.

During the meeting on Wednesday, the board approved amendments to regulations for portfolio managers, investment advisers and and research analysts.

The move will help to recognise 'the post graduate program in securities market of not less than one year offered by NISM as eligible qualification for portfolio managers, investment advisers and research analysts'.

In this regard, the board also cleared amendment to PMS (Portfolio Management Services) regulations with respect to NISM (National Institute of Securities Markets) certification requirements.

Among others, the board has decided to repeal Sebi (Underwriters) Regulations, 1993 as well as carry out amendments to the Sebi (Merchant Bankers) Regulations, 1992 and the Sebi (Stock Brokers) Regulations, 1992.

'This is to incorporate provisions related to net-worth, maintenance of records and other regulatory compliances for the underwriting activities.

'The respective regulations shall permit merchant bankers and stock brokers to carry out underwriting activities. Therefore, there is no need of having separate regulation for underwriting activities,' the release said.

Another proposal cleared was the merger of Sebi (Regulatory Fee on Stock Exchanges) Regulations, 2006 with Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2018.

The move is aimed at improving ease of doing business and providing a consolidated view to users of regulations.

The board meeting of Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India), held in the national capital, was addressed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

During the meeting, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi made a presentation on current market trends and challenges, measures taken in the wake of the pandemic, capital raising during this financial year and implementation roadmap for Sebi-related budget announcements, and corporate bond market development.

Sitharaman appreciated Sebi's measures during the year, especially those relating to dealing with the COVID-19 situation.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman proposed to consolidate the provisions of Sebi Act, Depositories Act, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act and Government Securities Act into a rationalised single securities markets code.

Among other announcements related to the capital markets, the minister had also proposed to introduce an investor charter as a right for all investors in all financial products. PTI RAM ABM ABM