SEBI To Take A View On Rights Issue Soon, Examines ‘Promoter’ Concept
The headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Board of India in Mumbai. (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg)

SEBI To Take A View On Rights Issue Soon, Examines ‘Promoter’ Concept

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Securities and Exchange Board of India said it will soon take a view on a proposal to reduce the time taken for rights issues to around 31 days.

Besides, the market watchdog is in the process of taking steps to further strengthen the framework for alternative investment funds, SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi said at a FICCI event.

He further said SEBI is examining the concept of company 'promoters' and studying if we can shift to 'controlling shareholders'. The concept of 'promoters' has been prevalent in India for a long period of time. Globally, rather than promoters, the concept of 'controlling shareholders' is more prevalent.

Keeping in mind changing realities of the global and Indian markets, we are examining the relevance of the concept of ‘promoter’ in today’s times along with whether any changes to SEBI Regulations are warranted in this regard.
Ajay Tyagi, Chairman, SEBI

The regulator came out with a consultation paper on the mode of fund raising in May with regard to rights issue. In the paper, SEBI proposed to reduce the overall time taken for rights issue to around 31 days as well as make the application and allotment process more efficient.

SEBI, in the paper, proposed to reduce the overall time taken for rights issue to around 31 days as well as make the application and allotment process more efficient.

Currently, the rights issue process takes 55-58 days from the time a company decides to launch the issue till the listing. "SEBI had put out a consultative paper to reduce the timelines for rights issues. We will be soon taking a view on this subject," Tyagi said.

He said in recent times, rights issue has seen a pickup in the activity. In the rights issue mode, shares are issued to existing investors at a pre-determined price, normally at a discount, in proportion to their holdings.

The regulator believes that there is a need to reduce the timelines -- both in the pre-issue opening phase and after issue closure -- such that issuer and shareholders benefit from process efficiencies.

SEBI proposed to eliminate the requirement of giving newspaper advertisement and replacing it with intimation to the shareholders through the stock exchanges and e-mail.

Further, it sought to make the application and allotment process more efficient by using the banking and depository infrastructure as well as provide issuers with an efficient mechanism for raising funds.

The watchdog proposed a reduction in the notice period for companies to set a record date from 7 to 3 working days.

In respect of AIF, SEBI said it is in the "process of taking steps to further strengthen the framework for AIFs in areas such as standardisation of the private placement memorandum and benchmarking framework for performance disclosures".

Also read: SEBI Chief Tells Mutual Funds To Adhere To New Rules On Debt Investments

The regulator said AIF investments have seen a significant jump in the last few years. The investments made by AIFs stood at Rs 1.1 lakh crore in March 2019 compared to only around Rs 7,300 crore in March 2015.

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