Monday, 24 December 2018

Allow unlisted firms to list abroad

SEBI-appointed panel also suggests allowing overseas firms to list in India

A committee appointed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recommended allowing unlisted Indian companies to directly list their shares on overseas exchanges in at least 10 countries. It also suggested allowing unlisted companies from such countries to list their shares on Indian bourses.Image result for sebi

While this is a major shift from the current regulatory regime that does not allow unlisted Indian companies to have a direct overseas equity listing, it would require changes in regulations that are outside the purview of the capital market watchdog.

“Listing may be allowed only on specified stock exchanges in permissible jurisdictions,” the report stated, adding that such listing can benefit companies in the form of alternate source of capital, broader investor base, better valuation along with other strategic benefits.

While allowing overseas companies to list in India, the committee is of the view that Indian investors could benefit from this move in the form of enhanced diversification of portfolios and participation in the wealth created by global companies.

Permissible countries
The permissible jurisdictions have been identified as USA, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Korea, France, Germany, Canada and Switzerland.

“Companies incorporated in India can increase their global competitiveness by having access to capital at low cost from advanced economies on their well-developed stock exchanges under a suitable framework. Such a framework, however, should provide for measures to avoid illegal transactions such as round tripping of illegal funds,” the report said.

Incidentally, only those countries have been identified as permissible jurisdictions that have treaty obligations to share information and cooperate with Indian authorities in the event of any investigation.

While the committee has put forth its set of recommendations, such listing would only be possible after changes in two key laws — FEMA and Companies Act.

The committee has asked SEBI to request the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) to amend the laws that fall under their respective jurisdiction.

Currently, an unlisted Indian company can list on an overseas exchange only by way of depository receipts or debt securities like masala bonds, foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) and foreign currency exchangeable bonds (FCEBs).

On the other hand, overseas companies can list in India through the Indian Depository Receipts framework, which has proved to be a non-starter, with only one issuance in 2010 of Standard Chartered Plc.

The capital markets regulator has sought public feedback on the recommendations till December 24.

Sandip Ginodia , Director 

We deal in over 60 unlisted companies with 15 years of experience .
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