ArchiveJune 2011

Infrastructure Development Fund

The Ministry of Finance has issued a press release that paves the way for setting up  “Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs) in order to accelerate and enhance the flow of long term debt in infrastructure projects for funding the government’s ambitious programme of infrastructure development.” IDFs are envisaged to be suitable vehicles that enable raising debt to finance infrastructure projects...

UK Bribery Act: Impact on Indian Companies

The UK Bribery Act 2010 is scheduled to become effective July 1, 2011 following the issuance of detailed guidance in March. This is expected to have a significant impact on Indian companies having a demonstrable business presence in the UK. In this behalf, an article in the VC Circle by Saionton Basu and Tom Clark details the various steps to be taken by affected Indian companies to “review or...

Discussion Paper on FDI Equity Caps

Continuing with its practice of engaging in public consultation before announcing changes to the FDI policy, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has issued a discussion paper on “FDI Policy-Rationale and Relevance of Caps”. The discussion paper introduces the possibility of abolishing all sectoral caps for foreign equity shareholding below 49%. Before dealing with the...

Rule 10b-5 and the “Maker” of a statement: Janus Capital v. First Derivative

Last week, in a 5-4 verdict, the US Supreme Court once again narrowly interpreted Rule 10b-5, this time holding that only the “maker” of a false statement could incur 10b-5 liability: “maker” in this context being defined as “person or entity with ultimate authority over the statement.” The case, Janus Capital Group Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, reversed the Fourth Circuit’s holding...

SEBI’s Further Order in the Sahara Case

SEBI yesterday issued a detailed and well-reasoned order in the case involving the offering of optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) by two Sahara companies. It found that the Sahara companies had offered OFCDs to millions of investors in the garb of a ‘private offering” without complying with the requirements applicable to a public offering of securities. Although the order itself...

Preferential Allotment of Securities in Unlisted Companies

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has announced draft rules that will, when promulgated, substitute the Unlisted Public Companies (Preferential Allotment) Rules, 2003. This will make the process of issue of securities more stringent for unlisted public companies. The Indian Legal Space blog has a nice comparison of the existing rules and the proposed changes. Some of the key features of the...

SEBI Reasserts Views on Put and Call Options

In view of the provisions of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (SCRA) and notifications issued thereunder, the validity of put and call options on securities of public limited companies entered into outside the stock exchange has been in doubt. In the last year, however, SEBI has been making its stand clearer: such options are invalid. On two previous occasions involving the MCX...

Restraining the Breach of a Negative Covenant

It is common knowledge that an injunction is granted only if the applicant satisfies the court on the three-pronged test of prima facie case, irreparable injury and balance of convenience. While there is controversy over the scope of some of these elements, notably prima facie case, and over the relationship between these elements, there are also circumstances in which an applicant may be able to...

Restrictions on Redemption of IDRs

On the basis of prevalent regulations, Standard Chartered Bank issued Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) last year with the offer document stating that IDRs would be convertible into equity shares by way of redemption one year after the issue subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a case-by-case basis. However, one year after the IDR offering, SEBI has issued a new circular...

Public Financial Institutions under Section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956: MCA Circular

(This post is contributed by Vaibhav Modi)Section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956 (the “Act”) lays down what institutions shall be regarded as public financial institutions for the purposes of the Act. Section 4A(2) empowers the central government to specify other institutions as a public financial institution by a gazetted notification. This sub-section is 4A(2) has a proviso which lays down the...

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