readers a very happy 2015!
was marked by a flurry of announcements from SEBI, some of which are briefly
discussed in this post.
“promoters” is quite significant in the Indian context as it is relevant for
various purposes. While the existing SEBI regulations define a “promoter”, the
circumstances are not entirely clear as to when a person would cease to be a
promoter. This question has arisen in recent circumstances when promoters have
sought to be re-classified as public shareholders in order to meet the minimum
public float norms. Now, SEBI has come up with a discussion
paper, which details the circumstances and conditions upon which promoters
may re-classify themselves as public shareholders.
the paper is to make the circumstances for transition as clear and objective as
possible. While this is desirable, it is likely that cases would arise where
all of the requirements may not be satisfied in a given case in a technical
sense. Whether SEBI would be able to exercise any discretion to dispense with
these requirements in specific cases is an open question.
debt securities by municipalities and other local authorities are quite common
in some jurisdictions, this mode of raising finance is less utilized in the
Indian context. Perhaps this can also be attributable to lack of a clear regime
thereon. SEBI has therefore issued another
discussion paper proposing a regulatory framework for the issuance of debt
securities by municipal authorities. While this is a welcome move, there could
be other areas of the law that might have to be addressed before this regime
can be successful. For example, clarity eludes the question of a bankruptcy
regime for municipal authorities in India. This could be an important
consideration for debt investors.
amendments to the SEBI (Foreign Venture Capital Investors) Regulations,
2000, which will now allow foreign venture capital investors (FVCIs) to invest
in core investment companies (CICs) in the infrastructure sector. This
amendment became necessary (and was based on recommendations received through a
consultation process) because CICs generally came within the scope of
non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in which FVCI investment is disallowed.
the process for registration of depository participants by altering the
erstwhile two-stage registration process to a single registration.