ASBA mandatory for non-retail investors from 2nd May: SEBI

SEBI had introduced the ASBA facility for public offers first in September 2008, when retail investors were allowed to use it. The facility eliminates any delays related to refunds for the unallotted shares

Mumbai: All non-retail investors will have to use the Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) facility—where money is debited from investor’s account only after share allotment—from 2nd May to apply for share sale offers in the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said on Friday, reports PTI.

Under the ASBA facility, the application money of investors remains blocked in his bank account until the process of allotment of shares is completed.
“It has been decided that non-retail investors i.e. qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) and non-institutional investors, making application in public or rights issue shall mandatorily make use of the ASBA facility,” SEBI said.

SEBI had introduced the ASBA facility for public offers first in September 2008, when retail investors were allowed to use it. The facility eliminates any delays related to refunds for the unallotted shares. Initially, it was offered to retail investors only and was given to other investors in 2009.

“The circular shall be applicable for Red herring Prospectus/Letter of Offer filed with Registrar of Companies or stock exchanges on or after 2 May 2011,” SEBI added.

The market regulator, however, did not make it mandatory for retail investors to use the ASBA facility.

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AI strike enters 4th day, airline to operate just 39 flights

The AI management ordered the pilots to report for duty failing which it said the airline "is at liberty to take any action as deemed fit including termination of services"

New Delhi: Air India (AI) today further reduced its operations to 39 domestic flights out of its regular 320 as the strike by its pilots entered the fourth day inconveniencing passengers, reports PTI.

"We have curtailed more than 52% of our domestic flights and operating on only trunk routes that is too metro cities," an AI spokesperson said.

"Under the contingency plan, we have reduced the number of flights as we don't have any pilots," he said.

While 21 flights will be operated from the national capital, Air India's Mumbai operations have almost come to a standstill as the airline may operate just five flights between 9 and 11.30am, an AI spokeswoman said in Mumbai. The national carrier did not undertake any operations from Mumbai before 9am.

Sources sad the AI will be operating the Delhi-Patna-Varanasi flight AI 409 and Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi AI 805 on an aircraft which has been taken on wet lease to operate the two flights. Under a wet lease, an aircraft comes along with crew members.

AI has so far withdrawn or cancelled 120 domestic flights.

Yesterday, AI had operated just 12 flights from the financial capital. Normally, the state-owned carrier operates over 40 flights a day on the domestic sector from Mumbai using narrow-bodied aircraft.

Nearly 850 AI pilots are continuing their strike ignoring stern warning of sacking by the management and the Delhi High Court's decision to initiate contempt proceedings against them.

Striking Air India pilots yesterday said they were willing to go to jail and refused to call off their agitation.

The Delhi High Court yesterday initiated contempt of court proceedings against the pilots for their "utter defiance" of its order on Wednesday to call off the agitation calling it as "brazen and smacking of sheer arrogance".

A lockout of the airline and invoking of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) were also being mulled to crack down on the pilots.

The AI management ordered the pilots to report for duty failing which it said the airline "is at liberty to take any action as deemed fit including termination of services".

The management sacked two more pilots yesterday taking to nine the number of pilots terminated. Six pilots have been already suspended.

Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), which is spearheading the stir, is demanding a higher fixed component in the salary package, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged mismanagement which has led to losses of over Rs16,000 crore and removal of Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav holding him responsible for the "financial mess".

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