Regulations
Inform investor on breaking shareholding norm, says SEBI

SEBI has asked stock exchanges to inform investors well in advance about any potential penal action against companies not complying with minimum public shareholding

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked stock exchanges to inform investors well in advance about any potential penal action against companies not complying with minimum public shareholding, the deadline for which expires next year, reports PTI.

 

At the same time, SEBI gave a respite to listed companies seeking to sell shares through follow-on public offers (FPOs), saying that the profitability criteria would not be applicable to them and even loss-making companies can launch FPOs.

 

The companies are required to have a three-year profit record for initial public offerings (IPOs), but there was a lack of clarity with regard to FPOs.

 

"It is clarified that listed companies coming out with FPOs need not meet the profitability criteria," SEBI said in a statement after its board meeting here. In its last board meeting in August, SEBI had reviewed the eligibility norms.

 

Regarding the minimum public shareholding norms, the market regulator asked the bourses to carefully monitor the adherence of the companies to the norms, which require a minimum public holding of 25% for private sector companies by June 2013 and 10% for PSUs by August 2013.

 

While SEBI has recently provided various options to the non-compliant companies to meet these deadlines, it has made it clear that there would no relaxation on the deadline front.

 

"Stock exchanges shall carefully monitor adherence and take steps to issue advisories to shareholders of non-compliant companies about potential penal actions, so that investors have adequate time to safeguard their interests," SEBI said in a statement after its board meeting here.

 

SEBI said it would "initiate a process with the market participants to elicit a concrete plan of action and resolve issues, if any" to ensure compliance with the minimum public shareholding related regulations.

 

The industry has been raising its concerns over the deadline set in late 2010, as the market conditions have been difficult in the recent past.

 

With a view to address the concerns of the industry, SEBI said, it has decided to clarify the computation of public shareholding in a listed company.

 

For the purpose of compliance with these norms, the public shareholding would be computed as "shares held by public" as a percentage of "total number of shares held by promoters, promoter group and public".

 

The equity capital issued outside India is neither included in the numerator nor in the denominator, SEBI said, referring to the companies that have issued securities like ADRs, GDRs or other instruments in overseas markets.

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