New Delhi: The government will release the revised consolidated foreign direct investment (FDI) policy paper, a ready reckoner on foreign investment related regulations for overseas investors, on 30th September, reports PTI.
"The next edition of Consolidated FDI Policy Circular — Circular 2 of 2010 — will be issued on 30 September, 2010, which will incorporate all the changes effected in FDI policy post issue of Circular 1 of (March) 2010," the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said today.
The government had decided to come out with consolidated FDI policy paper summarising all the regulations, including those of FEMA and RBI, for the benefit of foreign investors from 31st March this year and revise it every six months.
DIPP, the nodal agency on FDI policy in the industry ministry, has invited public comments on the first consolidated document till 31st August.
The revised document would contain the change in policy on FDI in tobacco sector, an official said. In May, the government had banned investment in cigarette and cigar manufacturing.
The consolidated document aims at helping foreign investors as it contains all current regulatory framework and subsumes all FDI policies announced prior to release of the paper. It also has regulations on FDI, contained in FEMA and RBI circulars.
FDI inflows in the country during the first quarter of the fiscal reduced to $5.80 billion from $7.01 billion in the corresponding period of 2009-10.
However, a recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) report said that India would emerge as the third largest recipient of FDI for the three-year period ending 2012.
The government is making sustained efforts to make the FDI policy regime more attractive and investor friendly, the official said.
The industry ministry has floated discussion papers for increasing the FDI ceiling in defence manufacturing from the current 26% and opening the multi-brand retail sector for foreign investments. Currently up to 51% FDI is allowed in single brand retail and 100% in wholesale business.
In one swoop, the capital market regulator has introduced two new systems for securities trading, which were the subject of much acrimony between rival exchanges BSE and NSE
Market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today introduced two game-changing initiatives in securities trading, which could alter the dynamics of Indian stock markets. It has decided to allow Smart Order Routing (SOR) and trading using wireless technology, two subjects that have been the bone of contention between rival stock exchanges Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) for a while now.
The SOR mechanism allows the brokers' trading engines to systematically choose the execution destination based on factors like price, costs, speed, likelihood of execution and settlement, size, nature or any other consideration relevant to the execution of the order. When an order has a reasonable chance of a fill at more than one location (when the instrument is dual-listed) there is an opportunity to search for a better price. SOR instantly performs that search for you, sending your order to the best place possible at that time. SOR uses a number of techniques to achieve best execution. For example, it stores real-time feedback on individual stocks at each venue, so that orders that are not getting filled can be onward routed instantly to a venue with a better chance of a fill.
This move will benefit the BSE immensely, which has been in a protracted battle with its larger rival over the matter of algorithmic trading. Until now, NSE's approval system for algorithms rejected any smart order routing that involved a transaction on BSE or on any other exchange. As such, if the software decided that BSE is where the best price is available, then that algorithm was flatly rejected by NSE's system. In doing so, BSE was short-changed out of huge potential volumes in the cash segment. The argument made by NSE was that it was merely trying to protect the sanctity of the market as it was not certain of the security system put in place by BSE. Its claim was that BSE had no time-stamping or audit trails in place, which could potentially create difficulties in trading algorithms.
In another victory for BSE, the market regulator has also allowed trading through wireless technology that will enable investors to place orders through their mobiles or wireless Internet devices, if they have an online trading account with their brokers. BSE has been rooting for this technology for some time. In December last year, the CEO of BSE, Madhu Kannan had told the audience during Moneylife's 'Big Ideas' essay contest event in Mumbai (see: http://www.moneylife.in/article/76/2877.html) about his desire to have mobile-based trading platforms in place, a facility that would greatly benefit lakhs of investors in the stock markets.
In allowing wireless trading facilities, SEBI has also asked brokers to ensure that investors are provided secure access, encryption and security of communication for Internet-based trading and securities trading using wireless technology. It has also asked that adequate measures should be taken for user identification, authentication and access control using means such as user-ID, passwords, smart cards, biometric devices or other reliable means, to prevent misuse of facility by unauthorised persons. The unique identification number as given in case of Internet-based trading will be made applicable for securities trading using wireless technology.
SEBI seems to have moved with surprising alacrity after facing a barrage of criticism about the shocking state of affairs in the stock markets. Minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena's recent startling disclosures in Parliament regarding investor participation in stock markets, particularly on the NSE, seems to have put SEBI on the back foot. Moneylife has written about Mr Meena's revelations (see here: http://www.moneylife.in/article/72/8312.html). SEBI may also be reeling under pressure after the Multi Commodity Exchange-Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) openly criticised SEBI, alleging favouritism and support for NSE, regarding the delay in granting approval for its stock market segment.