Regulations
SEBI allows listing of stock exchanges, depositories
SEBI cleared the decks for IPOs of stock exchanges and depository firms by providing clarity on the listing framework
 
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India has allowed listing of stock exchanges (SE) and depositories. SEBI Board, in its meeting, while allowing stock exchanges to list, said the SE will have to maintain 51% public shareholding while ownership of trading members, associates and agents in the entity do not exceed 49%.
 
"The Board took note of representations received for listing of stock exchanges and considered the proposal to facilitate the same by placing certain safeguards and procedures with respect to shareholding norms, fit and proper criteria, and other issues of conflict of interest; thereby ensuring compliance with the ownership and governance norms as provided in Securities Contracts (Regulation) (Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations) Regulations, 2012," SEBI said in a release issued after the Board meeting. 
 
Stock exchanges wishing to list would have to ensure that every shareholder meets the 'fit and proper' criteria and shareholders are required to make a declaration to this effect, SEBI said.
 
“Stock exchanges shall be classified as ‘infrastructure company’ under SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2009. In order to effectively implement the provisions of listing of its associates on listed stock exchanges, the definition of associates is being appropriately amended,” the market regulator said.
 
SEBI has also proposed new norms for issuance and listing of green bonds. The Board also relaxed norms for delisting of small companies. 
 
As per Companies Act, 2013, shareholders should get an exit option upon any change in original objectives of the public offer. Considering this provision, SEBI has asked listed companies to give exit options to dissenting shareholders upon any change in original public offer objectives. The market regulator said it will put in place a suitable regulatory framework for this.
 
Here the proposed measures by SEBI Board for listing of SEs…
 
i. Towards maintaining of 51% of shareholding of Public Category and ensuring that holding of trading members/ associates/ agents does not exceed 49%,  a mechanism be put in place providing for approval of the listed stock exchange as and when holding of trading members/associates/agents  reaches a limit of 45%.
 
ii. Towards ensuring compliance that every shareholder be Fit & Proper, each applicant shall be required to make declaration to this effect at the time of making application during IPO/OFS. SEBI will also issue necessary procedures to ensure compliance of the provisions post listing. 
 
iii. The shareholding threshold of 2%, 5% or 15% as the case may be, shall be monitored through Depository mechanism.  
 
iv. In order to effectively implement the provisions of listing of its associates on listed stock exchanges, the definition of associates is being appropriately amended.
 
v. Stock Exchanges shall be classified as infrastructure Company under SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2009.

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World's largest annual pilgrimage on in Iraq despite threat of IS attacks
 Millions of people across the globe are risking their lives this year to reach Karbala, in Iraq, to mark "Chehlum" - the 40th day after the death of Imam Hussain - even as threats from terror group Islamic State (IS) loom large.
 
 
Also known as Arbaeen, the Shia Muslim religious observance is being seen as a statement of defiance in the face of the IS militant group which has grown in strength from year to year.
 
The IS comprises largely of Sunni fighters who have killed a large number of Shia members and have often threatened to attack the annual gathering.
 
The Sunni-Shia split in Islam happened after the death of Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD, leading to a dispute over succession, although both the groups consider the Quran to be divine
 
The Arbaeen is the world's largest annual gathering and far exceeds the number of visitors to Mecca for the Haj -- which draws around two million devouts.
 
The 20 million mourners at last year's Arbaeen dwarfed other gatherings and was almost 60 percent of Iraq's entire population. And the numbers keep growing every year.
 
This year, the pilgrims must reach Karbala by December 2, a date which marks the end of 40 days' fasting following Ashura -- the ritual which marks the death of Hussain, Prophet Mohammad's grandson. 
 
Karbala marks the site where Hussain and his men were killed by the cohorts of Caliph Yazid in 680 AD.
 
People traditionally walk from Najaf to Karbala, a distance of some 80 km, and some even make the 684-km journey from the port of Basra on foot, which takes two weeks. The arduous pilgrimage passes through hostile territory with deserts which are baking hot during the day and freezing cold at night. 
 
The pilgrimage was banned under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein but was reintroduced in 2003 after his ouster.
 
The Arbaeen pilgrimage has been targeted by the IS and other terror groups in the past with Sunni militants attacking the pilgrimage with suicide bombers and even rockets, leaving scores of people dead.
 
Yet, despite the spectre of sectarian violence, millions converge on Karbala every year.
 
While Arbaeen is a distinctively Shia ritual, some Sunnis and followers of other religions, including Christianity, attend.
 
"I can see people from all faiths here. I have a lot of Indian companions here which makes my trek easier," Rafaqat Ali from Jammu & Kashmir told IANS on phone from Najaf, south of Baghdad.
 
Ali, who started on Sunday and expects to be in Karbala on December 2, said he had no fear of any threat. "I'm happy that I reached this holy place, which has been a cherished dream of my mother," he said.
 
"People, even 100 years old, are walking faster than youngsters... among the pilgrims are also the differently-abled and women -- firm in their resolve to reach the golden tomb of Hussain," said Riyaz Hussain of south Delhi, also enroute to Karbala from Najaf.
 
Even as the security conditions deteriorate, more and more people this year appeared to be motivated to go to Karbala defying the terror threat looming over the pilgrimage.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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