In a bid to streamline the operations of international financial services centres (IFSC), the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday said that it has revised the eligibility and shareholding limit for stock exchanges desirous of operating in IFSCs.
In a circular, the regulator said that based on the internal discussions and consultations held with the stakeholders, it has been decided to amend clause 4 (1) of SEBI (IFSC) Guidelines, 2015.
Under the revised framework, any Indian recognised stock exchange or a bourse of foreign jurisdiction may form a subsidiary to provide the services of stock exchange in IFSC wherein at least 51 per cent of paid up equity share capital is held by such exchange and remaining share capital may be offered to any other person, whether Indian or of foreign jurisdiction.
Further, such person will not at any time, directly or indirectly, either individually or together with persons acting in concert, acquire or hold over 5 per cent in the exchange, subject to applicable law.
The SEBI circular also said stock exchanges, depositories, banking company, insurance company and commodity derivatives exchange of Indian or foreign jurisdiction have been allowed to acquire 15 per cent stake in such an exchange operating in an IFSC.
The amended clause originally said: "Any Indian recognised stock exchange or any stock exchange of a foreign jurisdiction may form a subsidiary to provide the services of stock exchange in IFSC where at least 51 per cent of paid up equity share capital is held by such exchange and remaining shares may be offered to any other recognised stock exchange, whether Indian or of foreign jurisdiction."
Commenting on the amendment, Sonam Chandwani, Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates said: "The amendments are strides in the right direction by limiting the ownership of companies to five per cent of the paid-up equity share capital in Indian bourses in IFSC, except those specifically mentioned in the circular."
"Such streamlining of IFSC operations are likely to ease the burden on all the stakeholders involved and keep the leash in the hands of the Indian stock exchanges," she said.
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