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SEBI to fast-track market reforms

Market regulator is also set to announce a new set of norms for index providers

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Mar 7 2016 11:42AM | Updated Date: Mar 7 2016 11:42AM

SEBI to fast-track market reforms

 Seeking to expedite its various reform measures to deepen the capital markets, Sebi is set to usher in easier capital raising norms for startups and remove ambiguities from its takeover regulations.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is also set to announce a new set of norms for index providers that would regulate changes in constituents of the key stock market indices, including Sensex and Nifty.

The regulator, whose board would discuss this on Saturday apart from a plethora of proposals regarding distribution of various cash benefits through depositories and a greater clarity on merger and acquisition norms for listed companies, has also lined up an extensive consultation process with various entities including stock exchanges, brokers and mutual funds.

Other proposals on the agenda include a favourable tax regime for alternative investment funds (AIF) and easier access to capital for startups and new avenues like crowdfunding, a senior official said.

Issues relating to algo trades and co-location services, as also new products and new investor classes in commodities market, are also on agenda.

In its meetings with various market entities, the regulator plans to push for faster listing of stock exchanges, greater disclosure of commissions paid to mutual funds distributors, as also the various steps announced by the regulator and the government for the benefit of the market and the investors.

These meetings would also discuss in detail various measures announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Union Budget for 2016-17.

Before the Sebi's board meeting on March 12, Jaitley would also address the board members as part of his customary post-Budget meetings with the regulators.

This would be the first board meeting of Sebi after the government last month extended by another year the tenure of Chairman U K Sinha, who assumed charge on February 18, 2011.

Sebi is also keen on steps to tackle cross jurisdictional market manipulation for which it plans to pitch for greater cooperation between regulators.

New measures to restrict market access of wilful defaulters and those with high levels of stressed corporate debt are also on the agenda, while greater disclosure needs may be emphasised in case of credit rating downgrades.

Among others, Sebi has lined up meetings with the top executives of stock and commodity exchanges, brokers, foreign portfolio investors, investment bankers and mutual funds.

With regard to commodities market, Sebi is set for a review of the present price polling mechanism to determine spot prices, while it may consider new regulations and financial obligations on the agencies participating in the price polling framework so as to ensure better accountability.

It also wants a closer watch on the physical markets to reduce asymmetry between the polled and the actual spot price.