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Sebi tightens insider trading norms, revamps delisting rules

PTI 20 Nov 2014, 10:18:06 AM IST

Mumbai: In wide-ranging reform push, Sebi today unveiled simpler delisting rules, tighter regulations to curb insider trading and imposed restrictions on willful defaulters on tapping the capital market.

With an aim to ensure better enforceability as well as putting in place a comprehensive set of norms for listed entities, Sebi has also come out with listing regulations, among other measures to further safeguard investors' interest.

Unveiling a slew of measures after its board meeting here, Sebi said that in case of "minor violations" entities would be given an opportunity to settle enforcement proceedings even before issuance of formal show cause notice.

Making the whole process less cumbersome, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to reduce the time taken for completing the delisting process by about half from minimum 137 days at present.

Delisting would be deemed successful only if at least 25 per cent of the public shareholders have participated in the reverse book building process.

The regulator has further strengthened the norms to deal with insider trading activities by providing definition for connected person, among others, while making sure that legitimate business transactions are not adversely impacted.

"The new regulations strengthen the legal and enforcement framework, align Indian regime with international practices, provide clarity with respect to the definitions and concepts, and facilitate legitimate business transactions," Sebi said about the changed insider trading norms.

Cracking the whip on wilful defaulters, the watchdog has decided to impose restrictions on them in terms of raising funds from the capital market.

Curbs would be put in place on companies, promoters, and directors that are categorised as a 'wilful defaulter' from accessing the capital market.

Currently, Sebi norms bar wilful defaulters from issuing convertible debt instruments. However, there is no restriction on such entities from raising funds from the capital market by way of public or rights issues, among others.