Market Rumours SEBI’s New Prescription and India Inc’s Dilemma SM

Context

With effect from October 1, 2023, India’s top 100 listed entities (based on market capitalisation) would have to mandatorily confirm, deny, or clarify market rumours to the stock exchanges, and this requirement extends to the top 250 listed entities with effect from April 1, 2024. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), by way of notifying amendments to the LODR Regulations on June 14, 2023 (“LODR Amendments”), has introduced this mandatory requirement under Regulation 30 read with Schedule III of the LODR Regulations (referred to below as the “Market Rumours Amendment”).Continue Reading Market Rumours: SEBI’s New Prescription and India Inc’s Dilemma

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has recently introduced significant changes to the governance framework for listed companies through an amendment to the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR Regulations”).

The amendments were signaled by various consultation papers issued by SEBI over the last 6-9 months, including consultation papers on ‘Review of disclosure requirements for material events or information under SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015’ and ‘Strengthening Corporate Governance at Listed Entities by Empowering Shareholders – Amendments to the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015’.Continue Reading SEBI Amendments to the LODR – An Overview of Key Changes

I. Background:

(i) SEBI notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Mutual Funds) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023 (“Amendment”), on June 27, 2023. The Amendment follows a Consultation Paper on Review of Regulatory Framework for Sponsors of a Mutual Fund, which the SEBI had released on January 13, 2023 (“Consultation Paper”).

(ii) The Amendment

Background

On June 15, 2023, Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had released— (i) Master Circular for Investment Advisers; and (ii) Master Circular for Research Analysts.

The Master Circulars serve as comprehensive compilations of all directions issued by SEBI pertaining to Investment Advisers [“IAs”] and Research Analysts [“RAs“]. SEBI’s Master Circulars for IAs and RAs aim to provide easy access to relevant guidelines and promote compliance among IAs and RAs.Continue Reading FIG Paper No. 22: Decoding SEBI’s Master Circular for Investment Advisers and Research Analysts

SEBI Adjudicates on Pledging of Securities held by Category I AIFs

Background

In a recent order[1] (“Order”), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) held that a category I alternative investment fund registered with it (“Fund”); its investment manager (“Manager”); and its trustee (“Trustee”), were in violation of certain SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 (“AIF Regulations”). Specifically, these violations were with respect to provisions associated with (i) the code of conduct applicable to the Fund, Manager and Trustee; and (ii) provisions related to leverage and borrowings applicable to the Fund.Continue Reading SEBI Adjudicates on Pledging of Securities held by Category I AIFs

SEBI’s MUTUAL FUND EXPENSE RATIO CONSULTATION PAPER

BACKGROUND

On May 18, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had placed a consultation paper related to the total expense ratio charged by Asset Management Companies [“AMC”] to unitholders of mutual funds. June 8, 2023 was set as the deadline for submission of public comments. The due date, however, was extended to June 8, 2023.

The proposal is aimed at curbing distributor practices such as unnecessary switching of schemes and pushing new fund offerings for higher commissions. SEBI in its consultation paper proposed to introduce performance fees for funds. It proposed two approaches, but also suggested testing the models under the Regulatory Sandbox.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 21 – Series 1): SEBI’s Mutual Fund Expense Ratio Consultation Paper: Impact Analysis

FVCI Regulations

Introduction

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has released a consultation paper[1] on May 18, 2023 suggesting changes to the regulatory framework for registration and eligibility of Foreign Venture Capital Investors (“FVCIs”). Public comments have been invited on the consultation paper.

SEBI’s proposals are broadly to align the conditions under the SEBI (Foreign Venture Capital Investor) Regulations, 2000 (“FVCI Regulations”) with certain conditions under the SEBI (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2019 (“FPI Regulations”), and with a view to ensure adequate due-diligence and regulate the inflow of foreign capital in India through the FVCI route.Continue Reading FVCI Regulations 2.0: SEBI Proposes to revise FVCI Registration and Eligibility Conditions

Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders

Context

Even after the ‘right to property’ was abolished as a fundamental right by the 44th Amendment to our Constitution[1], it has continued as a ‘constitutional right’ by virtue of Article 300-A, which provides that – “No person shall be deprived of his property save by authority of law”.Continue Reading Disenfranchising Majority Shareholders – Is it Constitutionally Valid?

Introduction

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) vide its circular dated February 05, 2020, had introduced certain disclosure standards by way of a private placement memorandum (“PPM”) template that all SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) were expected to adhere to. The PPM template inter-alia provided for disclosures under the term “Excuse and Exclusion” and “Direct Plan for investors and constituents of fees that may be charged by the AIFs”.Despite the PPM template, SEBI observed certain disclosure-related inconsistencies and lack of transparency. SEBI by way of circulars dated April 10, 2023, updated the regulatory framework by way of new guidelines to bring in consistency related to disclosures in the PPM.Continue Reading SEBI Codifies Norms for Excuse and Exclusion and Direct Plan for Investors

Financial Statement

Context

The cardinal principle of company law, as enshrined under Section 129(1) of the Companies Act, 2013 (“Companies Act”), is that the financial statements (“FS”) should give a ‘true and fair view’ of the state of affairs of the company, comply with the accounting standards notified under Section 133, and also be in the form provided for different classes of companies under Schedule III.Continue Reading Non-compliance with Accounting Standards – Will it amount to an FUTP Offence?