SEBI Recognises Stock Exchanges as Supervisory and Administrative Body for Investment Advisers and Research Analysts

The Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has released updated Master Circulars for Investment Advisers (“IAs”) and Research Analysts (“RAs”) on May 21, 2024 (“Master Circulars”).Continue Reading SEBI Recognises Stock Exchanges as Supervisory and Administrative Body for Investment Advisers and Research Analysts

New SEBI FPI Beneficial Owner Disclosure Norms

Introduction:

The Foreign Portfolio Investor (“FPI”) regime is a foreign investments’ entry route in India, whereby FPIs can invest in Indian securities, subject to compliance with India’s foreign exchange control laws and the regulatory framework issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). As part of the Know Your Customer (“KYC”) process for FPI registration, identification and verification of Beneficial Owner(s) (“BO”) is required to be undertaken as per Rule 9 of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of records) Rules, 2005 (“PMLR”),[1] which is a part of the Indian AML/ CFT legal framework.Continue Reading New SEBI FPI Beneficial Owner Disclosure Norms

FAQs on Regulatory Amendments to AIF Regulations (Ambiguous GAAR Style Obligations Prescribed for Managers and KMPs)

The Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has notified amendments to the SEBI Alternative Investment Funds Regulations, 2012 (“SEBI AIF Regulations”) on April 25, 2024, to:Continue Reading FAQs on Regulatory Amendments to AIF Regulations (Ambiguous GAAR Style Obligations Prescribed for Managers and KMPs)

Case-Specific Exemptions under the Takeover Regulations: Key Takeaways from SEBI’s Orders

Background

In terms of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2011 (“Takeover Regulations”), acquiring control and/or shares/voting rights of a listed company beyond the specified quantitative thresholds (i.e. initial acquisition of 25% or more of the voting rights; or subsequent acquisition by a person holding at least 25%, of more than the creeping acquisition limit of 5% voting rights in a financial year) can trigger an obligation to make an open offer to its shareholders (“Open Offer”). Continue Reading Case-Specific Exemptions under the Takeover Regulations: Key Takeaways from SEBI’s Orders

Substantial Issues in Defining “Substantially the Whole of the Undertaking”

Section 180(1)(a) of the Companies Act 2013 (“2013 Act”) requires a company to obtain prior approval by a special resolution to sell, lease or dispose of the whole or substantially the whole of the undertaking of the company or, when the company owns more than one undertaking, of the whole or substantially the whole of any of such  undertakings.Continue Reading Substantial Issues in Defining “Substantially the Whole of the Undertaking”

Permissibility of Pledges: Decoding SEBI’s View

The efficiency of the securities market depends on equal access to information and ensuring information symmetry for all stakeholders. Many Indian listed entities have significant promoter/ promoter group shareholding, which gives them the advantage of asymmetrical access to unpublished information. For free and fair trade in the financial market, a level-playing field between the promoter/ promoter group and retail shareholders is crucial. This is why there is prohibition on communication of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (“UPSI”) and insider trading.Continue Reading Permissibility of Pledges: Decoding SEBI’s View

Recommendations on Changes to SEBI ICDR Regulations for Ease of Doing Business – Missing the Point

On January 11, 2024, SEBI issued its consultation paper on interim recommendations of its expert committee to harmonise the SEBI ICDR and LODR regulations.  The public has been invited to share comments on this paper.Continue Reading Recommendations on Changes to SEBI ICDR Regulations for Ease of Doing Business – Missing the Point

Ever since the introduction of framework for prevention of insider trading (“PIT”), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), as the primary regulator of securities markets has consistently been sharpening its tools to effectively discharge its duty of ensuring market integrity, curbing malpractices and safeguarding interests of investors.Continue Reading Decoding SEBI’s Tech Arsenal for Insider Trading: Structured Digital Database (Part I)

Increasing the role and relevance of ‘Proxy Advisory Firms’ in corporate governance

Until very recently, the recommendations of proxy advisory firms did not impact companies much, as it did not have the power to influence or fail/ stop a resolution from being passed. However now, the recommendations of proxy advisory firms are becoming increasingly relevant given that many institutional investors are basing their positions while voting on resolutions on such advice. This is evidenced from the fact that a proxy advisory firms have recently managed to prevent a resolution for granting employee stock options to employees of a group entity of a very large Indian bank from being passed due to the absence of “any compelling reasons”.[1] In another interesting case, a proxy advisory firm came very close to preventing a resolution pertaining to an increase in the remuneration of a director from being passed on account of this increase being “skewed” and “guaranteed”.[2]Continue Reading Impact of Proxy Advisory Firms: Turning tides and failing resolutions