Widened scope of ‘employee under the New SEBI ESOP Regulations

Background:

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had notified the SEBI (Share Based Employee Benefits and Sweat Equity) Regulations, 2021 (“New SEBI ESOP Regulations”), on August 13, 2021. The New SEBI ESOP Regulations govern all share-based employee benefit schemes dealing in securities, including employee stock options, employee share purchase, stock appreciation rights, general employee benefits and retirement benefits (“Share Based Benefit Schemes”). The New SEBI ESOP Regulations also include regulations on sweat equity shares.


Continue Reading Widened scope of ‘employee’ under the New SEBI ESOP Regulations

An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space

Introduction

In the previous part, we first discussed the relevance of ESG disclosures for stakeholders involved in business processes, and then reflected upon the existing regulatory space for such disclosures along with the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (“BRSR”) framework, recently introduced by Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”). Taking forward the discussion, this part will analyse the BRSR framework and suggest ways in which it could be further improved.


Continue Reading An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space – Part 2

An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space

Introduction

The 2021 conference of parties (CoP26) on climate change was recently held in Glasgow, with the global community negotiating ways to manage climate change and mitigate its impact while ensuring that no adverse effect is felt on employment, food security, and living standards of the masses. Addressing climate change is one the most urgent tasks before us, particularly for India, due to rising threats from drastic physical events, such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, rising temperatures, and other climate change related events. It has become necessary to take immediate and consequential steps towards climate change adaption and mitigation; otherwise, the global community is set to lose trillions of dollars and millions of jobs.


Continue Reading An Introduction of ESG Disclosures in Indian Regulatory Space – Part 1

SEBI amends FPI Regulations to permit registration of AIFs in IFSC with resident sponsors managers as FPIs

Previously, RBI had permitted Indian entities to make mandatory sponsor commitment to AIFs in IFSC under the ‘automatic route’

Introduction

Alternative Investment Funds (“AIFs”) set up in an International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) are required to register themselves as Foreign Portfolio Investors (“FPIs”), for being able to invest inter alia in securities listed on Indian stock exchanges or in specific listed or unlisted corporate debt securities of Indian companies. Since entities set up in IFSCs are equivalent to ‘non-residents’ for the purposes of Indian foreign exchange regulations, restrictions placed by Securities Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) and the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) on participation of Indian residents in FPIs are, by default, applicable to AIFs in IFSC. Considering that AIFs may be set up by managers/ sponsors who are resident Indian entities and that the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 (“AIF Regulations”), require managers/ sponsors of AIFs to make mandatory sponsor commitment[1] to the AIF, it is imperative that the restrictions on residents investing in FPIs do not conflict with the mandatory sponsor commitment requirements under AIF Regulations, as applicable to AIFs in IFSC.


Continue Reading SEBI amends FPI Regulations to permit registration of AIFs in IFSC with resident sponsors/ managers as FPIs

SEBI Prescribes New Registration Requirement

Marking a significant departure from the erstwhile position, SEBI has mandated that Cat I and II AIF managers should procure Portfolio Management license for facilitating Co-investments

Fund managers desirous of facilitating Co-investments for contributors, sponsors or themselves, in connection with their Category I or Category II AIFs (“Cat I and/or II AIFs”), shall be required to register themselves with SEBI as ‘Co-investment Portfolio Manager’ (as defined below) i.e. a new category of portfolio managers under SEBI (Portfolio Managers) Regulations, 2020 (“SEBI PM Regulations”), effective from December 9, 2021.


Continue Reading SEBI Prescribes New Registration Requirement for Cat I & II AIF Managers Facilitating Co-Investments

Major Impetus to IPO Rush

Despite the challenging times, the Indian capital markets are hitting all-time highs on a daily basis and have been flooded with capital. This has seen a rush of equity offerings over the last 12 months including record filings for draft documents over the last few months. In their continuous efforts to make India exchanges more competitive, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2021 (“ICDR Amendment”). Pursuant to the ICDR Amendment, SEBI has revisited some of the requirements relating to lock in of equity shares post-IPO (one of the oldest requirements of SEBI), as well as the concept of  promoter group and group companies under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2018, as amended (“ICDR Regulations”).


Continue Reading Major Impetus to IPO Rush

Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream

India, being one of the major consumers of international financial services, has been pushing the envelope on making itself the hub for such services. With this objective, the Government of India had operationalised India’s first (and currently the only) International Financial Services Centre (“IFSC”) at GIFT Multi Services Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”) in Gujarat in April 2015. In this regard and to further this objective, the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act was enacted in December 2019 to set up a unified regulator, viz the International Financial Services Centres Authority (“IFSCA”), which commenced operation in October 2020. The IFSCA has been vested with the roles and powers of four domestic regulators, namely the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”), the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (“IRDAI”), and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. IFSCA has been set up to develop and regulate financial institutions, financial services, and financial products within the IFSCs in India.


Continue Reading Role of IFSC in the Indian SPAC Dream: An Overview – Part 1

SEBI Regulatory Update

There have been significant changes to the regulatory regime governing alternative investment funds (“AIFs”)[1] in the past year and a half. In its Board Meeting dated August 06, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) approved a fresh set of amendments to the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012 (“AIF Regulations”), governing AIFs, intended to ease compliance requirements, provide greater investment flexibility and streamline regulatory processes. A regulatory circular giving effect to these proposed amendments is awaited.


Continue Reading SEBI Regulatory Update : Proposed Amendments to AIF Regulations

Rights Issue – Is the Board’s Discretion to Allot Unsubscribed Shares Absolute?

Introduction

Rights issue, as the term denotes, is the recognition of an inherent right of an equity shareholder against dilution of his shareholding in the company. It is a pre-emptive right of the equity shareholder to subscribe to his proportionate share in all further issuance of equity shares.


Continue Reading Rights Issue – Is the Board’s Discretion to Allot Unsubscribed Shares Absolute?

Corporate Defamation: A Perspective on Analyst Reports

In 2008, Bank Atlantic, a Florida based bank, sued a prominent Wall Street analyst over a report on potential bank failures titled “Who’s Next?” The Bank stated that the analyst had defamed the bank by suggesting that it might fail. Bank Atlantic had previously sued ABC over a news report in 1991. In 2009, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., sued an analyst for defamation over a report that Hertz claimed, suggests that the world’s largest car rental company could go bankrupt.


Continue Reading Corporate Defamation: A Perspective on Analyst Reports