Norms on REITs, Infra Investment Trusts next month, says Sebi chief UK Sinha

Written by Press Trust of India | Chennai | Updated: Jul 25 2014, 06:09am hrs
Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will unveil detailed guidelines on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure Investment Trusts next month, said Sebi chairman UK Sinha on Thursday.

Sinha, who was in Chennai to address the members of Madras Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) at its 178th AGM, said Sebi will also pursue aligning corporate governance guidelines with that of the Companies Act to see that investors/shareholders are protected in a major way. He said he was happy to hear the Union Cabinet passing the crucial Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill on Thursday and hoped the same will be passed in the Parliament session.

Sebi will come out with detailed guidelines for both REITs and Infra Investment Trusts during the next month, which would certainly see a lot of activities on both real estate as well infrastructure development fronts in the country. The Board will also come out with ESOP guidelines which would enable ESOP trusts to buy shares in the secondary market but will not be allowed to sell the same, Sinha said.

With the norms to be in place, REITs can not only enable real estate investors to raise and monetise their revenue-generating assets through listing, but also ensure protection to those investors, particularly small retail ones, from any untoward incidents. The norms will help Infrastructure Investment Trusts to help providing suitable structure for financing/refinancing in ongoing and other new infrastructure projects in a big way. Both these norms would see a lot of activities on real estate as well infra front, said Sinha.

Sinha said the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill will empower the market regulator to not only crack down on ponzi schemes, but also those companies collecting unauthorised deposits in unscrupulous manner as well investment frauds.

It also gives Sebi sweeping powers like attachment of properties, launch of recovery proceedings, seeking call data records to investigate cases and ordering search and seizure against manipulators and fraudsters, he added.