From Subrata Roy's Sahara Group to sundry SMS scams, 2013 turns into year of empowerment for Sebi

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To help it bring to book fraudsters and other market manipulators, Sebi was also conferred with greater powers. (AP) To help it bring to book fraudsters and other market manipulators, Sebi was also conferred with greater powers. (AP)
SummarySebi played its role as watchdog guarding investors' interests to the hilt in 2013.

of an interim relief.

"Our computerised grievance redressal system SCORES has also seen many improvements. Recently, we came out with an advisory on SCORES... Then, we have created our own call centre, where any complaint can be lodged at any time. This call centre is working in 14 languages," Sinha said.

"With these examples, I want to tell you that matters like corporate governance and investor grievance redressal is our focus," Sebi chief said.

"The number of investor awareness programmes that we have done this year is all-time high, in fact several times higher than the past records. We are conducting these programmes through our own people, through resource persons.

"I myself have gone to numerous places for such programmes. We are reaching out to smaller places. We have opened 16 offices in a span of one and half years, up from just 4 offices in the past. All this is being done with a message to the larger population that we want to reach as close as possible to the investors," he said.

To ensure minimum public shareholding in listed companies, Sebi cracked down on 105 firms, which failed to comply with the directive to attain at least 25 per cent public shareholding by the deadline of June 3, 2013.

Sebi passed an interim order against such companies that restrained them from raising funds, dividends and bonus share and barred them from transactions.

Regarding PSU companies, only one of 16 had failed to comply with the mandate of maintaining a minimum of 10 per cent public shareholding by August 9, this year.

Also, Sebi is considering a new set of insider trading norms and has sought public comments on it before putting in place final regulations in this regard.

As per the new norms, public servants and persons holding statutory positions may soon be prohibited from trading in listed securities of companies whose matters are being handled by them as it gives them access to non-public price sensitive information.

These measures are suggested by a panel chaired by N K Sodhi, Former Chief Justice of Kerala and Karnataka and a Former Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal.

During 2013, Sebi has taken wide-ranging measures to attract more foreign inflows into the Indian capital market to fund widening current account deficit.

Market regulator has merged FIIs (foreign institutional investors), sub-accounts and qualified foreign investors (QFIs) into a new category of investor class –Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI).

It also prescribed adoption of risk-based

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