Many Indian companies will now find it a little easier to raise money on the stock markets. On Tuesday, the regulator Sebi loosened some of the rules for selling shares. Companies will now be able to auction their shares more frequently on the markets. Also, investors buying these shares will not have to make upfront payments. Sebi’s moves come at a time when Indian markets are battered. And those poor conditions have prompted many promoters to hold back from diluting their stakes so they can comply with shareholding norms.
And in a separate move, Sebi has announced a new initiative to improve financial reporting by companies. It will set up a review committee that will look at annual audit reports.
And in other news, Coca Cola plans to uncork major new investments in its Indian beverages business. On Tuesday, global chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent announced the company would put in $5billion by 2020. He said this meant an extra $3 billion over what Coca Cola had committed earlier. At present, Coca Cola India stands at the seventh position in Coke’s global portfolio.
And finally, Pranab Mukherjee is no longer India’s finance minister. On Tuesday, the veteran politician stepped down from the post so he can become the UPA’s candidate in July’s presidential elections. Mukherjee’s critics blame him for the economic slowdown and the decline in the rupee. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to take over the finance ministry portfolio though a number of other names including Jairam Ramesh and .C. Rangarajan are also doing the rounds.