Home >market >stock-market-news >BSE seeks simpler norms for stock exchanges going public

New Delhi: Seeking simpler norms for listing of stock exchanges, top bourse BSE Ltd has suggested that the government exempt them from tougher regulations applicable to corporate entities going public.

As functions of stock exchanges are different from that of corporates, they should not be subjected to the regulations which apply to other entities when they apply for listing, according to BSE.

BSE, which itself is planning to list its securities on the capital markets, is believed to have made these submissions to finance ministry in its budget wish-list. Rival bourse NSE also has plans to get listed. Under current Sebi norms for “Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporations", a bourse can apply for listing of its securities on any recognised stock exchange, other than itself and its associated exchange.

Further, the stock exchanges are required to maintain at least 51% of their shareholding with the “public". In the case of an exchange, the term “public" includes any member or section other than trading member or clearing member or their associates and agents.

Listing of exchanges can lead to better corporate governances and increased foreign inflows in Indian capital markets, while providing an increased perception of safety in the eyes of the global players, according to BSE. Globally, various bourses like Nasdaq-OMX, Hong Kong Exchanges and Intercontinental Exchanges are listed either through their holding companies or directly. This has helped bring more transparency in their respective markets resulting in greater participation by investors.

In 2012, capital markets regulator Sebi had allowed the stock exchanges over three years old to list their own shares through an IPO. Under Sebi guidelines, stock exchanges should have minimum net-worth of 100 crore and the existing stock exchanges are given 3 years to achieve threshold capital base.

Moreover, to enhance Indian securities market’s competitiveness globally, BSE is understood to have suggested that government allow leading global bourses to hold up to 15% stake in domestic exchanges.

Currently, the government policy permits foreign bourses to own a maximum of 5% stake in Indian exchanges. Without the potential for a meaningful investment stake, foreign partners are reluctant to engage fully because there is inadequate skin in the game, according to BSE. While the current policy on ownership of stock exchanges does not preclude a strategic partnership between an Indian and a foreign exchange, the 5% cap does make such a partnership difficult, BSE suggested.

It wants the current policy on ownership of stock exchanges to be amended to allow for an investment stake of 15% for foreign exchanges of international repute in Indian exchanges which have had operations for over 20 years.

As per BSE, the proposed hike in foreign investment limit would help in increasing foreign direct investment in India as well bring in best technology and market practices from around the globe. Besides, presence of internationally acclaimed exchange groups in a substantive manner in the shareholding of Indian exchanges would also increase the visibility of Indian bourses in the international community, it suggested.

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