Mumbai: Asia’s oldest stock exchange BSE Ltd on Tuesday said it will delist 194 companies which have been suspended from trading for the last 13 years.

BSE, formerly called Bombay Stock Exchange, said it had served final notices on companies in which trading has remained suspended for 13 years due to non-compliance with the listing agreement, urging them to delist their shares or get the suspension revoked.

Promoters of delisted firms must purchase shares from the public shareholders at a fair value determined by an independent valuer appointed by the exchange, BSE said.

Some of these companies are Coimbatore Lakshmi Investments, Dolphin Hotels, Eastern Mining & Allied, Hilton Rubbers, Nagarjuna Drugs and Nariman Point Chemical Industries.

The securities will cease to be listed and therefore will not be available for trading on the exchange platform. These will be moved to the dissemination board of the bourse for five years as directed by markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

“Being mindful of the difficulties faced by investors on account of suspension of trading in listed companies... and after considering the representation(s) of the companies and investors, the Delisting Committee of the Exchange has in the first tranche, decided to delist the securities of 194 listed companies that have remained suspended for more than 13 years," said the BSE notice.

Last week, NSE said it would delist 14 companies starting 1 September as these companies were in the process of closing their businesses.

Mint reported on 25 May that the capital market regulator intends to reduce the number of listed companies to curb the risk of price manipulation through such entities.

Sebi will also increase oversight of auditors and take action against them if they are found to have abetted market manipulation.

Both steps are intended to improve the governance of public markets and companies listed on them.

On 14 June, Mint reported that BSE was struggling to comply with a diktat by the market regulator to delist companies suspended from trading for more than seven years.

The exchange had sought guidance from Sebi after it found more than half of 509 notices and letters to suspended companies were not delivered, indicating the promoters or directors were not traceable.

As on 1 June, the BSE had 5,700 listed firms on its platform, out of which 1,021 companies had been suspended for seven years or more.

The number of listed companies on the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is lower at 1,900, with about 200 of these suspended due non-compliance with listing regulations.

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