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The National Stock Exchange of India has received final approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to launch Social Stock Exchange (SSE) as a separate segment of the NSE.

The exchange had earlier received in-principle approval from Sebi to launch the SSE platform and was awaiting the final nod.

The SSE segment will provide new avenue for social enterprises to finance social initiatives, provide them visibility and bring in increased transparency in fund mobilisation and utilisation by social enterprises. Any social enterprise, Non-Profit Organization (NPOs) or For-Profit Social Enterprises (FPEs), that establishes its primacy of social intent can get registered / listed on SSE segment, NSE said in a statement.

“For eligible NPOs, the first step for onboarding starts with the registration on the Social Stock Exchange segment. Post registration, NPOs can initiate the fund mobilisation process by issuance of instruments such as Zero Coupon Zero Principal (ZCZP) via a public issue or private placement. Currently the regulations have prescribed the minimum issue size as 1 crore and minimum application size for subscription at 2 lakhs for ZCZP issuance," the circular said.

“For FPE, the process of issue and listing of securities shall be same as applicable for issue and listing of securities under the extant processes of the Exchange (based on eligibility criteria for the Main board, SME Platform or innovators growth platform, as applicable in addition to the criteria provided to be eligible as Social Enterprises)," it added.

"To bring in awareness, we have been conducting various events and hand holding Social Enterprises currently at various stages of onboarding on the Exchange. I take this opportunity to request Social Enterprises to get in touch with our teams to understand the mechanism and benefits from registering & listing on the Social Stock Exchange segment," said NSE MD and CEO, Ashishkumar Chauhan. 

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Union Budget speech of 2019-20, had proposed creation of a SSE, under the regulatory ambit of Sebi for listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations working for the realization of a social welfare objective, so that they can raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund (MF).

In October last year, stock exchange BSE had got an in-principle nod from the capital market regulator SEBI for the SSE as a separate segment.

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