Home / Money / Personal Finance /  Steps to take if you hold delisted shares in demat

The primary requisite to close a demat account is that the balance in the account should be nil. This means that you have to exit or transfer all the shares held in that account. Do check if you have shares of companies that are no longer listed in the market. The process to exit such shares is relatively easier in cases where companies delist from the stock exchanges voluntarily.

“If the company delists voluntarily, the account holder will get one year time to approach the RTA (Registered Transfer Agent) and tender the shares through an offline process. The company will have to honour the delisting price. If the company has been delisted for over a year, the shareholder can approach the company and enter into a private negotiation to sell the shares back to the promoters. This will be an off-market transaction and the price will be determined between the buyer and seller," said a spokesperson for ICICIdirect .

The account holder also has the option to re-materialise the shares by converting them from electronic to paper form. For this, they have to approach their DP (Depository Participant) with a re-materialisation request for each of the company they hold a share of. The ICICIdirect spokesperson said this is a long drawn process and can take about 4-6 weeks, depending on the company.

However, re-materialisation will not go through if the company doesn’t respond, which typically happens when the company is involuntarily delisted. In such cases, the customer can transfer the balance to a different demat account using a delivery instruction slip.

The same procedure is to be followed for listed shares with thin trading volumes, making it difficult for the investor to sell them. “The investor will have to keep trying online to sell them. Alternatively, they can gift those shares or transfer the balance to another demat account," said a Zerodha spokesperson.

There could also be instances where an investor holds shares of an entity which is not listed–in the form of ESOPs or by way of demerger from a listed entity. The investor can shed such shares only through off-market transactions. “Such investors can get in touch with specialized brokers who deal with unlisted shares," the ICICIdirect spokesperson said.

Once the balance is nil, the account holder can close the account online. “The customer has to visit DP office if they don’t have an Aadhaar-linked mobile to sign closure request, if it’s a joint demat account, or if account is a non-individual one," said the spokesperson for Zerodha.

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