SEBI puts in place new framework to check non-compliance of listing rules

Sebi has put in place a stronger mechanism to check non-compliance of listing conditions, wherein exchanges will have powers to freeze promoter shareholding and even delist the shares of such defaulting companies.

The move is aimed at maintaining consistency and adopting a uniform approach in the matter of levy of fines for non-compliance with certain provisions of the listing regulations.

Under the new framework, exchanges would have the power to freeze the entire shareholding of the promoter and promoter group in non-compliant listed entity also holding in other securities, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular.

Besides, exchanges can levy fines on non-compliant company, move the stocks of such firms to restricted trading category and suspend trading in the shares of such entities.

Further, in case an entity fails to comply with the requirements or pay the applicable fine within six months from the date of suspension, the exchange will need to initiate the process of compulsory delisting.

The new rules would come into force with effect from compliance periods ending on or after September 30, 2018.

Grounds for suspension from listing include failure to comply with the board composition including appointment of women director and failure to constitute audit committee for two consecutive quarters; failure to submit information on the reconciliation of shares and capital audit report for two consecutive quarters.

According to new rules, Sebi has asked stock exchanges to impose penalties ranging from Rs 1,000-5,000 per day on violation of certain clauses of the listing agreement like non-submission or delay in submission of document related to the company’s financial and shareholding details, failure to appoint women director on the board.

Besides, the exchanges can levy a fine of Rs 10,000 per instance for delay in furnishing prior intimation about the company’s board meeting and delay in non-disclosure of record date or dividend declaration.

Such fines will continue to accrue till the time of rectification of the non-compliance to the satisfaction of the concerned recognized stock exchange or till the scrip of the listed entity is suspended from trading for non-compliance with the provisions of Listing Regulations.

Such accrual will be irrespective of any other disciplinary or enforcement action initiated by stock exchanges or Sebi.

Further, if a non-complaint entity is listed on more than one exchanges, the concerned bourses need to take uniform action in consultation with each other.

The board of directors need to be informed about the non-compliance and their comments need be made public so that investors can make informed decisions.

The exchanges would have to disclose on their websites the action taken against the listed entities for non-compliance of the listing conditions, including the details of respective including the details of respective requirement, amount of fine, period of suspension, freezing of shares, among others.

Every bourse is required to review the compliance status of the listed entities within 15 days from the date of receipt of information. Also, exchanges need to issue notices to the non-compliant listed entities to ensure compliance and pay fine within 15 days from the date of the notice.

If any non-compliant listed entity fails to pay the fine despite receipt of the notice, the exchange will initiate appropriate enforcement action including prosecution.

If the non-compliant listed entity complies with the Sebi’s requirement and pays applicable fine within three months from the date of suspension, the exchange will have to revoke the suspension of trading of its shares after seven days of such compliance and trading would be permitted only in ‘trade to trade’ basis for a week from revocation.

Source: Times of India

World Bank projects India’s FY19 GDP growth at 7.3%

The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update: India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31.

The World Bank today projected India’s GDP growth at 7.3 per cent for the next financial year and accelerate further to 7.5 per cent in 2019-20.

The World Bank’s biannual publication, India Development Update: India’s Growth Story, expects the economy to clock a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31.

The report, however, observed that a growth of over 8 per cent will require “continued reform and a widening of their scope” aimed at resolving issues related to credit and investment, and enhancing competitiveness of exports.

“The Indian economy is likely to recover from the impact of demonetisation and the GST, and growth should revert slowly to a level consistent with its proximate factors — that is, to about 7.5 per cent a year,” the report said.

 In November 2016, the government had scrapped high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in a bid to check black money, among others.

Later, India implemented its biggest indirect tax reform — Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Both of these initiatives had impacted the economic activities in the country in short run.

India’s economic growth had slipped to a three year low of 5.7 per cent in April-June quarter of the current fiscal, though it recovered in the subsequent quarters.

The economy is expected to grow at 6.6 per cent in the current fiscal ending March 31, as per the second advanced estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO), compared to 7.1 per cent in 2016-17. The earlier estimate was 6.5 per cent.

The Economic Survey tabled in Parliament has projected a growth rate of 7 to 7.5 per cent in the 2018-19 financial year.

The World Bank report further said that accelerating the growth rate will also require continued integration into global economy.

It pitches for making growth more inclusive and enhancing the effectiveness of the Indian public sector.

 

Source: MoneyControl.com

Indian Economy seems to be on way to recovering from Demonetisation Disruptions, says IMF

India’s economy has expanded strongly in recent years, said Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of IMF.

IMF has underscored the significance of reforms in other key sectors like education, health and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial systems.

 

The Indian economy now seems to be on its way to recovering from disruptions caused by demonetisation and roll-out of goods and services tax, the IMF said today. At the same time, the IMF has underscored the significance of reforms in other key sectors like education, health and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial systems.

India’s economy has expanded strongly in recent years, thanks to macroeconomic policies that emphasise stability and efforts to tackle supply-side bottlenecks and structural reforms. Disruptions from demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) did slow growth,” Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of IMF, told PTI in an interview.

“However, with the economy expanding by 7.2 per cent in the latest quarter, India has regained the title of the fastest-growing major economy, Zhang said.

Calling this development a “welcome change”, Zhang said the growth prospects remain positive.

“That said, the Indian economy would benefit from further reforms, such as enhancing health and education, encouraging private and public investment, and improving the efficiency of the banking and financial system. This would support durable and inclusive growth and enable India to move toward the income levels of wealthier countries, the top IMF official said ahead of his visit to India.

Given the dominance of cash in everyday transactions in the Indian economy it was inevitable that demonetization would temporarily affect economic activity, said Zhang who is travelling to India and Bhutan from March 12 until March 20.
The rollout of the GST last year was a landmark accomplishment that can be expected to enhance the efficiency of intra-Indian movement of goods and services, create a common national market, enhance tax buoyancy, and boost GDP growth and job creation, he said.

 

Yet the complexities and glitches in GST implementation also resulted in short-term disruptions. As I mentioned earlier, the economy now seems to be on its way to recovering from those disruptions, Zhang said in response to a question.

When asked about the latest Indian budget, which many critics say is protectionist in nature, Zhang said IMF research indicates that tariffs are broadly contractionary, reducing output, investment, and employment.

Trade tariffs may give limited relief to industries and workers that directly compete with affected imports. However, they can raise costs to consumers and other businesses that use the protected products. Tariffs also would reduce incentives for businesses to compete and improve efficiency, he cautioned.

Since the opening of the economy starting in the early-1990s, India has benefitted from trade liberalization, he observed.

Further supply-side reforms aimed at improving the business climate could enhance these benefits, the top IMF official asserted.

Noting that the IMF and India have close relations, and the two have always been good partners, Zhang said his visit is a reflection of this partnership, as is the newest regional capacity development center, SARTTAC, based in New Delhi.

The center partners with India and its South Asian neighbors to build strong institutions and implement policies that promote growth and poverty reduction in the region, he said.

My visit is an opportunity to exchange views with the Indian authorities, senior RBI officials, and representatives from the Indian business community, civil society, and others, he said.

Zhang will also have a presentation on financial technology that will take place on Monday at the National Stock Exchange of India.

We will go over the latest trends in financial technology and their effects on the global economy and India, said the top IMF official.

Source: NDTV

Private equity investors bring in deals worth $983 mn in January: Thornton

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52% of total investment volumes

Private equity (PE) investors announced deals worth $983 million in January, a 23 per cent rise in value terms over last year, driven by big ticket transactions, says a Grant Thornton report.

According to the assurance, tax and advisory firm, in January, there were 84 PE deals worth $983 million, against 81 such transactions worth $796 million in January 2017.

“Private equity deals recorded 4 per cent increase in deal volumes and 23 per cent increase in deal value in January 2018 as compared to January 2017,” said Pankaj Chopda Director at Grant Thornton India LLP.

January was dominated by investments in start-ups which contributed to 52 per cent of total investment volumes. On the other hand, energy & natural resources and real estate sectors witnessed big-ticket PE investment over $100 million together capturing 39 per cent of total PE deal values.

Altico Capital’s investment of $195 million across five realty projects in Hyderabad and Pune was the top PE deal in January.

Other major transactions include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s 6 per cent stake acquisition in ReNew Power Ventures for $144 million and Warburg Pincus and SAIF Partners’ $50 million investment in Rivigo Services.

Going forward, the PE deal outlook looks bullish especially for the start-up sector.

“Increasing customer penetration in online transactions and increasing solutions to simplify online transactions offered by start-ups will attract interest in start-ups engaged in retail, fintech, foodtech, on demand services and travel and logistics,” Chopda said.

“Government reforms such as RERA, focus on cleantech and on increasing digital financial transactions will drive the momentum in banking and financial, real estate and energy and natural resources.

India-specific strategies by global and already present PE firms and funds raised by new players will act as catalyst for PE transactions,” he added.

Source: Business Standard

 

Qatar economy resilient, continues to perform well, says Seetharaman

Qatar’s economy has proven its resilience and continues to perform well amid the blockade, improving local liquidity and gaining the confidence of international investors, said Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman.

“The blockade (on Qatar by a quartet of nations) came as a rude shock to us. But Qatar has withstood… it has proven to be a resilient model. Qatar’s economy was performing around 2.5% last year.

This year we are not expecting less than 3.1% growth,” Seetharaman told Gulf Times in an interview.

He said Qatar improved local liquidity by disinvestment last year.

“If you look at Qatar economy, liquidity was under stress to start with. The government improved local liquidity. Now international investors have reposed confidence in Qatar. The banking system as a whole is improving.

“The loan to deposit ratio in the Qatari banking system has significantly improved and now stands at 112%. This is an improvement of the level, immediately post blockade, which was at 116%.”

Qatar’s banking sector had witnessed credit expansion of around 9%, the deposit book has grown of more than 10.4%, he noted.

He said in the days that followed the blockade, there were challenges in terms of international investors slowing down on Qatar.

“They were concerned about the Qatar economic momentum. Even the rating agencies looked sceptical, which explains the negative outlook on the sovereign.”

But, Seetharaman said, Qatar’s ‘AA’ rating, which is still very high, has not been challenged although the international rating agencies have changed the sovereign outlook to negative. The high rating (A) of Qatar’s banks is also not challenged.

Currently, Qatar holds Aa- by Fitch, AA- by S&P and Aa3 by Moody’s.

“With strong exports, positive economic outlook, and natural gas markets unaffected by the economic blockade, the overall growth for Qatar remains sustainable,” Seetharaman noted.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019, saying sweeping US tax cuts were likely to boost investment in the world’s largest economy and help its main trading partners.

Seetharaman also said new global forecast has a 3.9% growth this year and next. The advanced economies are expected to grow by 2.3% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019.

The emerging and developing economies are expected to grow by 4.9% in 2018 and 5% in 2019.

India is projected to grow at 7.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 making it the fastest growing economy among emerging economies following last year’s slowdown due to demonetisation and the implementation of goods and services tax.

China, which is spearheading the ‘Belt and Road’ concept is expected to grow up to 6.6% this year, he added.

Source: Gulf Times

Investment in participatory notes hits 6-month high of Rs.1.5 lakh cr in December

According to SEBI data, the total value of P-note investments in Indian markets – equity, debt, and derivatives – increased to ₹1,52,243 crore at December-end from ₹1,28,639 crore at the end of November.

Investments in domestic capital markets through participatory notes (P-notes) surged to a six-month high of over ₹1.5 lakh crore at December-end despite stringent norms put in place by regulator SEBI to check their misuse.

P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who wish to be part of Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly. They, however, need to go through a proper due diligence process.

According to SEBI data, the total value of P-note investments in Indian markets – equity, debt, and derivatives – increased to ₹1,52,243 crore at December-end from ₹1,28,639 crore at the end of November.

This is the highest level since June when the cumulative value of such investments stood at ₹1.65 lakh crore.

Of the total investments in November, P-note holdings in equities were at ₹1.2 lakh crore and the remaining in debt and derivatives markets.

Besides, the quantum of FPI investments via P-notes surged to 4.6% during the period under review from 4% in the preceding month.

Prior to the recent surge, P-note investments were on a decline since June and hit an over eight-year low in September. However, these investments slightly rose in October but fell in November.

These declines could be attributed to several measures taken by markets regulator Sebi to stop the misuse of the controversy-ridden participatory notes.

In July, SEBI notified stricter P-notes norms stipulating a fee of $1,000 that would be levied on each instrument to check any misuse for channelising black money.

Also, SEBI prohibited FPIs from issuing such notes where the underlying asset is a derivative, except those which are used for hedging purposes.

The move was a follow-through of the SEBI board’s approval of a relevant proposal in June. These measures were an outcome of a slew of other steps taken by the regulator in the recent past.

In April, SEBI had barred resident Indians, NRIs and entities owned by them from making the investment through P- notes.

The decision was part of efforts to strengthen the regulatory framework for P-notes, which have been long seen as being possibly misused for routing black money from abroad.

Foreign investors pump $3 billion into capital markets, forex at record high in January

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have invested a phenomenal $3 billion (close to Rs 18,000 crore) in India’s capital markets this month on expectations of high yields as corporate earnings are expected to pick up with the economy gathering momentum after the slowdown due to the chaotic implementation of GST.

 

The sharp increase in inflows comes after an outflow of over Rs 3,500 crore by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from the capital markets in December, data compiled by depositories shows. According to market analysts money pumped in by FPIs has played a key role in fuelling the bull run in the stock markets that saw both the Sensex and Nifty on a record breaking spree in recent weeks.

 

FPIs infused a net amount to the tune of Rs 11,759 crore in stocks and Rs 6,127 crore in debt during January 1-25 — translating into net inflows of Rs 17,866 crore. For the entire 2017, FPIs invested a collective amount of Rs 2 lakh crore in the country’s equity and debt markets.

 

The inflow in the current month can be attributed to anticipation of earnings recovery and attractive yields which is expected to further strengthen inflow from foreign investors in the current financial year, said Dinesh Rohira, CEO of 5nance, an online platform providing financial planning services.

 

However, Quantum MF Fund Manager-Fixed Income Pankaj Pathak believes that FPIs may not be able to repeat this showing in 2018 as withdrawal of liquidity and rate hikes in developed economies pick up. This would provide them with alternative avenues of investment.

 

The FPI investments have also helped to bolster the country’s foreign exchange reserves which touched an all-time high of USD 414.784 billion in the week to January 19, Reserve Bank data showed. The RBI data showed that the forex reserves rose by USD 959.1 million to touch a record high during the reporting week. In the previous week, the reserves had touched USD 413.825 billion after it rose by USD 2.7 billion.

 

The reserves had crossed the USD 400-billion mark for the first time in the week to September 8, 2017 but have since been fluctuating. But for the past four weeks the figure has shown a continuous rise. Higher foreign exchange reserves lead to a stronger rupee which in turn reduces the cost of imports as fewer rupees have to be paid to buy the same amount of dollars to pay for items such as crude oil.

 

A higher foreign exchange kitty also provides a comfortable cushion to finance imports especially at a time when crude prices are shooting up in the international market and the country’s trade deficit has been growing. However, while FPI inflows add to the forex reserves they are considered “hot money” as they can leave Indian shores at short notice and this could send the rupee into a tailspin.

 

A senior finance ministry official said that foreign direct investment (FDI) is a more stable source of funding for the economy and since it also creates jobs and incomes the government is keen to see an increase in such investments. The Prime Minister’s trip to Davos was aimed at achieving this goal, he pointed out. He said that the government has been working on the ease of doing business which has seen a sharp increase in FDI inflows and this policy will continue in the forthcoming budget. At the same time the government is keen FPI inflows are not disrupted due to tax levies on stocks that create uncertainties, he added.

 

Source: Business Today