SEBI approves Vikram Limaye’s appointment as NSE boss; paves way for mega IPO
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The National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India Ltd on Friday said it has received regulatory approval to appoint Vikram Limaye at the helm of the country’s largest bourse by trade volumes and market share.

Limaye's appointment is likely to help the NSE fast-track the listing process for its planned Rs 10,000-crore initial public offering (IPO).

“SEBI has approved the appointment of Vikram Limaye as MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India limited, subject inter alia to his being relieved from his BCCI (COA) assignment. The appointment will take effect from the date of joining,” NSE said in a press statement.

SEBI's approval comes four months after the NSE announced it had selected the IDFC Ltd chief for the top job at the exchange for five years. Its board, headed by former finance secretary and Competition Commission of India chairman Ashok Chawla, had picked Limaye to replace Chitra Ramkrishna after her resignation as MD and CEO seven months ago.

Ramkrishna’s exit came at a time when the NSE was fending off allegations that there was collusion among officials giving some brokers an undue advantage. The Economic Times reported at the time that Ramkrishna had quit due to differences with the board. The bourse, however, denied the report.

The stock exchange, which is on course to list in 2017, then appointed group president J Ravichandra as interim CEO.

The IPO, which will see NSE's shares list on rival bourse BSE Ltd, comprises a complete offer-for-sale by the exchange’s shareholders that include global private equity funds and financial institutions such as Tiger Global Holdings, Temasek Holdings, Goldman Sachs Inc., Citigroup and state-owned Indian banks like State Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Bank of Baroda.

The bourse has hired Citibank, JM Financial, Kotak Mahindra and Morgan Stanley as lead investment banks for the IPO. It later hired IDFC Bank and HDFC Bank as well. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has been appointed as legal adviser for the IPO and PwC is the statutory auditor.

NSE was valued around $2.7 billion in July 2016, when a shareholder pared down its holding.

Chawla told TV channels earlier this week that the bourse operator would complete its IPO by the end of the year, once it addresses pending issues raised by the capital markets regulator. It filed its DRHP on 29 December 2016 and is awaiting SEBI approval. NSE’s rival BSE Ltd concluded its listing in February this year.

Chitra Ramkrishna was part of the team that set up NSE in 1992, and rose through the ranks swiftly to earn the distinction of becoming the first woman chief of an Indian stock exchange.

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