SEBI mulls direct overseas listing of Indian cos, tweaking startup listing norms
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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a group of industry experts to examine the possibility of letting local companies directly list their shares overseas, the capital markets regulator said on Tuesday.

The group will also examine various legal, operational and regulatory constraints in facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their shares abroad and vice versa, the regulator said in a statement.

The group will make recommendations for a suitable framework to facilitate such direct listing, SEBI said.

The nine-member panel will be headed by Ranu Vohra, co-founder and managing director at financial services firm Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd.

SEBI has also constituted a group to look into the existing Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) framework and suggest measures to facilitate listing of startups, the regulator said in a separate statement.

Overseas listing

According to SEBI, Indian entities can list their debt securities on international exchanges (in the form of masala bonds) but equity securities face more scrutiny and listings on overseas bourses happen only by way of American Depository Receipt (ADR) or Global Depository Receipt (GDR).

“Considering the evolution and internationalisation of the capital markets, it would be worthwhile to consider facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity share capital abroad and vice versa,” SEBI said.

Other members of the committee are Cyril S. Shroff of law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas; Kamal Yadav, managing director of Morgan Stanley’s technology, media and telecom banking vertical; Kotak Investment Banking’s CEO and managing director S Ramesh; Zodius Capital Advisors’ senior managing director and CEO Neeraj Bhargava; and travel portal’s chairman and group CEO Deep Kalra.

The list also includes law firm Latham & Watkins LLP’s capital markets partner Rajiv Gupta, accounting and audit firm KPMG’s global accounting advisory head Jamil Khatri, and SEBI’s executive director Sujit Prasad acting as the convener of committee.

The group will also examine the economic case for such listings.

Only one company, London-based British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered Bank PLC, has been successful in listing its shares on Indian bourses via an Indian Depository Receipt (IDR).

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