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SEBI likely to relax public issue norms for PSUs

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Jan. 30

IN order to facilitate the disinvestment of government holding in public sector units, the Securities and Exchange Board of India is prepared to heed to a government request and relax the norms of public issues.

Mr G.N. Bajpai, Chairman of SEBI, on Friday said the board would do whatever is necessary for the successful public offer of all scrips, including the impending ones of Gail (India) and ONGC.

The PSUs are reported to have sought relaxation of various norms for their initial public offers (IPO). These include reducing the lot size from 100 to 10, declaring the price band a day before the opening of the offers and earmarking some equity for allotment to shareholders of group companies.

The two IPOs are expected to open in the first quarter of the current calendar year.

The relaxations would be allowed as these offers will add depth to the market, said Mr Bajpai on the sidelines of a conference on financial markets and investors' protection, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Earlier, speaking about volatility in the capital markets, Mr Bajpai said SEBI was on high alert and watching every unusual movement. Whenever there was a need for action, the regulator would make the necessary intervention, he said.

"Our approach is proactive, we imagine potential problems and plug them. We are co-active market participants," he said. The Indian capital market is one of the best regulated in the world today, Mr Bajpai told investors, with operating, systemic and structural risks reduced in the current context. India and Singapore have been judged the best in Asia in the areas of disclosure standards and corporate governance.

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