Sebi has asked investment bankers to promote startup listing


Urging investment bankers to actively promote listing of start-ups and SMEs, Sebi chairman U K Sinha has said the market regulator is open to any changes if there is reasonable need for them. The chief of Securities and Exchange Board of India also said that while no start-up has got listed on the country's capital markets, he was not "disappointed" as such development can take time.

"True that not a single initial public offer (from a start-up) has taken place after the implementation of start-up listing norms but I am not disappointed on that account because SME segment similarly has taken time," Sinha said at the conference organised by Association of Investment Bankers of India.

"I am reminded that BSE first came out with SME platform as early as 2004. But it took time and then there were series of mistakes, and series of changes had to be incorporated and finally after what was done in 2011, things have started picking up in the SME segment," he noted.

Observing that Sebi, Sidbi and the stock exchanges are making efforts to reach out to the start-ups and SMEs, Sinha said he hopes that the investment banking industry would also participate and make efforts for the same. Sinha said Sebi has held two meetings one in Delhi, one in Bengaluru with start-ups after the regulations were framed and the regulator is ready to hold further such meetings.

"I will be very happy if your industry also participates in this effort because these are market development activities and making people aware will take time," Sinha said. "Stock exchanges, brokers and investment bankers should work together in various parts of the country in areas where there is potential," he added.

Besides, he noted that market development was also required in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts). "REITs regulations came over a year ago but since then not a single REIT has listed, may be due to some tax issues with the government. But you (investment bankers) should also make your voice heard on the issue," Sinha said.

Accordingly, he urged the investment bankers "to look into the top 500 companies, start-up segment, SME segment, REITs and companies for possibilities". "And if you feel review and changes are required, please let us know we have an open mind and will have a relook at it if backed by solid evidence," Sinha said.

In August this year, Sebi had notified a new set of listing norms for start-ups, including e-commerce ventures, on a separate platform of domestic stock exchanges.

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