Mumbai : Markets regulator Sebi has announced new rules for re-classification of a promoter as a public investor, wherein an outgoing promoter will have to relinquish special rights as well as control over the affairs of the listed firm and will not be allowed to hold over 10% stake.
The promoter would not be allowed to have any representation on the board of directors or act as a key managerial person in the listed entity.
The promoter seeking re-classification must not be a wilful defaulter or a fugitive economic offender, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a notification dated November 16.
These norms will prevent the outgoing promoters from continuing to exercise their control on the company directly or indirectly.
The norms, aimed at simplifying, streamlining and bringing greater clarity in existing regulations, come after Sebi’s board in September approved a proposal in this regard.
The Kotak panel on corporate governance had suggested that there should be a mechanism to enable such re-classification to ensure persons who may have been promoters but are no longer in the day-to-day control of management and have a low shareholding should have the option to be re-classified.
Under the new rules, in the case of a promoter seeking re-classification as a public shareholder, Sebi said the promoter group and persons acting in concert will not hold over 10% of the total voting power in the listed entity and exercise control over the affairs of the entity directly or indirectly and will not have “any special rights with respect to the listed entity through formal or informal arrangements”.
In order to ensure that only compliant listed entities are eligible to apply for re-classification, Sebi said such listed firms need to be compliant with 25% minimum public shareholding requirement; their shares should not have been suspended from trading and they must not have any outstanding dues to the regulator, exchanges and depositories.
In all cases of re-classification of promoters, including the recommendation of the board, the proposal would be required to be placed by the listed entity before the shareholders in a general meeting and approved through an ordinary resolution.
With an aim to avoid conflict of interest, Sebi said that the specific promoter who has requested such reclassification, its promoter group and persons acting in concert would not be permitted to vote on such resolution.
If any public shareholder seeks to re-classify itself as promoter, an open offer will have to be made.
In order to have greater clarity in case of transmission, succession, inheritance and gift of shares held by a promoter, Sebi said the recipient of such shares will be classified as a promoter immediately on occurrence of such event.
The regulator said that a listed entity will be considered as a ‘listed entity with no promoter’ if due to re-classification, the entity does not have any promoter.
Earlier, such firms were termed as ‘professionally managed’.
In July, the regulator had come out with a draft proposal for re-classification of promoters and had sought public comments on it.
‘We look forward to making India a USD 10 trillion economy’: PM Modi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid out his vision for making India a USD 10 trillion economy, and the third-largest in the world, saying he wants the nation to have countless startups, and be a global leader in electric vehicles.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his five-year tenure had laid a solid economic foundation in the country eradicating the complete policy paralysis that had set in during the last Congress-led UPA regime.
Addressing a business summit organised by a newspaper, PM Modi said, “Total policy paralysis was observed before during the previous Congress-led UPA government. Change is clearly visible today.”
He criticised the runaway inflation, rising Current Account Deficit (CAD) and complete policy paralysis in 2013-14.
BJP-led NDA rule witnessed the highest post-liberalisation growth rate of 7.4 per cent and the lowest inflation of less than 4.5 per cent, PM Modi said.
Reforms like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have laid a solid foundation for higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, he said.
He added: “We look forward to making India a $10 trillion economy and the world’s third-largest economy.”
Niti Aayog calls for separate debt management agency
Mumbai/New Delhi: A separate Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) to manage the government’s market borrowings and public debt could soon be a reality. The government think-tank Niti Aayog’s Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Friday batted for setting up an independent debt management office outside the purview of Reserve Bank of India, saying it was “an idea whose time has come”.
“It is important for this particular office be separate, because then you can pay much more attention on public debt management. That will help the government bring down the cost of its debt,” Kumar said at an event in New Delhi.
According to economists, with a borrowing of Rs 6-7 lakh crore a year, the incremental saving to the government from the PDMA mechanism could be over Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore.
The idea of a public debt management agency, or PDMA, was proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his February 2015 Budget speech, though it has not yet been implemented.
At present, the government debt, including market borrowing, is totally managed by the central bank, for which the government has to decide how to segregate different functions in the RBI.
Kumar, however, said, “the government has been very courageous to give the central bank the statutory authority for the inflation targeting. Therefore, who then looks after growth, employment, debt and other legal things etc in the country? I think those are the things that need to be discussed.”
The main focus of the PDMA was to resolve issues relating to conflict of interest as the RBI decides on the key interest rates as well as undertakes buying and selling of government bonds.
According to G Ananth Narayan, Professor at SPJ Institute of Management and Research, “Liquidity management, regulations, intervention, monetary policy and acting as a merchant banker to the government are all different activities. While some people do make a case that there is a need for co-ordination among these activities, one could argue that a dedicated, independent merchant banker could manage the government borrowing programme to the better satisfaction of the government.”
Ajay Manglunia, Executive Vice-President and Head-Fixed Income Advisory at Edelweiss Financial Services, said, “PDMA is a very crucial function, looking at the current complexities with respect to timings, diversification of the investors and linkages the world over. It’s rather more important to have full attention and a dedicated resource for this activity. It is a further step to have a dedicated PDMA cell that would focus on merchant banking for the government.”
The idea of separating public debt management from the Reserve Bank of India was initiated in 1991, and since then, a plethora of reports culminating in the comprehensive Aziz Committee report in September 2008 had vouched for it.
Most OECD countries have already established dedicated debt management units. Several emerging economies like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and South Africa have also restructured and consolidated debt management.
There are three primary reasons commonly cited in economic literature as to why debt and monetary management cannot go together. One, the possibility of keeping interest rates low by the central bank goes against inflation targeting. Second, the issue of financial repression/mandated statutory liquidity ratio for government bonds. Third, the central bank being an owner as well as operator of government securities creates conflict of interest.
US-China extend trade talks, deadline likely to be pushed back
Washington: US President Donald Trump said a trade summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping was likely to occur next month, and hailed two days of “very good talks” by negotiators.
The talks were extended through Sunday as officials race to reach a deal ahead of a deadline next week when US duty rates are due to rise sharply. But Trump again said he was considering pushing back the deadline for raising tariffs on more than USD 200 billion in Chinese exports. “We expect to have a meeting sometime in a not too distant future,” he said of the meeting with Xi.
“Probably fairly soon in the month of March.” Details remained scant about any concrete progress in the seven-month-old trade war, which has rattled the global markets and prompted stark warnings about the risks to the world economy.
“I think there is a very, very good chance that a deal can be made,” Trump told reporters at the White House on a second day of trade negotiations with Chinese officials.
“If we are doing well, I could see extending that” deadline for the end of the three month tariff truce. And Trump said an agreement on currency manipulation will be included in the trade pact. Officials from Beijing also expressed optimism about a positive outcome.
“From China, we believe that it is very likely that it will happen,” Chinese trade envoy Liu He said, speaking through an interpreter. Global stock markets were higher on expectations the two sides would avoid further deterioration in their trade relations.
Analysts say the two sides are likely to trumpet mutual agreements to resolve the easier parts of the trade dispute — increasing purchases of American goods, more open investment in China and tougher protections for intellectual property and proprietary technology.
The harder parts covering issues like scaling back China’s ambitious industrial strategy for global preeminence, are another question. Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, again warned that the US-China trade tensions a “major risk” to world economic growth. Since July, the countries have hit out with tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade.
While the tariffs alone are having “minimal” effect on global trade, they are damaging business confidence and weighing on stock markets, Lagarde told the US radio program Marketplace on Thursday.
“I cross my fingers every morning and my toes every evening because I hope that it is going to end up with a way to fix the system, not break it,” she said.
The IMF has cut its forecast for global growth this year due to the combined impact of the trade war. Beijing reportedly has proposed an increase in its imports of US energy and agricultural exports significantly.
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tweeted that China has committed to buying “an additional” 10 million metric tons of soybeans as a “show of good faith,” but he did not give any details or specify the timeframe. Still, a broader deal could be difficult given the US demands for far-reaching structural changes.
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said China may have to remove its tariffs in order to increase purchases of US goods, but Trump may feel no pressure to roll back the duties he imposed last year.
“The big surprise would be a complete removal of tariffs by Trump but I’m expecting an asymmetrical removal of tariffs by China in order to get to some of these numbers,” he said.
China’s retaliation has hit US farm exports hard. The US Agriculture Department estimated this month that US soy exports would not turn to their pre-trade war levels for another six years.
William Reinsch, a former senior Treasury official for trade in the administration of President Bill Clinton, told AFP a risk for Trump is whether any agreement holds and the Chinese honor their commitments.
“If it unravels and we have a string of unmet commitments and then US retaliation right before the election, we’re kind of right back where we started,” he said.