SEBI Circular: SEBI/HO/MRD/DSA/CIR/P/2016/110 dated October 10, 2016
1. SEBI vide circular dated May 30, 2012 issued guidelines facilitating the exit of De-recognized/ Non-operational stock exchanges and exit to the shareholders of exclusively listed companies (ELCs) by allowing them to get listed on nationwide stock exchanges after complying with the diluted listing norms of nationwide stock exchanges, failing which they would be moved to the Dissemination Board (DB).
2. Further, SEBI vide circular dated May 22, 2014, inter-alia, provided that ELCs, on de-recognized/non-operational stock exchanges, can also opt for voluntary delisting by following the existing delisting norms of SEBI. It was also specified that if the ELCs fail to comply with the same, they shall be moved to DB.
3. Subsequently, SEBI vide circular dated April 17, 2015 allowed a period of eighteen months’ time to ELCs on DB to obtain listing upon compliance with the listing requirements of the nation-wide stock exchanges.
4. SEBI has been receiving representations seeking clarifications on raising of further capital and the process of exit of ELCs from the DB. Therefore, SEBI, in the interest of the investors of such ELCs, clarifies as follows:
a. The respective nationwide stock exchanges hosting the ELC on its DB would hereinafter be referred as ‘designated stock exchange’.
b. The ELCs on the DB would be required to exercise one of the two options as mentioned in Para 4.c or 4.d of the circular.
c. Raising capital for listing on Nationwide Stock Exchanges.
In order to facilitate listing on nationwide stock exchanges, the ELCs on the DB shall be allowed to raise capital for meeting the listing requirements through preferential allotment route in terms of the provisions under the Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements Regulations, 2009 (ICDR).i. For the above purpose the procedures as specified under ICDR shall be followed to the extent possible. Towards this purpose, the designated stock exchange shall be according in principle approval and monitoring compliance with the same.
ii. In the process of raising capital through preferential allotment, if the allotment is made to promoters/public such that it is in excess of the threshold limits (5% or 25%) of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers Regulations), 2011 (SAST), the provisions of SAST Regulation shall not be applicable for the proposed acquisition subject to the overall holding of the promoter group not exceeding 75% of the paid up capital of the company.
iii. The ELCs which fail to list on the nationwide stock exchanges under the aforesaid mechanism shall provide exit to its investors as per para 4.d of the circular.
d. Procedure to provide exit to investors:
In order to protect the interest of all shareholders of such ELCs, an exit mechanism to investors of such ELCs shall be as prescribed in Annexure-A to this circular. Accordingly, all ELCs shall be required to ensure compliance with the procedure for exit. The oversight and monitoring of such exit mechanism shall be carried out by the designated stock exchange.i. Designated stock exchanges shall further ensure that the promoters have made adequate efforts in terms of the above provisions for providing exit to their shareholders before removing ELCs from the DB.
ii. The designated stock exchange shall display the list of companies willing to provide exit to their investors on their website on a monthly basis.
5. In order to facilitate the raising of capital or provide exit to investors as mentioned under para 4.c and 4.d, it is prescribed that:
a. The ELCs on the DB which are yet to indicate their intention to comply with listing or to provide exit shall submit their plan of action to designated stock exchanges latest within three months from the date of this circular to the satisfaction of the designated stock exchanges, failing which the designated exchange shall recommend action as specified under Para 6 of this circular.
b. The designated stock exchanges shall review the plan of action and ensure completion of the process within 6 months.
6. Action against companies remaining on the DB
a. Any promoter or director whose company is on the DB and has failed to demonstrate adequacy of efforts for providing exit to their shareholders in conformity with the exit mechanism as provided in this circular shall be liable for the following actions :
- The company, its directors, its promoters and the companies which are promoted by any of them shall not directly or indirectly associate with the securities market or seek listing for any equity shares for a period of ten years from the exit from the DB.
- Freezing of shares of the promoters/directors.
- List of the directors, promoters etc. of all non-compliant companies as available from the details of the company with nationwide stock exchanges shall be disseminated on SEBI website and shall also be shared with other respective agencies.
- Attachment of bank accounts/other assets of promoters/directors of the companies so as to compensate the investors.
7. The provisions of this Circular are applicable to the exclusively listed companies of all de-recognized/non-operational stock exchanges which are exited/in the process of exit in terms of exit circular dated May 30, 2012.
8. The respective designated stock exchanges shall ensure that all exclusively listed companies on the DB be accordingly advised to facilitate compliance of the above provisions in a time bound manner.
9. This circular is issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11 (1) and 11(2) (j) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.