Sebi meet today: Board may ease InvITs norms, take stock of shell crac…


Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to ease norms on InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) in its board meeting on Monday. Sources say it may allow the trust to issue debt securities to attract more investors.

The regulator may relax the criteria of having at least two assets and a certain percentage of a single asset. Further, the regulator is planning to allow such InvITs to invest in holding firms with 50 per cent stake. 

Besides, it may also widen the category of investors, including non-banking financial services and banks.

Sebi had framed regulations for InvITs in 2014 but only two InvITs — IRB InvIT Fund and Indiagrid Trust — have gotten listed on the stock exchanges since then.

Sebi may also take stock of actions in the 331 ‘shell companies’ that were barred in August. So far, the regulator has asked for a  forensic audit of about 12 firms. While stock exchanges are looking into the credentials of about 90 firms, in some cases, the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) had put a stay order on the trading ban. 

Sebi is said to have reviewed the cases that are pending before various courts and appellate tribunals. The regulator had given on a one-year timeline to conclude cases more than a year old. To fast track the matter, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi has also strengthened the enforcement department and appointed internal people but the department is still finding it difficult to meet the deadline.

In a first, Sebi is appointing a chief economic adviser who may assist the regulator on various policy issues.

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