Sebi panel proposes direct listing of Indian companies on foreign bourses

A high-level panel Tuesday recommended market regulator Sebi to allow direct listing of Indian companies on overseas bourses and of foreign firms on Indian exchanges.

Currently, Indian companies can list their shares through depository receipts abroad, while foreign companies need to go through the Indian Depository Receipt route for listing of equities.

Moreover, Indian firms can list their debt securities directly on international exchanges through a security instrument known as 'Masala Bonds'.

In its 26-page report, the committee has suggested for direct listing of Indian companies overseas and vice versa. It has recommended that the framework should allow listing only on specified stock exchanges in 'Permissible Jurisdictions'.

Permissible Jurisdiction, includes a jurisdiction which has treaty obligations to share information and cooperate with Indian authorities in the event of any investigation.

Equity listings by companies incorporated in India on foreign stock exchanges would allow them to access foreign capital at a lower cost. The Indian economy, in turn, will experience added growth and economic development.

Similarly, equity listings of companies incorporated outside India on Indian bourses would improve the efficient allocation of capital and diversification for investors across the Indian economy.

The panel has suggested, "listing of equity shares of unlisted companies incorporated in India on foreign stock exchanges would be governed by the listing framework of the concerned Permissible Jurisdiction. The relevant Indian laws like Companies Act would also continue to apply to such companies".

The KYC (Know your client) and AML (anti-money laundering) framework existing in Permissible Jurisdictions should be taken as acceptable standards for compliance.

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