A “credible road map” has been put in place for the listing of NSE, Chairman Ashok Chawla has said, adding that it will provide a market-determined benchmark for its share price and enhance the level of corporate governance.
“There comes a time when corporates are mature enough to go public,” Chawla told PTI in an interview.
“The NSE board has considered this and decided to pursue listing of its stock. This will provide a market-determined benchmark for its share price, apart from enhancing the level of corporate governance.”
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Putting speculations to rest, NSE announced its plans on June 27 to get listed domestically as well as internationally under which the bourse would file preliminary IPO papers with Sebi by January 2017.
Decisions related to listing were taken during the board of directors’ meeting on June 23.
Asked about the acrimony in the wake of some investors criticising the exchange for delay in listing, Chawla said, “I won’t call it acrimony. But, yes the shareholders have been pressing for early listing of the stock so that they get the benefit of a good valuation if they choose to exit.”
On whether the issues with investors have been solved, he replied in the affirmative as the bourse has announced a credible road map.
“Work will now start on the various pieces, apart from the critical requirements of shareholders’ consent and the approval of Sebi,” he noted.
NSE has already set up a sub-committee to work on the listing process.
With respect to proposed restructuring at the bourse, Chawla said it would continue to be in focus provided there are no “insurmountable difficulties”.
“We will pursue it (restructuring) if it is seen by the shareholders as in the larger interests of the organisation. Approval of the regulator will also be required. As long as it does not pose insurmountable difficulties for the main goal, which is listing, it will continue to be in focus,” he added.
In response to a query on whether the bourse could face dissent when it goes for listing, Chawla said, “not for listing”.
“As for re-structuring, it will depend on the proposal and on the expectations of the existing shareholders,” he added.
In the last few days, at least two investors — SBI and IFCI — have reduced their stakes in the exchange.
SBI sold 5 per cent stake in the bourse to Mauritius-based Veracity Investments for Rs 911 crore. The transaction valued the exchange at more than Rs 18,200 crore.
IFCI offloaded around 0.5 per cent stake for Rs 89 crore.
While Sebi rules require stock exchanges to go for cross-listing, NSE had expressed concern over the prospects of being regulated by a rival bourse.
According to Chawla, the process for listing will move ahead within the framework of Sebi regulations and based on further discussions. “So listing, yes, with comfort on regulatory oversight,” he said, in reply to a question about issues of self- and cross-listing.
On whether foreign listing can be an alternative to domestic listing, he said that ideally, it should be in addition to listing at home. “That is how NSE is looking at it for the present,” he added.
Noting that NSE is a vital piece of the capital market infrastructure, he said today the exchange has a very high standing among its peers in the world.
The bourse pioneered the idea of screen-based trading in the 1990s.