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Atleast 6 months before BSE can list

(Disclosure:I am market making in the shares of BSE)

A merger between the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) could delay initial public offerings (IPOs) by India’s stock exchanges. The merger is likely to alter the definition of the term ‘securities’ and this will have to be addressed before Sebi allows stock exchanges, including the BSE, to list.

Sebi Chairman U K Sinha on Tuesday said the integration had led to issues that had to be resolved before exchanges were allowed to list. “One (issue) is how will the exchange space shape up with the commodity market coming to Sebi. Those (commodity) exchanges will technically become securities market exchanges. So, there are issues around that,” Sinha said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Indian Merchants’ Chamber.

“Since commodity futures will be defined as securities, these (commodity exchanges) could technically demand and be eligible for trading in (equity) futures,” he added.

Sinha said Sebi was working towards resolving these issues and it would take another six months to enable exchanges to list.

He said the regulatory functions of exchanges had to be separated, before these entities were allowed to go public. “Today, exchanges in India are performing regulatory functions. These include regulation of brokers and listed entities… We are trying to evaluate whether we are comfortable with the current arrangement,” he said.

The BSE has, in the past, made public its plans to list. It had also appointed investment bankers to manage its IPO.-from BS

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