Violating Listing Norms to Attract Hefty Penalties
Sebi, stock exchanges planning to modify listing pact to punish non-compliance by cos
Close to 400 companies, comprising 10% of listed entities, have not shared key information like balance-sheet numbers, shareholding pattern and board composition with their shareholders. These companies continue to be traded on stock exchanges despite failing to fulfil various conditions under the listing agreement with bourses. Such non-compliance will attract penalties, with capital market regulator Sebi and stock exchanges planning to modify the listing agreement, said a person familiar with the matter. A committee set up by the regulator last year had recommended certain changes in the listing agreement. Based on feedback from exchanges, the regulator has proposed penalties ranging from.5,000 to.1 lakh depending on the violation. The committee said Sebi and stock exchanges should debar companies and promoter-directors responsible for non-compliance from the capital markets, freeze their accounts, or file criminal complaints against them. The committee also recommended that the regulator should seek amendment to the Companies Act to include a provision where it can liquidate a listed company in extreme cases where all attempts to ensure compliance have failed. The 400-odd companies not complying with the listing agreement are over and above the 1,500 stocks suspended from trading. The exchanges have power under their bye-laws to impose fines and penalties. Further, Sebi draws powers under the Securities Contract (Regulation) Act (SCRA) for imposing penalties for non-compliance with listing conditions. Sebi and exchanges determine what conditions will be monitored and who will impose the penalty. There was a need to revamp the finer details to make it more effective, said PR Ramesh of Economic Laws Practice.
Economic Times, New Delhi, 26-07-2012