Sebi relaxes FII entry norms; tightens buyback rules

Mumbai: In a wide-ranging overhaul of rules to make India an easier, safer and attractive investment destination, Sebi today unveiled a new set of streamlined entry norms for foreign investors, while putting in place checks against any wrongdoings by the company promoters.
The board of capital markets regulatory authority also paved way for direct listing of start-ups and SMEs on the stock exchanges without the requirement of an IPO and approved a new set of rules for angel investors to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship in the country.
About a dozen of these steps, which were approved by the board of Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) in a meeting here that lasted for over five hours, come at a time when Indian markets have been going through turbulent times amid concerns over falling value of and huge outflows of overseas funds from the country.
With regard to the foreign investors, Sebi's board approved making their registration and compliance requirements much simpler and easier, especially for government entities and large investors like insurers, asset management companies and university funds from abroad.
The board also approved merging different classes of investors such as FIIs, their Sub Accounts and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs) into a new category, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs), to put in place a simplified and uniform set of entry norms for them.
The decisions were taken after a discussion on a report of the 'Committee on Rationalisation of Investment Routes and Monitoring of Foreign Portfolio Investments' under the Chairmanship of former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar.