Mumbai: As SEBI celebrates its 25 years of existence, Chairman UK Sinha says this has been an eventful journey for the capital markets regulator and it has created market infrastructures which are better than those in many other countries, including some most developed economies.

"As far as the past 25 years are concerned, SEBI's journey has been quite challenging. At the same time, this journey has also been something that we at SEBI, the market entities and the entire country should be proud of.

"It has been indeed an eventful journey despite all the challenges put across to us," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chief Upendra Kumar Sinha said.

"We have been able to tackle all those challenges in an effective manner and the evolution process has been great in all these years," he said.

Sinha is the eighth Chairman of SEBI since its inception as an independent regulator in 1988, when the central government headed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Fandhi decided to give a boost to the stock market activities as part of its economic liberalization drive.

Prior to SEBI coming into existence, the capital markets were regulated by the Capital Issues (Control) Act of 1947.

"There have been massive changes in the way the market functions and the trading happens. From the use of latest technology to widening of the markets and market activities, a host of eventful changes have taken place.

"We have created market infrastructures which are world class and where trading today takes place in a much more transparent manner, which is much better than the way market functions in many other parts of the world including some really developed markets," Sinha said.

The SEBI chief further said that the markets were earlier concentrated in a few hands and to a few entities in terms of intermediaries as well as the investors.

"There has been a quantum jump on this front. A host of new investment avenues and market entities, starting from mutual funds to venture capital funds have come to the fore, widening the markets in a big way.

"There have been huge changes in the way primary markets function and are regulated. Amid all this growth and widening of the markets, safeguarding the investors' interest has remained paramount and significant changes have been made on that front as well," he said.

SEBI will celebrate its 25 years of existence at a function in New Delhi on Friday and those who are scheduled to be present on the occasion include Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the entire top brass of the regulatory authority and several eminent persons from India and abroad.


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