New Delhi: Market regulator Sebi on Thursday said that the e-IPO facility, which would allow retail investors to submit their bids electronically for initial public offer shares, would be implemented in two phases, with 400 locations to be covered in the first phase by Januuary 1, 2013.

In a circular issued on Thursday, Sebi said that the remaining locations would be covered in the second phase by March 1, 2013.

Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has proposed to introduce e-IPO facility for retail investors at more than 1,000 locations.

The move is part of Sebi's efforts to provide retail investors with an additional mechanism to submit application forms in public issues using the stock broker network of the exchanges, who may not be syndicate members in an issue.

This mechanism can be used to submit ASBA (Application Supported by Blocked Amount) as well as non-ASBA applications by investors.

Sebi said that its new directive in this regard would be applicable for all offer documents filed with Registrar of Companies on or after January 1, 2013.

Detailing the mechanism, Sebi asked the stock exchanges to provide for download of application forms on their websites and broker terminals, so that any investor or stock broker can download and print the forms directly.

Stock exchanges would have to ensure that the information relating to price band is pre-filled in such forms.

The bourses have also been asked to list the details of locations including name of the broker, contact details of contact person, postal address, telephone number, e-mail address of the broker, where the application forms shall be collected at least 15 days in advance.

The merchant bankers would have to ensure that appropriate disclosures in this regard are made in the offer document and all intermediaries would have to take necessary steps to ensure compliance.

The decision to introduce e-IPO mechanism was approved by Sebi board in its last meeting on August 16.

Under the mechanism, an investor may submit application indicating the mode of payment to any registered broker of the stock exchange having its office in any of the broker centre of the stock exchange.

Similar to secondary market transactions where investor can check the status of trade on the stock exchange website, the bourses would have to facilitate investors to view the status of their issue applications on their websites.

All accepted applications shall be stamped and thereby acknowledged by the broker at the time of receipt and will be uploaded on the stock exchange platform.

Brokers will be responsible for uploading the bid, banking the cheque, submitting forms and liable for any failure in this regard, Sebi said.

Stock exchanges can take action against brokers who fail to comply with the requirements of Sebi's circular and in case of repeated non-compliances appropriate action shall be taken, it added.

Sebi further said that listing would be withheld by the stock exchanges till the time the issuer pays brokers' commission to the bourse.

The issuer would be liable to pay to the brokers for their activity even if the issuer withdraws the issue during the issue period.

As per an indicative timeline provided by Sebi for the mechanism, the trading in the issuer's shares would commence after 12 days of the closing of the issue.

(Agencies)

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