New Delhi: Market regulator Sebi has begun its search for an office space in Patna, where it plans to set up a new local office to cater to investors, market entities and the companies from the state of Bihar.
    
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) intends to acquire ready for possession office premises in the Bihar capital, preferably in the main city area and has floated a tender for the same.
    
Sebi would take the property on lease for an initial period of three years, with a provision to the effect of further renewal for another three years.
    
While speaking at a seminar in Patna on August 26, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha asked the people of Bihar to consider investing in mutual funds and equity markets for better and long-term returns.
    
Sinha said the mutual fund sector has only 0.42 percent share of Bihar's investment, while the number of demat account holders in the state is also quite low.
    
Besides, the stake has only one registered share broker and just two listed companies, he noted.
    
The Sebi has undertaken a number of reforms recently to attract investors from smaller cities to avenues like IPOs and mutual funds.
    
Sebi's board in March, 2012 approved opening of new local offices in Chandigarh, Indore, Bangalore, Kochi, Patna, Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur to help it decentralise operations and more effectively reach out to the investors in smaller cities.
    
Besides, the regulator is also setting up new regional offices in various parts of the country as part of its efforts for decentralisation of work.
    
With these steps, the Sebi is looking to take its services to the door step of investors to promote a balanced, pan India securities market, as physical proximity of the regulator's office to investors and intermediaries would promote deepening and broadening of the securities market.
    
Earlier in June this year, the Sebi had also floated tender for premises to set up a local office in Chandigarh.
    
Prior to that, it had invited bids in April to purchase new property, or even a plot of land, in Delhi to house its Northern Regional Office in the national capital.
    
While the latest update on its plans to buy property in Delhi could not be ascertained, Sebi has earmarked a total of Rs 281.03 crore for "acquisition of office and residential premises" in its budget for current financial year 2012-13.
    
This takes into account the expenses towards purchase of office space for NRO at New Delhi, acquisition of new office premises/plot of land in BKC for additional office space in Mumbai and purchase of flats for senior executives at Mumbai, among others.
    
The Sebi headquarters are currently located at BKC (Bandra-Kurla Complex) in Mumbai.

(Agencies)

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