New Delhi: Sebi chairman U K Sinha on Tuesday said the market regulator is willing to come up with fresh measures to ensure that listed companies comply with minimum public shareholding norms.

"If there is a demand (from corporates) and we feel the demand is genuine, then we are ready to come out with more avenues (to meet minimum shareholding norms)," Sinha told reporters here.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the National Stock Exchange's function to launch its listing platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
"If any fresh measures are required, we will not hesitate to take them. At the same time, companies that are not compliant with the minimum shareholding norms should make serious plans about them," he noted.

Sebi has directed promoters of all listed private sector companies to ensure they comply with minimum public holding of 25 percent by June 2013.

Last month, the market regulator allowed promoters to use rights and bonus issue of shares for dilution of their stake to meet minimum public holding norms.

These two additional avenues for sale of shares by promoters to meet minimum public holding norms (25 percent for private sector companies, and 10 percent for PSU entities) were approved by Sebi's board on August 16.

Besides, promoters can dilute their holdings through newly introduced methods like IPP (Institutional Placement Programme) and Offer for Sale (OFS), as also traditional routes like Follow-on Public Offer (FPO).

Noting that Indian markets have done well in recent times, Sinha said, "Sebi is not convinced by the argument that only after a particular level of market is reached, then promoter starts thinking of divestment".

Minimum public shareholding is required from the point of view of corporate governance as well as to protect the interest of minority shareholders.

"We will be insisting (minimum public shareholding) on that," Sinha said.

(Agencies)

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