As per the norms issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in June 2012, the stock exchanges can go for listing of their shares after completing three years of continuous trading operations on their platforms.
At least two leading bourses, BSE and NSE, are believed to have sought detailed clarifications from Sebi on the norms and procedures they would need to follow at the their listing, as also on the continuous listing requirements expected from a listed entity, sources said.
The functions of stock exchanges are quite different from those of other listed companies and the bourses also perform as front-line regulators in the capital markets and therefore the stock exchanges are of the view that many listing requirements could be different in their case.
As per the current norms, the stock exchanges need to be in full compliance of Sebi's ownership and governance regulations for the market infrastructure institutions and they also require a prior approval from Sebi before listing their shares.
Besides, an stock exchange cannot list its shares on its platform and it would need to get listed on a rival bourse. For example, BSE might need to be list its shares on NSE and vice versa.
The stock exchanges are of the opinion that many clauses of the listing requirements are ambiguous when it comes to the listing of the shares of a bourse and therefore they are seeking clarity from Sebi before making a formal move of filing their draft documents in this regard, sources said.
Both BSE and NSE are said to be interested in listing their shares, but would take a final call after further clarity from Sebi, they added.
In a major overhaul of the way stock exchanges are owned and operate, Sebi had come out with detailed guidelines for ownership and governance of stock exchanges in June 2012, after taking into account recommendations of an expert panel, headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, on this issue.
The Jalan panel had actually recommended against listing of the stock exchanges, given their regulatory and oversight functions for listed companies and other market entities.
However, Sebi decided to allow the stock exchanges to get listed, on the basis of its internal discussions and public response to the Jalan panel recommendations.
Sources said the stock exchanges came across potential ambiguities in the rules after they began initiating plans to get listed. The areas where further clarity have been sought include norms related to trading members and public shareholders, the fit and proper criteria of key shareholders and their associate entities, and the shareholding caps for different classes of investors including individuals.


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