Posts Tagged ‘New York Stock Exchange’

SEBI May Reduce the Trading Holidays at Bourses

SEBI May Reduce the Trading Holidays at Bourses

SEBI May Reduce the Trading Holidays at Bourses

Market regulator SEBI is looking into a proposal by several investors to allow fewer trading holidays on stock exchanges in line with the global practice.

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“SEBI is actively considering the proposal to reduce the trading holidays at bourses and is likely to take a decision on the matter soon,” an official close to the development said.


According to analysts, this move by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will increase the trading volume in domestic bourses and would also attract foreign investors.


SMC Capitals Equity Head Jagannadham Thunuguntla said,

“From the global standards, India has more number of trading holidays. The reducing of holidays would increase the participation of investors, including the foreign ones, and would increase the trading volume,” he said.

🙂

For 2009, the Bombay Stock Exchange has 19 listed trading holidays and these exclude the weekly Saturday and Sunday off.

In developed countries, the trading holiday at leading bourses are far less.

For 2009, there are only nine trading holidays on the New York Stock Exchange.

In European markets, there are just four holidays this year excluding Saturdays and Sundays.

Recently, Sebi opened gates for longer trading hours for stock exchanges, allowing the bourses to extend market hours by around two-and-a-half hours between 9 am and 5 pm.

The market regulator had further asked the bourses to reset their timings provided they have in place risk management system and infrastructure commensurate to the trading hours.

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Sebi steps in to protect minority shareholders

In a market where there are few cases of stocks with differential voting rights (DVRs), last week’s change to the Equity Listing Agreement, at first glance, seems to protect the interests of minority shareholders.

Sebi’s step is ostensibly to prevent situations wherein companies come out with follow-on-issues, rights issues or preferential allotments with higher voting rights per share, helping promoters get greater control in the company.

Though a rarity in India, there are many examples abroad such as the Ford family, which controls 40 per cent of shareholder votes with only about 4 per cent of the equity in Ford Motors.

The dual-class stock structure has worked for many including Warren Buffett, a majority shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, which offers Class-B shares with 1/200th of the voting rights of a Class A share.

Google, at the time of going public, reserved Class-B shares with 10 votes a share for insiders and sold Class-A shares with one vote to the public, helping retain control with select shareholders.

It’s not that the amendment by the Sebi last Wednesday sealed such a possibility in India as the US stock exchanges, the NYSE or the Nasdaq, too, do not allow it.

The New York Stock Exchange allows companies to list dual-class voting shares, but once listed, firms cannot reduce the voting rights of the existing shares or issue a new class of superior voting shares.

So, a second look at Sebi’s amendment shows something else.

“More than preventing issue of fresh shares with superior rights, the amendment is about allowing firms to come out with shares with inferior rights,” said SMC Capitals equity head Jagannadham Thunuguntla.

Though shares with differential voting rights is not new in India (Tata Motors and Pantaloon issued shares with DVRs last year), lack of awareness has kept trading in DVR shares insignificant, he said.

According to Sebi regulations, firms can come up with fresh issues that offer inferior rights in terms of voting or dividend, thereby helping raise equity without resorting to debt and giving up control.

Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) amendment of regulations to prohibit companies from issuing fresh shares with superior rights vis a vis the rights of existing shareholders seems to have been taken in the light of experiences abroad.