Stock buying soars since lockdown: Sebi
Retail participation in the equity market has increased since the lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic began, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chairman Ajay Tyagi said on Wednesday.
New demat accounts have shot up as several participants were first-time investors, Tyagi said at a Ficci event on capital markets. “We have seen huge participation of retail investors in the last few months,” he stated. Besides, he said the regulator has come out with a host of measures to make it easier for companies to raise funds as many companies are facing various challenges because of the pandemic.
As the corporate bond market is getting restricted to top rated bonds, Tyagi said there was only a limited number of issuers who were able to raise funds through debt. He also said there is a need for more players, including institutional investors, in corporate bond markets as mutual funds are the only major active players in the segment.
He said stock exchanges should move towards real-time settlement of trades through the use of blockchain technology. The exchanges should start the real-time settlement with a trial or on a pilot basis.
These measures include relaxation in norms pertaining to rights issues, follow-on public offers, qualified institutional placements, creeping acquisition of shares by promoters and easier pricing framework for the allotment of shares through preferential issue, he added. Sebi has also relaxed the pricing methodology to help companies with stressed assets raise capital through preferential allotments, such issues and exempted allottees from open offer obligations.