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Sebi proposal to relax preferential issue norms

The paper comes against the backdrop of PNB Housing Finance’s proposed allotment of preference shares to Carlyle Group and a clutch of other investors hitting roadblock
Representational image.
Representational image.
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PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 27.11.21, 12:34 AM

Sebi on Friday proposed to relax pricing norms and lock-in requirements to make it easier for companies to raise funds through the preferential allotment of shares. 

In addition, the regulator has proposed to allow the pledging of shares allotted to promoter or promoter groups under preferential issue during the lock-in period.

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The pricing formula for allotment of shares under preferential issue should be the volume-weighted average price (VWAP) of weekly highs and lows for 60 trading days or 10 trading days, whichever is higher, the watchdog said in a consultation paper.

At present, the pricing formula in a preferential allotment is the VWAP of the last two weeks or the last 26 weeks, whichever is higher.

Moreover, any preferential issue allotment resulting in change in control should be done following a reasoned recommendation from a committee of independent directors, according to Sebi.

The paper also comes against the backdrop of PNB Housing Finance’s proposed allotment of preference shares to US-based Carlyle Group and a clutch of other investors hitting a roadblock. Sebi had questioned PNB Housing Finance’s rationale behind the fixing of the issue price in that deal which was later shelved.

In the wake of the Covid  pandemic, a temporary relaxation in pricing was allowed to make preferential allotment by using 12 weeks’ VWAP.



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