The National Stock Exchange (NSE) held a meeting with top shareholders to update them on the status of its much-awaited initial public offering (IPO) and the pending regulatory issue with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, was addressed by the exchange’s top management, including Chairman Ashok Chawla and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Vikram Limaye. Most of the domestic and foreign shareholders were other attendees, said sources in the know. The NSE’s Rs 10,000-crore maiden offer to provide partial or full exit to 27 shareholders has got delayed by nearly a year due to a probe against it for giving unfair access to its colocation (co-lo) servers to some brokers. In the past, certain shareholders had mounted pressure on the bourse’s management over the delay. A source present at the meeting said most stakeholders acknowledged that there was nothing much that the exchange could do to expedite the IPO as the matter is pending with Sebi. “There is a process that Sebi has to follow before it resolves the co-lo issue. We understand that the ball is now in Sebi’s court. The exchange told us that they have submitted two audit reports to Sebi earlier this month. However, they refused to divulge the findings as the matter is confidential,” said another person who attended the meeting. The country’s largest bourse had filed the offer document with Sebi for its IPO in December.
The public offer, however, has been kept in abeyance till the co-lo issue is resolved. The NSE has filed a consent application with the market watchdog to settle the matter.“Once the co-lo controversy is resolved, the exchange will re-file for the offer document to incorporate all the material changes that have taken place since the last filing. We expect the refilling to happen in the June 2018 quarter based on 2017-18 financial numbers,” said a shareholder. Sebi is likely to take into account the findings of all audit reports. The regulator has undertaken a forensic audit to ascertain if brokers and their clients made any profit by gaining preferential access. This will be critical in determining the settlement amount under the consent plea. Earlier this month, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi had said, “We will see how we proceed, but we want to resolve it as soon as possible.” Source: NSE