Initial public offers, corporate bonds and commodity markets, where a view would soon be taken on allowing mutual fund investments, will be the focus areas for Sebi this year. For 2018 and next year, a priority would be on putting in place facilities to further encourage raising funds from the primary market, according to Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi. Talking to reporters after meeting of its board, which was also addressed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Tyagi said the regulator would look at listing time, IPO (Initial Public Offer) process and further simplification of norms. "(We) want to facilitate that as the capital are raised for development," he added. The Sebi chief noted that so far this fiscal, around Rs 1.9 lakh crore has been raised through equity and about Rs 4 lakh crore through debt.
As many as 150 IPOs have come in this fiscal. Jaitley today asked Sebi to take more steps to deepen the corporate bond market and hoped that continuing uptrend in IPOs would help in meeting the disinvestment targets. Following the government proposal to mandate listed firms to meet at least 25 per cent of their fund requirements from corporate bonds, Sebi would soon be coming out with norms in this regard. "Sebi will soon come out with norms on corporate bonds to encourage companies to tap this route for raising funds... Sebi will come out with detailed rules by September in this regard," Tyagi said. About commodity markets, the Sebi chief said it is a challenge since the underlying market is not being regulated by it. The watchdog would soon take a view on whether to allow mutual funds to invest in commodity markets. "We have taken a number of steps and allowed AIF (Alternative Investment Fund) 3, because we thought initially they should get into this. We are examining portfolio management schemes and mutual funds... we will take a view soon," Tyagi noted. To a query about extending market hours, the Sebi chairman said, "We have really not applied our mind on that, they have also not approached us.