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Markets may remain open on budget day hints Sebi

On three occasions since 1991 that the Budget was presented on a Saturday, markets were kept open

BS Reporters  |  Mumbai 

U K Sinha
U K Sinha
Stock markets could well be open for trading on the day of the .

The Minister Arun Jaitley is set to announce the Union for the new financial year on February 28th, which falls on a Saturday. The stock markets are usually closed on the day.

U K Sinha, chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India on Friday hinted at the fact that it could keep markets open during an interaction with the media on Friday. Read our full coverage on Union Budget

"We are evaluating it. We will be guided by our regulations and past precedence. Based on that and our consultation is still going on. We will take a call very shortly," he said.

Precedence shows there are three occasions since 1991 when a similar event has taken place.

The has fallen on a Saturday in the years 1992, 1993 and 1999. The markets were open on all three days.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) event on Friday.

The regulator is now awaiting a final nod from the Ministry, according to one source.

Markets have sought a budget day session as it helps price in the impact of various policy pronouncements as they are made, according to participants.

Sinha added that a proposal for a framework on conversion of bank debt in distressed companies into equity may be taken up for approval in the regulator's next board meeting.

"But the impression of bankers and feedback from the RBI is that the Sebi pricing formulae at times works against the interest of the secured debtors. Our dialogue with bankers is at a fairly advanced stage and in the next board meeting we will be able to take this up," he said.

R Gandhi, deputy governor, RBI also said that the norms are likely to be finalized soon.

"We are in discussion with Sebi. We will soon finalise the norms. Sebi has its own responsibilities to protect minority shareholders. We are discussing the pricing aspect," he said.

In response to a question on if Sebi is looking into rumours that recent leaks from the government was also used to trade in the market, Sinha said that any such instance would be addressed.

"If there is even an iota of truth in that, our people must be already working on it," he said.

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First Published: Fri, February 20 2015. 18:38 IST