BUSINESS NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
NTPS ISSUES TAX-FREE BONDS
AFTER OLA AND UBER SUCCESS, BUS AGGREGATORS SUCH AS RBUS, SHUTTL & ZIPGO ATTRACTING INVESTORS' ATTENTION
SBI’S NEW DEBIT CARDS TO HAVE EMV CHIP & PIN SECURITY
FEDERAL BANK LAUNCHES FEDBOOK
FINANCIAL TERM OF THE QUARTER
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION
BLOCKCHAIN AS A SERVICE
A blockchain is like a place where you store any data semi-publicly in a linear container space (the block). Anyone can verify that you’ve placed that information because the container has your signature on it, but only you (or a program) can unlock what’s inside the container because only you hold the private keys to that data, securely.
So, the blockchain behaves almost like a database, except that part of the information stored — its “header” — is public.
The data stored can be a token of value, or a crypto money balance. So, the blockchain acts as an alternative value transfer system that no central authority or potentially malicious third party can tamper with (because of the encryption process). It’s based on the public/private hegemony, which is the yin-yang of the blockchain: public visibility, but private inspection. In the last year, millions of users were added to the Bitcoin ecosystem and daily transactions tripled. More revolutionary than the rise of Bitcoin, however, is the blockchain technology that makes it possible. Traditional banks may be rendered obsolete by Bitcoin and blockchain technology, but the reality is that blockchain has the potential to do much more than just support crypto currencies. It’s set to revolutionize the financial services sector more broadly thanks to its potential to provide unprecedented transaction security through cryptography.
SEBI’s LISTING REGULATIONS - 2015
On December 01, 2015, SEBI brought the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘Listing Regulations’) into effect. SEBI’s provisions for listed entities have now been aligned with the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. The Listing Regulations finalized after consultations, will consolidate and streamline the provisions of existing listing agreements for different segments of the capital market.
The Listing Regulations have been divided into two parts. They are substantive provisions incorporated in the main body of regulations and procedural requirements in the form of schedules to the regulations. They provide principles for disclosures by listed entities and also include corporate governance principles.
Listed entities are now under an obligation to prepare information in accordance with applicable standards of accounting and financial disclosure. They are required to ensure that the yearly statutory audit is conducted by an independent, competent and qualified Auditor. Further, there are provisions in the Listing Regulations with respect to protection of rights of shareholders and responsibility of directors of a company.
Companies desirous of listing its securities are required to enter into a listing agreement with the stock exchange. Existing listed entities are required to execute a fresh listing agreement within 6 months from date of notification the Listing Regulations.
The alignment of the Listing Regulations with the Companies Act 2013 is a step in the right direction by SEBI and will go a long way in removing the ambiguity and confusion with respect to the Listing Regulations. Further, consolidation of different provisions of the listing agreements with respect to different securities is also a positive step and will ensure ease for companies who intend to list themselves on various stock exchanges.
SEBI PANEL READIES RULES FOR ONLINE SALE OF MF’S
Mutual funds may soon be sold alongside electronic gadgets, furniture and apparel on India’s largest e-commerce websites.
A Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)-appointed panel headed by Nandan Nilekani is set to finalize the guidelines for the online sale of mutual funds over the next three months, according to two people familiar with the committee’s deliberations.
Among the issues being debated by the committee are the types of mutual funds that can be sold online, the incentives allowed for online distributors and expense ratio (or fees) associated with such sales, according to the people.
“The move is a part of Sebi’s ultimate objective to digitize all securities market transactions and processes, not only to reach out to more potential investors through a cost-effective medium but also to save time and make investment processes simpler,” said one of the two people, a member of the Sebi committee, said on condition of anonymity.
However, coming up with a set of rules that allow for such sales without putting customers at risk of mis-selling will not be easy. Investing in mutual funds has a certain amount of risk associated with it, which must be clearly understood by buyers and sellers.
With Mutual fund schemes currently sold under two basic plans—direct and regular, the Sebi-appointed committee is now considering introducing a third category of mutual funds called online plans, which can be sold through e-commerce and m-commerce platforms which will have lower TER (total expense ratio) than regular plans. Its TER could be somewhere between the amounts charged under the direct plan and the regular plan of a given MF scheme as told by Dhirendra Kumar, chief executive of Value Research India Pvt. Ltd, a New-Delhi based mutual fund analytics firm.