Sebi Tightens Corp Disclosure Norms 

Move Aimed At Improving Transparency Related To Market-Sensitive Info 

Market regulator Sebi on Monday said stock exchanges will have greater power to seek and enforce rules on corporate disclosures by listed companies as part of its efforts aimed at improving transparency,especially when it comes to market-sensitive information.Sebi also said bourses should set up separate units which will monitor corporate disclosures and will also report cases of non-compliance to the regulator. The regulator also asked exchanges to proactively seek additional disclosures from companies, if they feel there is need for such disclosures.

Currently listed entities are required to disclose details about their shareholding pattern,financial results and other market-sensitive information regularly.However,market analysts point out that very few of the over 8,000 listed companies follow the rules in letter and spirit. Also enforcement has been lax,they say.

Concerns have been raised that even though listed companies make disclosures to stock exchanges within the time-frame stipulated under the listing agreement,the contents of the disclosures made by such companies are not adequate and accurate, Sebi said in its seven-page directive to the stock exchanges.Citing instances where even the IMF has pointed out inadequacies on the part of the bourses in enforcing disclosures,Sebi said the current monitoring mechanism of stock exchanges to ascertain the adequacy and accuracy of disclosures made in compliance with the listing agreement need to be made more effective. 

Recently Sebi chairman U K Sinha had said that some of the listed companies were not filing their quarterly result statements.Sebi directed stock exchanges to put in place appropriate framework (including adequate manpower) to effectively monitor the adequacy and accuracy of the disclosures made by listed companies.It also said that there should be an appropriate mechanism for handling complaints related to such inadequate and inaccurate disclosures and non-compliances by the listed entities.The regulator also said that bourses should submit an Exception Report in addition to the existing reporting requirements,which should contain details of companies that do not respond to the clarifications sought by them and/or where the response submitted by the company is not satisfactory in exchanges opinion.

It also tried to make promoters and top officials at listed entities responsible for poor disclosures.It asked stock exchanges to obtain details of promoters,directors,key managerial personnel of listed entities who are responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of the listing agreement and in case of defaults,such information should be disclosed on its website.

Times of India, New Delhi, 19-11-2013

12485 Times Visited