Chennai: Market regulator SEBI is in "advance stage" of finalisation for issuing norms to non-life insurance companies planning to come out with an Initial Public Offering (IPO), according to a top official.
"So far, life insurance companies are concerned, it has been sorted out. The issues and norms have been clarified between SEBI and IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority)... So far, non-life (insurance) companies are concerned, the matter is in advance stage of discussion," Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman U K Sinha told reporters here.
He was responding to a question on whether insurance companies would be able to hit the capital market to raise funds through IPO.
Declining to elaborate further, he said both SEBI and IRDA are quite serious about it. "It is not entirely in my hands. I get the feeling that IRDA is quite serious about it. So my presumption is that it will not take too much time (to announce the norms for insurance companies to raise funds)," he said.
Noting that since the launch of computer generated redressal system to investors, SEBI has received over 35,000 complaints, Sinha said, "Most of the complaints registered by investors were against corporates listed in the stock exchanges".
"More than two-thirds of the complaints have been solved within a period of less than 30 days and rest of complaints is also getting sorted out very soon. I will say more than 50 percent of the complaints are not against SEBI or against its intermediaries.
"Those are against corporates. More than 50 percent of the complaints are against corporates who are listed on the stock exchanges," he said.
He said an investor through its website would be able to track the status of his complaint.
Explaining about the kind of complaints that were filed by investors, he said, "major complaints that were received are -- (the investor) is not receiving the dividend in time or receiving an amount of dividend which is less than what an investor thinks he should have received.
"The complaints are also about not receiving the notices for AGMs or not receiving the annual reports in time".
Voicing concern that spread of mutual fund industry in the country was not up to the expectation for the potential in market, Sinha said, "the net inflow in the equity schemes of the mutual funds was down by Rs 13,500 crore in 2010-11. But in 2011-12, net inflow in the equity schemes of the mutual funds was positive by around Rs 600-700 crore".
He said SEBI has begun a process of consulting various agencies and with stake holders on how to enhance the reach of mutual funds industry in the country.
"It will be a multi-pronged strategy. The exercise has just begun. We will be talking to all the stake holders and then will take a final view", he said.
He said the decline in the inflows in the mutual funds industry was not specific to India and similar trend was also witnessed in some advanced economies.
"Generally, including advanced economies where mutual funds penetration has been quite high, there has been a decline in the inflows to the mutual fund industry," he said.
Sinha warned of taking stringent action against those companies which do not follow the SEBI's requirement of minimum public holding. According to Sinha, so far 181 companies in the country are non-compliant of SEBI's requirement of minimum public holding.
"So SEBI has now prescribed two more avenues for companies to try and issue their shares so that they reach and prescribe minimum public share holding," he said.
"If some company is not following the compliant, ie, by June, 2013 for private companies and August 2013 for PSUs, then the consequences of SEBI's law will follow," he said.
He also advised that an active investor should furnish his mobile phone number and email addresses so that whenever his account was opened, an sms alert and email message be sent immediately. "This is an investor friendly measure," he said.
Responding to a query, he said, on QFIs, so far 13 firms have taken the licenses from SEBI for being a qualified depository participant (QDP).
"If you recollect QFIs (Qualified Foreign Investors) there are entities whic must have licenses for QDPs so that they can canvass businesses outside India. 13 firms have taken that license.To become a QDP, they have to be registered with SEBI. They must have minimum assets of Rs 500 crore and they have to presence outside India.", he said.
Sinha was here to participate in a seminar "Investors: The Road Ahead" organised by SEBI and National Stock Exchange.