Securities and Exchange Board of India plans to open 20 offices across the country, including Hyderabad and Bangalore

An office of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will come up in Kochi before April. This was announced by SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha. He was addressing a seminar on capital market organised by Bombay Stock Exchange here on Friday.

He said SEBI offices would be opened at Hyderabad and Bangalore also. The plan was to open 20 offices across the country, he said. Helplines have been set up by the organisation to which investors can call up if they have queries on investment in listed companies monitored by the organisation.

Mr. Sinha said the investment from Kerala in mutual funds was very low. Only one per cent of the assets under management of the mutual funds were coming from Kerala. The amount was small as Kerala contributed 3.75 per cent of GDP. Over 100 companies registered in Kerala were listed in BSE, but the number was small in comparison to several other States. Even Haryana had more companies listed in BSE. About 85 per cent of investment in MFs came from 15 cities in the country. SEBI had mooted extra incentives to mutual fund investment from the other cities.

He said about 200 listed companies, including a few public limited companies, had less than 10 per cent public holding. SEBI has issued directions to raise the public share to 25 per cent.

Price discovery mechanism was being streamlined. It was observed that in the past four years, about two-thirds of the companies that went for initial public offering received below the quoted price after it was listed in the stock market. SEBI had mooted compensation to small investors in such cases.

SEBI has introduced new norms seeking the track record of the company as well as the investment banker. The regulating body had started rejecting red herring whenever the documentation was not satisfactory. The action had instilled more confidence among the investors, he said.

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