The government has amended its earlier order relating to the Kannur International Airport Project (KIAP) to enable ordinary individuals also to invest in the project.

The earlier order was to offer 49 per cent of the equity in the public limited company that would manage the airport to “qualified institutional investors, high net worth individuals, companies, cooperative banks/societies and other legal entities as may be approved by the Board of Directors” of the airport.

The term “high net worth individuals” precluded those who could not invest at least Rs.2,00,100 (on 2001 shares of face value Rs.100) from applying for the company's shares. This is because the SEBI ICDR regulations provide that any single application by an individual up to an amount of Rs.2 lakh will be considered under the category of “retail investor” in any public issue and only those investing more than this amount will come under the category of “high net worth individuals.”

In the new order issued on November 19, the government amended the term “high net worth individuals” to read as “individuals.”

According to the prevailing orders with respect to the KIAP, 26 per cent of the equity in the public limited company will be held by the government, 23 per cent by public sector undertakings that are fully owned by the government and two per cent by companies such as Infrastructure Kerala Limited promoted by the government. This will constitute 51 per cent of the total equity participation, against the 49 per cent equity participation from qualified institutional investors, individuals, companies, cooperative banks/societies and other legal entities as may be approved by the Board of Directors of the airport.

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