SEBI chairman UK Sinha has announced that companies are not doing enough to adhere to the public shareholding norms, report CNBC-TV18's Ronak Jain. Sinha says that 197 companies were mandated to sell nearly Rs 40,000 crore worth of shares by June 2013 and warned the companies are not to take the deadline lightly.
Both public and private sector companies will have to increase public shareholding to a minimum of 25% by August 2013 and there will be no relaxation in the guidelines.
"This is a very important requirement. A three-year timeframe has been given and though over one-and-half-years are over, there is absolutely no thinking or movement towards selling the shares. The companies or their advisors are perhaps banking that this time the deadline will be further extended. Let me tell you, I am going to make it difficult for the companies," the SEBI chairman stated.
There are 181 non-PSU firms that do not meet the minimum shareholding norms, he said, adding that "around Rs 27,000 crore will have to be mobilised by June 2013. Sixteen PSUs will have to mobilise Rs 12,000 crore".
The SEBI chairman also said, "Almost 50% of the securities which are required to be brought in are by six large companies. There are eight companies who are to bring in Rs 500-Rs 1,000 crore worth securities into the market and there are 29 companies who are to bring in Rs 100-500 crore of securities."
Sinha is also not impressed by arguments that companies may have trouble finding suitable avenues to offload excess stake. He says this problem has been addressed by the introduction of Offer for Sale and Institutional Placement Programme introduced earlier this year.
So companies had better get cracking, and fast.