SEBI chief says retail investor participation up since lockdown, praises colleagues for moves made
Financial Express , Jul 22, 2020
Domestic equity markets have seen a surge in retail participation since the coronavirus aided lockdown was initiated in March this year, said Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman Ajay Tyagi. Speaking at FICCI’s annual capital markets conference, Ajay Tyagi highlighted that a large number of Demat accounts were opened during the lockdown period, this was when shares were trading at multi-year discounted values. Sensex slipped 37% between February last week and March 23, translating to a loss of over 15,000 points. On the other hand, Nifty went from 12,000 points on February 20 to just 7,600 of March 23.
“We have seen huge participation of retail investors in the last few months,” the SEBI Chairman said. He added that the stock markets have largely recovered and compared Nifty’s performance to top indices of the world. The conference also saw marquee names of the capital market industry share the panel. Ajay Tyagi, was joined by Rashesh Shah, Chairman & CEO, Edelweiss Group along with Ashishkumar Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO, BSE.
Patting his back along with his colleagues at SEBI, Ajay Tyagi commended the work done by his colleagues that, he said, made it easier for corporates to raise funds during a time when many companies are facing various challenges due to the pandemic. SEBI took a number of steps to ease the pain of India Inc from relaxing norms pertaining to rights issue, follow-on public offer, qualified institutional placements, creeping acquisition of shares by promoters and easier pricing framework for allotment of shares through preferential issue.
Apart from this, Ajay Tyagi also batted for the unification of financial markets, claiming that it is an idea whose time has come. “Development of the corporate bond market ought to be one of the topmost agendas of policymakers today,” he added. In the April-June quarter, as more and more retail investors stepped foot into stock markets, some blue-chip companies witnessed a healthy growth in retail shareholding. Retail shareholders held 5.7% of the total share capital of State Bank of India at the end of March but the same reached 7% at the end of the previous quarter. Some other companies that saw growth in retail shareholding were, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, and Titan Company.
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