NSE IPO to be put off till regulatory issues settled: Limaye

18 Jul 2017


While an initial public offering (IPO) from the NSE is very much on the cards, resolving regulatory issues relating to NSE's co-location troubles, improving stakeholder relationships, and putting in robust controls and processes are the top priorities of Vikram Limaye, the new managing director (MD) of the country's largest bourse by volumes.

Vikram LimayeLimaye, who was till recently the managing director of IDFC and also on the Supreme Court-appointed committee to manage the Board of Control for Cricket board in India, on Monday took charge as the MD of the NSE, more than seven months after Chitra Ramakrishna quit the post.

Limaye, 50, is the first outsider to head NSE, taking the job at a time when the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is probing allegations that some brokers received unfair access to the algorithmic trading systems at NSE.

NSE has planned a Rs10,000 crore initial public offering (IPO) that bankers said could raise up to $1 billion, but the share sale could be delayed until the ongoing investigation is concluded.

"Resolving the co-lo (co-location) matter with the regulator expeditiously tops my agenda," Limaye said in various media interactions. "The exchange is already engaging with the regulator and I'm going to engage in it.

"We also need to improve relationships with all our stakeholders, the regulators, the government, customers, employees, shareholders and the media, and we also need to strengthen our processes and controls."

The prospectus for NSE's IPO was filed last December but was put off on SEBI's directive. Soon after taking over, Limaye sent a mail to NSE employees asking them to show "humility, respect, responsiveness and transparency" in their conduct. "'Organisation above self' must be the driving principle in how we conduct ourselves," he wrote.

While NSE has engaged Deloitte for a forensic audit of its equity derivatives platform, it has asked EY to carry out a forensic audit into cash markets and currency derivative platforms of the NSE, which is still underway.

In his communication to NSE employees earlier in the day, Limaye said, ''While currently the institution is faced with certain challenges, I am confident we will overcome these issues by working together and emerge as a stronger and better organisation.

''I am very optimistic about the future and I strongly believe the best is yet to come for the NSE Group. Let's work together with a sense of purpose, positive energy, creativity/ innovation and collaboration.''

On a technological glitch that caused widespread disruptions in trading last week, Limaye said the exchange's standing committee on technology will review the problem and approve measures to prevent recurrence of such glitches said. ''The root cause of the problem would be addressed and we will discuss and report it to the finance ministry and Sebi,'' Limaye said.

Asked if he is looking to rejig the team at NSE, Limaye said, ''The exchange has a loyal and committed workforce. However, I will see if there are any gaps or re-positioning required''

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