SEBI is a statutory regulatory body established on the 12th of April, 1992. It monitors and regulates the Indian capital and securities market while ensuring to protect the interests of the investors formulating regulations and guidelines to be adhered to. The head office of SEBI is in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.
Structure of SEBI
SEBI has a corporate framework comprising various departments each managed by a department head. There are about 20+ departments under SEBI. Some of these departments are corporation finance, economic and policy analysis, debt and hybrid securities, enforcement, human resources, investment management, commodity derivatives market regulation, legal affairs, and more.
The hierarchical structure of SEBI consists of the following members:
- The chairman of SEBI is nominated by the Union Government of India.
- Two officers from the Union Finance Ministry will be a part of this structure.
- One member will be appointed from the Reserve Bank of India.
- Five other members will be nominated by the Union Government of India.
Functions of SEBI
- SEBI is primarily set up to protect the interests of investors in the securities market.
- It promotes the development of the securities market and regulates the business.
- SEBI provides a platform for stockbrokers, sub-brokers, portfolio managers, investment advisers, share transfer agents, bankers, merchant bankers, trustees of trust deeds, registrars, underwriters, and other associated people to register and regulate work.
- It regulates the operations of depositories, participants, custodians of securities, foreign portfolio investors, and credit rating agencies.
- It prohibits inner trades in securities, i.e. fraudulent and unfair trade practices related to the securities market.
- It ensures that investors are educated on the intermediaries of securities markets.
- It monitors substantial acquisitions of shares and take-over of companies.
- SEBI takes care of research and development to ensure the securities market is efficient at all times.
Authority and Power of SEBI
The SEBI has three main powers:
i. Quasi-Judicial: SEBI has the authority to deliver judgements related to fraud and other unethical practices in terms of the securities market. This helps to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability in the securities market.
ii. Quasi-Executive: SEBI is empowered to implement the regulations and judgements made and to take legal action against the violators. It is also authorised to inspect Books of accounts and other documents if it comes across any violation of the regulations.
iii. Quasi-Legislative: SEBI reserves the right to frame rules and regulations to protect the interests of the investors. Some of its regulations consist of insider trading regulations, listing obligation, and disclosure requirements. These have been formulated to keep malpractices at bay.
Despite the powers, the results of SEBI’s functions still have to go through the Securities Appellate Tribunal and the Supreme Court of India.
Mutual Fund Regulations by SEBI
Some of the regulations for mutual funds laid down by SEBI are:
- A sponsor of a mutual fund, an associate or a group company, which includes the asset management company of a fund, through the schemes of the mutual fund in any form cannot hold:
(a)10% or more of the shareholding and voting rights in the asset management company or any other mutual fund.
(b)An asset management company cannot have representation on a board of any other mutual fund.
- A shareholder cannot hold 10% or more of the shareholding directly or indirectly in the asset management company of a mutual fund.
- No single stock can have more than 35% weight in the index for a sectoral or thematic index; the cap is 25% for other indices.
- The cumulative weight of the top three constituents of the index cannot exceed 65%.
- An individual constituent of the index should have a trading frequency of a minimum of 80%.
- Funds must evaluate and ensure compliance to the norms at the end of every calendar quarter. The constituents of the indices must be made public by publishing it on their website.
- New funds must submit their compliance status to SEBI before being launched.
- All liquid schemes must hold a minimum of 20% in liquid assets such as government securities (G-Secs), repo on G-Secs, cash, and treasury bills.
- A debt mutual fund can invest up to only 20% of its assets in one sector; previously the cap was 25%. The additional exposure to housing finance companies (HFCs) is updated to 15% from 10% and a 5% exposure on securitised debt based on retail housing loan and affordable housing loan portfolios.
- As per SEBI’s recommendation, the amortisation is not the only method for evaluating debt and money market instruments. The market-to-market methodology is also used.
- An exit penalty will be levied on investors of liquid schemes who exit the scheme within a period of seven days.
- Mutual funds schemes must invest only in the listed non-convertible debentures (NCD). Any fresh investment in commercial papers (CPs) and equity shares are allowed in listed securities as per the guidelines issued by the regulator.
- Liquid and overnight schemes are no longer allowed to invest in short-term deposits, debt, and money market instruments that have structured obligations or credit enhancements.
- When investing in debt securities having credit enhancements, a minimum of four times security cover is mandatory for investing in mutual funds schemes. A prudential limit of 10% is prescribed on total investment by such schemes in debt and money market instruments.