India: Conditional SEBI nod for appointment of Vikram Limaye as NSE CEO

Vikram Limaye
Vikram Limaye. Photo: Bloomberg

India’s markets regulator on Friday finally approved the appointment of Vikram Limaye as chief executive officer and managing director of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE), making it conditional on him being relieved from a panel of cricket administrators formed by the apex court.

Approval of Limaye’s appointment by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had been held up by his role on the panel overseeing the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Sebi said on Friday that Limaye, currently managing director and chief executive officer of IDFC Ltd, will join the NSE, India’s largest stock exchange, only after he is released from the BCCI committee.

“The condition in the approval is to ensure that his responsibilities at NSE are not compromised due to his additional role at the BCCI panel,” said a Sebi official on condition of anonymity. The Supreme Court on 30 January formed the four-member committee, pressing ahead with its efforts to reform the country’s richest sporting body.

Sebi’s approval of Limaye’s appointment follows on the heels of an assurance held out to the market regulator by NSE that Limaye will not continue in his BCCI role beyond August and will recuse himself in case of an extension.

NSE expects to start roadshows for an initial public offering (IPO) within a quarter of Limaye’s taking charge, probably in September, Mint had reported on 12 May.

NSE has already filed a draft prospectus for the IPO, in which existing shareholders will sell a 25% stake in the bourse.

In any case, NSE is not in a hurry to list before resolving allegations that some brokers had secured unfair access to its algorithmic trading systems. In an interview on 16 December, NSE chairman Ashok Chawla said the exchange would list only after the allegations around it are resolved.

India’s market regulator on 22 May issued show-cause notices to 14 directors of NSE and to the exchange, questioning whether they had failed in their fiduciary responsibility of maintaining market sanctity by allowing unfair access to its system to some brokers.

On 27 April, Mint had reported that NSE’s IPO would be delayed till the bourse resolves these allegations and has a full-time CEO in place. Limaye was appointed as CEO and MD of NSE in February to replace Chitra Ramkrishna, who left NSE owing to personal reasons on 2 December, a little more than a year before her tenure was to end.

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